April 02, 2014
We're allowed one wind indicator on a Laser, and most put theirs in front of the boom. I don't like this for two reasons.
- It gives false readings because of the wind flowing around the sail and the position of my body being in the way.
- A reading at the top of the mast is more accurate and it helps sail by the lee. Looking up on a run, I start with the wind coming from behind. Bearing off, the wind shifts to being over my left shoulder and I pull in the main to try sailing by the lee. Life is good! If the wind shifts to over my right shoulder, I jibe the boom and bear off to try sailing by the lee again to get the wind flowing the other way across the main:
|From behind By the lee Ah, a shift By the lee again|
March 27, 2014
- I try to steer with my weight, so bearing off is leaning out to heel to windward. As a result, the end of my boom actually torques back and up at the same time. It feels like I’m “scooping” more pressure and, when timed properly, it feels very fast.
- With the boom in, the pressure on the main sheet goes from hardly any pressure and wanting to jibe to really powered up and driving forward. Timing this power properly can be a great way to catch even small waves. Again, this can be fast.
- I like to set the vang so that the leach stretches and “breathes” back and forth about 8 inches. This is a completely natural and legal pumping motion, and a gift from the laws of physics.
- In addition, you can bear off or use your main sheet to pump the main once per wave. This is significant because you’re pumping the leading edge of the sail which is super effective because that’s where all of the lift comes from. This is the only time in sailing when you can pump the part of a sail that has all of the lift.
March 23, 2014
This action is very gentle and is not pumping but this extra pressure is not always easy to find. The lighter the breeze, the harder the extra pressure is to find and below 10 knots, it might not be possible for a beginner to find at all. When it does work your sail is actually generating lift instead of just catching the wind by stalling, which is what it's doing when your boom is out.
As a rule, you'll feel the strongest pressure just before the sail wants to jibe. Here's Tom Slingsby from the Perth Worlds video (at 21:02) where his leach is folding and the sail wants to jibe:
Tom heads up to prevent jibing, but only slightly because his trim is fast.
This post is about how to make it work. Our next post will be why it works and will include gifts from laws of physics: perfectly legal pumping.
March 11, 2014
Whenthe wind shifts to the right, green might trim the sail in a little and red might trim out a little:
Anytime that you can set your boat up for a reach you'll gain speed. Let's look at this a little more closely:
The wind flows from the leach to the luff of the sail and pushes the boat forward. But here's a really interesting fact - the same force would be generated even if the wind was coming from the the opposite direction:
So why is this important? Because if you rotate this diagram 90 degrees, red is on a run, but the force on the sail is the same as though it's on a reach:
So when the wind goes right, instead of red trimming the sail out as we have seen above, it can be much faster to trim the sail in:
|The wind goes right, one red trims out.... the other trims in.|
And the opposite is true - when the wind goes left, instead of green trimming the sail out, it's much faster to trim the sail in:
|The wind goes left, one green trims out... the other trims in.|
|World-class speed sailing on a run... with the sail trimmed in.|
March 08, 2014
March 05, 2014
|Al Clark -(left) and Steve Cockerill (right) - competitive in both a Radial and full rig|
February 27, 2014
February 25, 2014
So, why change to a Radial for the 2012 Master Worlds in Brisbane?
There were four reasons:
- Weight: I weighed 185 lbs (83 kg) when I won the 1997 Master Worlds and 180 lbs (81 kg) when I won the 2006 Grand Master Worlds. In 2012 I was struggling to get up to 170 lbs (77 kg).
- Forced rig change: With only a few more years before turning 65, I decided it was time to start learning how to sail a Radial.
- Forecast: Brisbane gets windy.
- Hubris: A race at the Worlds will not start under 5 knots, so light-air speed is irrelevant. My comfort zone in medium conditions led me to believe that heavy-air should be my focus for improvement, so I decided it was better to be a little heavy in a Radial than light in a full-rig.
- Light conditions meant no sailing.
- Medium conditions was my comfort zone.
- Windy conditions was my focus for improvement.
I might be able to get to 175 lbs (79kg) and still be competitive in windy conditions (like Peter Shope) but isn't staying fit one of the benefits of sailing a Laser? It's certainly the best incentive that I know of.
February 23, 2014
|PSA Brochure||65+ kg|
|PSA Pathway||70+ kg|
|2013||Oman Master Worlds||Light||Radial||168 lbs / 76 kg||4th|
|2012||Brisbane Master Worlds||Medium||Radial||172 lbs / 78 kg||4th|
|2012||Brisbane AU Master Nationals||Windy||Radial||172 lbs / 78 kg||3rd|
|2012||Houston US Nationals||Mixed||Radial||168 lbs / 76 kg||7th|
|2010||Halifax Master Worlds||Windy||Standard||168 lbs / 76 kg||6th|
|2008||Sydney Master Worlds||Medium||Standard||190 lbs / 86 kg||12th|
|2007||Spain Master Worlds||Medium||Standard||186 lbs / 85 kg||9th|
|2006||Korea Master Worlds||Mixed||Standard||180 lbs / 81 kg||1st|
|2001||Ireland Master Worlds||Medium||Standard||183 lbs / 83 kg||8th|
|2000||Cancun Master Worlds||Medium||Standard||183 lbs / 83 kg||3rd|
|1999||Melbourne Master Worlds||Honking||Standard||182 lbs / 82 kg||3rd|
|1998||Gorge Master World Games||Honking||Standard||182 lbs / 82 kg||2nd|
|1997||Chile Master Worlds||Mixed||Standard||185 lbs / 83 kg||1st|