Sunday, March 23, 2014

Upper Telltales

In the races last weekend I did relatively well, finishing second in both races. Admittedly my results were helped by the absence of our 2 best Laser sailors who went to a regatta elsewhere. But never mind - it still feels good to come close to the top of the fleet.  And I also beat a good friend who has been besting me lately.

So, what was I doing right?  I think it was mainly concentrating on my upper telltales.  The wind was around 8 - 10 knots and I made a conscious effort on the beats and reaches to do everything I could to keep the upper telltales streaming, even if that meant some flutters in the lower ones.  I adjusted the vang more than usual, experimenting a bit to see what it would do on the upper telltales.

One downside to concentrating on the upper telltales - or any telltales - is keeping your head inside the boat.  And so it happened that after rounding a leeward mark, I was very efficiently keeping the telltales streaming just beautifully - as I started to head toward the wrong mark. Luckily I realized my mistake and managed to head the right way before too much damage was done.

Anyhow, I had consistently better boat speed than my friend.  Was it the focus on the upper telltales?  Did he just have a bad day? 

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