Thursday, October 13, 2005

New Skin... Graphics Design Version 1

The hull and logo needs a good revamp. The previous owner also was nice enough to paint his markings on with some kind of paint...think it has been there for a good 18 years and is pretty weathered.

I have to find a way to get the stuff off and re-finish the hull. Lots of work ahead for spring. Already thinking spring and the boat is not even out of the water yet! So this is my first attempt at graphics for next year. Still a rough idea and will be working on this throughout the winter months.

Any comments welcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Start | Starting Strategies : Rule 11, and 17.1

during pre-start tactics rule 11 applies prior to the starting signal of your race, boats in your start have no proper course therefore the leeward boat has right of way and can luff another boat to windward. Use this rule to help gain the windward advantage and force your opponent to tack. Be careful to watch the boat to your leeward as well. They can force you to do the same.

After the start rule 17.1 comes into effect which a "proper course"can be interpreted in many ways.

Rule 17.1 Boats on the same tack; proper course states:

If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.

Use the rule 11 as a defensive tactic if you are the leeward boat and a boat passes to windward. The windward boat must keep clear of the leeward boat regardless of proper course.(rule 11).

To use the rule 17.1 as an offensive tact it is imperative that you understand the gray areas that define "proper course' and to take full advantage of the rule you should know your competition and how close to the wind they are capable of sailing comparative to you. when you can point higher than another boat you are overtaking to leeward you can maintain a higher proper course and may effectively force them to tack over to maintain their speed.

Sail fairly within the rules and avoid protests. It is better to race and win with the respect of your competition then win at any cost.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Start | Starting Strategies : Starting on Port Tack

Crossing the fleet on a port tack at the start...What a rush. Not a move for the faint of heart.

The strategy behind this start is that the port tack is either the favoured tack to be on or the wind is better on the pin side of the course. The other place you might use this start is if the RC side of the line is very crowded and by starting at the pin side you will have clear air up the beat.

The key to this strategy is stick to your strategy once you make the commitment. If you are sure the port tack will pay off then do it. If all goes well you will have clean air and cross the fleet. Tack back to starboard to realize your gains and don't get greedy.

You may have to duck some sterns to clear the fleet but you will come out into clean air. Tack to starboard to consolidate gains. It is a very tough start to commit to primarily because it is against the norm. Always be on the lookout for the opportunity to do a port tack start. It may turn out to be a big payoff.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Start | Starting Strategies : Maintaining Speed

There are instances when you will want to or are forced to arrive at the line early, heading straight for the line at full speed. Your options are to either walk the line and head way down the line, cross early and immediately try to redeem yourself or use power "S" turns. The power "S" turns allows you to maintain close to full speed while eating away seconds till the start. While on a reach paralell to the line head to wind for a brief moment. (careful not to get too close, you don't want to stall or cross to the opposite tack or loose too much speed.) Then come quickly back to your Starboard (or port) reach approach.

Using this technique you can maintain speed while going through a series of "S" turns and approaching the line. This technique works well in heavier winds where fleets sometimes set up long reach lines back and forth to the line. You can break out of the pattern early and get a great clean air start.