Friday, January 29, 2016

Laser Frostbiting with Dave Perry

The last time I sailed with the Newport Laser frostbite fleet (aka Fleet 413) was on December 20. We enjoyed a special treat on that day because we had racing rules guru Dave Perry give us a seminar on the Racing Rules before sailing. Then we did our normal racing and Dave came out in a motorboat to shoot some video of us. After racing, Dave gave us a debrief using some of the video from our racing to illustrate various points about the Racing Rules and tactics and other good stuff.

A guru - not Dave Perry

So it's now 40 days since I last went sailing and I am getting a serious case of cabin fever.

A cabin

There have been a few weekends in the last few weeks when there was no sailing at all by the fleet on account of circumstances beyond our control like Christmas, gale force winds and heavy rain, winds in the 20s and temps in the 20s, or other such nonsense.

Fleet captain checking whether it is OK to sail this week

And then on the weekends when there was some sailing I wimped out on account of the dreaded man cold or the dreaded twisted ankle from falling over in the kitchen (how did that happen?) or other such nonsense.

I have been reduced to writing blog posts about such fascinating topics as squeezing a pimple, gasometers,  and Strictly Come Dancing. Blame the cabin fever.

Strictly Come Dancing

So let's get back to some real sailing again.

My performance when racing on that Sunday before Christmas was about the same as every other week I sailed this season.

  • One fairly good race, when I managed to find a clear lane not too long after the start, play the shifts and the puffs more or less correctly, and arrive at the windward mark with the Laser sailing rock stars.

  • A couple of bad races when I got totally blown away on the start line and spent most of the first beat gasping for air on account of the 40 or 50 Lasers in front of me.

  • A couple of races where I arrived at the starboard tack layline simultaneously with the majority of the other 40 or 50 Lasers, tacked on what I thought was the layline, only to discover because of the tide or a big lefty shift or not being able to judge the layline properly or other such nonsense that I wasn't going to be able to lay the mark, and having to gybe around and go back down the line of 40 or 50 boats to try and find a gap to tack through which usually was between the boats who were 47th and 48th in the race. Ugly!

Here for your amusement are a couple of Dave Perry's videos.

The first is from my only good race that day. Dave used this video of a leeward mark rounding to teach us about communication at the mark.  That's me in 157812 rounding in the company of sailors who usually finish way ahead of me. I think I scored a 5th in this race

And here is a windward mark rounding. Dave used this video to explain why it is better to overstand than to tack short of the layline in a crowded fleet. If you look carefully you can see me in the middle distance bailing out when I realize I won't lay the mark and going the wrong way to try and find a gap between the 47th and 48th boats or something. 

Have a good laugh at my expense.

You're welcome!

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