dinghy sailing

Book review

Since it is the off season, it's a good time for some sailing reading.  Here's two books I like.

The first is "Getting Started in Sailboat Racing" by Adam Cort and Richard Stearns.  This is the book I use as a reference for teaching introduction to racing. The book is written as a guide for the competent sailor to make their first steps into racing.  As a result the style is very simple and straight forward.  They do not use any jargon or exotic language, and they explain every aspect of racing very thoroughly.   The diagrams are simple and complete and add to the text extremely well.  At the end of each chapter there is a question and answer section that discuses the topics covered and ensures the reader understands the topic.  The authors have also inserted some humor in the form of banter between them selves that plays out over the course of the book.  All in all I think that this is the best book to read to prepare for your first race. 

The second book is "The Blue Book of Sailing"  by Adam Cort.  In this book the author sets out to discuss the "22 keys to sailing Mastery".  He discusses topics relevant to both keel boats and dinghies, ranging from using sail trim to aid steering and docking under sail and power.  He does this in the same simple and straight forward manner that makes the book a pleasure to read.  He tackles some heavy theory and does it with simplicity and flair.  Adam Courts humor and wit also shine through in this book.  I heartily recommend that any dingy or keel boat sailor read this book as well.

Both books are available from the Vancouver Public Library, or at least they will be as soon as I return them.

Sailing videos

The dingy racing season in Vancouver is now officially closed.  I was the PRO for one day and mark setter for the second day of the closing event of the year, the blue nose regatta.  The event is hosted by the club I work for, the Kitsilano Yacht Club.  Here's the video I took of the event.

I also found a good video about the sinking of the Concordia in February of this year.  The Concordia was a floating high school program that was run on a tall ship.  Man I wish I had been interested enough in sailing when I was in High School to do something like that. 

The start of the Rue du Rum race in France has been the major new item in the sailing world.  Here's a clip from the Anarchy on the water coverage of the event:

Efficient Tasar handling info

The following is a handout I did for my sailing club for a clinic I did this summer.

Efficient Tasar handling 

Boat handling procedure for Tacking:

Count down to the tack.  Say 3,2,1 tacking.
Push:  at “tacking”, Lightly push the tiller away from you
Step:  Step completely across the cockpit to the opposite side of the boat with your stern foot.
Duck:  Duck the boom
Switch sides.  Beginners do your tiller hand exchange behind your back as you cross the boat.   Intermediate sailors do the hand exchange after the tack is completed.  Drop the old traveler sheet and pick up the new one as you cross the boat. and sit on the new windward deck.
Straighten:  Straighten the tiller
Hand exchange:  Intermediate sailors reach down and cleat the traveller, then move the tiller from behind your back to the microphone grip or the panhandle grip.

When the helm says 3, move to the center of the cockpit and hold one jib sheet in each hand.
As the bow crosses the wind, (as soon as the jib luffs) release the loaded jib sheet and immediately use that hand to rotate the mast while you pull the jib in on the new leeward side with the other hand.
Move to windward to balance the boat.

Sail trim in four modes. 
All Adjustments are very small.  Trim as little as possible.

Sail shape controls: Start with the out haul set so that there is one hand width of space between the boom and and foot of the main sail. When the boat is difficult to keep flat with both sailors hiking, de-power by tightening the outhaul and reducing the draft of the sail.  In very high wind also pull on some cunning ham.  All settings will depend on the total crew weight.

Drifting. (0-2 knots)  Traveller up to windward, main sheet out until the boom is back in the center.  (Induce maximum twist in the sail.)  Crew fully to leeward, helm close to center to induce leeward heel.  Sheet out the  jib so the leading edge of the foot follows the curve of the hull. Move like a ninja.  Excessive movement will bounce the wind out of the sails.

Light wind. (3-8 knots)  Sail has some power  Crew moves along thwart, and out to hike in gusts as necessary.  Trim jib sheet so that the foot of the jib is full and not pulled flat. Set the traveller a bit above center.  Trim the traveller so that the leach streamers are both streaming.  Trim the main sheet so the top windward tell tail is streaming 60 % of the time.  In this mode, some authors say to trim the main sheet so the position of the boom matches the angle of the top batten.

Fully powered up. (8-15 knots)  Still trim the main by the tell tails and leach streamers.  Setting unlikely to change.  Crew hike as hard as they can comfortably maintain.  Helm controls the heel of the boat by simultaneously lowering the traveler slightly and head up slightly in gusts to help keep the boat flat and moving fast. Crew does not move in response to changes in the attitude of the boat.

De-power mode.  Wind 15-25 knots.  Taut main sheet.  Leave the traveller below centre at all times.  Keep the main sheet in hand and ease it in gusts.  Helm and crew hike as hard as they can and hope it’s enough.   Move like a sumo wrestler.  Get to the new high side rapidly and force it down asap.