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Slow boat in a big mixed fleet - where to start?

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=12435
Printed Date: 04 Jul 22 at 2:34am
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Topic: Slow boat in a big mixed fleet - where to start?
Posted By: Matt Jackson
Subject: Slow boat in a big mixed fleet - where to start?
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 9:34am
Having mostly sailed faster boats recently (Contender, RS400 etc) I've always tried to be front row in a big mixed fleet start. Is this still the right tactic in my Graduate in a MASSIVE mixed fleet with keelboats, 49ers , Mirrors and everything in between (Birkett)? The Grad points fairly high but is only Laser Radial speed.
  • Should I still try to be front row and take the frustration of being driven over for 20 mins or
  • Start later, picking a spot late dependent on looking for clear(ish) air?



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RS400 1289, Laser 203001



Replies:
Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 10:16am
I will let you know how badly i get it wrong at the weekend Matt.....

Usual tactic for a slower boat is to get clear air as soon as possible as the faster boats will go over the top of you regardless.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 10:55am
Originally posted by jeffers

I will let you know how badly i get it wrong at the weekend Matt.....

Usual tactic for a slower boat is to get clear air as soon as possible as the faster boats will go over the top of you regardless.

Are you in a D-Zero? I'll look out for you. 

Would you still try and wriggle to the front row?


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RS400 1289, Laser 203001


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 11:32am
I had this exact situation recently in a fleet with follk who know how to sail their fast boats, normally in our club fleet the fast boats are not that well positioned on the line with the exception of a couple of Contenders.

So my plan was to pin end then out the back door as soon as I could, it all went horribly wrong of course a tide taking us over meant I had to foot off a bit along with everyone else then shortly after the gun those that had got in behind sailed over me and I had crap to sail in, don't you just hate it.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 11:59am
My plan would be to hit the line on time and at speed as usual, but aim to be within 1 or 2 boats from your end of choice.  You generally have to bang a corner on the first beat otherwise you spend all your time in the dirty air from the whole fleet.  The key is to avoid being boxed in - I'd probably sacrifice a good start to ensure clean air on the first beat.  There's nothing worse than being boxed in by a group of faster boats going for a gentle jolly.


Posted By: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by Ardea

My plan would be to hit the line on time and at speed as usual, but aim to be within 1 or 2 boats from your end of choice.  You generally have to bang a corner on the first beat otherwise you spend all your time in the dirty air from the whole fleet.  The key is to avoid being boxed in - I'd probably sacrifice a good start to ensure clean air on the first beat.  There's nothing worse than being boxed in by a group of faster boats going for a gentle jolly.

Thanks, I'd say that was generally good advice but not really useful at the Birkett. 230 boats on a start-line, stacked up 3 or 4 deep, stretching right across the lake. 6 mile beat but only half mile wide lake. Even RS400s spend 20 minutes being sailed over by or picking there way through boats on a jolly. and of course the keelboats make no attempt to abide by racing rules.


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RS400 1289, Laser 203001


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 12:11pm
Originally posted by Matt Jackson

Originally posted by jeffers

I will let you know how badly i get it wrong at the weekend Matt.....

Usual tactic for a slower boat is to get clear air as soon as possible as the faster boats will go over the top of you regardless.

Are you in a D-Zero? I'll look out for you. 

Would you still try and wriggle to the front row?

Yep sail number 188 (or 88 if it is honking). there are 6 D-Zeros entered.

Will try and get to the front row and pick the locals brains but my experience of the Grafham GP this year was clear air is a bigger benefit that being in the right place but in dirty air for ages.



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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: AlexM
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 1:45pm
I would of thought you'd want to be on the front row, straight away you are in front of all the other rows.. and if you start at the right end your are in front of those at the wrong end. Its what I try and do :)
Do not start next to one of those cruiser things! Give them a wide birth.
For a Grad I guess starting next to anything with a PY less of a 1000 and within minutes they would be clear of you but to be honest with you its very hard to plan these things as there are so many boats and so much going on.
It's a great race and I'll be there in the X1


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 2:50pm
Probably best to find a spot with a gap and no boat immediately below you that points like hell.  I would suggest that pointy slow boats will be a bigger problem that fast boats.

I would concurr that you still want to find the better end.  Also think about the big picture, there may be a considerable wind fence effect which should be considered.


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 3:25pm
What's the penalty for OCS?    ;-)



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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here


Posted By: AlexM
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 3:33pm
Drinks for the whole fleet


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 3:34pm
Seeing as you are the pointy slow boat, make the most of it by forcing boats above you to tack off, so clearing a lane for yourself. I can't see the proper low and fast working. Or start right at the stb end and tack onto port straight away, tacking back into a clear lane.

Or take a picnic and accept that 230boats, even on Ullswater, will chop the air to pieces, and relax.

The latter approach I dream of being able to master, and fail totally, even in small events, so I suspect the Birkett would drive me insane.

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


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by AlexM

Drinks for the whole fleet

It ain't Al, but even if it was, 200 boats, 3 a drink (well you are oop-north) 600. What would you pay to win the LB?



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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 8:22pm
Unless it's a really biased Port end line and or all the breeze is on the left side of the course, I think Rupert pretty much nails it, try and get out the back door from the starboard end early and clean and Port Hand it as long as you can, at least when you flack over you'll have right of way over any dithering muppets in faster boats, which you'd probably be wiser to hail to cross you rather than have them on your lee bow for a bit.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Seeing as you are the pointy slow boat, make the most of it by forcing boats above you to tack off, so clearing a lane for yourself. I can't see the proper low and fast working. Or start right at the stb end and tack onto port straight away, tacking back into a clear lane.

Or take a picnic and accept that 230boats, even on Ullswater, will chop the air to pieces, and relax.

The latter approach I dream of being able to master, and fail totally, even in small events, so I suspect the Birkett would drive me insane.

Unfortunately if you start at the starboard end and tack on to port you'll sail into the shore

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RS400 1289, Laser 203001


Posted By: Neal_g
Date Posted: 29 Jun 16 at 10:28pm
Get left round the point into sharrow bay as quick as you can if wind is down the lake and stay middle left to the narrows

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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: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 30 Jun 16 at 12:59pm
Originally posted by Neal_g

Get left round the point into sharrow bay as quick as you can if wind is down the lake and stay middle left to the narrows

by 'down the lake' do you mean from Glenridding?


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RS400 1289, Laser 203001


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Jun 16 at 6:46pm
Originally posted by Matt Jackson

Originally posted by Rupert

Seeing as you are the pointy slow boat, make the most of it by forcing boats above you to tack off, so clearing a lane for yourself. I can't see the proper low and fast working. Or start right at the stb end and tack onto port straight away, tacking back into a clear lane.

Or take a picnic and accept that 230boats, even on Ullswater, will chop the air to pieces, and relax.

The latter approach I dream of being able to master, and fail totally, even in small events, so I suspect the Birkett would drive me insane.

Unfortunately if you start at the starboard end and tack on to port you'll sail into the shore


That is a snag!

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


Posted By: Neal_g
Date Posted: 30 Jun 16 at 6:52pm
Yes blowing from Glenridding on the left it funnels down the valley to the left of the narrows giving good pressure and a lift

-------------
(Redoubt Sc)
Miracle 4040
GP14 13407

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


Posted By: Ian99
Date Posted: 01 Jul 16 at 1:45pm
A graduate in clean air will be about the same speed as a 400 in dirty air, so best advice I can give is don't believe that because you're theoretically slower you need to start behind.
If it's less that about a force 3 if you manage a flat out front row start, you should be able to keep up with/ahead anything in displacement mode.
Crucial thing I have found in the Streaker in handicap racing is that you have to tack a lot up the first beat and take every opportunity for even a few seconds of clear air.
Also important is to spot the badly sailed fast boats before the start uand keep well clear. With the sails set wrong, they produce even more dirty wind, and if you're really unlucky they think they are facing you boat for boat and really slow you up.



Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 04 Jul 16 at 8:49am
Originally posted by Neal_g

Yes blowing from Glenridding on the left it funnels down the valley to the left of the narrows giving good pressure and a lift

hhmmm good pressure...it was apocalyptic after the narrows on Saturday. i have never sailed in the much wind. Great fun too.


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Paul
----------------------
D-Zero GBR 74



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