Laser upwind Boatspeed?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Lukas L-S, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Lukas L-S

    Lukas L-S New Member

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    I am a laser sailor who has sailed a laser for two seasons. Despite my reasonable time sailing a laser, I am still struggling to get upwind Boatspeed. The boat I have started with the basics of laser but with aide from my club, is now rigged up-to-date. I sail a radial rig and weigh approximately 58kg. Of course, I struggle in heavy winds but in light winds, I am also struggling. The best I do is rig the sail so that there is no creases on upwind.
    Should I foot or point, in heavy winds or light winds? I have read some books in lasers and nothing has really worked for me, I get on the start line and I just watch everyone zoom pass me, no matter my efforts. I have made this temporal hiking bench and have done a bit of hiking on that as well.
    Please feel free to reply with any advise! :)
    Lukas
     
  2. chemprof

    chemprof Member

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    Is your rudder vertical as possible? Even a slight angle can require you to correct steering and increases water resistance thus dropping boat speed. Of course you know you need to keep the boat as flat as possible, or again you'll be forced to correct and increase water resistance.

    As a test, you should be able to steer the boat using your weight positioning only, without any force on the extension. -- Ed
     
  3. Lukas L-S

    Lukas L-S New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, on occasion I do see my rudder pop up a bit from time to time.
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    1. If you are just a bit late at the start, you will suffer due to the 'backwash' from the boats slightly ahead of you ('dirty air').
    2. Moments after the start, take a look at the ones that are going faster/higher than you. Do they have more vang on (mast will be more curvy) etc? How do their sails look?
    3. After the race, chat with the fast guys/gals and ask what they are doing. Most likely they will give some good info.
    4. Having a sail that is really stretched, will make you point lower.

    Others may offer more advice, but these four points will give you a start for getting ahead of the fleet. :)


    PS: here is a link to a site which tabulates sail settings for a variety of conditions (you need to scroll down a bit; it's on the right-hand side)
    Improper Course
     
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  5. ang

    ang Member

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    do you roll your boat at the start? if you get ahead on the start then its easy.
     
  6. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    Lukas,

    there are a number of reasons why this can happen, aside from settings (Laser Sailing Racing Tips - Laser XD Sailing)

    have you checked your boat? Maybe you have some water or your boat has absorbed water over time?

    A heavier boat will definitely handicap you

    If your sail is getting old, the draft will slide aft and you'll be hiking harder and going slower in big breeze

    Wind shadows can vary depending on the type of wind, wind shadows are like a black hole and will quickly send you to the back of the fleet

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    Footing most of the time, pointing is slow
     
  8. oztayls

    oztayls Member

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    Light wind, pull sheet in until block touching (block to block) and then just snug the vang to take up the slack. That will give you some sail shape to work with and you can sheet in and out from there with the puffs. Don't point too high until you have boat speed, then come up slowly but go deeper as soon as you feel your speed is slowing. Use your weight to steer, minimal rudder movements. Try to stay in the speed groove all the time.

    Your sail is fine. Even though you are light, you are tall, so use that to advantage to get your weight out in the heavier winds, shoulders level to maximise righting moment and no lower than deck height. Tighten your hiking strap and hike really hard. If you're not breathing really hard in the stronger winds, you're not working your body hard enough. Get fitter, the hiking bench is good. Start with straight leg hiking for 60 secs, rest for 30secs and do 8 reps per set 2-3 times/week. If your abs or legs get sore (they should!), you need to add a day or too before the next session, so more recovery time. As you get fitter, add sets and torquing movements to both sides. Holding a dumbell on your chest is another advancement.

    The 2012 Olympic Radial champion was only 60kg, but she had amazing fitness. :)
     
  9. beaker

    beaker hi

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    Lots to read and think about here. Nothing is wrong....here is my 2 cents.

    1. There is no better way to get better than practice. So just go sailing.
    2. Always get clear air. If you start 3rd and 4th row. Look for the bailout. Even if it's the wrong way head there untill you get clear air.
    3. Being in shape helps a ton.
    4. Make sure your equipment is decent....easy fixes.....rudder as down as can be, mast sections not pre bent, hull dry.
    5. Practice....once again. Just go sailing. And it's fun.
     
  10. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I'm sure you mean it but I qualify "go sailing" to "go racing" or at least sailing against another Laser. I used to go out just sailing by myself and whilst you can do good stuff like practice boat handling (e.g. mark rounding, 720s, gybes, roll tacks, etc.) for sail trim and speed stuff I always found it easier to have another Laser (more the better) to compare myself against (e.g. am I pointing decently, boat speed vs pointing, who arrives at the mark 1st, etc.) and sailing by yourself I found less of a help for performance/boatspeed improvement.

    Ian
     
  11. beaker

    beaker hi

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    The biggest gain I ever made was the summer I was able to get out sailing. 90 percent of the time it was by myself. Once you get the feel for steering smooth it won't matter who is with you.

    100 tacks
    100 gybes
    100 upwind rounding
    100 downwind rounding

    Long upwind
    Long downwind

    See what happens when you sit further forward than normal
    And when further back than normal

    Sailing with other people is fun but at times leads to frustration and wasted time.

    That year I went from middle of fleet into the top quarter. In a tough tough fleet.

    The point verses foot debate will go on forever. It's a personal technique.
    Smooth water..point
    waves..... foot

    There is no set answer. There is no better use of time than being in the boat.
     

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