Thursday, July 10, 2008


I went out for a practice sail in my Laser yesterday, launching from Weaver Cove in Portsmouth. There was 15-20 knots of wind out of the south stirring up a typical Narragansett Bay chop. On port tack it seemed that I was heading more or less directly into the waves, such as they were, so I used the "opportunity" to try and figure out a way to deal with the choppy conditions.

I figured that slamming the bow straight into a two foot wave every three seconds was not the fastest way to sail the boat, so I tried in succession...
  1. Aggressive steering to avoid the steepest waves

  2. Aggressive steering to head up each wave and down the back

  3. Bearing off a few degrees when approaching some steeper waves

  4. Torquing the boat with my body to help it bear away on the top of each wave

  5. Leaning back in the boat to help the boat head up each wave front

  6. Hiking further back in the boat to prevent the bow digging in to every wave

  7. Hiking harder as the bow hit each wave to try and power the boat through the wave crest better

  8. Various other gyratory body motions that felt like they might do some good

  9. Trying to channel Ben Ainslie and Robert Scheidt

  10. Prayer
All in all, I couldn't say which method worked best though 7 felt good and 10 was the easiest.

After about an hour of upwind work I headed back down and practiced my transitions between sailing by the lee and broad reaching. All the top coaches say transitions are key to downwind speed. I wish I knew what a transition is. It might help.

But heyitwasgreat.

1 comment:

PeconicPuffin said...

Sounds like you're surfing! Cool, dude...totally rad tillerage.

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