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How important is race sharpness?

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Mozzy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 11:06am
Seeing unprecedented GB laser success, and thinking about this strange year.

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/232355/Laser-Senior-Europeans-in-Gdansk-Poland-overall

They GB set up seem to have sealed themselves off in Weymouth and got out sailing before many as elite athletes. But until the UK nationals they wouldn't have had more than four or five boats to line up against. Isolated and intense training the key to success?

Or, perhaps having access the UK nationals (which I believe was one the largest post lockdown laser events worldwide) was the key to their success and in fact race sharpness is key?

I guess peoples sailing habits will have changed in 2020, wit many doing less early season sailing, and certainly less early season racing? How d you think it's affected your ability / skills by the time of open events starting back up late summer?


Edited by Mozzy - 14 Oct 20 at 11:08am
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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: 14 Oct 20 at 11:23am
My race sharpness and boat handling has taken a dive through lack of racing for definite.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 12:08pm
I haven't sailed since March, can't see me sailing until next year, you do get sharper though when you sail every week.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 1:08pm
Time in the boat, can't beat it. 

Before racing began again this year, I was out in the Laser and N12, practicing the skills ready for when racing did return. 

Top result though and I presume getting on them on the water and doing some training together has paid off! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 1:32pm
They're getting paid to do a job, that's it.

As to personal race sharpness I had this thought on sunday as I finished DFL (Dead F'ing Last) that this is the first year since taking up sailing that I haven't finished a season better than I started it. Very depressing, I could play the age card, but it aint that, it's the lack of practise, motivation and TOW (Time on Water).





Edited by iGRF - 14 Oct 20 at 2:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Smight at BBSC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 2:17pm
I think some time away from the usual e.g. turn up for Sunday racing and the occasional open meeting might have done my sailing some good. 

Have spent more time practicing boat handling, got the boats to a reliable place in terms of bimbling and settings and taken some of the emphasis on Sunday having to be a good session. 

That being said the last two times out I've raced round the course wrongly even though they weren't complicated courses and that's cost me a lot more than I've gained in boat handling and boat speed!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 3:46pm
For me the lack of international travel with work has meant I am fitter than I have been for 20 years because I have been able to run way more than normal (hard to train when you travel for work alot and poor diet exacerbates it when travelling). This had the biggest positive impact on my sailing this year and boosted me from 4th in the Nationals in the last few years to 2nd on count back this year because I was so much faster upwind due to running lots!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickM99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 6:53pm
A lot of "race sharpness" is in the mind.  If you go out thinking "I'm not sharp/competitive today and so I probably won't win,"  you probably won't
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 20 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by NickM99

A lot of "race sharpness" is in the mind.  If you go out thinking "I'm not sharp/competitive today and so I probably won't win,"  you probably won't


That's true.. but, you do have to have a certain fitness level.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 20 at 10:20am
Generally in the 200 all we do is race. And with a lack of racing we've done less sailing this year. Especially as Wed evening never happened which is majority of our 200 sailing. But, on the other hand, the 200 I never feel that rusty in terms of boat handling, but I do miss race sharpness when we do open events (although we never travel). Luckily we have enough of a fleet at HISC to generally keep a bit race sharp, even on the bigger fleet side of things. 

In the 800 we've always done a lot of 'non-racing' or training, as you might call it. There's a couple of reasons for this, firstly, club races in a tidal harbour can be a bit challenging, but also it's a boat where practicing handling is much more important than slogging around the cans. Pluss we take it a little more serious and actually go on the water with ideas of thing we want to improve on, which isn't conducive to racing. 

I think this year we had a really good winter, then a break through April and May, but were back sailing together quite early. But with no events to go to we did a lot of hacking about the harbour. About a month before the nationals we had a few decent club races with a handful of 800's and that seemed enough for the race practice. 

Of course the other boats at the nationals were all coming from varying starting points. Some had sailed since May as a household. Others hadn't done any sailing until August. But, I did feel the practice heavy year helped out sailing. 

I guess it helps a little that the 800 is exciting just to sail, whereas the 200 unless it windy you need the racing to get the adrenalin pumping. 
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