Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tacks and Gybes and Beer

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?


Doug Stumberger said...

Nice write up. Would love to know more about the mainsheet pull during the gybes.

Tillerman said...

Geeze Doug, you don't really expect to find any useful sailing tips on THIS blog do you? Most readers realize after 11 years of blogging about sailing badly that I am the fleet klutz. Would you like a beer review instead?

Doug Stumberger said...

Tillerman, surely something PB said must have stuck in mind even after the beer onslaught :)

Sure, a beer review would be good -- did you go to the brewery there in the park?

John E said...

Just don't jibe, then you only have to work on tacks! That will give you more time for the beer.

Please don't get too technical on us, reading blogs is supposed to be fun.

Tillerman said...

The Gorge is beer heaven. Hood River is full of breweries and brew pubs. It seems that every other building in Stevenson is a tap house. We had free beer after sailing every day at the RS Aero Performance Clinic. There is a brewery in the same park as our launch site. Four of us went there for dinner today.

Thanks John E. I promise not to get too technical. But as Doug insists, the basic advice from PB about when to pull the boom over when gybing was "not too early and not too late." I think I understand that now.

torrid said...

I was out there a few weeks ago, not sailing but just on vacation. It just so happened the Laser NAs were going on while I was driving through. I went to the marina for a little look-see. Looks like a fun place to sail. With some advance planning, I might could have found a boat to rent and sailed the regatta (I ain't driving coast-to-coast).

When I was leaving, an antique car parade was driving through the marina. I wasn't going anywhere until they were through, so I got some great shots of some classic autos.

torrid said...

Side note - currently enjoying a Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen.

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