Tuesday night May 8, 2013
Warm up– nice job on sticking to the marks! The boat handling level is rising quickly! One item I noticed for sure is that most boats are trying to hoist a bit early. Be careful that that the kite does not come out of the hatch prematurely, also too early often leads to twists.
“Top mark meet drill” was designed to set up where both boats are nearly bow to bow on opposite tacks coming into the top mark. There was moderate success on the way I set it up. Next time we will just start by luffing head to wind next to each other, peeling off and racing to the top mark.
The goal here is to get around the mark with “gap” or as much separation between you and your competitor. A boat that rounds JUST behind has a lot of power and often can pass the lead boat.
So how do I make the gap happen?
If approaching on starboard with a half a boat length lead to about 1 ½ boat-length lead, hunt the boat on port and try to make them sail away from the windward mark. Keep in mind that your goal is to round the mark with them behind and a large gap.
If port and leading, you want to get around the mark with a gap your options are limited. Basically you can try to:
A. Have HUGE lead to round and not worry about getting rolled
B. Round bow to stern so you have options including a quick jibe you can do this by:
a. slowing down with a tactical duck (luffing jib, pinching) or
b. Dial down and round behind.
c. Remember if overlapped it will be a 17 so you must go down to your proper course.
In either case the important thing to remember is that the boat behind on a run has an advantage that is pretty significant and the further you can keep them back the better!
Current- The other big item last night was current, we had a lot of it and it was with the wind! So here are a few tips! One key item to always keep in mind is current seems to have a lesser effect when you are up speed vs. down speed.
Starts- don’t go deep in the box, in-fact try to play the game above and to windward of the starting line. Far easier in conditions like last night to go down to the line than come up to the line.
Beat– your laylines are wider! As the current pushes you down the course you have to over-stand to make the mark.
Roundings– Current effects this aspect a ton, as you are generally down speed you have to make sure at the weather mark you are giving it plenty of room and downwind, the keep the mark tight on the escape is paramount as current is trying to push you away from the mark.
It is great to see the group growing every week and please tell your friends to come on down to Oakcliff and sail!