Downwind technique 20kt

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by pugwash, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. pugwash

    pugwash Member

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    So after slogging uphill towards the topmark in 20kts, I let off vang, cunningham, outhaul and pull up daggerboard halfway - let out main as fast as I can while I bear away keeping the boat as flat as possible. Up she pops onto the plane, heading downwind - then splash - big deathroll that I cannot control by sheeting in and bearing away.

    Should I keep on more vang? Should I broad reach down the course like a skiff?

    Ideas?
     
  2. sk8ingsailor

    sk8ingsailor Member

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    20 isnt that bad, but here a few steps

    1. Let off the vang about half way BEFORE you get to the weather mark
    2. In REALLY heavy air, i leave the cunningham and outhaul on. I might even not take the board up
    3. Squat in your cockpit. Try not to sit on the rail much
    4. keep a tight coarse.
     
  3. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    dh and oh on, and keep some vang on, head up so your not going directly ddw, you want to be riding the waves, if you go ddw your asking for a death roll
     
  4. Sailorchick

    Sailorchick Member

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    Don't let your main out past 90degrees or it will want to death roll. Ross's advice about not going ddw is good too for heavy airs
     
  5. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    Set the vang so the top batten's about parallel to the boom, not twisted off past it.

    If the boat starts to roll to windward, yank in some mainsheet and steer more to leeward.
     
  6. whirlwind2

    whirlwind2 New Member

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    Going by the lee is also much more stable than ddw. Make your transitions fast so you spend as little time as possible going ddw. Also, hook your back leg around the hiking strap to lock in and have your front foot against the front of the cockpit so you can slide back quickly when you get on a wave. If the boat feels unstable, work even harder to get on a wave so your apparent wind decreases and you can regain control.
     
  7. LASERNUT

    LASERNUT Member

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    It is never worth lifting the C/B up in anything above 10Knot and almost ddw. It isn't the best designed in the world so you need all the forward drive possible! Even on a reach.
     
  8. yell0wd0g

    yell0wd0g New Member

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    Perhaps it bears mentioning that you don't want to turn downwind too quickly. You need to fall off to a reach first to pick up speed. The reason is that if you simply spin your boat downwind in 20 knots, with virtually no speed, your sail will feel all 20 knots of breeze-- hence tend to be difficult to control. On the other hand, if you build speed on a deep reach first-- say, 10 knots-- then when you turn downwind, the rig will only feel 10 knots, and so therefore be much easier to control. It's paradoxical until you've done it for a while, but while going downwind, you want to be going as fast as possible to keep the speed of the apparent wind (what you feel) as low as possible.

    Hope that helps,

    sean
     
  9. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Thats so not true, it's not even funny. You have to bring your board up, orthe boat will "trip" over itself. I can't explain it too well, but all my coaches have told that to me, you have to experience it for yourself to truly understand it. I still raise my board in 35 knots.
     
  10. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Not only will it trip, it will also slow you down dramatically and increase weather helm.
     
  11. raymie

    raymie New Member

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    I agree 100% with you! You have to play the centre board to regain some control on a run otherwise it can trip you up if its too far down, ie: if its up and you start rolling, try putting it down briefly as well as sheeting in to regain some control. Works for me! I do agree on reaching down the run to gain boat speed too, in other words sail the angles, its faster. Also, read the Ben ainslie book, its £20 well spent! :) R.
     
  12. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Yea, Bens book is great, I love how detailed the pictures are
     
  13. Al Black

    Al Black New Member

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    Jings! There's one I sort of got right by guesswork and playing! :) Maybe I should have put it in to practice last Wednesday on the runs to the rednwhite, broad reach pointing at The Perch, an early gybe then a broad reach to rednwhite, hardening up on to the leg back to the clubhouse.

    If the same wind this Wed coming, I'll give it a bash!

    Al.
     
  14. raymie

    raymie New Member

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    Damn it! Have i just given away my secrets? Thats it... Protest!! :p R.
     
  15. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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    You can still go DDW in heavy air...why the hell not? You just better make sure you are surfing a wave to unload that rig as much as possible. Still let off your cunningham for sure. Maybe not to the point of wrinkles in the sleeve of your sail at the mast joint, as in light air, but for sure let it off. Also, having your centreboard raised is necessary. Along with the stuff everyone else has said, it will also make turning much easier.
     
  16. Steve_Landeau

    Steve_Landeau New Member

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    One of the things that works well for me in conditions that prevent "aggressive" downwind sailing is to cleat the main at around 80-85 degrees, board up about 8-10", and sail the boat by the lee by pressure felt. I'll usually have my back hand near the tiller extention swivel and my forward hand in front of my chest. Yes, keeping cuningham and outhaul on is good when overpowered. Vang on about halfway.
    It is not quite as fast as pumping and big S-turns, but when the boat is more powerful than you can control, this technique works very well. You can control the pressure by sailing down in the puff and up in the lulls or when you are going fast on a wave. Gybe when you are unloaded, and gybe often since your course is deeper than normal. Sounds funny, but try it, I know it will work.
     
  17. Mattcm

    Mattcm Member

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  18. Kratos

    Kratos Member

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  19. Josef

    Josef New Member

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    It's quite simple really, the boat moves a bit sideways when you turn wile planing and if you have the board down it will trip over it if the boat turns just a little =P
     
  20. Murphs

    Murphs New Member

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    I could not disagree more with every point you have made.

    -Cleating the main iany wind strength defies logic to me, it's not hard to hold the sheet downwind and it is much safer than having to dive forward to uncleat the mainsheet.
    -Cunningham on downwind - having the cunningham on downwind pushes the draft of the sail towards the mast, increasing the tendency for the boat to want to lean to windward i.e. deathroll
    -Gybe often? - Why? by the lee sailing means there is no need... just complicates the exercise and increases the risk of capsize
    - I agree with the tiller steering position, except the forward hand really needs a mainsheet in it.

    When I first read your post I thought you were only joking, but obviously not
     

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