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Getting better?

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Clive Evans View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Clive Evans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Getting better?
    Posted: 20 Feb 13 at 10:34am
Thank you so much for this, sail juice looks good think I'm a convert and going to sign up, can listen on the way to work beats Sydney traffic
Spiral 816
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robin34024 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote robin34024 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 13 at 12:02am
I would recommend the book 'start to win' by Eric Twiname, if you can get it. it has 2 whole chapters on upwind strategy/tactics in different fleet sizes and situations :D
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Reuben T View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Reuben T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 10:12pm
I found that sailing in a different class has helped me to improve. I had been sailing the laser for about 3 years, then sailed a laser 2 for the autumn and winter series which was quite disheartening as our small shifty light-wind lake is utterly unsuitable for spinnaker and/ or trapese boats, so we found ourselves fighting with the solo fleet. When I went back to the laser I found my results had improved, I can only think this has been something to do with making me focus on what the wind is doing rather than the other boats as the solos were different a different speed anyway. Also I suspect having the spinnaker made me have to look ahead to the next legs to assess if we should hoist/drop/head high or low to get the best speed, making me look further ahead so as to be one step ahead of the non spinnaker boats whos extra maneuverability made us an easy target. So it might be worth trying an utterly different boat occasionally to see what skills it develops.
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Daniel Holman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Daniel Holman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 9:35pm
Basically the consequences of taking risks are far greater in bigger fleets- more boats to sh*t on you, harder to get a lane again if you lose it, boats on every part of a beat so more leverage in shifts, impossible to cover all avenues. If you get rolled on a beat or reach then you can become vulnerable and can end up getting bent over the proverbial barrel by a large proportion of the fleet.
In a smaller fleet you are far more strategy driven, in a larger fleet (or more crowded racecourse) you are more tactic driven - ie you have to be more reactive to other boats.
Laser worlds is ridiculous, pretty much sneeze at the wrong time and you're last.
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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 9:28pm
Originally posted by Clive Evans

Originally posted by sargesail

Clive,

Are you also aware of the old adage:

In small fleets be bold, in big fleets be conservative.

The symptoms you describe are often tied to not playing the %s enough.

By that do you mean taking more tactical risks in smaller fleets knowing you can recover most places on skill alone whereas in larger fleets accept that some races will be great some ok and some poor and that taking risks that pay off may get the odd good place but overall it's harder to recover?

We used to have sailors in the solos who would hit hard right banging the corners in EVERY race the whole week and end up with a win and 8 60ths!

Partially - yes.  But also in a small (especially very small) fleet, then a succession of risk averse twos is not going to beat a line of 1s with a few 3s and a 4, one or two of which get disgarded.

In the big fleet consistent top few results will get you there - but they don't all need to be top 3s, potentially.

Also the bigger course and longer duration to accommodate a big fleet means it is easy to be more exposed to shifts/pressure changes.

Being conscious of where and when you are on the course (and what you are aiming to achieve) really helps with the risk taking.  We would only sometimes (very rarely articualte it to thsi degree but in full:

We're half way up the beat, and we're in the left.  We have about 70-30 port and starboard to sail and the fleet is 40-60 lef and right if us.
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Hector View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hector Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 6:34pm
At 45:30 talking about a 470 opponents strategy -  'start next to a Marshmallow' Evil Smile 
 
BTW, just watching from that point is useful.
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Hector View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hector Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 6:28pm
Very good video about starting strategy featuring Peter Isler here - -Its VERY long, but some very good stuff.
Otherwise, practise and practise some more.
Keith
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Jamesd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamesd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 11:48am
there is a book by the mentioned Jon Emmett called be your own sailing coach (or something similar) and thats a very good read for helping with self analysis. I recommend it. 
Also there is a website called sailjuice.com which is basically there to help people like yourself get better. It is like 5 quid a month or something but is rammed with useful info and articles. The guy that runs it is great and a quick email to him telling him what you want to achieve would be a good idea as i am sure he will point you towards the best articles. 

I found the biggest jump in my starting was to think about time and distance. What i do before races on the way out to the start is work out in those conditions how fast my boat accelerates and moves. I will stop next to a boy and accelerate and check the second hand of a stop watch for 1 boat length, 2 BL, 3 BL etc. the more you do this the easier it gets and you will get to a point where a timed run pre race lasts all of 5 seconds. 
Then when you are lining up think of the distance in time. I find saying it helps. so instead of 2 boat lengths away, you are 6 seconds from stand-still or 3 seconds from half pace etc. that way you know you need to be 'pulling the trigger' at 6 seconds to go. 
I will sort a transit and know roughly where i want to start and then get other transits for say 1bl, 2, bl etc behind the line. 
Obviously this is sailing and it is NEVER that straight forward, but if you start doing this and knowing where your boat can be in X seconds, your starts will improve massively! I think thats the basics of starting, hitting the line at go, get the basics and build on them with holding position, line bias, first beat plans etc!

Sorry if that is confusing, it is a lot of dribble
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SoggyBadger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 11:22am
Originally posted by Clive Evans

We used to have sailors in the solos who would hit hard right banging the corners in EVERY race the whole week and end up with a win and 8 60ths!


Colliding with things is never a good tactic, especially anything with corners. That can lead to a phenomenon known as sinking.

Best wishes from deep in the woods

SB

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Clive Evans View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Clive Evans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 13 at 10:16am
Originally posted by sargesail

Clive,

Are you also aware of the old adage:

In small fleets be bold, in big fleets be conservative.

The symptoms you describe are often tied to not playing the %s enough.

By that do you mean taking more tactical risks in smaller fleets knowing you can recover most places on skill alone whereas in larger fleets accept that some races will be great some ok and some poor and that taking risks that pay off may get the odd good place but overall it's harder to recover?

We used to have sailors in the solos who would hit hard right banging the corners in EVERY race the whole week and end up with a win and 8 60ths!
Spiral 816
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