Monday, June 26, 2006

Racing in the NOOD

Back from NOOD Toronto. What a great experience. We did absolutely horrible in every race and made just about every error and mistake you could make in a race. On the positive upside it was a fantastic learning experience. It is reminiscent of my J-world course. 4 days of intense sailing (including time on the water there and back from the regatta).

The most important thing I learned at the regatta (besides how to get back to port before the free-pour of Mount Gay Rum was over, was how to handle the twist on the main and properly trim the J for maximum power.

I had a discussion about sail trim with the person who got me started in racing. When we raced together he had a Tanzer 26. He said (about main sail trim) that he found you could set and ignore the main. That may be good on a Tanzer but not the J.

The Jay is so sensitive to minute adjustments on the traveler and mainsheet as well as the jib. The function and communication of the trim team (helmsman and trimmer) is extremely vital to boat speed.

When the helmsman trims the traveler more than an inch or so it requires the trimmer to re-adjust trim on the jib. Likewise if the trimmer adjust the jib it affects the main.

On the 4 hour sail back on Sunday I put the tactician on the helm as much as possible and I became the trimmer (again). It was great. I had been on helm so long that I forgot what a challenging and exciting position the trimmer has. This was my primary position when racing the Tanzer.

The time also allowed me to focus on micro adjustments and combinations to trim with both the main and jib to see where the optimum settings are for speed and acceleration. During the race we had a little coaching from another class racer who avoided all the cliche clique that comes with some classes and offered us some advice when they saw us struggling. It was welcomed and implemented.

The advice was to set the mainsail at the black band on the mast. I had seen the bands in articles and measurements but there was no in-depth information as to how to use the information just the information itself. It reminded me of why I set out to create this blog in the first place. I searched for a resource on the net that provided in-depth information for varying levels of sailors that wanted to race. I found that the majority of the sites were on a particular class boat or discussion group or they were extremely basic and referred only to sailing or cruising. I think it is important to share information which will help someone else become a better racer. After all even if you are racing in the same class or fleet it can only improve your game by keeping you on your toes.

I will be posting the NOOD race results and analysis as soon as I can.


Anonymous seadated said...

I hate the snobby attitude that some racers take towards new or inexperienced competitors. When I went to do my first catamaran race a couple weeks ago, there were a few guys there that had just gotten a new Hobie Tiger, and had no clue how to put it together, or even trim it. The other F-18 guys jumped right in and helped them with everything they could. It really made me happy to see that. It's what sailing is supposed to be all about.

12:42 AM  
Blogger the skip said...

That is what sailing should be like! WHy can't we all just get alone. ;-)

9:23 AM  

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