Friday, October 14, 2011

Hand Up Lasers

The first week I was in Menorca last month I signed up for the Advanced Laser Class in the mornings and raced in the Laser races every afternoon. The coach, Tom Hayes, was a young Englishman who had represented Great Britain at the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Rhode Island as a boy, been a training partner for members of the UK Olympic Development Laser Squad, and had more recently been coaching some of the top British Laser Radial sailors. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher.

On the first day the topic was tacking and gybing. We did many drills as I demonstrated my usual total ineptitude at roll tacks and roll gybes. Tom gave me much helpful feedback about steering less in the tacks and gybes. I guess he was just pointing out my most egregious faults and overlooking the rest. We finished off doing 360 turns around Tom's RIB until our arms dropped off. Tom suggested to me that a faster way of sheeting out in 360s and at windward mark roundings is to lift the sheet hand over the head and then quickly dump several feet of sheet at once by dropping that hand to the mainsheet ratchet block, a technique I hadn't heard of before.

Tom joined the other Laser sailors for racing in the afternoon. I did lead him around the whole first lap in the second race but he got past me eventually, of course. At 6:30pm there were welcome drinks on the beach and then it was off to Fornells with Tillerwoman for a delicous dinner of sea bass and grilled sardines. And so to bed....


Baydog said...

Hand up. Sounds good. Would that be about three feet of slack? I heard that if you raise your hand at the Stanhope House, they'll serve you grilled sardines and another Urquell draft. Like at an auction, without even asking.

Pandabonium said...

Sounds like a great class/workout, race, and those sardines are making my mouth water.

Hmmm, I wonder what Baydog's Hazel would do with several feet of sheet?

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