Continuing the story of racing my Laser at CORK in 2001 ...
After all the study on heavy air technique on Saturday night, Sunday brings a light ENE wind. Before the racing I practice doing some windward mark roundings especially when approaching on port tack. I don't need a coach to tell me that hitting marks is not smart.
I get great starts in two of the three races. However I seem to be really slow on the reaches in the light stuff. Whether I go high with the majority of the fleet to protect my air or try and go low to take the shorter line to the mark, I'm losing lots of places on the reaches. Results 12, 19 and 30 out of 46. 23rd overall.
Sunday Evening: I'm disappointed at being so far back in the Silver Fleet and turn to my virtual coaches for advice. What am I doing wrong on the reaches? Is it how I'm setting the sail controls? My tactics? My boat handling? All the coaching resources talk about the need to keep the body weight forward on light air reaches. I know that. I spent most of my summer shouting at kids in the beginner classes I teach to sit in the front of the cockpit. But in studying the CDs more closely I see that this is my actually my problem.
The SailCoach CD has some excellent video of Phillipe Bergmanns reaching in light air and I see he is actually sitting up next to the centerboard - further forward than my normal position.
Steve Cockerill's CD has a great article on boat trim and the pithy advice of "if you're comfortable you're not sitting far enough forward". He also talks about the need to check the smoothness of the wake off the transom. Hmmmm. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years. I also take the opportunity to look at some great video clips on both CDs about how to use waves on the reaches.
Tomorrow's another day. Maybe I'll do better.