I suck

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Wavedancer, Dec 18, 2017.

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  1. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    in waves.
    More than 90% of the time I sail in relatively flat water and can keep up with the mid-fleet gang. But when I travel to a 'bigger' event and there happen to be waves (1 ft and up) I struggle and end up near the bottom.
    You will say 'spend more time practicing', but my local waters don't 'do' waves. How can I get experience getting a bit faster in bigger waves without traveling far from my home waters?
     
  2. darekski

    darekski New Member

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    Happy to be corrected on this, but the short answer I'm afraid is you can't "get experience" sailing waves without the actual experience.
    What you can do to improve is read up on it, watch a few videos (boat whisperer DVD set is very good for that) - and then arrive a couple of days earlier at a venue with waves so you can put it to practice. Also - perhaps book yourself on some holidays where you'll get even more opportunities (Sailfit in FA, International sailing academy in Mexico, Wildwind in Greece (very good - the only one I've been to and guaranteed 25knots every afternoon) ... etc.
    You did say 'without travelling far from home waters' - perhaps if you post where you're based - others in your area may have more specific suggestions.
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Thanks! I was afraid that there was no easy solution if I wanted to stay relatively close to home (Mid Atlantic area).

    I do have the Boat Whisperer DVD and should watch it again to see if it has a section on sailing in waves.


    In addition to the places that were mentioned above, Cabarete in the Dominican Republic is an excellent venue to practice Laser sailing in waves. Would love to go there again...
    And (surprise!), I just discovered the Feb 5 blog of Doug Peckover; he quizzed Ernesto Rodriguez on his success at the wavy (Atlantic Ocean) and windy Florida Masters event (No, I wasn't there).
    Thanks Doug!

    Improper Course
     
  4. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Where's Doug's blog? I was at the event last weekend. Ernesto had a 5th gear in those conditions that no one else had!
     
  5. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Improper Course

    (Ok, Wavedancer already posted the link, but I didn't notice it either at first :D )
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  6. Lasersailor166131

    Lasersailor166131 New Member

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    You could also come down and do some sailing in Ft Lauderdale we have windy open ocean conditions pretty consistently from November to February.
     
  7. Ghost Rider

    Ghost Rider Planing into eternity...

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    These other hands are correct, there is no substitute for actual experience in heavy surface chop, or even in beach or reef break waves... a skill which becomes useful in nautical emergencies. I was sailing offshore with a friend one day when the lower end of my Laser mast step tube cracked... couldn't sail to windward, but I was able to limp downwind and effect a landing through the surf on Silver Strand State Beach, perfectly legal according to a lifeguard who rolled up after our landing. Don't forget to raise the boards as ya pull this maneuver, otherwise you'll have more repairs to make, LOL. I also used to land by the Shores (Taco Towers) if the wind died or darkness rolled in too soon, that way I just had to walk across CA75 and retrieve the car. Landing on military installations is a no-go, with all the security measures in place nowadays... don't do this unless you have no other choice. I might add that the Laser surfs quite well, friends & I would surf the Point (Pt. Loma) when conditions were right, an exhilarating thrill ride which is best attempted by those with mondo experience. As for slogging through heavy surface chop, well, you're gonna get wet while learning how to do this, LOL... sometimes, slight adjustments in ballast trim will help (i.e. leaning inboard or outboard at the appropriate times), and slight repetitive course alterations which won't hurt your boat speed too much. The slighter the course alterations, the better, as tiller movements create rudder drag in most situations, something I'm sure you already know. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention another trick where waves and chop came in handy: crossing Zuniga Jetty at mid-tide to save time rounding Zuniga Point. In this particular situation, I would raise the boards as necessary and glide over the rocks with inches or feet to spare, timing the crossing with the surge of a wave rolling in from the ocean. A tricky maneuver, to be sure, but perfectly safe if done correctly... it's a trip looking down at those submerged rocks too, dark & forbidding as they are, and knowing they'll rip your hull open if given the opportunity, LOL. However, one could save 30-40 minutes by crossing the jetty, otherwise ya had to sail further down the channel, round Zuniga Point, and reach back toward shore to pull beach patrol. There were days when the crossing looked too gnarly or dangerous to effect, and on those days I wisely chose to add time to my voyage... meh, call me a nautical coward on such occasions, discretion is the better part of valor, and it's also WAY less expensive, don'tcha know??? :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  8. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Got it. Thanks!
     

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