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Sailing in Windshifts

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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sailing in Windshifts
    Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 11:20am
So now, what's everyones thinking here then? Don't tell me sailing in wind shifts is also really quite simple like our tidal sailing coaches. (shifting wind is the same as shifting tide, get it right and you're king, get it wrong and you'll forever be at the back of the fleet.)

So, lets start with something I'm struggling to get to grips with, may as well learn myself whilst we debate, I'm sailing with a new crew, who insists on constantly calling out what the tel -tales are telling him. 
Personally I'm a seat of the pants sailor I tend to use the 'feel' through the tiller arm and obviously what my eyes and ears tell me, I tried tel-tales years ago on a sailboard and they were as meaningless to me then as they are now.

So I'm going to assume y'all do know when and when not to tack on headers and stuff a bit higher on lifts (Although my experience tells me loads actually don't and are unaware of them) but with the lack of common savvy that has been exhibited on the tide thread, I'm beginning to wonder just how much dumbing down has occurred over the years and this is one area that affects all of us.

Initially my question is how do you all tell wether you're being lifted or headed?


Edited by G.R.F. - 19 Oct 11 at 11:23am
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 12:54pm
tell tales for one (jib ones especially) and keeping any eye on where the boat's pointed. We don't have a compass, though class rules allow the Tacktick ones. Risk of stalling out (we're nnowhere near 100% on tacks) and it not being the fastest tacking boat ever anyway means that we try to avoid tacking on small, short lived headers, especially if we can see another change in the wind shortly in front and/ore boats nearby have sailed out the header and are now being lifted.
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hollandsd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hollandsd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 1:20pm
Originally posted by G.R.F.
Personally I'm a seat of the pants sailor I tend to use the 'feel' through the tiller arm and obviously what my eyes arse and ears cheeks tell me,

[/QUOTE







Grumpf you do make me worry some times, i know your getting all adventurous in your old age but the tiller is not for sitting on. LOL
On a slightly more serious note, i prefer to feel for the wind than look at tell tales but there are occasions where in very light conditions where the occasional glance is helpful.

Dan


Edited by hollandsd - 19 Oct 11 at 1:21pm
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 3:13pm
The great Eric Twiname had it right - eyes fixed like a hawk on jib telltales if you have a jib, they will tell you far sooner than anything else whether you've been headed or lifted. Then use your position on the course to decide whether to tack on the header. Inland, I'd say tack the vast majority of the time. On the sea, I'm generally lost, anyway...
In a single sailed boat, eyes like a hawk on the telltales on the main, but this is harder (for me, anyway) as the jib intersects with where you are looking for gusts and the like upwind, too, whereas the main involves more compromises in where you are looking at any one time.
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Presuming Ed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 7:45pm
Of course, the real skill isn't just sailing on the lifted tack - it's fleet management. Putting yourself on the left side of the fleet before a left shift comes in, the getting across to the right of the fleet for a righty. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rb_stretch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 8:15pm
Personally I can't do shifts properly unless I have a compass. Of course big ones I can spot sans compass, but I need a compass to know where I'm in the cycle (for cyclical shifts of course), especially after rounding the downward mark.

For me tell tales are for keeping optimum sail trim.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 8:25pm
Originally posted by Presuming Ed

Of course, the real skill isn't just sailing on the lifted tack - it's fleet management. Putting yourself on the left side of the fleet before a left shift comes in, the getting across to the right of the fleet for a righty. 
You're going to feel I'm picking on you, but that's open water thinking again, like your tide views.

Do what you've just suggested risks getting it massively wrong, you could get that lift, but then so, simultaneously could the boats on the right, especially somewhere like say Axebridge res when the wind in the north, or any south coast offshore situation.

Better solution is to play shifts middle left or middle right sailing for the mark, never over extend, not unless your absolutely certain, or need to visit the doctor and it's the last race.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mister Nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 8:29pm
Watching the jib tell tales helps a hell of a lot, especially when the wind is light. It's pretty easy to sail too low or pinch if you don't, personally I find it very useful to keep an eye on them. You should tack on big headers that stick around for a significant amount of time, carry on going for a few boat lengths and if there is still no sign of you getting lifted back up then you should tack. No point tacking on headers straight away because usually the breeze will come back round. Sailing in shifty conditions isn't not difficult to do, it just takes a lot of concentration and practice. Round Mersea Island Race this year is a good example - we were getting GIGANTIC shifts just after the strood and there was next to no breeze. We clawed our way up through two 29ers, and a laser 4000 just by being hot on the shifts and making sure the jib tell tales were flying well constantly. Shame we got stuck in a windless hole when we put the kite up and let them get away... >_<

Edited by Mister Nick - 19 Oct 11 at 8:34pm
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 9:21pm
As far as I can tell, unless you've spent ages figuring out the right position for them, jib tell tales are much more responsive to shifts than main sail ones (even on single-sail boats)- this might be part of why they weren't much use for you on your windsurfer. Also, on a two man boat you can afford to spend a bit more time looking at them, driving to them- but you do need to figure out who's responsibility it is to watch them. I guess (I've never used one properly) that with the self-tacker you pretty much set and forget upwind?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 11 at 9:37pm
Jib tell tales definitely jib tell tales.  Choose a suitable jib sheeting angle then steer to the tell tales - tack when the compass or tactik tells you that steering to the tell tales is taking you the wrong way.

Interesting hint taught me this weekend is to sail with more twist in the sails when it's really shifty; that way part of the sail is always sheeted correctly to the wappy wind.

But I was thinking the other day, when sailing without a jib on and totally lost wrt the wind: what do MPS and RS6/700 sailors do?  I don't see them with main luff tell tales like what laser sailors use, certainly not using wind hawks and the like, but they still hit the angles right.
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