Saturday, December 6, 2014

ISAF World Cup Finals - Lasers

At the World Cup Finals, I discovered a couple of things about Lasers that were new to me.

First, in talking to one of the judges about Rule 42, I learned a term I had never heard before - "mousing".  This has nothing to do with a computer but, according to her, it happens on a reach when the sailor makes very slight back and forth movements of the tiller and slightly sheeting in and out at the same time - at least that is what I understood. I must say I have a hard time understanding exactly what it is and why it would be effective.

Second, in one of the medal races in relatively light winds - around 8 - 10 knots - and flat water, the Lasers coming down to the leeward mark to round it to a broad reach to the finish had their centerboards only about 1/3 up or less, as you can see in this video as they round (at least I hope you can see it - Blogger makes the video pretty grainy). The centreboards were like that well before any adjustments were made for rounding.

I had always thought in light winds the centreboard should be higher.

Can anyone shed light on either of the above ?

And speaking of Rule 42, I asked why Lasers dont have the Oscar flag system like Finns and 470s that allows pumping, rocking ,etc. above a certain wind speed.  The answer was that it is a decision of each class, but the general philosophy is that in light winds we don't want our sport to become like windsurfing where only the strongest win with excessive pumping, rocking, etc. That philosophy makes sense to me, but some Rule 42 movements are not really that hard to do and I am not convinced that allowing rocking in light winds would really be unfair to the average sailor.

1 comment:

  1. Mousing - I have not heard of it... sounds like a new name for an old technique.

    Centerboards - they do look low to me... not sure why.

    Rule 42 - when Ben Ainslie switched from Lasers to Finns, he apparently put on about 30 pounds to get strong enough to be competitive. I personally think that allowing this in Lasers would ruin our sport for the vast majority. I like having the choice of strong apes sailing Finns and nimble monkeys sailing Lasers.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...