Monday, November 06, 2006

Watching Boats

This weekend I did my turn on race committee duty for our Laser fleet. With over 60 boats out racing the starts were crowded...

How many out of the 60 made a start in the front row?

The windward mark roundings were crowded...

Want to risk an approach on the port tack layline in this fleet?

And the leeward gates were total mayhem...

"Don't even think about going in there..."

I had plenty of time to observe the techniques of the fleet leaders -- especially in those areas that my instructor in Menorca told me I need to improve. Two things surprised me...

First, it seemed that I learned a lot more from watching other sailors than I normally do when I am on race committee. Perhaps it was because certain boat-handling issues were fresh in my mind having spend a couple of days practicing just those skills a couple of days last week on my own private lake. (OK -- it's not really my lake -- I share it with the other 8,414,349 citizens of the Garden State -- but for some reason my co-owners allowed me total private unfettered sole use of the lake last week.)

Secondly -- and this was even more of a shock -- it was apparent that even the best sailors in the fleet had very different techniques from each other in the areas I was studying.

Hmmm. What does this mean?

a) There is no best way to sail a Laser and everyone develops a technique that works for them.

b) Even the best guys have faults in their technique, or maybe just bad days when they forget how to sail properly.

c) These guys aren't as good as I thought they were.

d) None of the above.

Some guy called "derek" left a comment a few days ago asking for some clues on what I learned in Menorca. So for "derek", and any other Laser freaks out there, there will be at least three posts this week on Lasering technique (which the rest of you can ignore if you wish).

It's about time we had some serious sailing stuff on this blog. After the comments by someone called "mommy" and someone else called "adrift at sea" on Friday's post, I was beginning to worry that this was turning into a relationship blog. "Welcome to the family" indeed.

Watch this space. This is a serious sailing blog. Really...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Observation of others, especialy with the comments of your Menorca experience fresh in your mind may in fact let you see more clearly.

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