Great day on the water. Excellent temps and decent wind – I always want more of the latter. The best part of the day was doing about 30 roll gybes on the way in – Jamie and I had fun with that.
Starting: With 20-some boats racing, getting off the line clean becomes a little trickier. I kept seeing wind to the right – but it never seemed to pay off. Eric started at the pin and it worked very well for him. Important to be at the line at speed especially if you are in a crowded spot. I felt I started accelerating earlier and earlier as I was originally in the habit of 20-knots from 2 weeks ago.
Upwind: Keep the boat moving. Don’t pinch. Not something I did particularly well. The Laser needs flow over the foils to give you height. So putting the bow down and getting up to speed will actually allow you to sail higher in the long-run. Also keep the boat flat in Sunday’s conditions. I am in the camp of having a flat boat even a touch to windward – it’s harder to sail with less pressure on the rudder but will pay off. I saw a lot of people sailing with leeward heel and while I think the speed was decent, the height was not. I felt like I had average speed but a lot of point (in comparison) – caught several boats on the last leg just by keeping the boat perfectly flat and out-pointing people that rounded in front of me and was able to lock them out on the right corner.
Downwind: The fastest course to the mark is not always the shortest. Make sure you are either a slight reach or by the lee – running is pretty slow. Also, look behind you all the time. Two reasons: the wind fills in from that direction so you can track where puffs are and you want to make sure you are in clear air. I did well downwind by going either inside or outside – either seemed to work so long as I had clear air.
See everyone next week!