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Tide Tales

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iGRF View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 Mar 11
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    Posted: 17 Nov 14 at 9:31am
I unexpectedly pulled duty this weekend when some total un married mother's son went out on the lash and didn't show up for duty this last weekend of our sailing season, it was blowing 13 scheduled to drop and move a bit, so perfect conditions and rather than let it go as we have the past couple of weeks due to various lame reasons, I stepped in.

The tide was not yet bottomed out, but on the ebb which means it increasingly flows left to right, East to West, the wind was SSE likely to veer South, so I set a Port Hander, it was the last race of the season and everything to play for because we've had so few races this Autumn, Laser, Contender, Merlin all in the running so naturally I set as tight a top reach as I could to help the Merlin boys not fly their kite and after the start and a bit of wash making at the first gybe to help them round I settled down to watch the goings on.

As predicted it did back and they flew their kite so the front runners were them, the Contenders and another guy trying out the Icon as a possible alternative to his RS500, the tide was beginning to increase initially it was on the weather side both tacks, but as the wind veered which it seemed to be doing in the dying puffs, I noticed that thing happening that books have been written about saying it doesn't.

Having veered southerly the beat shifted to being a tad one sided and initially it paid to tack early and take the long 1st tack punching the tide on the nose and everyone who went out to sea searching for bigger puffs lost out due to the veering shift enabling the tide canny Icon crew for example to get their nose, high enough to get the tide onto the lee side, and increase the pressure from the lighter inshore breeze, the shoreline also bending the breeze advantageously. The Icon particularly responds well in those sort of conditions as we proved in the round island race.

Then the next beat it backed again puffed back up a bit and those who defied the text books, took a tack tacking them away from the mark and out to sea into the stronger current actually benefitted over those who tried to repeat the action of the first beats. When asked why they did it, it was apparently down to the lack of wind on the inshore mark to begin with, but it was interesting to say the least watching the difference it made from the comfort of the rescue boat.

So the moral of the tale, tidal lee bow is alive and well at Hythe, don't believe a word from anyone telling you it doesn't work, if conditions aline to pinch that nose the right side of the tide, do it, very effective it is. In this instance it was only possible in the veering shifts, but as the Contender guy who came from behind said, at the times it was there it was almost possible to wire off, when even in the stronger natural backed wind, it wasn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote transient Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 14 at 10:35am
Neep at the mo.....what was the tidal flow?
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 14 at 10:51am
Not a lot we're on neaps as well, maybe 2 kts, but then when the wind was only 5-7 enough to make a difference to turn 7 into 9 instead of 5..


Another noticeable point was how the Lasers went from 1, 2 on handicap easily to drop back to 3&4 once the tide was fully up to speed and the Merlin & Leading Contender managed a tide assisted break away on the 2nd triangle having lee bowed the tide. The Lasers had become more concerned with beating each other rather than focussing on the next mark, took a bit longer to round and found them selves increasingly punching tide with it on the weather bow, getting tide wrong is one way a Laser can be easily beaten.

Edited by iGRF - 17 Nov 14 at 10:58am
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