Thursday, May 14, 2015

Laser Hiking with Nick Thompson

Pursuing the theme I started on Tuesday of trying to get a good mental picture of an
aspect of Laser sailing technique in order to improve my own pathetic attempts at sailing a Laser fast… check out this video of British sailor Nick Thompson demonstrating correct Laser hiking technique going upwind in about 14-15 knots occasionally gusting more.

This is a screenshot taken at about 0:21 seconds.

Makes it look easy doesn't he?

Ha ha. Only joking. The shot above shows Nick's "just sitting comfortably in the boat while chatting to the camera and explaining what he is going to do in this video" pose. That is not how you sail a Laser upwind in 15 knots. Well, maybe if you weighed 250lbs this would work.

This is a screenshot taken at about 1:00. Now Nick has his feet in the perfectly adjusted toe-strap, toes pointing up, leg straight, quads tight to keep his bum out of the water, leaning back and hands high.

Hmmm, That looks a bit more strenuous.

But wait. It gets worse.

Just after this shot Nick says, "And then the hard bit. Lean back and keep that work rate up all the time. The harder you hike, the faster you go…. As the wave hits the boat the weight goes out and back."

You really have to watch the video from about 1:00 onwards to appreciate how active Nick is in the boat. Working the waves with his body. Working the sheet.  Steering aggressively. But here is one screenshot to give you an impression of what it's all about.

I can do that.

Well sort of.

For a short time.

A minute or two, perhaps.

But I'm not fit enough to do it all day long for multiple mile long beats.

And I bet if I put a GoPro camera on my boat, I would discover that I'm not really hiking like Nick Thompson at all. It just feels like I am.


Maybe I'll just buy some of that cool Zhik hiking gear and a matching hat and PFD in a fetching shade of turquoise.

That should work?



Doug / Pam said...

This is a great video and post. And it's good to see that the hiking-on-your-toes fad never caught on.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Doug/Pam. I liked the video and although it really does stand on its own, I thought I would spice it up a bit with the interjections of a sailor who really only hikes like that in his dreams.

As for "hiking-on-your-toes" I'm totally with you. Isn't it hard enough already?

Yogi said...

You can observe a lot by watching.

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