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Reaching in a single hander

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12639
Printed Date: 23 Oct 17 at 4:22pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Reaching in a single hander
Posted By: gordon1277
Subject: Reaching in a single hander
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 1:34pm
Lots of people say reaching is just a procession but from my point of view thats total Bolxxks as I keep getting passed on the reaches we sail in the Phantom.
Part of it is weight which I am working on but not all.
So what do people look at trimming the sail?
What other things would people suggest to work on?


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Gordon
Lossc



Replies:
Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 2:03pm
Yeah it is nonsense.
Its a cliche that's come out of american leadmines I think.
And even if there isn't much overtaking the difference in tactical options available to the sailor who's opened up a big gap behind him/her are entirely different to those for the sailor who has a huge mob snapping at her/his heels.

As for your problem: I'm lousy at reaching too!


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 2:43pm
Telltails, boat and sail trim, keep looking for wind and keep out of the way of other boats wind shadows. That's the theory as I see it, however, I wouldn't claim to be any good at reaching (or running..... or, come to think of it beating Ermm) either. Now on a Raceboard I'd say "pump like f... crazy" but that doesn't help much in a Phant or a Blaze.....


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 3:17pm
Lots of peeps seem to get to the top mark and regard the reach as a 'rest'. Hard work offwind is rewarded, especially in waves.

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Nick
http://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/register/boat_info.php?sail_no=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821: Sijambo


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 4:09pm
I find I am using fast on the reaches and can make up places so definitely not a rest, an opportunity. Not as tactical as the run but often overlooked (and it is fun)

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Paul
---------------------------
D-Zero GBR188
Ex Rooster 8.1 '11'
Ex Laser 167534
Ex Blaze 655


Posted By: gordon1277
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 4:14pm
I know when sailing the 400 its allways spouted by the lightweights who might get rolled.

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Gordon
Lossc


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 4:49pm
I'm with Jeffers, I generally make back ground on reaches, dependant on the boat.

Tactically on the sea I'm a go low on the first and high on the second in onshore wind, and high if the wind is offshore, so that tends to be sail a bit high on the lake unless there's a little Venturi to be had by the bank.

You need to use your ears on a reach listen for too much water noise and sit forward to stop it, and the wind of course, to ahem, adjust the sail trim with the varying windspeed to make sure the flow is attached correctly.. If it's light I try to hold the rig direct either with my hands or grabbing the entire bunch of rope so I can get a more live 'feel', old windsurf habits die hard, i can't won't don't read tel tales, if it's breezy I go deep as quick as I can.

I don't let the kicker off unless there is a very real fear of the boom digging in, it seems counter intuitive, ironically unless it's very light, then the sail seems to breath better, I'm probably doing it wrong I can't say I've totally gotten to grip with the damn kicker thing when it should be on and off it was so much better when I had sails that didn't need it because they worked automatically.

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 5:15pm
Originally posted by iGRF

I don't let the kicker off unless there is a very real fear of the boom digging in, it seems counter intuitive, ironically unless it's very light, then the sail seems to breath better, I'm probably doing it wrong I can't say I've totally gotten to grip with the damn kicker thing when it should be on and off it was so much better when I had sails that didn't need it because they worked automatically.

Kicker varies from boat to boat. Spice/tight rig boat with a mast gate pull it on to tighten the leech for power, Blaze, slack rig/lowers pull it on to depower ('cos it bends the mast by pushing the boom into it) upwind.......... Probably not got that quite right, I'm still relearning this dinghy 5hit and it's changed a bit since I raced an OK with a wooden rig.....


Posted By: zippyRN
Date Posted: 25 Jan 17 at 5:15pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Telltails, boat and sail trim, keep looking for wind and keep out of the way of other boats wind shadows. That's the theory as I see it, however, I wouldn't claim to be any good at reaching (or running..... or, come to think of it beating Ermm) either. Now on a Raceboard I'd say "pump like f... crazy" but that doesn't help much in a Phant or a Blaze.....


yep makes sense ...  If you want to look at the  'difference' the right  sail trim makes  you  only need look at  some of the stuff that happens with  begineers , where overwieght and  oversized  instructors /assistants  have  significantly better speed  than the leerners because they have  reached stage 5  of the 4 stage  model of skill development ( unconscious competence and  can teach it while still performing ) 


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 11:10am
I would say the best tip I ever had was to do with kicker tension. It seems to be the driving factor when it comes to boat speed in single handers. Experiment with it but the sweet spot always seems to be that point where the leech can't quite decide whether it wants to be open or closed. Particularly noticeable on a run too, ease the kicker until the leech falls forwards, then pull it on a touch and it will start moving around a lot by its own accord. This always seems to work for me, no matter what class. It's particularly noticeable in boats with no kite, but works in all boats.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 11:23am
Originally posted by laser193713

I would say the best tip I ever had was to do with kicker tension. It seems to be the driving factor when it comes to boat speed in single handers. Experiment with it but the sweet spot always seems to be that point where the leech can't quite decide whether it wants to be open or closed. Particularly noticeable on a run too, ease the kicker until the leech falls forwards, then pull it on a touch and it will start moving around a lot by its own accord. This always seems to work for me, no matter what class. It's particularly noticeable in boats with no kite, but works in all boats.


That seems entirely logical, Contender folk in our changing rooms speak of sailing the boat from the kicker in mid range winds.

I often wonder why, since it is so important and I now understand why it is so, but why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 11:46am
Originally posted by iGRF

... why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?


If you look at the boats at the top of any fleet they will have all their controls calibrated.

This is not something that can be replicated in a standard way across all classes (I know how you hate that word), or even within a class because the variables are too great: Flat water, chop, big waves; wind speed; crew weight. And where the class allows choice in mast and sail vendor these will impact sail settings, too.

So on your pond in a F3 #4 may be the 'right' setting. For someone who weighs more, or in different conditions the magic setting will be different.


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Nick
http://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/register/boat_info.php?sail_no=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821: Sijambo


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 12:15pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by laser193713

I would say the best tip I ever had was to do with kicker tension. It seems to be the driving factor when it comes to boat speed in single handers. Experiment with it but the sweet spot always seems to be that point where the leech can't quite decide whether it wants to be open or closed. Particularly noticeable on a run too, ease the kicker until the leech falls forwards, then pull it on a touch and it will start moving around a lot by its own accord. This always seems to work for me, no matter what class. It's particularly noticeable in boats with no kite, but works in all boats.


That seems entirely logical, Contender folk in our changing rooms speak of sailing the boat from the kicker in mid range winds.

I often wonder why, since it is so important and I now understand why it is so, but why has nobody come up with a calibrated kicker system?

Ummm, nearly every boat I have ever sailed has had its kicker calibrated. Normally by bands of tape or whipping around the primary part of the cascade. 


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 12:15pm
It also seems to be different for different classes, a L@ser will respond differently to kicker settings than a Solo or Blaze. I don't know if there are any singlehanders that use a 'tight' rig but it has been discussed elsewhere on here that slack rig boats use the kicker differently to tight rig boats.


Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 1:11pm
Leech streamers are your calibration, just play with the kicker until the top one just starts to stall.  The kicker tends to affect the sail shape & twist more than any other control when reaching.  Leech streamers will give you an idea of what the flow of air off the sail is doing (equally as important, or possibly more so than what's happening at the front).  My simple analogy is that you want to deflect the wind as much from it's original path as possible for max power.  You do this by adding as much curve to the sail as possible whilst still having the flow stick to it.  The leech streamers will let you know when you are starting to get flow separation (or vortices/stalling depending upon your language of choice).  Max power is at the start of flow separation.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 2:26pm
I didn't mean by bits of bloody tape or whipping twine you cavemen. I meant by a system of levers or calibrated dials with numbers of them.

Leech streamers doh that'll take me back 40 years... Topping lifts anyone?

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 2:59pm
Well, if you want to be clever, where legal, just use a loadcell. Only 1200. Cheap at twice the price. 




Posted By: gordon1277
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 4:24pm
Grf
If you have a look at some boats they have rigged a line that comes from the kicker to run along the boom to give you a heads up view of kicker tension.
You will have to go and look at some well bimbled boats to fully understand what I mean unless someone has some pictures.
More importantly I have calibration and tell tales on my boat and am very happy to use this efficient system to improve my reaching.

Gordon

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Gordon
Lossc


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 4:42pm
Calibration (I just tend to use the relationship between blocks in a system) is a fairly crude measure when wind speed and direction are totally variable. I'll adjust the kicker on a reach till I can feel the difference it is making. The wind drops or moves aft, you can feel the sail suffocating till you ease the kicker. Too much, you can see the boom rising and sense the loss of power. Not the sweet spot, and the boat feels alive, the opposition left floundering. Not something you can use a ruler for, but you can teach people how to sense all this, provided they have the patience and concentration. And time in the boat.

Change classes, and you have to spend time figuring out what fast feels like, but the basics are still the same, usually.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 27 Jan 17 at 7:20pm
Kicker is key. The RS600 taught me that. In the Laser, fireflies etc. Id ease the kicker before the windward mark. I did it in the 600 and got rolled down the reach. Very quickly I learnt to only ease a small amount or sometimes none while still on the reach to keep the power in the leech.

Once you notice it then you learn to feel where the tipping point is.

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Graduate 2928
OK 2071


Posted By: Turkey Pie
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 5:53pm
Fastest way to the next mark is rarely in a straight line. Sail high in the lulls and and low in the gusts. The faster your boat, the more extreme your angle's can be and still pull away.


Posted By: ColH
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 7:00pm
Originally posted by Turkey Pie

Fastest way to the next mark is rarely in a straight line. Sail high in the lulls and and low in the gusts. The faster your boat, the more extreme your angle's can be and still pull away.

'Never', I'd say.



Posted By: Turkey Pie
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 7:36pm
I usually try to go straight when it's blowing dogs off chains. Only deviate to gain control in gusts, but otherwise agree


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 7:50pm
In almost no wind it can be quickest, assuming no zephers anywhere you can pick up on. No point in adding distance for no reason.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Turkey Pie
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 8:16pm
If you can't see any wind changes on the water i would hope I wasn't put anyway


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 9:19pm
All part of the skills!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 25 Feb 17 at 10:34pm
I actually enjoy light wind conditions (and if you'd suggested that one day I might when I was a teenager I would have violently disagreed). I do seem to do ok in them though (and I'm pathetically unfit these days) which helps. I have not yet found out how well I do in a blow in the Blaze but maybe I'll change my mind when I do Smile



Posted By: Dan Vincent
Date Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 5:46pm
Optimum Kicker tension on the reach is likely to be different than for upwind.  Generally upwind you try to set the sail for minimum drag and a fine entry angle.  On the reach the priority changes to maximizing power, which can be achieved with a fuller sail, which depending on the specifics of how your mast is supported is often achieved (at least in part) by easing the kicker and reducing the bend in mast.  This has to be balanced against letting the sail twist excessively which will allow power to spill from the top.  This balance will change with wind strength and sailing angle, as well as lots of other variables probably.  Watch people that overtake you and try to copy them.



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