Competitive Weight

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

  1. PlaneSailing

    PlaneSailing Member

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    Very interesting thread in general but I'm particularly interested in the "ability and technique" reference. As I weigh around 100kg+ (or ++ sometimes :rolleyes:), I would be really interested in the techniques people are using to succeed in spite being well over the ideal.

    Weight placement, control settings, trim, footing versus pointing - all these are well documented for the "average" sailor - but would appreciate hearing from anyone who can point out some techniques that work well for heavyweights ...

    Thanks,

    Rich
     
  2. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    You just don't have to depower as much/as soon as lighter sailors.

    You'll be able to put the bow down in breeze.

    Other than that, I don't think much changes.

    Weighing 220-230 lbs, though, you are really pushing it.
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Search thru the old threads, I know I've put a lot up here on the subject, as said above you will be be looking to keep the sail powered up at least much longer then the avg weight sailor, pushing the bow down, looking for the stiffest top section you can find, avoid sailing to windward of the lt weight pinchers off the start line etc. etc.. One thing you can't do is take the approach that just because you are 20-50 lbs heavier that you don't have to hike as hard as everyone else. The weight advantage is negated if you aren't hiking hard

    Downwind you have to work much harder just to keep up, and take advantage of every puff and header.
     
  4. Rubicon

    Rubicon New Member

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    At 110kgs I find this a very interesting thread and the comments about working hard down wind are so very true. In any wind where we are going on and off the plane I'm very slow downwind, once it is light enough that no-one is planing I'm OK and again if everyone is planing I'm not too badly disadvantaged downwind. In real light winds I've a very good success rate and on very windy days better, but the in betweens are hard work.

    I so much more ground is lost with incorrect decisions on the course than is lost by weight, But it does afford me fewer mistakes than the light weights.
     
  5. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    I think the big things are to identify where your weight is and how much heel you have and get it in the right spot. At 97 kilos at my max, if i was very disciplined with where my where core was, I could be pretty competitive.

    Example given, 8 knots, shoulders at front edge of cockpit, legs pressed up at end of CB and cockpit do not move, ever.

    When you roll tack, loosen the vang (this my friends is big) as you roll into the tack and absolutly crush the flatten with a huge back whipping crunch. Against the 85kg sailor, my flatten was WAY faster. (if you want of argue this is against the rules be my guest, it is, but it cant be and isnt enforced. If your tack repeatedly for no reason, well this is illegal and it is enforced.)

    As you can see, the problem was at that weight, i was completely out of breath and sweating profusely. This is why i had to lose the wieght. I am 93 kilos, trying to get down to around 88.

    Out of the tack you need to go straight into forward no movement at all mode and carry the momentum as long as you can.
     
  6. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    That is assuming you make bad decisions.
     
  7. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    At the recent Australian Masters Championship the first and second Apprentices were 90kg and 96kg while the first Master was 81kg - quite a range. I think it goes to show that at the Masters level weight isn't a huge deal. if you sail well and are fit enough to hike you can get results at any weight within reason.

    Wind varied over the regatta, but was between 10 and 20 knots, so almost always a hiking breeze.

    Having said that, if I was going to the worlds in SF I'd be aiming to be a hiking fit 85-86kg.
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Big waves and big breeze?? Nobody can hike after the first ten seconds so the bigger guys romp.


    Medium breeze?? masters know shifts and the smaller guys need less horespower to propel their boats and clobnber the big guys.

    Light wind...as you wrote above...in the super light stuff, pure sailing ability is all that matters and since every ounce of an old fart sailor is pure sailor...the biggest guy wins.

    Teeter totter contest after the races??

    Bring it on runts!!!
     
  9. fat-n-old

    fat-n-old Member

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    LMAO I've been tell my son this for years.........he's a "hi-performin" 4.7 pilot with all the kit. Club sailing, I only ever beat him when its a sunday afternoon drifter. He puts it down to luck.....every time....just luck......he he he.....
     
  10. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    If any cares i am down to 92 kilos!.....my goal is 86 kilos. I am 37 years old, 176 cm, 5'9.5". I also want to be able to hike in breeze, so i am lifting and biking...

    I started at 98.5.

    My goal is to have a chance at those pesky "pinners" at club summer events in D11 or D10 in the USA
     
  11. BrettB

    BrettB Australia

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    I would agree that as long as you are in ball park weight region, you should be focusing more on the technical and tactical aspects for your next area of improvement.

    For primarily Master competition (Standard Rig) I would say between 80 - 88kg is very acceptable and don't worry about the 'expected' conditions of the venue - just be good enough technically do sail competitively in all wind and wave conditions.

    I have seen many young and extremely fit sailors still perform poorly in wind and waves because of poor technique so don't expect gaining or losing a few pounds (kg's) to make much difference to your speed.

    Will see you all in SF - at 87kg if you want to know!
     
  12. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    And don't you want to stay in the Apprentice Division for just one more year????
     
  13. Sean

    Sean Member

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    Wouldn't that make it interesting racing in certain situations.

    A rule that allows you to sail in any age division that you have previously raced in.

    Apprentice 35 and up
    Master 45 and up
    etc.

    No cap on the upper age just the lower.
     
  14. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    Weight classes in Laser sailing would be interesting.
     
  15. PlaneSailing

    PlaneSailing Member

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    Not quite the original topic, but related. This is a compilation of most of the various tips on sailing for heavyweights. Not definitive by any means and open to correction.
    · Keep the speed on! Don't pinch! Focus on driving the boat. Foot off for power, more than the lighter guys, only come up after building some speed.
    · Footing will pay off in both light and heavy winds.
    · Remember to HIKE - otherwise the footing mode won't be of any benefit, you'll heel over and end up pinching.
    · Don't over tighten the main. About 8-12" in light air. As the wind builds many will be going block to block, but heavyweights will still need a gap between the blocks.
    · Depowering – We should be able to tolerate more wind before depowering. We can leave our Cunningham and kicker just snug while others are cranking it on. At 18-20kts this is when heavyweights (around 100kg or 220lbs) need to crank on the kicker and cunningham
    · How to depower (whatever your weight) - Cunningham versus vang– very good post by 49208 http://www.laserforum.org/showthread...=depower+order In summary, depower with vang rather than cunningham when the water is flat (versus choppy), or gusty (versus steady). In a tactical situation, use Cunningham first if you want to hold a lane.
    · Don’t overdo the sail depth and stall out the sail
    · Keep boat FLAT or at least at a steady angle. Aim for a constant angle with horizon and maintain it
    · Keep kicker snug (but no more). Will help acceleration in lighter winds. Looser kicker is good for roll tacks.
    · Try and get a stiff top section. Consider rotating the top section 180 degrees (but not in light wind). I tried this in very heavy winds and was VERY unstable downwind, so caveat! But maybe it was the sailor and not the rotation that caused this!
    · Lanes, starts - keep to leeward of lighter pinchers. Maybe temporary heel to WW if opponent attacking on WW hip
    · Boat trim is critical – be extra careful to keep the transom from digging in when sailing in light air and downwind. Stay forward upwind, but shift backwards a little to stop the bow burying in big waves. Stay forward downwind unless you are planing.
    · Body weight – seems to be a lot of info on this forum about ideal weight. All I can say is eat well, stay fit and shed a few kilo’s if you can.
    · Tactics – the above points may help a LITTLE. But you have to be extra good at spotting shifts and gusts. Maybe spend a little time longer sorting out tides and wind than the lighter guys!
    Put together more for my own benefit, but hope it's useful .....

    Go fast! (sorry, no pun intended!)
     
  16. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Australia used to have it, Cruisers over 90kg and Featherweights under 65kg. The weight divisions began to die out with the introduction of the radials.
     
  17. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    I decided to try a very crude mathmatical analysis....to confirm what we all think about weight range...

    Does anyone know exactly what the boom, upper and lower sections weigh? I also need the rudder and the CB.

    I am sure it is buried in the Class Book, just too lazy to search thru the thing.

    Come to think of it does anyone have the all up racing weight of a current laser. The Hull is 130lb, what does the thing weigh all up?
     
  18. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    The boat weight will be fixed. Just assign a weight like 175 lbs to it. The human weight will be your variable.
     
  19. nikvdw

    nikvdw New Member

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    Actually it does matter, because the all up weight of a Laser is very very low. So a 20 lb difference will be alot. On a keelboat, it is fixed, but on a laser it effects everything. The all up weight will change the ratios of sail area to displacement. As will something like hearing hiking pants (9 lbs) dry or not.
     
  20. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    The lighter in shape guy can ease the sheet with lots of vang in a puff and shoot forward, then has the strength to sheet back in; the out of shape heavy guy just sits there and slips sideways never easing in the big puffs when overpowered, he doesn't use his weight to steer the boat either because he is less agile than the lighter in shape guy, the out of shape guy gets tired out after the first few races, the lighter guy works harder and wins races

    Fitness is essential in laser racing
     

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