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iGRF View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 7:20pm
I wasn't, like a fair few sensible types, going to go out, although it looked tame enough, the wind being in the west with a touch of North lifting off the shore, the forecast was for it to back and get up a bit so I downed my Tea and was preparing to shuffle off, get some kites and come back to catch low water when one of the Guys comes up, "I don't suppose you fancy crewing for young Zoe, I'm in the rescue boat and she's on her way down, she's keen, don't want to disappoint her..."

Now I've never been in an RS200 and have often fancied a go in one, suddenly it didn't look that bad so I mooched off to the dinghy park to take a look and start getting it ready. Zoe has been around for a while, in Feva's and the club 420 so I didn't give it a second thought.

By the time we got ready the sets rolling in were becoming interesting from a windsurfing wave sailors point of view, but couple with inexperienced working relationship and the crew not really a crew at all but a press ganged helm who, like all helms thinks he knows it all hmmm. Had explained the law earlier, if anything goes wrong always blame the crew. So I thought I'd better enlist some help to get us clear of the break, it's quite a heavy old tub for a small boat I was quite surprised anyway we counted the sets and piled in at a low point and were away with not much of a problem. Then about twenty yards out no idea what happened but the boat sort of bore off and death rolled, before we'd had time to put the plate down..

It's a long way from the plate to the deck isn't it? Not the easiest boat to right, lucky there were some righting lines, but they took a massive water kick and leap to reach, Zoe got the plate down and we are up again, once it's up it does at least sit there so you can get in. We missed the start but dipped the line and set off up the beat, it seemed a nicely balanced boat, I was trying to encourage a more 'finger tip' approach to the helm death grip of the wiggle stick and to relax and get to feel the lifts that were coming off the land, whilst wondering why I couldn't crank anymore Cunningham on as the wind notched up a tad past 20.

The boat is a consortium purchase a couple of guys and Zoe and crews and men generally being not as reliable as your dad, Zoe has elected to share the boat with two of them and even then she'd had to draw the short straw today and have me up front. We soldiered on just about keeping pace with a late phantom and went round the first mark to roll in again as we hadn't born off enough to take the first surge from the kite another muddle, getting the kite down with the boat upside down, always fun. This time I think we both got on the plate, Ican't remember wether it was this time or another, but I found myself in the boat drifting off leaving her, my flippant remark about her being a crap helm anyway so i thought I'd leave her didn't quite draw the laugh I thought it might, but we regrouped got settled on a two sail reach for a bit, then I had another go and bunged the kite up and we had a blinding reach out to our fixed mark which is quite a way out, now this time we had control, I'm calling the bear offs on the waves, but she (the boat) is a bit of a Rock n Rolla, ~Zoe was concerned about nose diving, I didn't get that vibe at all, my sensation was more a sense of side slipping into the trough rather than taking the cross wave directionally. By now it's knocking on the door of 25knots windspeed (you can tell this easily by the sail sizes the windsurfers were using.) and I was getting a little concerned, Zoe is a fearless young lass but stacking it again this far out wasn't on my to do list so I suggested wearing round, chicken that i am and we duly did successfully, then heading off for the shore and the rudder came up apparently and we had that same bear off and roll in, I'm not sure if she has a nervous habit of pulling the helm in towards her when things go pear shaped or the boat itself has a tendency to roll but this was the fourth time and I'm become weary of climbing in, this being the most I've capsized in the last five years, having said that accidents happen and rudders do come adrift, but all in all the boat isn't the most forgiving of mistakes I've experienced.

Underway once more a two sail reach seemed appropriate as it was a bit tight, hardening up and going for the first tack on the new beat it just won't go round, second or third time in Irons and the main isn't transitioning, maybe not enough Cunningham, maybe not enough kicker, by now another major gust came through and we elected to call it a day as the number of boats over or already on the beach mounted. Zoe understandably is nervous of the landing they can be a bit hairy on days like these but everything went OK, and other than someone dropping the mast by ditching the jib halyard without spotting you need to attach a wire to hold the rig up first we got the boat back into the boat park and agreed to try it again in more clement conditions.

So, on my difficulty scale of ten with MPS & Moths being 10 an L3k and the Alto being about a four & five I'm minded to give the 200 a 6 or 7 even, would that be right or were we just pushing our luck in that weather, what is the general consensus of the 200? It's definitely a bit of a Rock n Rolla, but I guess they get easier with practise.
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piglet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 8:38pm
Shame I missed the spectacle, I could have sold deck chairs tickets.
Worse than the 300?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote I luv Wight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 10:14pm
The 200 is a bit round and rolly, a 400 is more stable. Moths and Cherubs and other light flat things are tippy, but not rolly like a 200. It's just a style you have to get used to.

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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: 30 Jul 17 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by piglet

Shame I missed the spectacle, I could have sold deck chairs tickets.
Worse than the 300?


No, nothings worse than a 300!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jaydub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 10:31pm
You just need to keep the 200 reasonably flat.  You get it too far off the straight and narrow and it takes over.

We came out of Enterprises, which aren't the most stable of boats, and spent a lot of our first season swimming, as a result of broaching or death rolling to windward.

11 years on and it still teaches a few lessons.  It's just a boat that rewards being sailed well and penalises you if you don't.

No way would we go back to Enterprises now.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 11:08pm
Well I'm glad to read all that, it'll make her feel better she's still at the beginning of the learning curve and she's very keen, I don't think it's a bad boat, but like you say it needs practise and takes no prisoners.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 8:16am
I tipped them in on gybes a lot when sailing them in windy weather at Minorca. They are rolly, but it was mainly user error. The rudder is pretty big, and I think I was simply over steering.

Suspect that building up to that kind of weather is a good idea, whether in a new boat or with a new helm.
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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: 31 Jul 17 at 11:08am
It's funny how someone builds a sh*tty boat that tips over all the time and we all end up blaming ourselves for user error.. Ever considered it just might be the crap design from RS?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furtive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:13am
IIRC the 200 prototype didn't have the mini-skeg that features on the production model. This was added to reduce the twitchiness. Of course if it's too tippy for you, you could always sail a 2000 or a wayfarer, or a yacht...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:18am
We were out in the 200 yesterday, a good few gybes, no swims. Alright some of it was a bit scruffy but we felt fine.
My mantra for windy gybing as helm is Speed & exit angle.
It's all to easy to start faffing in preparation for the gybe and while you faff the speed is draining away. The ratio of main:kite is a lot bigger than, well, any other racing assymetric, so getting the boom over softly is key and for that you need speed.
Before the gybe I take a 'bearing' on a fixed point or anything so I know where I should be pointing as the boom powers up on the new side.
Crew that must be obeyed gets in position and ready, then dives across grabbing the kicker falls as I grab the strop, so we are both in tune with what the boom is doing, and the boat stays flat.
The rest is easy.

If you kept rolling in to windward I would suspect not enough kicker, or just not flat enough.

Bizarrely I think sailing the 300 has helped my 200 sailing even though they are very different boats.


Edited by piglet - 31 Jul 17 at 11:20am
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