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Tips for improving fleet finish positions...?

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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 12 at 1:52pm
The Buzz has a handicap which quite generous when the breeze is up, when the trapeze is fully in use they are faster upwind than an RS400 rating 948. In light weather though, they don't really seem to go that well, and any course with a dead run will be pitched against them.
How much do you enjoy sailing the Buzz vs how much do you want to race meaningfully against the other boats?
If you do start doing very well, you will just get mumbling about your PY.
In the 400 against things like supernovas on PY, we either do very well or very badly, depending on course, tide and wind, it is just not something to take very seriously, just enjoy getting to the bar first or just enjoy sailing for sailing's sake.
I would suggest taking any opportunity to race against more comparable boats, such as Iso, 3000.
Is there any chance of converting anyone else in your club to getting a Buzz or anything similar?
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fab100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 12 at 1:54pm
I sail my RS100 (and before that 200) on Frensham Pond, so I know the downwind dilemma well.

At our place, surrounded by huge weeds (erroneously named trees by the un-knowing) the challenge is to get out of their wind shadow asap. Hoisting often just sails you into a bigger dead-zone, so often i gybe off and get down into the better pressure asap. You still take some pain, but earlier and hopefully for less time. More wind is generally king here.

RTC every boat is different - you can hold a 200 kite quite high, in the 100 you rarely can. Not sure about a Buzz. But keep the plate down fully (up just tends to give lee-helm and/or see you slide sideways) and don't be too worried about having the main more centred (but filling) than usual if the kite is still pulling forwards not solely sideways

Judging the angle is a challenge. Once in the pressure, the rule of thumb is that, if you can plane on heating up, do it. If not, soak as low as you can whilst keeping the speed on with what apparant you can build. This is a real skill - in a two-hander communication is key - if the sheet goes light or wind comes aft and the kite is in danger of collapsing, (or vice versa) the crew needs to be telling the helm. Meanwhile, the help watches the pressure, telling the crew if a gust is arriving or finishing (the crews eyes never, ever leave the kite!) When it goes light, you will need to head a bit higher, but soon as you get some pressure, get low low low. Oh and try and steer with heel rather than lots of rudder.

As helm, I prefer to be able see the kite too, so when its light both sitting in the middle can be preferable to one each side as happens in symmetrical kite machines
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Do Different View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 12 at 9:19pm
Now remembered something else, if you really have no choice but to very deep with the kite and it's light. Try furling the jib and by being really gentle on the sheet you can get the kite to come round to windward a little, also in these conditions I did sometimes ease the kite halyard a fraction to put in more shape. 
Worth an experiment when you are going slowly, if nothing else it'll keep your concentration up. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifoxwell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 12 at 9:42am
In our time in a Buzz we would base our downwind angles a lot on what was happening upwind.

If its light and we are both sittings in the boat then we would soak low, swing the kite around the front as Do Different suggests

If its easy trapesing up wind then we would aim to power up down wind but without the crew on the trap

And if it was flat out upwind then we would sail as low as we could downwind but still keep the crew on the wire.

But then all that was on open water, might think again in a more confined area.

Finally strongly suggest you get along to a meeting. No one will complain to much about your modifications, I did talk to the class technical officer about off the boom sheeting myself a while back, and although not supporting its use he wouldn't complain as long as a) the helm still handles the main and b) your not winning everything.

Ian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DFF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 12 at 3:41pm
 
 
Hi Matt
 
You have made it clear that it is fun in your Buzz you want and better results, NOT A NEW BOAT guys!!!
 
So here is my tuppence for improving:
 
1) train with tuning on the boat for different winds outside the racing nights, if you can. Compete in as many races as poss, esp APR / Pursuits which are fun and will let you see how you are doing relatively in your own air. Learn the gear changes in the rigging and style of sailing with the pressure of near boats off.
 
2) for a good number of races forward: start right and stay right: even start on port tack just behind the fleet on the RHS. Tack back and you will be able to learn from the fleet about wind shifts in particular without having many boats to thread your way between. If right is not favoured then hey! you have learnt something and you can see the course and understand this bias.
 
3) sail to keep the speed with your spinny up, high as you need, and learn to gybe on the lifts and spend most time on the angle which will take you to the leeward mark over the shortest distance.
 
4) You aren't going to be popular, but on the leeward leg go over to your port side of the course and come in hard towards the mark on starboard. You then have both overlap and STB tack so those places you are dropping while joining the mid/ back of the qeue will start to be fewer! Drop early or learn windward "mexican" drops after you gybe the boat to round. (unless of course,  they are a stupid, stupid club like mine who set STB roundings on round the nav'bouys )
 
5) once rounded the leeward mark get some speed on and get the crew out on the wire, then luff a little hard with good coordination with the crew to win a slightly higher lane over boats behind you. This will give them distrubed air if not direct shadow and you may sail over boats infront of you.
 
6) start is the sprint for clear air: in a buzz you will need space so once you progress to getting the best part of the line to start on, you need to learn to defend your space from the various slower boats which will point higher and mess up your start if you cannot foot off to leeward with 10 secs to go.
 
7) Where possible, duck slower not trapeze boats on the beat rather than tacking. You maybe want to reduce the overall number of tacks and as I say above, stay more on the right hand side of the course while you are learning wind shifts and how to sail to your own desired speed rather than maybe letting other boats get in your way and destroy your boat speed, which may be one of your problems.
Crewing on a Melges 24, against my better judgement...
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getafix View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 12 at 1:56pm
One thing that will make big differences to your finish results will be to get fit enough so you can concentrate and keep pushing all the way to the end. It sounds completely noddy now I've written it down but I'll 100% guarantee that everyone on here who's ever sailed competitively for more than 1 season will instantly be able to recall (although not perhaps admit to) occassions when they've lost concentration or simply just tailed off towards the end of a race and then lost out by seconds on corrected time, or by a few feet on the water.
 
Getting better at sailing your boat will help, because you'll get less tired, likewise not blasting up and down between back-to-back races will also help conserve energy.  Have a snack too.
 
You need to fight the urge to just sit in the bottom of the boat and relax because "it's just the run to the finish" or "we only have a short upwind to go to the line", you gain 5-10 secs there, that could be the difference, never mind if you can spot a shift or layline that little bit more accurately, that could get you a minute or more.
 
Wear gear that keeps you warm too, if you're thinking about how cold your feet are, then you're probably not thinking about the right stuff!!


Edited by getafix - 26 Sep 12 at 1:57pm
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ellistine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ellistine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 12 at 2:44pm
Originally posted by getafix

One thing that will make big differences to your finish results will be to get fit enough so you can concentrate and keep pushing all the way to the end. It sounds completely noddy now I've written it down but I'll 100% guarantee that everyone on here who's ever sailed competitively for more than 1 season will instantly be able to recall (although not perhaps admit to) occassions when they've lost concentration or simply just tailed off towards the end of a race and then lost out by seconds on corrected time, or by a few feet on the water.
Quite valid. Probably more so over a longer event. Our last time out was for a club cup race, three races b2b on both Saturday and Sunday. Midway through Sunday we were capsizing all over the place. Once because I simply let the tiller extension slip out of my hand. Absolutely knackered!
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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 Posted: 26 Sep 12 at 2:58pm
Originally posted by getafix

One thing that will make big differences to your finish results will be to get fit enough so you can concentrate and keep pushing all the way to the end. It sounds completely noddy now I've written it down but I'll 100% guarantee that everyone on here who's ever sailed competitively for more than 1 season will instantly be able to recall (although not perhaps admit to) occassions when they've lost concentration or simply just tailed off towards the end of a race and then lost out by seconds on corrected time, or by a few feet on the water.
 
LOL how about losing four places on a course where there was really only one way to go, just because it's so boring you make something up in your head that has a 1 in 10 likelihood of working just to do something different..

As long as you know, every time, why you lost, and can pinpoint an alternative action that would have placed you better, then you're learning and can still take something from the result.

And if you don't, then make something up in your head, it'll make you feel better Wink

The very worse thing however is knowing you knew it once upon a time, but have now forgotten what it was you were supposed to know. Confused
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