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Winter Series session 8: Starting, part B

Last week we focused on three objectives for starting (clear air, well-timed near the favoured end, and freedom to tack) and the standard approach for starting.  This week we looked at variants of the standard aproach and other starting ideas, but quickly reverted back to think through what it would really take on board to execute the standard approach well.  Simple answer: practice!  But we can help ourselves by trying to be systematic.  There’s really a lot for us to be taking in and using for decision making, so we came up with a scheme like this.

Who does what

There are basically three phases.

  • Before our start sequence we should be focused on gathering data and setting up for the race.  We should sail well below the line (under spinnaker if conditions permit) and then put in long close-hauled tacks back to the starting area so we can gather data.  During this phase there should be minimal traffic to monitor
  • After the five minute gun we are maneuvering among our fleet trying to get the best position for the start
  • Approaching the line we are managing time and distance

Here’s an idea about how to achieve all of that.  We’ll have to try it out to see if it works.

Who Before the 5 minute gun After the five minute gun Approaching the line
Bowman Enter line into compass Monitor overlap Monitor overlap/Call the line
Mastman Enter line and course/marks into iPad Traffic Traffic
Pit Record headings & TWD Record headings & TWD Call out time & distance
Foresail Watch other starts Maneuvers Sail Trim/Manage boat speed
Mainsail Record headings Maneuvers Sail Trim/Manage boat speed
Helm Traffic Drive/consult with tactician Drive/make decisions and call for
Tactician Plan the race Find the favoured end.  Plan the start Position of other boats/Call Burn-down

Managing Speed

Sometimes we need to slow down.  The easiest way is to spill one of the sails!

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