Not much coverage on the networks, but you can watch complete races online, courtesy of cbc.ca. Â Here are some things I’m learning:
- Don’t paint the corners. Â Swedish laser went all the way to the layline before tacking. Â First lap it worked beautifully. Â Second lap she got knocked severely with 10 boat-lengths to the windward mark. Â Cost her the race. Â To do this, we have to get even better at tacking, since sailing up the middle of the course means putting in extra tacks. Â Crisply done, we can tack without losing significant distance — a worthwhile trade-off against an unfavourable knock.
- Heat and burn downwind. Â The little boats are steering and trimming constantly downwind. Â They head upwind, accelerate, steer downwind, decelerate, and repeat EVERY TEN SECONDS. Â I think that means we should do it every minute. Â That means the guy is always active in the downwind leg: Â head up (pole foreward, trim sheet, gain speed), then head down (pole aft, ease sheet, gain VMG), repeat. Â That would mean that the guy isn’t cleated: Â its got Â several wraps on the winch and a handle ready.
- Watch your boat widths. Â Roundings are won and lost by closing the door on others at the windward mark. Â Getting into this position (often by a boat-width) routinely translates into several boat-lengths of head start on the next leg, and most importantly — clear air! Â As a result, one boat width can turn into ten boat lengths of a lead by the next mark. Â To do this, we have to plan our approach to the windward mark before we get to the layline, probably one tack beforehand to position correctly for advantage at the mark.