The Road to Peeps (Easter Laser Regatta)

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Merrily, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey, I’m going to the Easter Laser Regatta at Austin, TX, and so will finally meet the Candyman, AKA Gouvernail AKA Fred Schroth. This means I’ve gotten over the fear of Texas that was instilled by the movie Thelma and Louise. I’m calling this account the Road to Peeps because chocolate makes me sneeze and with repeated consumption my Eustachian tubes block up so much that I get dizzy and feel that I’m at sea and stagger around the house. This is too bad because I love love love chocolate and it’s going to be a trial for me to be around it and not eat it. I’m hoping the old Fredster will provide some gooey holiday marshmallow substitutes, Peeps.

    OK, now for the sailing. Things were a bit pathetic at MMWE, but I’m making no guarantees that this event will be better, so if you want to hear that Janet Rupert suddenly turned into superwoman, super motivated, with magically improved sailing abilities, please fast forward a few years and read that blog. OK, apologies for the hostility and hope that’s out of my system. I’m going to the Easter Laser Regatta to catch some warm weather and get in some sailing, but avoiding injury while doing so is highest on the list.

    I do understand some of my mistakes. Foremost were the training choices that I made, plus just not doing enough. I had a calf injury about 10 days before the event that I didn’t mention, I think, and I had to stop everything. I’m going back to the old standbys of cycling, rowing, wall sits, hiking simulation, pilates, plus, and this is important for me, weight training to be able to get back into the boat. That was the worst mistake that I made, substituting different exercises for the tried and true. I had trouble getting back into the boat due to a bit slack upper body, and I was just worn out from the get-go and could really feel it. It didn't help that with the first capsize to windward I was flung out of the boat so far that I was under the sail, got a snoot full of water, and swam to safety wondering if this was truly going to be a deathroll. Then my boat hit me as she heaved in the waves. She never did that before. Bummer. :( Now I've a better idea what to expect and have great respect for those who regularly sail in those conditions.

    Cindy Taylor sailed in the regatta and she told me that I was pinching when she saw me sail downwind. This is a good clue for why I was slow and isn’t really mysterious. This is a typical problem for flat water sailors when they first meet waves. It shouldn’t be much of an issue on Lake Travis, should it? This doesn’t explain why I was slow upwind too. I don’t think I was pinching then, as I was able to keep both windward and leeward telltales flying. Or do both of those fly in waves when you are pinching and there are other clues? Any ideas?
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Another thing I'm going to be doing for training, since I can't get out on the water, is to review some of the Laser books and videos that I have. I just received a new Laser book as a gift, and it looks to be excellent. It is the RYA Laser handbook, by Paul Goodison. It has the best illustrations that I've ever seen in any of the books, and it's got a pretty thorough discussion of all aspects. There are even what Goodison calls Rig Settings Matrix, sail control settings for all conditions, for the Standard, Radial, and 4.7. Just glancing over the book, I'm very impressed. It's not available at Amazon yet, but should be available to Americans by e-mailing rantey@bluewaterweb.com

    Yes, this is a shameless plug, and I wouldn't do it if the book wasn't a winner.
     
  3. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Ahoy Merrily,
    control, if the telltales are at the optimum place on the sail. The gouv surely does control that for you.
    "Here" is a link for you with lots of nice informations about tell tales.

    "Alien Lu" not found the correct translation for "pinching" at his online dictionaries for marine terms, but, I guess, you want to express that, you sail a (to) "strong upwind course, high to the wind". Not only for not experienced sailors, it is the balancing act between sailing nealy "block to block" and pointing (to) high (and have a slower effective velocity) or open the main a bit (especially if the wind is not to strong, but in lower winds: avoid the "windward side bubble" ) and sail a course that is a (very-very-)few °-degrees more leeward and give speed a chance. The telltales may look at this direction: "=" for both courses. You always sail the boat flat, except for those situations, that are described by Steve Cockerill's DVD "Boatwhisperer-Upwind". The best Laserite I have seen (on TV), that is "guru" for that balancing act, now sails Starboat: Robert Scheidt....
    There is only one "big and simply truth" a proLaserite has to transfer to be the winner at our special game called Lasersailing, we all play on the water: spimply have the best boatspeed over all, related to the other competitors. ...I never learnt that really... :eek:

    Merrily, you definitely learn it, I'm absolutely sure. The gouv and all the easter bunnies not let you (and John) drive back from Austin to OH until you've learnt it (if I would be him or them), no matter how much you will quarrel with your self ... ;)

    Merrily, I hope not you or John "switched off" those nuclear power plants at Florida, during you started off from Florida to Austin... we did hear a lot about that missing e-power problem at our TV news this morning....

    Cheers
    LooserLu
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi, Lu!

    You are right, pinching is sailing too high, so you cut off your speed.

    Is that right, Gouv, are you not going to let me get away from Austin without improving my sailing? Works for me.

    Those poor Floridians! They lost their air conditioning (cooling). :rolleyes:
     
  5. Der_Dude

    Der_Dude Member

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    To pinch = kneifen.

    You can check

    http://www.aiycb.de/ -> Links, scroll down and -> Deutsch-Englisch Technical Terms

    next time.
     
  6. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Cindy Taylor sailed in the regatta and she told me that I was pinching when she saw me sail downwind. This is a good clue for why I was slow and isn’t really mysterious. This is a typical problem for flat water sailors when they first meet waves. It shouldn’t be much of an issue on Lake Travis, should it? This doesn’t explain why I was slow upwind too. I don’t think I was pinching then, as I was able to keep both windward and leeward telltales flying. Or do both of those fly in waves when you are pinching and there are other clues? Any ideas?[/QUOTE]


    Hey Janet, I'll try to help some here, but it will be just a stab based on your comments since I was not sailing side by side with you or watching from a vantage point that I could study what you were doing.

    I"m sure you know the drill, (at least on paper) for upwind in heavy stuff. You could very well see this in Austin if the great Gulf thermal turns on or if a front comes through. Anyway, for you in anything over 15 you sould never try to go block to block with upwind trim on a full rig. Get the vang on hard in chop or flat water when the breeze is on upwind and also depower with the cunningham and more outhaul. Your weather tell tale should always be stalled or lifting. Try to point to flat water, driving the waves is very important to keep moving which means constant tiller movement, and sometimes BIG/QUICK tiller movement. Remember my, "how not to stuff the bow" thread? What goes on downwind is similar to upwind/just reverse. Constant trimming of the sail, big ease when heading down to power up and big trim in when pointing back up.

    You mentioned earlier that when sailing out to the course one the first AM of MMWE that I sailed away from you. Did you notice what I did? Constant vang adjustments and little body movements to steer the boat instead of moving my rudder. The conditions were puffy and shifty. We were on a tight reach out. When a puff would come in it would swing the apparent wind forward and the boat speed increased. To counter I would pull on a smidge of vang and lean my body out to drive the boat down in the puff which would power up the sail and I'd scoot away. When the puff stopped I'd lean in a tad and the boat would head up or "heat up" and I'd ease the vang and trim in the sail. "Up in the lulls and down in the puffs when off the breeze."

    I did notice you were sitting very still in your boat and your vand seemed a little tight. When you turn off the breeze ease that vang, cunningham and outhaul.

    At the MMWE on Friday and Saturday you may have had too much vang on when sailing upwind. Even though it was lighter conditions the work does not get much easier to keep the boat going fast, (at least not for me at 205 lbs!). Lots of sail adjustments and gear changing. Since the vang is off the sail trim is still working your arms because you're not vang sheeting, you are basically "raw trimming" the sail directly against the power of the wind. The boom is going more up and down as opposed to in and out.

    There were also a LOT of wind shifts. It would go right, the left, but it always moved. For me my finishes on Friday suffered because I was not keeping up with the shifts. I had left my compass on shore. The first race of Friday I rounded the weather make in 6th on the first pass and kept that position on the first DW leg, but it was donwhill from there as I ended up in 22nd. That was because I was missing shifts!!! I corrected that on Sat/Sun with my compass and it showed in the results.

    I made a comment to a guy when sailing in on Saturday. "At a Laser regatta you are always racing. Racing to be first on the water, racing to the RC for check in, racing with anyone to check speed before the start, racing the races, racing back to shore to get a good spot in the wash down line or to the beer truck."

    I'ts real important to try to find a few "tune up" partners before the sailing starts. If they are faster, study their set up and technique and see if you can try to apply it. Also, ask. I think our age group is pretty free with info to help.

    I apologize if any of this is redundant to you, but I though I'd take a stab at some helpful words.
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Rob, thanks for your comments. You've given me several good clues.

    I beg your pardon--I haven't moved my rudder in years! ;)

    This is probably it. I have a habit of using puffs to gain height. I’ll break that habit right away. Thank you, thank you.

    I do these things but of course, more practice is in order. This is where coaching would likely help, with these settings.

    Remember I weigh 45 pounds less than you and was using the standard sail. I will consider this, though.

    I have one of those tactical compasses and really have a hard time using it. I'm thinking a straight degree reading or a combo compass would be better. Any opinion on this?
     
  8. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I have the regular compass. I've never tried the tactical one.
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I've just added Austin, TX to the cities that I check the weather for daily. It's 73 and sunny today. Gouv, can we arrive now and stay for 6 weeks? Pretty please, with a candy bar on top? It's hovering around freezing here today in good ole Columbus. At least the sun was shining.
     
  10. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Keep watching that weather until July/August and see what you think then.
     
  11. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Be careful Janet. Texas is an infectious place and you may not want to leave! I lived in Dallas for about 6 years and traveled the state w/my job and racing J 22's. Austin is an awsome place.

    It's like the Lyle Lovitt song, "That's right you're not from Texas, but Texas want's you anyway."
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been weightlifting and have nearly recovered my upper body strength. But with some serious snow shoveling after a record snowfall, over 20 inches in one storm, I've got a very sore right bicep. Today's a weights day, but I'm postponing it until tomorrow. I don't want to make it worse. I'll cycle instead.
     
  13. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    If you're really sore in one spot, more than one day off may be called for.
     
  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    We have a Plan B. My husband's Sierra truck, which we need to trailer the Starwind, is in the shop until Wednesday night. :eek: Four out of the eight injectors are bad and something about glow plugs too. The good news there is that GM is extending the warranty and picking up the $3000 tab. A diesel truck is supposed to last longer than 115,000 miles. I was so looking forward to sleeping on the Starwind and sailing her a bit that I thought, just for a moment, about canceling the trip. Then my husband remembered that we have a pop up camper with a rack for the Laser on top. Brilliant! Camping at yacht clubs is always fine and dandy, so Austin here we come! BTW, my Jeep Liberty is a diesel which is rated for 5000 lbs, so it should be able to tow the Starwind. We don't want a 1300 mile trip (one way, fuel likely to put us in the poor house) to be the test of that though, plus with a new trailer, we don't know how much the rig weighs anyway. Gouvernail says that if we get more than halfway and break down, he'll come and get us. He's always good for a laugh. :D

    I took an extra extra day off with my sore muscle. Thanks, moose. It's good again, and with the weightlifting and lots of cycling, I'm feeling much fitter than before MMWE. I have hopes I'll be able to sail the whole regatta.
     
  15. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  17. scullygirl

    scullygirl New Member

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    I think it's freaky too and rather tragic...so why am I laughing so loudly? :eek:

    Mary:)

     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    It did have an air of tragedy, especially the first one. You can do a lot with music and lighting. My reaction was more of a smiling grimace/groaning. Since I can't eat chocolate, maybe I should be :D.
     
  19. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Except for an air transfer through Dallas, I haven't been to Texas since 1974. We are on the road today and expect to arrive tomorrow. It is 1300 miles to Austin from Columbus, OH.
     
  20. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    We are overnighting in Hope, Arkansas, about 30 miles from the Texas border. We heard a lot of spring pippits on the way and there are bugs on the front of the car. In other words, it is warm!

    Last time we fueled up, my husband came out of the station with a white paper bag. A normal man would have a donut. "What's in the bag dear?" Cat fish filets dusted with spicy cornmeal and deep fried. Yum! I guess I like Arkansas.

    We look like hillbilly yachties, with Laser, bikes, and rocket box on the car and pop-up camper.
     

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