Saturday, June 8, 2013
Today was the second day of the Laser clinic with Kostas Trigonis.
Again, he stressed again how important attitude and mental elements are. Interestingly he said he never had a coach himself and he regrets it - it would have made things easier to become a world champion. But not having a coach meant he succeeded by driving himself and by making many mistakes and correcting them.
At the end of the day, I came away with several things.
First, I understood how to correct the placement of my feet in tacking and gybing. We first viewed Jon Emmett's video on tacking and gybing and Kostas stopped it and showed each step and what was happening.
For me, he pointed out that on both tacking and gybing I had my feet together in the middle of the cockpit, which means I simply ducked my head and crossed over, with very little maneuverability or power. Kostas explained that the first thing to do for either a tack or gybe before crossing over is to separate your feet, with the back foot at the back of the cockpit and the front foot at the front, and turn the forward shoulder slightly away, with the body slightly leaning forward. Your feet then help you push yourself over as the roll brings the opposite side of the boat up.
I also realised in gybing that I was not letting the boat do the work. The first step is to sheet in as the turn starts, then lean back slightly to hike to leeward to continue the turn and bring the boat up and allow gravity to help the boom come over as the mainsheet is hanging down (as seen in the screen shot from the Jon Emmett video), making only a slight jerk necessary to avoid lassoing the transom. As Kostas repeated to me at the end of the day, the most important thing for me in the gybe is to feel the rhythm and be more relaxed about it.
We had a number of short races and in one of them I did well - because before it began I said to myself, this time I don't care about speed or winning, I just want to make as few mistakes as possible and do everything slowly and evenly. Kostas said this to us many times - that winning, even for world-class sailors, is simply about minimising mistakes. I had read/heard this before but rarely do I really remember it. This time, I slowed down, making every maneuver slow and not rushed. And it worked. But in the next race I was unfortunately back to my old ways and capsized. Oh well.