Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Not Seeing the Wood for the Trees

During some of my Laser training sessions this spring I have tried to work on my starts - specifically the acceleration at the start.

I have tried to focus on each part of those vital seconds before the start - set the vang, bear away, sheet in, heel to leeward, flatten the boat, accelerate off the line etc. etc.

How fast or slow to do each part of the task?

What parts overlap with each other and what parts are sequential?

To scull down or not to scull down?

How many seconds does the whole process take?

What's happening with the tiller at each stage?

Am I leaving the line with the boat flat and at full speed and on a close-hauled course?

So much to think about.

So much to analyze.

Sometimes when you focus on the details of a piece of boat-handling you can lose yourself in the minutiae so much that you can't see the big picture.

Or as we say in English English you don't see the wood for the trees.

Sometimes it may be better to try and get a mental image of the whole maneuver and just absorb it and then let it flow.

So here is coach Jon Emmet showing us how to start - approx 0:25 to 1:15 in this video.

What do you think of Jon's starts, all you expert Laser sailors out there?

Would you do anything differently?

How do you learn best?

Are you a wood person or a trees person?


Keep Reaching said...

I don't know what the expert Laser sailors think,but I think he makes it all look very easy.

In maneuvering at the start line don’t forget to pay attention to Rule 42, especially with respect to sculling and rocking. Judges pay close attention to Rule 42 at the start.

Sculling is generally prohibited, but there is an exception in Rule 42.3(d) which allows sculling to go from above close-hauled down to close-hauled. But, Interpretation Scull 2 provides that after a boat has sculled in one direction, further connected sculling to offset the first sculling action is prohibited.

Be especially careful about sculling that moves you forward. In sculling down to close-hauled, it is OK to gain speed (Interpretation Scull 1) but otherwise it is a clear violation.

As for rocking, one roll that does not clearly propel the boat is permitted (Interpretation Rock 2). But what often happens and will definitely get a whistle is adding one or more body movements just after flattening the boat.

Tillerman said...

Thanks KR. Good points.

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