Off to a Good Start Part 2 June 26

Craig TovellLeadline, Member Announcements

Come to the June 26 Follow-up On-the-Water Training, where Craig Tovell (Windmill 5043) will take you to the next level.  Have your boat at the dock by 12:30. Meet at the clubhouse at 1 pm for the chalk talk for more strategies and tactics. After that we’ll get on the water and do some drills.  Please RSVP to Tom Fee by Thursday 6/24.

Review of May 22 Session

To review our last session in the “Parking Lot Training” was to reinforce proper crew and skipper position with skipper primarily on the high side, mainsheet in forward hand, and hiking stick centered both with overhand grip ALWAYS (never touching the tiller). This allows using both hands to trim the mainsheet. Crew weight is always forward to the shroud shoulder-shoulder in hiking conditions, and across form one another in lighter conditions – with crew on the low side, forward and across for one another. Same for sailing offwind. Shoulders basically ALWAYS run parallel to the keel of the boat. This noticeably broke bad habits and improved boat handling on-the-water.

Single-hand boats, like the MC Scow, need the skipper low in lighter conditions to induce (22 degree) heel sitting on the low side for less-wetted surface and accounting for the lee boards.

We spoke of looser trim coming out of tacks for speed and to “Shift Up” gears trimming as your upwind speed improves. I mark on port and starboard on a piece of electric tape with a Sharpie on the deck of my boats four (4) two inch marks for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gear (outward to inward) one half way back of the jib track to clew grommet. Team learn visual recognition other than tell tales or luff, and makes it really easy for new crew to know what’s expected of the skipper. This isn’t relevant to cat boats (without a jib) and not possible for a Thistle. Mainly, decked boats like FJs, 420s, Interlakes, Scots, 505s and Windmills.

Regardless of boat you’re steering, I mentioned creating an “artificial horizon” view for the skipper looking about 4-feet back of the bow within the telltale view to make sure the boat when full-and-by is heeling 5-10 degrees, so your steering isn’t pinching over 4th gear when trimmed tight. Feathering in flat water is intermittently fine and recommended, easing on the main in the puff while slightly  “poking” the helm to weather and trimming the main to catch the heel and get back down on the course—sailing a scallop course – “walking to weather.” Feathering in chop doesn’t work.

We discussed communicating with your crew throughout the race to help them anticipate tacking and gybing with a cadence such as, “Ready to tack? 1, 2, 3, Go!” the lower the wind, the slower the cadence – creating a rhythm or choreography. And, to “roll” the boat on the 4th (Go!) call.