Downind sailing in light to medium airs

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Oli
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Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Oli » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:31 pm

Hi, I'm trying to get out a bit more in the musto and had a great day on the water at the weeking in 6-12kts. Tried to focus on gybing practice, and I found that trying to dump some main before the gybe was just a distraction, and it worked better for me to leave the boom on the rear quarter and concentrate on gybing the kite and getting from wire to wire (albeit, with the obligatory sit down on both sides!).

Is this a bad habit to get into, as I haven't sailed in any heavy breeze since my first sail, and am concerned this tactic will come back and bite me on the arse!?

What Is the consensus on getting down wind in varying wind strengths?

Cheers, Oli

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Rick
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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:16 pm

In those winds you can leave it cleated.

When it gets windier I'd ease it a bit before the gybe and then trim it back on once on the wire.

Heavier (fatter :lol: ) sailors leave it cleated all the time; I think you can get away with this if you are heavy but needs great technique for lighter sailors.

DO you have a K16 DVD?
Rick Perkins. GBR

Oli
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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Oli » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:39 pm

Nope, is it worth getting the DVD?

I've got a clip somewhere for the main sheet, but not really fancying trying to juggle that as well at the moment, and I seem to get into more trouble trying to get in and reach the main sheet after a gybe, than I do just getting across, getting the kite set and getting hooked on.

May have to keep an eye out for the next 20kt southerly to see how I get on in some breeze, but will probably just do what feels ok for now!

Cheers

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Rick
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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:49 pm

Oli wrote:Nope, is it worth getting the DVD?


Are you kidding? Ex-Olympic sailor and multiple world champion, MPS guru shares all his techniques, thoughts & advice on a DVD ... how many classes have such a valuable training resource?

In short get one ...
Rick Perkins. GBR

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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Besty » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi Oli,

here's some things to consider.

Think you're definitely right to leave main cleated and forget the clip on main while you improve your gybing technique. Here’s why….
I sail at Datchet and was pretty much sailing on my own for my first season and experimented with all sorts of techniques, trying the main sheet clip, then ditching that in favour of trying Sten's DVD technique and then to where I am now... using neither. We now have around 10 boats at the club and the guys coming into the class from 800s just kept it simple, pulling up the kite, setting the main and concentrating on the kite sheets. These guys progressed really quickly to the point where they could gybe this way in all but heavy winds, well let's say above 15kts on flat water. The point being though is that they could execute this gybe really well (after only a few months in the boat), concentrating on the timing of the turn and the pulling of the new sheet so that they can pretty much run from wing to wing heating up the new gybe immediately. You can imagine how I felt when two / now three seasons in and these guys were getting the edge on me in gybing duels because I was juggling the main and the kite sheets, basically phaffing around so I would come out on the other side with the kite and main both in my hands. I’ve since had to mend my ways so I can compete with them in sub 15kts.

Reading on gives you my take on the various methods, what I’ve tried and what I do now.

Mainsheet clip: I tried this when I first got the boat as I new a few guys who use it and they were adamant it was the way to go. Maybe it was just me but I kept getting tied up in it through the tack, and the grief that gives me outweighs the benefits it gives me downwind. Saying that I have tried the main sheet clip again recently on a 25kt day at Datchet and I have to say it was a joy to be able to ease the main before the gybe but it still felt so awkward in every other aspect.

Sten’s method: this needs lots of practice and he swears by it but even in his DVD (this is a good buy bye the way) you will notice his main is on the floor of his boat in some gybes. By this I mean there will be times when you miss it on the way out the gybe.

Main set and left in boat: easy, leaves hands and mind free to focus on turn and kite sheets. Only really a problem in breeze when you need to ease prior to gybing, or arguably when the wind changes strength and you need to trim the sail.
Throwing the main over: a lot of the guys have the main with them in their hand and throw it over the kite sheet before they gybe so it falls to lie around the kite sheet block for ease of picking up once on the new side. This works well if you can cope with the delay in throwing it over and sitting down while you pick it up. Graeme Oliver put a great video together and it shows this technique well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usXCetL3Vt0

Clipping on the main for down wind only: I know some do this and to me it seems the best option but I’ve yet to work out how without having clips dangling around. I remember Leigh Albrecht used to tuck the very short tail of his mainsheet through the webbing in his harness, but this means no take up on your mainsheet (if that’s really a problem?)

What Is the consensus on getting down wind in varying wind strengths?
I currently use a combination of various methods….
Light winds (soaking): main eased over the wing and cleated. I pull on the kicker for the gybe to give it a firmer profile and help the battens pop with a good wing to wing pump before easing kicker off again.
Medium wind: take it with me on the wire, set it, cleat it, drop it and forget about it.
Heavy airs: try and take it with me and keep hold of it. If I miss it on the gybe and it’s still in the boat, I just enter the next gybe as usual and uncleat the main as I run through. This is safe as houses and doesn’t take much time to sort out.

Quite an exhaustive brain dump I know but one last thing to consider. If you are sitting on the wing before the gybe in sub 12kts then try (if you haven’t already) standing up as you come in with one foot on the hull and the front foot on the wing so you can keep you weight out longer and ‘feel’ for the right time to run across the boat. It might help too if you have the main cleated so the boom in not quite as far in as the quarter. This won’t slow your straight line speed much but will help massively with controlling the boat coming out the gybe while you learn to keep your speed on. Biggest tip… boat = flat!!!
Happy Sailing!

Jamie Hilton
GBR376
Jamie Hilton - GBR444
Datchet Water SC

Oli
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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby Oli » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:30 am

Cheers guys, was just worried about picking up bad habits. Think I'll stick with it if it works for the time being. And will definitely get myself a copy of the DVD!

Cheers, Oli

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sten
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Re: Downind sailing in light to medium airs

Postby sten » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:22 pm

Gybing, in 6-12knts if you need to sit down you have crossed the boat at the wrong time.
sitting down is for windy safety gybes
practice gybing wire to wirre without the kite.
if the boat heels to windward going into the gybe you have crossed too late go earlier next time.
it should be flat all the way through and with constant rate of turn steering so you can balance well enough to keep standing and hook on.
once you have got this sorted you only need the kite to fly on the new gybe. this just needs you too tack the sheet across with you as you gybe and pump it at the right moment. too soon and it catches the forestay too late and it turns inside out. its even possible to fly on the old sheet but take too long to sort out after.
the main sheet is position is adjusted well before the gybe and cleated, idealy keep the sheet in your hands there are times you may want to adjust it, like avoiding other boats.
speed wide 6-12knts is from soaking to sending best learnt with other boats around to compare your vmg with.
to lower the wind stregth needed to trapese over sheet the main but if its not windy enough you will need to ease it for soaking.

preview clip of DVD shows gybing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXUoYAIr ... ature=plcp


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