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