Racing start is killin me

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by Sailkb, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Sailkb

    Sailkb Member

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    I have a local sailing club close by so have been intrigued with racing. I am pretty new to sailing but feel very comfortable by now in about any wind condition. I have also done a lot of reading and watching on race 'modifications' and strategy. I have probably ten local club races under my belt. My problem is the start. I am a little self conscious and don't want to get in the way during the minutes prior to the start flag. As I am hanging back a bit, I find that I am lagging well behind, sometimes 2 - 3 minutes just getting off the start line. I have no big goals in being a club champion but it would be more fun to be in the mix. In fact, I had a good start in one race kinda by accident and finished 2nd in my class! But I really don't know what I did to get where I was at that start. Just got lucky. My problem is having some kind of routine or strategy while circling prior to the start. In other words, I don't have a clue. :confused: My preference would be to hang around the start line in irons until 30 seconds or so before the start flag is dropped. But that is obviously not a good strategy because I see no one doing that. Any suggestions for a routine or strategy during the 5 minutes prior to start?
     
  2. baseman

    baseman On the Water

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    Here are my thoughts. Pick a spot behind the start line and time how long it takes to get to the line from there prior to the 5 minute horn. If you can get to the start line in a minute or less, it's a good place to start. You don't want to be in a dead stop 30 seconds before the start. The goal is to cross the line at full speed.
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Sailkb: You will need to do some 'serious' reading (with a drink of your choice nearby, of course). I recommend
    Dave Perry's Winning in One-Designs

    This paperback can be bought from US Sailing (and other sources, I would think).
     
  4. Sailkb

    Sailkb Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll do more study, but probalby mainly need to get out of my comfort zone and go for it :confused:
     
  5. baseman

    baseman On the Water

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    I didn't know much about racing when I started 4 years ago. I mostly watched and learned. I tried to follow the same tacks as the more experienced sailors to the marks. I found this article to be helpful (being crew on an Lightning with some experienced racers helped also).
    http://www.uiowa.edu/~sail/skills/racing_basics/index1.shtml
     
  6. Sailkb

    Sailkb Member

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  7. Don Novello

    Don Novello New Member

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    thanks for that link, great resource.
     

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