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

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12036
Printed Date: 17 May 22 at 4:43pm
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Topic: Sailing a slow boat in a fast fleet - tips please.
Posted By: Woodburner
Subject: Sailing a slow boat in a fast fleet - tips please.
Date 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.


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Replies:
Posted By: jeffers
Date 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.

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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 1:26pm
Committee boat start & tack off?


Posted By: Woodburner
Date 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.


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Posted By: piglet
Date 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)


Posted By: Woodburner
Date 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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Posted By: jeffers
Date 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).


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: piglet
Date 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.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 2:42pm
wot Jeffers said


Posted By: Woodburner
Date 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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Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 3:53pm
Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies or both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind.

Do remember that if a boat establishes an overlap to leeward from astern is it their proper course and not your proper course that counts so assymetrics sailing a hot angles can still push you up.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 08 Jun 15 at 3:56pm
Originally posted by jeffers


Do remember that if a boat establishes an overlap to leeward from astern is it their proper course and not your proper course that counts so assymetrics sailing a hot angles can still push you up.
Oh dearEmbarrassed 

Still I did retire after I got boat rage and rammed him.Confused


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Posted By: Neal_g
Date Posted: 09 Jun 15 at 10:53am
isn't there a great video of a miracle demonstrating that at hythe

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(Redoubt Sc)
Miracle 4040
GP14 13407

Crewsaver phase 2 range now available to buy online on at http://www.gibsonsails.com


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 09 Jun 15 at 11:32am
Originally posted by Neal_g

isn't there a great video of a miracle demonstrating that at hythe

That wasn't a fast fleet, half a dozen single handers and a Merlin? Nope doesn't count

A dozen boats including laser 4000, Hornet, Tasar, 470, 3 Contenders, RS500, RS100 (10.2)Merlin, all came by on a downwind then upwind fetch, nothing to be done about it, a typical crap Hythe course, not like those proper courses the Miracles get down that lake..Wink


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Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 09 Jun 15 at 7:57pm
Hope you don't mind Jeffers, I've copied your post into the rules thread for more prodding & poking.


Posted By: sawman
Date Posted: 09 Jun 15 at 11:10pm
its all about the start really, just trying to get a bit of clear air, to windward of the pack and escapeing the fast boats churned up wind shadow. I take great delight in hammering the start and pushing the miracle around the 1st mark within the first few boats, then just trying to hang one to something near me that has a faster handicap. We often have phantoms, solutions, various asymmetrics and even a couple of cats, for added fun!
the pic below shows the kielder Dam to Dam race - the miracle (us) at the committee boat end of the line finished 3rd overall - having said that most of the cats were on their 2nd cup of tea and had packed their boats up by the time we finished the 10 mile race



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Posted By: iiiiitick
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 10:22am
At our little inland water it is always a quick sprint to the first, windward mark. The well sailed Bytes can start well and get there first if they are lucky. The longer they stay ahead the better it will be for them on handicap. On the next long reach the faster boats will barrel through. Best avoid an irrationally sailed Phantom!


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 10:51am
Same at Hunts. the start is key as it is easier to be well up by the windward mark, you can then control the race from near the front. Managed to keep our resident Phantom fleet and the other D-Zero behind me for most of the race (until i retired as things were running late and I had to be home).

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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 11:05am
The start is normally always key, but in this latest circumstance the better tactical decision was to start late and let them go. Why?

Because it was none tactical windward course, all fetch and run with a nasty counter tide meaning the ability to sail high was essential, so fast boats overtaking the leading slow boat forced the leader to have to tack rather than fetch the mark, (oh and it was a starboard hander so every fast boat had to be given way to round) so the boat(s) that started late had clear air to the tidal affected mark and made it in one with no impedance to mark rounding.

Not something you could have immediately planned for in your pre race strategic thinking, least I didn't, still interesting even these forty years later, you learn something new....


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Posted By: iiiiitick
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 11:34am
Personally I have been first to the mark twice in my 'career'? Once in a Lightning and once in a Solo. The cheer could be heard for many miles!


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 11:40am
In that case start committee boat end, put in a short hitch to get clear air and then sail all the way to the mark in clean wind.... Probably the same 'penalty' as starting a little late just behind the fast boats.

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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 11:45am
Originally posted by iiiiitick

Personally I have been first to the mark twice in my 'career'? Once in a Lightning and once in a Solo. The cheer could be heard for many miles!

So what happened Tick didn't you enjoy it? Was it lonely out front, or too confusing not knowing where you're supposed to go next?Wink

It's funny life.. Some of us just can't cope with not being up the front and some can't cope when they get there and don't like it. Not saying you're either tick, it's just I suppose what you get used to or develop a taste for. Personally I'm not equipped mentally to deal with what goes on down the back of fleets or being overtaken, I'm trying, really hard, you have to be such a better person..Confused


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Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 11:49am
Originally posted by jeffers

In that case start committee boat end, put in a short hitch to get clear air and then sail all the way to the mark in clean wind.... Probably the same 'penalty' as starting a little late just behind the fast boats.

It was a downwind start, the problem occurred at the next mark which should have been the windward mark now turned leeward, the fetch was to the old gybe mark. With all water rights removed because it became a tidally induced windward approach on port into oncoming starboard boats from behind.

Tricky one, no way out of jail.


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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 2:43pm
Sail a faster boat, be first on the water, problem solved.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: iiiiitick
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 2:52pm
Originally posted by Woodburner

Originally posted by iiiiitick

Personally I have been first to the mark twice in my 'career'? Once in a Lightning and once in a Solo. The cheer could be heard for many miles!

So what happened Tick didn't you enjoy it? Was it lonely out front, or too confusing not knowing where you're supposed to go next?Wink

It's funny life.. Some of us just can't cope with not being up the front and some can't cope when they get there and don't like it. Not saying you're either tick, it's just I suppose what you get used to or develop a taste for. Personally I'm not equipped mentally to deal with what goes on down the back of fleets or being overtaken, I'm trying, really hard, you have to be such a bette

I was a very competitive crew and once I tried hard as a helm but as I age and begin to rot improvement seems harder to achieve so I only sail when it pleases me, probably tonight since the sun is shining. I will however try to beat those who are worse than me. 

Evidently young Fuller you have a competitive spirit in sailing business and many other things. I drift through life on my sunlit hillside with butterflies circling round my head.....


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 3:18pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Sail a faster boat, be first on the water, problem solved.

That's exactly what I've been doing all this time, now it's time for something different, this is much harder work and about as upsetting as finding how far back you are on handicap in reality..

Life is never perfect.

But all the time you think you can still improve, it remains worthwhile, I so wish I had Ticks temperament, of Sunfilled uplands and butterflies, but I haven't, I'm saddled with this infernal drive for more, so ever onwardWink My sunfilled uplands with buttercups is the downhill i ride every morning tearing through it as fast as my bike will take me.Confused


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Posted By: iiiiitick
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 3:20pm
I shall go and talk to the sheep......


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 10 Jun 15 at 3:22pm
Cattle... they got out the other morning which didn't go down at all well when they blocked the main road, and it wasn't me that stampeded them for a change.

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