Competitive Weight

nikvdw

New Member
Thread starter #1
Can you guys chip in with what you consider with a competitive weight for a master sailor, 5"10?

By competitive i mean able to win District Level events at least.
 
#2
It will depend somewhat on how competitive your district is, for example the good guys in D7 are in the 165-190lb range for regattas in mixed breezes.
 

coop

New Member
#3
I think it depends a lot on your overall ability and athleticism. Any weight can be competitive.

I max out at 125 lbs but I'd still say I'm competitive in my district (not masters). Anything over 10 knots I start to feel the disadvantages though.
 
#4
Can you guys chip in with what you consider with a competitive weight for a master sailor, 5"10?

By competitive i mean able to win District Level events at least.
It would depend on how good your district is. If the winners in your masters divisions are also capable of winning open cubes, you would have no leeway in regard to weight and would not be able to be over or under weight by any significant degree.

Full rig weights would be between these ranges:

78kg if you are very strong and are able to hike all the way out for extended periods but that is the absolute minimum to be quick in all conditions and you would not want a heavy regatta as similarly skilled sailors who weigh in the low to mid 80kg's will beat you upwind. The advantage downwind is not enough to equalise the difference.

80-84kg being ideal for all conditions.

85kg is the upper range to remain competitive with the top group in light conditions
. You could maybe get away with as much as 90kg but not if you are racing sailors who are ranked in lets say the top 100 on ISAF.

Basically you can be quick between these weight ranges in most conditions but skill and fitness will the main determinants of success.

It is my opinion that for most people who are around midfleet at district level weight is not as big a determinant of their finishing position as they may think it is.
--------------------------------------------------------

Now some information that maybe useful or may not...


I have tested out how different weight can affect you by taking out training and for 2 races at my club, 10kg of lead taped and tied in to the rear cockpit of an older boat I occasionally sail. Not a huge number of tests but enough for me to see the results in some conditions.

At the time I weighed 87kg (too heavy..) so plus 10kg my total on board weight was 97kg.

The 2 races I did my average finishing position did not change from previous weeks but one very good GM at our club was able to easily match my downwind speed and I had to look for every bit of pressure and all the sets of waves I could find to maintain the gap. That was in conditions where you weren't planing but could surf some waves.
Upwind the difference was minimal and it was actually possible to forget you had the extra weight in your boat.

The very first time I put this extra weight in, I was out sailing with a mate and once out into the main harbour I saw a good fleet of lasers sailing so went to join them. Very tempted to toss the weight over the side once I saw who was out training as I was in my old boat, with lead in back of cockpit and my oldest sail. Talk about giving yourself every disadvantage but a good fleet of lasers sailing is hard to resist.

I thought this would be a great test of weight differences so joined in.

Guys training were Tom Slingsby, Tom Burton, Mike Leigh, Christoph Bottoni, James Burman, Ash Brunning and a few others. So pretty reasonable test of what extra weight will do to your boat speed against some of the fastest laser sailors in the world.

Did about 4 windward leewards from rabbit starts in 10-15 knots and choppy conditions.

Upwind my speed was virtually no different than usual (self assessed when in a 2 boat situation or off the start) and I was able to round never worse than the middle of the group with the exception of one upwind where I went out to the right with Christoph and couldn't get back over. 2 races I was in top 3 to top mark.

Downwind I was clearly off the pace and slower than I normally sail but was still within an average of 15 seconds from the back of the group by the bottom mark.

Upwind in a hiking breeze the extra weight seems to matter very little and if you had the extra weight up on the side of the boat rather than to the center you may actually be advantaged with all the extra righting moment.

Downwind you are at a small disadvantage in 10-15 knots.

Keep in mind that if you are midfleet at a club or district event being heavy may preclude you from winning if you were racing world class sailors but against average competitors you could, if skilled enough, be at the front of the fleet even weighing in the 90kg+ range.

It would be my opinion that at whatever height you are, if you are 80-84kg you can cross that off as an excuse for not winning when racing against the fastest laser sailors you can find.

The further down the fleet you go the less weight sensitive sailing a laser becomes. Saying that I would put an upper weight of around low 90kg's for average weekend sailors wanting to do well.
 

nikvdw

New Member
Thread starter #5
It would depend on how good your district is. If the winners in your masters divisions are also capable of winning open cubes, you would have no leeway in regard to weight and would not be able to be over or under weight by any significant degree.

Full rig weights would be between these ranges:

78kg if you are very strong and are able to hike all the way out for extended periods but that is the absolute minimum to be quick in all conditions and you would not want a heavy regatta as similarly skilled sailors who weigh in the low to mid 80kg's will beat you upwind. The advantage downwind is not enough to equalise the difference.

80-84kg being ideal for all conditions.

85kg is the upper range to remain competitive with the top group in light conditions
. You could maybe get away with as much as 90kg but not if you are racing sailors who are ranked in lets say the top 100 on ISAF.

Basically you can be quick between these weight ranges in most conditions but skill and fitness will the main determinants of success.

It is my opinion that for most people who are around midfleet at district level weight is not as big a determinant of their finishing position as they may think it is.
--------------------------------------------------------

Now some information that maybe useful or may not...


I have tested out how different weight can affect you by taking out training and for 2 races at my club, 10kg of lead taped and tied in to the rear cockpit of an older boat I occasionally sail. Not a huge number of tests but enough for me to see the results in some conditions.

At the time I weighed 87kg (too heavy..) so plus 10kg my total on board weight was 97kg.

The 2 races I did my average finishing position did not change from previous weeks but one very good GM at our club was able to easily match my downwind speed and I had to look for every bit of pressure and all the sets of waves I could find to maintain the gap. That was in conditions where you weren't planing but could surf some waves.
Upwind the difference was minimal and it was actually possible to forget you had the extra weight in your boat.

The very first time I put this extra weight in, I was out sailing with a mate and once out into the main harbour I saw a good fleet of lasers sailing so went to join them. Very tempted to toss the weight over the side once I saw who was out training as I was in my old boat, with lead in back of cockpit and my oldest sail. Talk about giving yourself every disadvantage but a good fleet of lasers sailing is hard to resist.

I thought this would be a great test of weight differences so joined in.

Guys training were Tom Slingsby, Tom Burton, Mike Leigh, Christoph Bottoni, James Burman, Ash Brunning and a few others. So pretty reasonable test of what extra weight will do to your boat speed against some of the fastest laser sailors in the world.

Did about 4 windward leewards from rabbit starts in 10-15 knots and choppy conditions.

Upwind my speed was virtually no different than usual (self assessed when in a 2 boat situation or off the start) and I was able to round never worse than the middle of the group with the exception of one upwind where I went out to the right with Christoph and couldn't get back over. 2 races I was in top 3 to top mark.

Downwind I was clearly off the pace and slower than I normally sail but was still within an average of 15 seconds from the back of the group by the bottom mark.

Upwind in a hiking breeze the extra weight seems to matter very little and if you had the extra weight up on the side of the boat rather than to the center you may actually be advantaged with all the extra righting moment.

Downwind you are at a small disadvantage in 10-15 knots.

Keep in mind that if you are midfleet at a club or district event being heavy may preclude you from winning if you were racing world class sailors but against average competitors you could, if skilled enough, be at the front of the fleet even weighing in the 90kg+ range.

It would be my opinion that at whatever height you are, if you are 80-84kg you can cross that off as an excuse for not winning when racing against the fastest laser sailors you can find.

The further down the fleet you go the less weight sensitive sailing a laser becomes. Saying that I would put an upper weight of around low 90kg's for average weekend sailors wanting to do well.
Fantastic Post, thank you. I have won local or regional events at 86/87 kg in D10/D11 in the US. I am 93 right now due to the amount of office work i am doing and am working pretty hard to get to 85/86 range for mid summer here which is june thru Sept....

I did do one event in the 96 range and it was just awful. Lower and the same speed in sub 10 upwind, past like a rock dw by super-light sailors.

M goal is to win a Districts and be competitive in Regionals, say top 10-20.
 
#6
it also has alot to do with your fitness, if you are physically fit then you will be able to work harder for longer, at 5'10"a healthy weight range is around 160-180lbs, Paul Goodison the top laser sailor in the world is around 175lbs and 5'11", for masters I would guess most of the top guys are around 170-190lbs.
 
#7
it also has alot to do with your fitness, if you are physically fit then you will be able to work harder for longer, at 5'10"a healthy weight range is around 160-180lbs, Paul Goodison the top laser sailor in the world is around 175lbs and 5'11", for masters I would guess most of the top guys are around 170-190lbs.
I hope you're just referring specifically to Laser sailors with that statement.
 
#9
so what would be the weight to race in San Francisco in august?
The message above sets it all out clearly. You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue (unless its Beijing and bugger all wind :D)

Being the right weight for the boat is more important as you'll be competitive in all conditions rather than only when its light or strong.
 
#11
I think in any case, strength is more important than weight.

If it's really windy and wavy, where is being 190 lbs and weak as hell going to get you?
 
#12
don't you guys take your racing seriously?
"You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue" ??? So you wouldn't bother to put on some good weight (not lard) even if you know it'd be 15-20 most of the time with some nasty chop?
"I think in any case, strength is more important than weight" - what help would be of your strength if you weight in at let's say 160? you won't be able to put your bow down upwind whatever you do.
any serious answers pls?
 
#13
don't you guys take your racing seriously?
"You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue" ??? So you wouldn't bother to put on some good weight (not lard) even if you know it'd be 15-20 most of the time with some nasty chop?
"I think in any case, strength is more important than weight" - what help would be of your strength if you weight in at let's say 160? you won't be able to put your bow down upwind whatever you do.
any serious answers pls?
Now I just think you're trolling, but I'll enterain.

Say you have a big event coming up where you think it will be very windy. How much "good" weight do think you will put on in 1-2 months? Maybe one or two pounds, and that would be if you completely dedicated yourself you to weightlifting in order to get bigger and stronger. How much lean mass do you think you can put on in that time span?

How is that of any use for a seriously training sailor? It's a bit much for one event. Maybe if you have some off season goals regarding strength or size, but it's not a fast enough process to do it for individual events.

Nice of you to take the extreme regarding what I said. Use your thinker. For Laser sailing, I'd rather be 175-180 lbs and strong as a bull than 190 and weak as hell.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#14
Great physical conditioning has to be a given to perform at a windy, cold water venue such as San Fran.

With that said, talent will trump more/less weight around the course.

However, taking 2 equally gifted sailors of equal performance conditioning the 190 lb master is going to have an edge over the 180 lb master on a typically breezy masters worlds course as the gains upwind will trump having to carry the extra 10 lbs downwind.

How's that?
 
#15
of course to be in a decent shape is a must, but do you think 190 would be enough for San Fran? I always sailed at 180 so have no idea how much extra lbs affect upwind/downwind. I thought a safe bet for August would be 195-200: you'd be able to put the bow down more upwind, and the boat shouldn't be too sticky downwind. Or am I way off here?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#16
of course to be in a decent shape is a must, but do you think 190 would be enough for San Fran? I always sailed at 180 so have no idea how much extra lbs affect upwind/downwind. I thought a safe bet for August would be 195-200: you'd be able to put the bow down more upwind, and the boat shouldn't be too sticky downwind. Or am I way off here?
I think you'll be ok up to 210 lbs. I did a masters MWE about 2-3 years ago in the Indian River in FL. It's shallow and it blew a solid 18 on the first day which made for a big chop. We had about 60 boats and weighing in at 215 I pulled a top 5 finish in one race. I got a couple of comments after the race about how flat my boat was. I would usually lose about 3-5 boats DW, but could always grind them back quickly after rounding the leeward mark.
 
#19
I sail at marsh creek, we have masters sailors from 150 to 220 pds. we start the last weekend in march, join us for an early start and you'll lose weight and get time in the boat.
 
#20
don't you guys take your racing seriously?
"You don't need to be a particular weight for a venue" ??? So you wouldn't bother to put on some good weight (not lard) even if you know it'd be 15-20 most of the time with some nasty chop?
"I think in any case, strength is more important than weight" - what help would be of your strength if you weight in at let's say 160? you won't be able to put your bow down upwind whatever you do.
any serious answers pls?
Take my racing seriously, still don't put weight on just for a venue. I do enough events that I would rather be a weight in the boat that is in the weight range and gives me a fair chance whatever the wind is. I don't believe I could gain/lose enough weight and maintain my fitness to sail in time for any one event.

I get beaten by guys that are lighter than me when its howling and guys that are heavier than me when its a drifter - ability, technique and fitness have a lot more impact on results than your weight alone.
 
#21
I get beaten by guys that are lighter than me when its howling and guys that are heavier than me when its a drifter - ability, technique and fitness have a lot more impact on results than your weight alone.
Very interesting thread in general but I'm particularly interested in the "ability and technique" reference. As I weigh around 100kg+ (or ++ sometimes :rolleyes:), I would be really interested in the techniques people are using to succeed in spite being well over the ideal.

Weight placement, control settings, trim, footing versus pointing - all these are well documented for the "average" sailor - but would appreciate hearing from anyone who can point out some techniques that work well for heavyweights ...

Thanks,

Rich
 
#22
Very interesting thread in general but I'm particularly interested in the "ability and technique" reference. As I weigh around 100kg+ (or ++ sometimes :rolleyes:), I would be really interested in the techniques people are using to succeed in spite being well over the ideal.

Weight placement, control settings, trim, footing versus pointing - all these are well documented for the "average" sailor - but would appreciate hearing from anyone who can point out some techniques that work well for heavyweights ...

Thanks,

Rich
You just don't have to depower as much/as soon as lighter sailors.

You'll be able to put the bow down in breeze.

Other than that, I don't think much changes.

Weighing 220-230 lbs, though, you are really pushing it.
 
#23
Very interesting thread in general but I'm particularly interested in the "ability and technique" reference. As I weigh around 100kg+ (or ++ sometimes :rolleyes:), I would be really interested in the techniques people are using to succeed in spite being well over the ideal.

Weight placement, control settings, trim, footing versus pointing - all these are well documented for the "average" sailor - but would appreciate hearing from anyone who can point out some techniques that work well for heavyweights ...

Thanks,

Rich
Search thru the old threads, I know I've put a lot up here on the subject, as said above you will be be looking to keep the sail powered up at least much longer then the avg weight sailor, pushing the bow down, looking for the stiffest top section you can find, avoid sailing to windward of the lt weight pinchers off the start line etc. etc.. One thing you can't do is take the approach that just because you are 20-50 lbs heavier that you don't have to hike as hard as everyone else. The weight advantage is negated if you aren't hiking hard

Downwind you have to work much harder just to keep up, and take advantage of every puff and header.
 
#24
At 110kgs I find this a very interesting thread and the comments about working hard down wind are so very true. In any wind where we are going on and off the plane I'm very slow downwind, once it is light enough that no-one is planing I'm OK and again if everyone is planing I'm not too badly disadvantaged downwind. In real light winds I've a very good success rate and on very windy days better, but the in betweens are hard work.

I so much more ground is lost with incorrect decisions on the course than is lost by weight, But it does afford me fewer mistakes than the light weights.
 
Thread starter #25
At 110kgs I find this a very interesting thread and the comments about working hard down wind are so very true. In any wind where we are going on and off the plane I'm very slow downwind, once it is light enough that no-one is planing I'm OK and again if everyone is planing I'm not too badly disadvantaged downwind. In real light winds I've a very good success rate and on very windy days better, but the in betweens are hard work.

I so much more ground is lost with incorrect decisions on the course than is lost by weight, But it does afford me fewer mistakes than the light weights.
I think the big things are to identify where your weight is and how much heel you have and get it in the right spot. At 97 kilos at my max, if i was very disciplined with where my where core was, I could be pretty competitive.

Example given, 8 knots, shoulders at front edge of cockpit, legs pressed up at end of CB and cockpit do not move, ever.

When you roll tack, loosen the vang (this my friends is big) as you roll into the tack and absolutly crush the flatten with a huge back whipping crunch. Against the 85kg sailor, my flatten was WAY faster. (if you want of argue this is against the rules be my guest, it is, but it cant be and isnt enforced. If your tack repeatedly for no reason, well this is illegal and it is enforced.)

As you can see, the problem was at that weight, i was completely out of breath and sweating profusely. This is why i had to lose the wieght. I am 93 kilos, trying to get down to around 88.

Out of the tack you need to go straight into forward no movement at all mode and carry the momentum as long as you can.
 
Thread starter #26
At 110kgs I find this a very interesting thread and the comments about working hard down wind are so very true. In any wind where we are going on and off the plane I'm very slow downwind, once it is light enough that no-one is planing I'm OK and again if everyone is planing I'm not too badly disadvantaged downwind. In real light winds I've a very good success rate and on very windy days better, but the in betweens are hard work.

I so much more ground is lost with incorrect decisions on the course than is lost by weight, But it does afford me fewer mistakes than the light weights.
That is assuming you make bad decisions.
 
#27
At the recent Australian Masters Championship the first and second Apprentices were 90kg and 96kg while the first Master was 81kg - quite a range. I think it goes to show that at the Masters level weight isn't a huge deal. if you sail well and are fit enough to hike you can get results at any weight within reason.

Wind varied over the regatta, but was between 10 and 20 knots, so almost always a hiking breeze.

Having said that, if I was going to the worlds in SF I'd be aiming to be a hiking fit 85-86kg.
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
#28
Big waves and big breeze?? Nobody can hike after the first ten seconds so the bigger guys romp.


Medium breeze?? masters know shifts and the smaller guys need less horespower to propel their boats and clobnber the big guys.

Light wind...as you wrote above...in the super light stuff, pure sailing ability is all that matters and since every ounce of an old fart sailor is pure sailor...the biggest guy wins.

Teeter totter contest after the races??

Bring it on runts!!!
 
#29
Light wind...as you wrote above...in the super light stuff, pure sailing ability is all that matters and since every ounce of an old fart sailor is pure sailor...the biggest guy wins.

Bring it on runts!!!
LMAO I've been tell my son this for years.........he's a "hi-performin" 4.7 pilot with all the kit. Club sailing, I only ever beat him when its a sunday afternoon drifter. He puts it down to luck.....every time....just luck......he he he.....
 
Thread starter #30
At the recent Australian Masters Championship the first and second Apprentices were 90kg and 96kg while the first Master was 81kg - quite a range. I think it goes to show that at the Masters level weight isn't a huge deal. if you sail well and are fit enough to hike you can get results at any weight within reason.

Wind varied over the regatta, but was between 10 and 20 knots, so almost always a hiking breeze.

Having said that, if I was going to the worlds in SF I'd be aiming to be a hiking fit 85-86kg.
If any cares i am down to 92 kilos!.....my goal is 86 kilos. I am 37 years old, 176 cm, 5'9.5". I also want to be able to hike in breeze, so i am lifting and biking...

I started at 98.5.

My goal is to have a chance at those pesky "pinners" at club summer events in D11 or D10 in the USA
 
#31
I would agree that as long as you are in ball park weight region, you should be focusing more on the technical and tactical aspects for your next area of improvement.

For primarily Master competition (Standard Rig) I would say between 80 - 88kg is very acceptable and don't worry about the 'expected' conditions of the venue - just be good enough technically do sail competitively in all wind and wave conditions.

I have seen many young and extremely fit sailors still perform poorly in wind and waves because of poor technique so don't expect gaining or losing a few pounds (kg's) to make much difference to your speed.

Will see you all in SF - at 87kg if you want to know!
 
#32
I would agree that as long as you are in ball park weight region, you should be focusing more on the technical and tactical aspects for your next area of improvement.

For primarily Master competition (Standard Rig) I would say between 80 - 88kg is very acceptable and don't worry about the 'expected' conditions of the venue - just be good enough technically do sail competitively in all wind and wave conditions.

I have seen many young and extremely fit sailors still perform poorly in wind and waves because of poor technique so don't expect gaining or losing a few pounds (kg's) to make much difference to your speed.

Will see you all in SF - at 87kg if you want to know!

And don't you want to stay in the Apprentice Division for just one more year????
 
#33
Wouldn't that make it interesting racing in certain situations.

A rule that allows you to sail in any age division that you have previously raced in.

Apprentice 35 and up
Master 45 and up
etc.

No cap on the upper age just the lower.
 
#35
Not quite the original topic, but related. This is a compilation of most of the various tips on sailing for heavyweights. Not definitive by any means and open to correction.
· Keep the speed on! Don't pinch! Focus on driving the boat. Foot off for power, more than the lighter guys, only come up after building some speed.
· Footing will pay off in both light and heavy winds.
· Remember to HIKE - otherwise the footing mode won't be of any benefit, you'll heel over and end up pinching.
· Don't over tighten the main. About 8-12" in light air. As the wind builds many will be going block to block, but heavyweights will still need a gap between the blocks.
· Depowering – We should be able to tolerate more wind before depowering. We can leave our Cunningham and kicker just snug while others are cranking it on. At 18-20kts this is when heavyweights (around 100kg or 220lbs) need to crank on the kicker and cunningham
· How to depower (whatever your weight) - Cunningham versus vang– very good post by 49208 http://www.laserforum.org/showthread...=depower+order In summary, depower with vang rather than cunningham when the water is flat (versus choppy), or gusty (versus steady). In a tactical situation, use Cunningham first if you want to hold a lane.
· Don’t overdo the sail depth and stall out the sail
· Keep boat FLAT or at least at a steady angle. Aim for a constant angle with horizon and maintain it
· Keep kicker snug (but no more). Will help acceleration in lighter winds. Looser kicker is good for roll tacks.
· Try and get a stiff top section. Consider rotating the top section 180 degrees (but not in light wind). I tried this in very heavy winds and was VERY unstable downwind, so caveat! But maybe it was the sailor and not the rotation that caused this!
· Lanes, starts - keep to leeward of lighter pinchers. Maybe temporary heel to WW if opponent attacking on WW hip
· Boat trim is critical – be extra careful to keep the transom from digging in when sailing in light air and downwind. Stay forward upwind, but shift backwards a little to stop the bow burying in big waves. Stay forward downwind unless you are planing.
· Body weight – seems to be a lot of info on this forum about ideal weight. All I can say is eat well, stay fit and shed a few kilo’s if you can.
· Tactics – the above points may help a LITTLE. But you have to be extra good at spotting shifts and gusts. Maybe spend a little time longer sorting out tides and wind than the lighter guys!
Put together more for my own benefit, but hope it's useful .....

Go fast! (sorry, no pun intended!)
 
Top