Competitive Weight

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by nikvdw, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    Can you guys chip in with what you consider with a competitive weight for a master sailor, 5"10?

    By competitive i mean able to win District Level events at least.
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    It will depend somewhat on how competitive your district is, for example the good guys in D7 are in the 165-190lb range for regattas in mixed breezes.
     
  3. coop

    coop New Member

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    I think it depends a lot on your overall ability and athleticism. Any weight can be competitive.

    I max out at 125 lbs but I'd still say I'm competitive in my district (not masters). Anything over 10 knots I start to feel the disadvantages though.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Member

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    It would depend on how good your district is. If the winners in your masters divisions are also capable of winning open cubes, you would have no leeway in regard to weight and would not be able to be over or under weight by any significant degree.

    Full rig weights would be between these ranges:

    78kg if you are very strong and are able to hike all the way out for extended periods but that is the absolute minimum to be quick in all conditions and you would not want a heavy regatta as similarly skilled sailors who weigh in the low to mid 80kg's will beat you upwind. The advantage downwind is not enough to equalise the difference.

    80-84kg being ideal for all conditions.

    85kg is the upper range to remain competitive with the top group in light conditions
    . You could maybe get away with as much as 90kg but not if you are racing sailors who are ranked in lets say the top 100 on ISAF.

    Basically you can be quick between these weight ranges in most conditions but skill and fitness will the main determinants of success.

    It is my opinion that for most people who are around midfleet at district level weight is not as big a determinant of their finishing position as they may think it is.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Now some information that maybe useful or may not...


    I have tested out how different weight can affect you by taking out training and for 2 races at my club, 10kg of lead taped and tied in to the rear cockpit of an older boat I occasionally sail. Not a huge number of tests but enough for me to see the results in some conditions.

    At the time I weighed 87kg (too heavy..) so plus 10kg my total on board weight was 97kg.

    The 2 races I did my average finishing position did not change from previous weeks but one very good GM at our club was able to easily match my downwind speed and I had to look for every bit of pressure and all the sets of waves I could find to maintain the gap. That was in conditions where you weren't planing but could surf some waves.
    Upwind the difference was minimal and it was actually possible to forget you had the extra weight in your boat.

    The very first time I put this extra weight in, I was out sailing with a mate and once out into the main harbour I saw a good fleet of lasers sailing so went to join them. Very tempted to toss the weight over the side once I saw who was out training as I was in my old boat, with lead in back of cockpit and my oldest sail. Talk about giving yourself every disadvantage but a good fleet of lasers sailing is hard to resist.

    I thought this would be a great test of weight differences so joined in.

    Guys training were Tom Slingsby, Tom Burton, Mike Leigh, Christoph Bottoni, James Burman, Ash Brunning and a few others. So pretty reasonable test of what extra weight will do to your boat speed against some of the fastest laser sailors in the world.

    Did about 4 windward leewards from rabbit starts in 10-15 knots and choppy conditions.

    Upwind my speed was virtually no different than usual (self assessed when in a 2 boat situation or off the start) and I was able to round never worse than the middle of the group with the exception of one upwind where I went out to the right with Christoph and couldn't get back over. 2 races I was in top 3 to top mark.

    Downwind I was clearly off the pace and slower than I normally sail but was still within an average of 15 seconds from the back of the group by the bottom mark.

    Upwind in a hiking breeze the extra weight seems to matter very little and if you had the extra weight up on the side of the boat rather than to the center you may actually be advantaged with all the extra righting moment.

    Downwind you are at a small disadvantage in 10-15 knots.

    Keep in mind that if you are midfleet at a club or district event being heavy may preclude you from winning if you were racing world class sailors but against average competitors you could, if skilled enough, be at the front of the fleet even weighing in the 90kg+ range.

    It would be my opinion that at whatever height you are, if you are 80-84kg you can cross that off as an excuse for not winning when racing against the fastest laser sailors you can find.

    The further down the fleet you go the less weight sensitive sailing a laser becomes. Saying that I would put an upper weight of around low 90kg's for average weekend sailors wanting to do well.
     
  5. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    Fantastic Post, thank you. I have won local or regional events at 86/87 kg in D10/D11 in the US. I am 93 right now due to the amount of office work i am doing and am working pretty hard to get to 85/86 range for mid summer here which is june thru Sept....

    I did do one event in the 96 range and it was just awful. Lower and the same speed in sub 10 upwind, past like a rock dw by super-light sailors.

    M goal is to win a Districts and be competitive in Regionals, say top 10-20.
     
  6. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    it also has alot to do with your fitness, if you are physically fit then you will be able to work harder for longer, at 5'10"a healthy weight range is around 160-180lbs, Paul Goodison the top laser sailor in the world is around 175lbs and 5'11", for masters I would guess most of the top guys are around 170-190lbs.
     
  7. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    I hope you're just referring specifically to Laser sailors with that statement.
     
  8. andriyk

    andriyk New Member

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    so what would be the weight to race in San Francisco in august?
     
  9. Sailorchick

    Sailorchick Member

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    The message above sets it all out clearly. You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue (unless its Beijing and bugger all wind :D)

    Being the right weight for the boat is more important as you'll be competitive in all conditions rather than only when its light or strong.
     
  10. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    182lbs exactly.
    E
     
  11. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    I think in any case, strength is more important than weight.

    If it's really windy and wavy, where is being 190 lbs and weak as hell going to get you?
     
  12. andriyk

    andriyk New Member

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    don't you guys take your racing seriously?
    "You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue" ??? So you wouldn't bother to put on some good weight (not lard) even if you know it'd be 15-20 most of the time with some nasty chop?
    "I think in any case, strength is more important than weight" - what help would be of your strength if you weight in at let's say 160? you won't be able to put your bow down upwind whatever you do.
    any serious answers pls?
     
  13. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Now I just think you're trolling, but I'll enterain.

    Say you have a big event coming up where you think it will be very windy. How much "good" weight do think you will put on in 1-2 months? Maybe one or two pounds, and that would be if you completely dedicated yourself you to weightlifting in order to get bigger and stronger. How much lean mass do you think you can put on in that time span?

    How is that of any use for a seriously training sailor? It's a bit much for one event. Maybe if you have some off season goals regarding strength or size, but it's not a fast enough process to do it for individual events.

    Nice of you to take the extreme regarding what I said. Use your thinker. For Laser sailing, I'd rather be 175-180 lbs and strong as a bull than 190 and weak as hell.
     
  14. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Great physical conditioning has to be a given to perform at a windy, cold water venue such as San Fran.

    With that said, talent will trump more/less weight around the course.

    However, taking 2 equally gifted sailors of equal performance conditioning the 190 lb master is going to have an edge over the 180 lb master on a typically breezy masters worlds course as the gains upwind will trump having to carry the extra 10 lbs downwind.

    How's that?
     
  15. andriyk

    andriyk New Member

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    of course to be in a decent shape is a must, but do you think 190 would be enough for San Fran? I always sailed at 180 so have no idea how much extra lbs affect upwind/downwind. I thought a safe bet for August would be 195-200: you'd be able to put the bow down more upwind, and the boat shouldn't be too sticky downwind. Or am I way off here?
     
  16. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I think you'll be ok up to 210 lbs. I did a masters MWE about 2-3 years ago in the Indian River in FL. It's shallow and it blew a solid 18 on the first day which made for a big chop. We had about 60 boats and weighing in at 215 I pulled a top 5 finish in one race. I got a couple of comments after the race about how flat my boat was. I would usually lose about 3-5 boats DW, but could always grind them back quickly after rounding the leeward mark.
     
  17. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    Morning races might be light.
    E
     
  18. dredies

    dredies Member

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    Typically no races are scheduled until the afternoon when the breeze is on.

    If you're 170 lbs or less, you probably want to consider Radial.
     
  19. petem

    petem New Member

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    I sail at marsh creek, we have masters sailors from 150 to 220 pds. we start the last weekend in march, join us for an early start and you'll lose weight and get time in the boat.
     
  20. Sailorchick

    Sailorchick Member

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    Take my racing seriously, still don't put weight on just for a venue. I do enough events that I would rather be a weight in the boat that is in the weight range and gives me a fair chance whatever the wind is. I don't believe I could gain/lose enough weight and maintain my fitness to sail in time for any one event.

    I get beaten by guys that are lighter than me when its howling and guys that are heavier than me when its a drifter - ability, technique and fitness have a lot more impact on results than your weight alone.
     

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