July 06, 2016

International Sailing Academy - Head Cam Videos

By Doug
Most of our readers have never gone to a Laser Worlds, and many have never sailed in open water. And many have never sailed in a really good clinic. Because of a broken thumb, my training for the Worlds was derailed and consisted of second helpings and very little exercise or time on the water.  As a result, I was heavily reliant upon the sailing clinic just prior to the Worlds to get me ready. On the last day, I wore a head cam so that you can ride along and see what it was like.

The camera that I use is shown here, and I like it because it takes Hi-Def videos, is light, and has a low profile so it's less likely to get snagged by the mainsheet. Because it's a sealed unit, there is only muffled sound which I have turned off.

The first part is going downwind and while there are less boats than in a Worlds fleet, it sometimes feels like a real race because the boats around limit the wave selection and options. I was practicing a downwind technique shown here that for me was new, and I wasn't good at it. My speed was very average... there's still lots to learn and I will definitely return for more training. They have excellent downwind clinics at the International Sailing Academy in La Cruz, Mexico. It is almost impossible not to improve after doing one of these clinics.

Because of my vision issues, I have no depth perception. So, you'll notice that I judge the size of a wave by its color. I'm envious of people who can actually see the size of the waves around them.

The second part of the video is a short clip that shows what it's like in a good Laser fleet when you don't set up early enough. Getting a crappy start is a waste of good boatspeed!


  1. Thanks for a very good video. In the downwind, it looks like you have both cunningham and outhaul on more than I would expect for downwind in relatively light/moderate breeze. What am I not understanding?

    1. You're right, and I did not notice this until I watched the videos later. The boats around me had a deeper foot and more power that would have made catching waves easier. I was focusing on the downwind technique of leaning back on a wave and with no muscle memory, my timing was pretty bad. BTW, it was blowing 10-15 that day.


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