Thursday, August 11, 2016
On Wednesday the winds were "on the strong side of moderate" for the first day of the two day RS Aero clinic at the Columbia River Gorge.
The coach running the clinic, Peter Barton from the UK, mainly had us focusing on our technique for gybes and tacks.
I learned a lot...
1. My footwork in tacks is all wrong and is the reason why I am so slow in getting into the toe-straps and hiking properly on the new tack. I blame 30 years of Laser sailing for giving me bad habits. Unfortunately I wasn't able to break the key bad habit yesterday. My tacks didn't really improve after a whole day of tacking and gybing on the whistle. More practice is indicated.
2. The timing and technique for grabbing the "falls" of the main sheet to pull the boom across and initiate gybes is more subtle than I realized. I was doing much better gybes after a day of tacking and gybing on the whistle.
3. A day of practice in "strong side of moderate" winds has done wonders for my confidence.
4. Coming second in the last race of the day did even more for my confidence.
5. Beer immediately after sailing is a recovery drink.
After the clinic we enjoyed an excellent dinner of pulled pork and all the trimmings served outside on the lawn by the side of the river in the Marine Park. RS Aero sailors seem to enjoy discussing...
1. How many different ways can there be to score a class with three rigs racing together? Answer - a hell of a lot once you start thinking about it.
2. Will anybody ever break Chunky's 23.9 knots RS Aero world speed record? One of our number believes he can do it on flat water on a day when it's blowing over 40 knots.
3. What will the winds do for the rest of the week. Will they "invert" - whatever that means? Answer - nobody knows and in any case we will just sail the winds we get. In 2 knots we will go sailing. In 40 knots we will go sailing. (Well maybe the guy who wants to break Chunky's record will go sailing.)
4. Why is that boat flying a Union Jack and who is responsible?
5. Have you sold your Laser yet?