Sat Mar 29
The third day of Kurt Taulbee's Laser racing seminar in Clearwater was mainly about "feel sailing". Drills aimed at teaching us to have more sensitivity, to acquire a better feel for the boat, to use all six senses, to increase awareness for what the boat is telling us. (My interpretation of what "feel sailing" is; not Kurt's.)
After reviewing the video from the second day and a discussion about tactics and strategy it was out on the water along with three members of the Clearwater Youth Team. Kurt explained that there were fewer kids today than on a normal weekend because one of the team was out on the west coast attending Midwinters West and a couple were in New Zealand for the Radial Worlds. Hmmm, I guess we should have been be thankful that those wunderkinds were not in Clearwater that weekend to embarrass us old farts.
We sailed upwind with our eyes closed. We sailed upwind looking backwards and looking over our shoulder. We tacked with our eyes closed. We sailed downwind on starboard tack seeing how far we could heel the boat to windward before it rolled over. (Someone found out the hard way.) Then we did the extreme heel exercise on port tack too.
Then we did sailing upwind standing up. This wasn't just in a drifter but in a real wind where you needed to get some weight on the rail to balance the boat. What a hoot! I just could not do this drill right. I consoled myself that I've always been bad at any sport that required balancing skills while standing up. That's why I sail: I can sit down. Eventually I sort of kind of almost stood up for a few seconds but Kurt admonished me for using the tiller extension to help me balance. Holy Blondin Batman. Thank god he didn't video this drill.
Then we did some speed starts. 3-minute rolling starts, sail for a minute after each start, then back for the next one. I managed to upset one of the kids during this drill as I tried to pull off one of the aggressive start-line moves that Kurt had taught us the day before, messed it up, and ended up ruining one of the starts for both of us. What seemed to rile him up the most was that he just had to beat one of his buddies in every practice race and I had ruined his chance in one drill. I guess everyone has a that guy, even kids.
Then some races to round off the day.
Lots of great feedback from Kurt on the water about various aspects of my technique. Lots to practice when I get back home.
Then off to the local Mexican restaurant with Tillerwoman for nachos and chimichanga and way too many Dos Equis. Life is good.