November 21, 2013

Oman Open Worlds - Day 4

by Doug
A lot of people are enjoying Robert Scheidt (BRA) in this competition and he's well-known for his speed, especially downwind. Here's something that may not be as well-known - his reading of the wind going upwind.

One of my roommates is Kristian Ruth (NOR) and he told me an interesting story about Race 5 yesterday. He and Robert were about even in the mid-teens on the run, and for the first part of the next beat. There was no speed difference between them. Robert then tacked away for 30 seconds and then tacked back again to catch the edge of a wind line that put him in more pressure sooner and longer. When Kristian tacked, Robert was 50 meters in front and went on to finish 2nd. Kristian finished 15th. I asked Kristian if he saw what Robert saw and he said no.

The breeze today shifted to the north and was lighter. The first race started in about 4 knots and this increased to about 8 knots. The waves are the gentle chop you can expect in open water. The shifts were 20º and pretty random. People feel that rolled sails are an advantage in these conditions. There were about 20 yellow flags handed out today and you'll hear the whistles in the video.

Robert had a 28, his drop, and another bullet. I tried to focus on him and between races, you'll see a short close-up video of his setup for these conditions. You'll also wee a video of him starting the next race near the boat, waiting for a port-tack lane to develop, and then tack and duck one boat to go right and win the race.

One other thing to report... others are carving, jibing, and trying to catch waves going downwind. In the conditions today, Robert heads straight downwind.

Olympic Silver Medalist Pavlos Kontides (CYP) has sailed with great consistency and is 5 points back but has a drop of only 10, which is pretty amazing. I've watched him start and he likes being near the pin and always seems to get away with a good lane.

[Warning - this video might make you seasick]

Rain on the way ...

11 comments:

  1. Wow! Great inside info!
    thanks, Doug!

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  2. Thanks Doug. I do think that at almost every level of competition in which I have sailed, from a few Sunfish on a little puddle to nationals and worlds, there almost always seems to be that one guy who sees the wind better than the others and he is the one that almost always ends up in front. I can count on the fingers of one hand the days when I was "that one guy" and spotted something that others seemed to miss.

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    1. Very true. While Pavlos is a great sailor and could still win, this is very much a Robert show. Besides the obvious fact that he's 40 going for his 9th Laser Worlds, he is genuinely liked and admired. Tom Slingsby is thought of in the same way.

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  3. Hi Doug Re. reading wind lines, i have noticed that putting on polarized lenses can help see the wind lines perhaps RS has inbuilt polarization!!! Fascinating insight into this event, thanks. May i ask your thoughts please, i have just purchased Higher Performance sailing for my sons 14th birthday and have just sneaked at the forward where FB says this is the follow up to High Performance sailing knowing that you are very intouch with many things FB would you recomend reading the High Performance edition first ?My son sails singlehanded una rig and double handed assymetrics! Good luck for your forthcoming championships regards Andre

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    1. I can recommend High Performance sailing for two reasons - it's an excellent book (although very technical) and also because I took the first black & white picture of him and Julian sailing an NS14 (actually, that's just one reason).

      Frank's third and final book Fast Handling Techniques is also a gem. It has a Laser section written by my roommate Brett Beyer who is, IMHO, the best of all the Laser coaches. You can read some of his tips in the right-hand column.

      All 3 books have things to offer and can be read in any order.

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  4. Doug, Doug, Doug ... quit swinging that camera back and forth when you pan from one end to the other. The camera has an auto focus but it takes a couple of seconds to work so you have to move slow, slow, slow. You're making me dizzy. You'll see what I mean in a couple of months when we get that oil out of your eye.

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    1. Point taken. I know that the quality sucks but I'm thrilled to even have a boat to watch the racing. It's a day-by-day thing and I don't know until 10 each morning if I can even get a boat for that day. So far, it's been because some other person has not shown up.

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    2. I hope your luck holds. I know you're enjoying yourself. I just wish you could actually see what you're seeing.

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    3. Me too. It's point, shoot, and watch later. If you think that watching the videos can make you seasick, you should try sitting in one of these little boats for 5 hours. The best viewing is, of course, where all the other boats are which makes it really bumpy. If I had an anchor at least I could stand up and focus on the action. As it is, I'm driving with one hand and filming with the other.

      No Academy Award this year.

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  5. Sounds like you need another turkish partner!

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