Thursday, September 21, 2006


Man, it was good to be sailing again!

On Wednesday I took my Laser down to the reservoir and went for a blast. This is the first time I've sailed since the first weekend of September because of this nagging cold and cough which is finally clearing up.

The wind was blowing around 12-15 knots so it was good weather for stretching my legs on some long all-out hiking beats. I decided to practice sailing a tad higher than I usually do. I'm generally a footer but on occasion there are tactical reasons to want to be able to pinch slightly without losing any significant speed. So I sailed long upwind legs with the windward telltales fluttering and with good speed.

Downwind I tried the knees up style of sailing that Split Tacks has been recommending, and also my conventional style of front knee by the centerboard and aft knee and foot jammed across the cockpit. I still prefer my old style partly because it's much easier to move weight forwards and aft when necessary, not to mention it's easier to balance the boat side to side.

Spent a fair amount of time reaching, practicing keeping the boat on the plane as long as possible, and doing reach to reach gybes going from plane to plane as smoothly and quickly as possible.

After a while I sailed up into the bay where some of the diehard Sunfish sailors from the club were doing some fun racing even though it's long after their official season is over. One of them gestured for me to join them but I shook my head and went off to practice again in the windier part of the lake.

Around 6pm I headed back towards the club and saw the Sunfish starting a race when I was two or three minutes downwind of them. So I joined the race for the hell of it. In the lighter winds I had a chance to practice the roll tacks that had been giving me so much trouble back in August. Now it all seemed a lot easier. Funny how your brain seems to keep on learning between practice sessions. Is it true that we learn in our sleep?

Slowly I passed all the fleet tailenders. The Curmudgeon has recently started showing up at the club again after sulking for almost a year because of this incident. When I first saw him a few weeks back I gave him a friendly greeting but he ignored me. Perhaps he read my post about him? Anyway, he was in second place in the Sunfish race and I just passed him near the finish line using superior tactics and awesome roll tacks. He's still not speaking to me.

Over beer and pizza afterwards conversation turned to the club champion of champions regatta which was sailed last Saturday. Apparently Rule 42 issues surfaced again just as they did last year. I kind of suspected they might which was why, although I was qualified to sail in it as the club Laser champion this year, I found an excuse to avoid it. This year the RC was better prepared and was using Appendix P which allows on-the-water judges from the protest committee to award immediate penalties for illegal propulsion. It turned out that one sailor's choice not to accept such a penalty decided the regatta.

On the drive home I was still high from the experience of being back in the Laser again. I think I had been suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Man, it was good to be sailing again!


Turinas said...

I am jealous. It's time I stop sitting on my fat ass and making excuses about why I cant go sailing. Where's your club?

EVK4 said...

did the curmudgeon pay $5 to be in the race? Did you?!?

Tillerman said...

Adam, Cedar Point YC in Westport CT starts Laser frostbiting on Oct 8. Come join us.

Christy ~ Central Air said...

I did a search on 'sailing' on blogger and found you, and I'm really enjoying reading your blog. Sailing is my drug!

Please check out my blog. If you like what you see, would you consider trading links with me?


Tim said...

I'm curious, I read back through some of your posts from last September about the illegal laser sails. What happened in the end? did the unwitting owner of the sails get a refund or what?

Tillerman said...

I never really probed too much on that one Tim. As far as I was concerned that was a private matter between buyer and seller. I am friendly with both parties so don't really want to know the details of their financial dealings.

bonnie said...

ugh, I think we had the same cold - (cough, choke, wheeze...)

Post a Comment