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Sailing a slow boat in a fast fleet - tips please.

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Woodburner View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 10:01am
Having spent most of my career sailing scratch, or then sailing boats at least fast enough to be in with a shout of the front of the fleet, just recently my experience has had to shall we say be 'broadened' by some feather spitting tolerance of having won the start and gained what ordinarily would be the ten boat length clearance and clean air necessary to pretty much guarantee top three round the first mark, only to have half the fleet overhaul you before you get there.

Then at almost every mark rounding come the back markers in fast boats sailed shall we say less accurately when it comes to lay lines. Then this last couple of races the problem compounded further by counter tide.

I'm locked in battle now, with the Mackerel fleet, (Lasers) which is a lot more competent than I noted it last time, some of them have been reading a book by somebody called Paul Goodison, he of the bent mast at  the Weymouth Olympics fame, that nobody seemed to have noticed.

So I'm learning stuff, often bad stuff like selling them dummies when it comes to mark rounding, meaning I have to overstand knowing they will, but none of which is conducive to sailing the shortest course which we all know is what is required and must, if this is going on everywhere, contribute to the slowing of the handicap generally.

Following yesterdays debacle it almost pays not to win the start, let them go then pick your way round the course as my nemesis did on the first rounding and eventually caught up and nailed me as I failed to lay a tidal mark due to all the dirty air of over taking boats, but would you think of that scenario in advance? Do you have a particular plan to deal with it? As you can see I'm interested to hear how you cope.. My nature aint handling it that well, which is a shame because I'm loving my little boat, just can't deal with the stress of other folk wrecking your race. I did get it back this time thanks to a better tidal call on the return to shore leg but it was a close run thing and I'm not sure I enjoy the pressure for over an hour, there must be some other tactical tricks I'm missing.


Edited by Woodburner - 08 Jun 15 at 10:03am
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jeffers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 10:26am
Keep put of trouble and try to keep your wind clear. That is what the slower boats do at Hunts. As long as they dont get embroiled with a slow sailed Laser they usually come through on PY.
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 1:26pm
Committee boat start & tack off?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Woodburner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by piglet

Committee boat start & tack off?

Yep good one , if you have a committee boat, which we rarely have and nine times out of ten there is only one way to head due to coastal or tidal constraints.

Using the rules to protect your wind and water would be good if you could remember what they are these days, worse thing that happened removing luffing rights.

I've twice now done something I thought was illegal in order to re direct a competitor after he had rounded the mark and or sailed him by one so I could duck down and come out clean and he'd have to almost gybe back, I feel guilty, it's bad karma, then something bad always happens back to me for doing it, I hate it, it's like team racing, I never really liked that.


Edited by Woodburner - 08 Jun 15 at 1:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 1:48pm
Originally posted by Woodburner

Originally posted by piglet

Committee boat start & tack off?
worse thing that happened removing luffing rights.
 
Do we not still have luffing rights? (not called that now)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Woodburner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:10pm
That's the problem, I really don't know. I know you can no longer call Mast abeam, but isn't there some proper course rule now to prevent us slowmos luffing  laser 4000's up on their ear?

I really should go and have a quick read.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:35pm
Originally posted by Woodburner

That's the problem, I really don't know. I know you can no longer call Mast abeam, but isn't there some proper course rule now to prevent us slowmos luffing  laser 4000's up on their ear?

I really should go and have a quick read.

You can luff still. How much you can luff depends on how the overlap was established. You must also give the give way boat room to keep clear meaning you cannot do a sudden luff.

The basics are:

Overlap established from astern with the faster boat going off to Leeward.

W is the keep clear boat but L cannot luff above their proper course.

Overlap established from astern with the faster boat going to windward.

W is the keep clear boat and L can luff up to head to wind as long as they give W enough room and time. This includes time to drop spinnakers if applicable.

The right to luff only ends when the overlap is completely broken.

There are other constaints too but the basics of the above should keep you out of trouble. I usually make is crystal clear that a boat can come past to leeward but not to windward (unless the next mark round will be on the leeward side of the boat of course).
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:39pm
When did the Mast abeam rule go?
I remember my grumpy old sailing master (SI/principle in modern parlance) going on about mast abeam when I were a lad.
 
I am reasonably confident in saying that you can make life hell for the 4000, unless he is doing the gentlemanly thing and overtaking to your leeward, in which case he can't and nor can you.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:42pm
wot Jeffers said
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Woodburner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:55pm
OK thanks for that jeffers, that's another rule I have buggered up, when is that leeward overlap established, nose/stern or a couple of boat lengths?

But good news in that I can still luff the b**tards over the horizon still, even though all my life my advice to others has been to  never engage in luffing matches. Do it if you can make them go under you but otherwise don't bother.
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