Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rock Star

We had a fun race yesterday.  First, the weather forecast was completely wrong.  Windguru and Windalert both predicted very light winds of 5 knots or less. So, instead of a race around Colonel's Rock, our race officer very prudently changed it to a race around Centre Island and even placed buoys for a short course near our club in case the winds were too light.

But, the wind was excellent, with about around 12 - 15 knots and from a direction that produced of lot of reaching. We all had a great time, even occasionally whooping when a reach got to be particularly exhilarating.

The other interesting thing was the low tide. The race was only about 45 minutes long (we all zipped around the island) and was just as the tide was at its lowest.  Going around the island we were all aware of a shallow area and the race officer reminded everyone about it at the briefing. So we all gingerly went around that section. But we had forgotten about another shallow area between the other side of the island and the main channel.

I had a lousy start, pulling the trigger too early and having to bear off to avoid being OCS and started close to the pin when the boat end was favored.  So, I was in 5th place as we rounded the windward mark and by the time we got to Center Island the first 4 boats were about 50 meters ahead.  Then I noticed the color of the water ahead start to lighten and saw the 4th place boat capsized. I realised the problem and immediately raised my centreboard and managed to get over the shallow area without incident, passing the 4th place boat.

Back at the bar, he explained that he had been beating along nicely over the shallow area thinking he was managing it OK, when he ran smack into a big rock, jerking his boat to a stop while he flew forward and overboard.  Commiserations all around and a nick in the centreboard.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Leech Telltales

I have been practicing recently and trying to get a feel/understanding of the sail shape and how to set controls. I have a long way to go, but one thing that I really can't get a handle on is how to use the leech telltales. On my sail I have leech telltales just below each batten.

I have searched the internet and the books I have on Laser sailing and there just don't seem to be much. Some books don't even mention them at all. When they do, it is just an offhand remark such as "they should be streaming if the sail is well trimmed".

I have experimented and for me the leech telltales seemed to stream (on a beat) more often when the windward telltales were not streaming. When I have both the windward and leeward streaming the leech ones did not.

Can any readers enlighten me?  Do you use your leech telltales?  Do you give priority to the others?

What do you do when the windward/leeward telltales are streaming but the leech ones are not?

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