Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Illegal Sculling?

Here is a great video of Lasers rounding a leeward mark with one, then numerous capsizes as the boats pileup, crashing and generally committing mayhem.

At least the commentators have a sense of humor - at 1:22 they ask if one of the boats is illegally sculling as he tries to back off from being on top of another boat's transom.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back on the Water

After eight weeks of letting a hernia surgery heal, I was finally back on the water last Friday.  Needless to say, I was a bit rusty and way out of shape.  Skipping the gym during eight weeks is no way to prepare for Laser sailing.

Our Club didn't race on Friday so I just went out in nice breezes of 10 - 12 knots for a re-orientation session and went through the basics to make sure I hadn't completely forgotten things.  I did have a couple of dry capsizes, but overall seemed to have the basics still under control, even doing some nice gybes.  In the third gybe, the traveller block broke and I had to go back to install another one.

I was only out about an hour and a half, pacing myself and just trying to get a feel for things.  I can't say there were any real epiphanies or eureka moments, but I did feel that that I paid more attention to how the boat felt as opposed to the simple mechanics of maneuvers. Still a very long way to go, but I was pleased that at least I was not totally absorbed in the basic mechanics.  That is progress.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Towing a Laser

This weekend I was driving a RIB with another fellow during our race and with a very strong tide flowing, I saw that one of the Laser sailors was getting very tired fighting against it.  I drove over to her and she asked if we could tow her part way back to where the tide was not so strong.  We did so without incident but I wonder if we used the best technique.

We had a tow rope on the RIB but didn't use it - we simply went alongside and as my colleague held her boat, we asked her to undo her main sheet and tie one end around the mast while we secured the other end to the RIB.  She remained in the Laser with the daggerboard down, leaning forward to be below the boom and she steered it.  We let out only enough of the towline to keep her in the calmer water behind our RIB.  When we reached a more sheltered area, she came alongside again and as we held her boat, she took back the main sheet and rigged it again and continued back to the club on her own.

Is there a better technique? Any suggestions?

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