Monday, March 04, 2013

Sail in More Wind

The second lesson from Steve Hunt (aka on SailX as flow) is "Sail in More Wind."

Pretty obvious, right? The darker the water, the stronger the wind. The stronger the wind, the faster the boat.

I find this easier in SailX than in real life. I'm pretty good at spotting the gusts on flat water on lakes. But on the sea, where there are more little waves and chop, I find it much harder to see small changes in wind strength. I do have polarized lenses in my sunglasses which is supposed to help. And some days I can spot something and take advantage of it. But usually I'm not very good at spotting the stronger wind on the sea. My eyesight is certainly deteriorating as I get older and even my prescription lenses can't totally correct all the problems. Anyway, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Once again, Steve makes it look easy in the video....

There is more wind on the left so he fights for and wins the pin which is slightly favored.

This video is actually just as instructive about how to win the pin. Notice how Steve refuses to allow any boats to get to the left of him and then actually has to luff a bit above close-hauled to make the pin. As I was saying in the previous lesson, unless you are really sure of your boathandling, fighting for the pin can be a high risk choice. Notice how, of the five boats closest to the pin, three are OCS and one is penalized by the system for a collision with flow. The latter boat immediately protests flow. I wonder who won the protest?

Anyway, Steve is in the stronger wind and in the lead. Some wind fills in more in the middle of the course so he tacks back for it. He can't quite cross the boat in second place so he leebows him and then is pretty soon on the port tack layline for the mark. Notice how fast that came up. It's very easy to get pushed beyond the layline on these short courses in SailX.

Steve rounds the windward mark in first place, but then somehow is passed on the run by the boat that was in second place boat who used her windshadow to slow Steve down and pass him. In Lasers in real life, I always try and get clear of groups of boats behind me on the run. The wind shadow from a group of boats can really mess up your day.

But never fear. Our hero sees more wind on the right before his rival and heads over there to regain the lead.

Doesn't he make it look easy?

So why don't we all do that?

It's another one of those "words of wisdom" that everyone knows but it always seems to be the same guys that make it work for them time and time again.

Why is that?


Joe said...

Wind makes sailboats move? My God, I didn't know that!

Tillerman said...

Sometimes that happens. I am told.

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