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Speed Off the Line

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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 Topic: Speed Off the Line
    Posted: 12 Dec 16 at 8:20pm
I had it totally laid out for me on Sunday just how crap I am off the line, went off alongside another Solution only one sailed by somebody who knows how to do it. Just when you think you're nearly there, these past few weeks getting my arse handed to me every which way down the lake after a lazy summer of easy sea sailing and finally the sun came out a bit, I'm back in the wetsuit, so no excuse about being trussed up in a dry suit and gloves ruining my style. A wide open start line and still I binned it.

So hints and tips please, the trouble is I know what to do, I just can't make the bloody boat do it. I'm doing every stupid wrong thing, banging straight into a lee bow and dropping back, not getting my nose out far enough fast enough, this week really wound me up.
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laser193713 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser193713 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 9:07am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUY8g8rDhis 

Simple!
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davidyacht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 9:31am
Best place to start would be an analysis of what you did wrong, my guess is that the other Solution was closer to the line than you, that you were too close to the Solution, that you didn't have fast off the line settings and probably was forced into pinching  rather than footing into the gap to leeward that you should have established before the start.

I would concentrate on getting your timings to ensure that you hit the line on the bang, you could acheive this by looking around you to ensure that you either have a good line transit, or at least are not falling back relative to the boats around you.

It is usually more important to be close to the line, than being in the perfect position relative to the pins.

Concentrate on tucking up under the boat to windward, to create the space to drive off into to leeward.

Calibrate your sail settings, so that you can go fast from the "bang" and know what settings would allow you to point before you are lee bowed, probably ease a bit of foot and pull on some kicker.

Don't stuff when coming off the line unless for tactical gain.
Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth
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GarethT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GarethT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 10:17am
How often do you practise?
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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: 13 Dec 16 at 10:19am
[QUOTE=davidyacht] Best place to start would be an analysis of what you did wrong, my guess is that the other Solution was closer to the line than you, that you were too close to the Solution, that you didn't have fast off the line settings and probably was forced into pinching  rather than footing into the gap to leeward that you should have established before the start.
/QUOTE]

Pretty much bang on, he was ahead and to leeward and could have if he chose to as would have been the case at Hythe, shut the door and sailed me the wrong side of the start so I was probably a bit shy because of that.

But this isn't the only scenario, what did you mean 'line settings'?

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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: 13 Dec 16 at 10:22am
Originally posted by GarethT

How often do you practise?


Never, it's not like windsurfing where it is actually quite fun to just go sail, I guess I should make the effort, but, it's one thing saying practise, but practise what? You need to know what it is you're doing wrong to begin with or all I'll do is reinforce crap habits.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 1:42pm
Here's some ideas for you then

Practice holding the boat on station (standing up helps) by hovering near a mark. This might require backing the sail or pulling it to windward, pulling the plate up, pumping the tiller to push the stern one way of the other (but read the rules, it's not allowed to cross the centre-line as you shake it for instance and also you have no rights if going backwards). Bewarned, this ain't easy

Practice protecting your slot and ensuring you have a space to leeward to accelerate into with a few secs to go

Practice 'pulling the trigger'  - work out how long and how far it takes to get up to full speed in a variety of conditions. You cannot park a dinghy on the line and sheet in just as the gun goes - after 10 seconds you will be 5+secs behind the boats that hit the line at speed and in their dirty wind for the rest of the beat.

Make sure you know where the line actually is, using transits or whatever and how long it will take you to get to it.

Practice different approaches to the line, such as coming in relatively late on port and tacking into a (sufficient) gap. Again, read the rules.

Better to have a clean start than get embroiled in a melee. 

There is no point winning the pin if it means you are trapped and forced to sail on a starboard header.

Line settings: David is referring to the sail (and other) controls - what works for holding the boat on the line is different to when seeking max acceleration or full speed (different again). You may well have different settings if you need to engage stuff-mode because you have a pincher below you or fast-n-low mode because someone is trying to reach over the top of you.

Coming off the start line is also a crucial pinch-point, so is the perfect time for a burst of 110% effort, so yes you need to hike for all you are worth, and then some

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 1:50pm
How does pulling the plate up help keep you on station? Not being facetious, genuine question in case it came out wrong in the sentence and was meant in some other context.

All good advice, and everything I am so totally crap at, yet was so adept at on a board, this is the one bit that separates boats and boards and I've never totally dialed it except when it's very light, I seem to be able to guages the distances better then, running at a line at different windspeeds, I just haven't got it judged, there's a video of sundays debacle on fb, their lines are never as clean as this one was yet still I fouled it up.

That start video URL https://www.facebook.com/RedoubtSailingClub/videos/1331781413533049/

I'm 399 2nd boat away.

Edited by iGRF - 13 Dec 16 at 1:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser193713 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 2:21pm
Look at the way in which the lead boat rolls and flattens the boat to steer from his close reaching course to the close hauled course, right on the gun. He had a good start, but was under no pressure at all from the fleet. I suppose the one good thing is that you weren't as late as the rest of them!

I would try to be closer to the line for much more of the start sequence, I can't think of a reason to be as far from the line as any of the other boats in that video after about 3 minutes to go, let alone in the last minute. I think that would be the best tip, try and stay in the vicinity of the line, at least then the pressure is on the other boats to make your life difficult rather than being in a situation where all you can do is follow them.

Clive is right about trying to hold your bow by a buoy for 30 seconds at a time or so, longer the better. Approach the buoy on a close reach, stop the boat (very important skill) by aggressively shifting your weight back to drag the transom whilst heeling slightly to windward and simultaneously pushing the tiller hard away. This will really put the brakes on. Then try and keep the bow 30cm away from the buoy for as long as you can. Jabs of the tiller to keep it up. Shifting your weight around, forwards and backwards too can make the boat move in all sorts of ways. 

I used to practice this for hours and hours and I would say that I'm probably one of the better "starters" in most fleets that I race in either as a helmsman or tactician on bigger boats. 

Best thing to do is get time on the water, maybe even with a friend too so you can challenge each other, work on all the little boat handling skills. Tacking duels, 360s 720s, holding by the mark... etc... 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 16 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by iGRF

How does pulling the plate up help keep you on station? Not being facetious, genuine question in case it came out wrong in the sentence and was meant in some other context.


if the board stops the boat sliding sideways...

Also, moving the plate's centre of effort aft changes the balance of the rig

If you've tried rudderless sailing (best with a jib), most boats spin like a dervish on full plate but behave far better on half-board 

And pushing the boom out can fill the sail the wrong way...

Experiment! But read the rules.




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