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tfrei

Racing advice in light air

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Any racing advice for someone who’s about to start a race in light air with My core Sound 17? I’m in the second day of racing. Had some trouble yesterday getting stuck when tacking. Wondering whether my weight should be forward since I’m going solo? I’m welcome to any other Css 17 sailing tips. 

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Tfrie,

 

When sailing a CS17 solo in light air I am always in front of the mizzen mast and to leeward going upwind. This reduces transom drag and reduces wetted surface. 

 

Hoist the sails as high as you can. Make sure that you trim the boat to have some weather helm when sailing upwind. Do not sheet the sails in too tight.

 

Try to steer the boat through the tack. Not too much helm at first but increasing as you go rather than just slamming the helm over. If you blow the tack, you need to grab the main sprit and back the main which will pull the bow around to the new tack. This makes for a slow tack but is quicker than any other way to get you back on to the next tack. If you over tack, ease out the main so that it is drawing properly and and start bringing the boat back to close hauled sheeting in the main as you come up to course. I will sometimes ease out the main when I tack and bring it in as the boat accelerates ad comes up to course.

 

When I go off the wind I increase the draft of the sails to increase power. Sailing down wind I am going wing and wing with the mainsail on the windward side and flatten out the sails. The reason for flattening the sails is to present as much projected sail area as you can as the sails are stalled and draft does not provide lift.

 

I could go on but this is a start.

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Tfrei,

What races are you in? Do you have a rating? What boats do you compete against?

 

Re tacking on light air, all I can add is to keep your weight to leeward prior to the tack, then move across to the "new" leeward side as soon as you start the tack. Rock the boat over as you tack.

 

Agree with Designer about starting the tack smoothly, but then push the tiller over all the way. Make sure to lift the tiller to clear the combing if necessary so the swing isn't blocked.

 

I'm still not sure how much to heel the boat in light air to make it point. I've heeled enough to start bringing the centerboard out of the water. It feels right, but I'm not convinced it helps. I would like to hear comments from others.

 

On August 11 I hope to race a bunch of keel boats. 

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In light air, heeling the boat is advantageous for several reasons.  One is that heeling reduces wetted area, two is that heeling adds weather helm which is an aid in pointing high, three is that adding weather helm helps in tacking, finally heeling gives the sails a better shape because of gravity.  Position of the crew is adjusted to maximize the other variable mentioned.

 

Heeling reduces the height of and horizontally projected area of the sails to the wind and those are negatives.

 

All of this changes with the particular boat and the wind speed.

 

Nothing is as important as going in the right direction and that can change if you need to go off the closest course to  chase spotty wind around the lake.  You absolutely need to learn to read the water as an aid in finding where the wind is.

 

Tieing off the tiller on centerline and sailing around through tacks and jibes by moving your weight around will teach you as much as anything about these conditions but you can do that with moderate wind also.  At some point you may wish to learn how to roll tack which can actually propel the boat forward in a dead calm even if its not legal in racing.

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I agree with Graham and Tom.  I think the 2 key points are weight way forward and to leeward.  This not only reduces wetted surface but keeps max waterline length as the rudder is still in the water even if the hull aft is high and dry. 

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There is a line between rolling while tacking and tacking in order to do a roll for the purpose of propelling your boat.  The judges will decide if you are guilty.  Of course, you will already know if you are guilty.  Very few know how  to execute a roll tack well anyway, especially in a two or more crewed boat.  Getting everyone well synchronized is not easy without lots of practice. 

 

Locally, we often have 18 or more college teams from all over the east racing in scheduled events.  Some of these kids can roll tack well in a wide range of wind speed.  Many do not get good coordination or execution and do not get good results from their efforts.  Those who do are generally the winning teams.  http://www.sailpack.org/2018orientalsailpack

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Thank you everybody for your advice.  I'll try to put some of it into practice this weekend.

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I'll add that the VMG function of a GPS is a really good way to figure out upwind if you should fall off to keep boat speed up or point higher to go more at you target. Set a windward mark and put your GPS in VMG mode, steer as consistant of a course as you can, and it will quickly reveal your best strategy.

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All great advice!

 

I really enjoy lightair sailing.  Probably the biggest reason is because I love laying flat on the leeward seat tank, and looking up at my sails.  Yes, I’m a lazy sailor!  I can shift my body fore and aft to get a good reading on my GPS, too.  Jay Knight’s crew were laughing at me doing this at the last Messabout, but I was in hog heaven.  All of this takes a very long tiller extension. But if you’re as lazy as I am, you’ll already have that covered, too.

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