How do you gauge your speed

Thread starter #41
Tactics arent everything, without speed tactics wont win the race. Lets see; if you have great tactics, experience and "feel" you should dominate the fleet while sailing a radial. The guy sailing a full size rig with average skill should fair rather well against the radial guys with exeptional abilities just because of his superior speed. Or am I totally off in my reasoning?
 
R

Ross B

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#42
Tactics arent everything, without speed tactics wont win the race. Lets see; if you have great tactics, experience and "feel" you should dominate the fleet while sailing a radial. The guy sailing a full size rig with average skill should fair rather well against the radial guys with exeptional abilities just because of his superior speed. Or am I totally off in my reasoning?


yeaaaa no

you have to have tactics, you can have ok speed, and make up for it with your tactics

you can be the fastest boat and be going the wrong direction, and you won't win
 
#43
The guy sailing a full size rig with average skill should fair rather well against the radial guys with exeptional abilities just because of his superior speed. Or am I totally off in my reasoning?
Hmm, Full rig sailors should sail against other full rigs and radials should sail against other radial sailors. It would not be fair for full rig sailors to sail against radials...
 
Thread starter #44
My point is that speed obviously isnt the only thing that wins the race, and neither is tactics. But I am asserting that speed is probably the most important part of the equation. Someone with greater speed can compensate for average tactics. Thus the search for speed indicators.
 
#45
I understand your point skygod1. I have speed to spare in 25 + because I weigh 240 and I am the typical meathead that can hike hard. It allows me to grind the competition down and just cover the rest of the race. But in the light to moderate stuff I have to have better tactics to keep up with the big boys.
 
#47
Don't know about Lasers but in larger boats (one designs) we used to go out with another boat and train alternately. One boat sails along making decent speed but not "racing you" whilst you sail the same course (close'ish and parallel but without giving each other foul air) adjust stuff and see if you pull ahead or drop back. Other boat should just sail along keeping things constant and not start going harder when you pull ahead (i.e. not racing you). He is the "constant" sailing in the same wind, same course, same tide, etc.) Does not matter if you are a bit faster or slower as you are comparing old setting to new setting. Then swap round and other boat tries to adjust stuff whilst you sail the constant.

You are not trying to beat the other boat but to see how different settings affect your speed and the other boat is providing the reference (i.e. sailing in same wind, waves, tide, etc.)

I don't see why it should not work in Lasers.


Ian
 
#48
My point is that speed obviously isnt the only thing that wins the race, and neither is tactics. But I am asserting that speed is probably the most important part of the equation.
I think you need to take into account where you are sailing, because the whole speed vs tactics vs strategy thing changes depending on conditions.

As an example, sailing at my present club here in england, its all about strategy and speed, and the tactics are bottom of the list. When I used to sail in Auckland, NZ, the major laser racing took place on a small lake, in the middle of town. There was a hospital at one end, houses along one edge, and high-rise buildings all around. tactics were the number 1 priority, speed was a distant second, and strategy didnt really enter the equation.
 
#52
My discomfort lies in the fact that when I fly ( flying and sailing have a lot in common ) I am aware that your feelings can lie to you.
When I learnt to fly (gliders) developing a feel for the aircraft was critical (you would not go solo without a good feel). Before going solo you had to take off, fly around and land with instruments bugged-up or blanked-out (i.e. so they were useless). Take-off is all feel anyway (though the winch driver can be a bit unsettled if you catapult yourself off the end of the wire too much), but a feel for altitude, speed, attitude, etc. was critical. After all, you only got one chance at a landing (you cannot go round again if too high or stretch things out too much if too low). Go into a 60 degree turn or do a lazy-eight and you really don't have too much time to watch the instruments. A few of the gliders had quite crude altimeters so when it comes to the more critical heights (start of downwind leg) you had to do it by feel anyway (and the control tower would only tell you the wind strength and direction as you announce your intention to land - no hints about height, position, etc.).


Ian
 
#54
Tactics arent everything, without speed tactics wont win the race. Lets see; if you have great tactics, experience and "feel" you should dominate the fleet while sailing a radial. The guy sailing a full size rig with average skill should fair rather well against the radial guys with exeptional abilities just because of his superior speed. Or am I totally off in my reasoning?
In the instances where I have sailed against radials, I noticed this:

the range of windspeed where the radial dominated was less than the full rig.

In gusty / heavy conditions, radial shows an advantage that could possibly be matched with superior skill in a full rig, but not bettered .

But as soon as the wind dies a little, while the full rig still retains the capability of full power, the radial finds itself under powered and loses ground dramatically on off wind legs. The difference is startling. It seems that the full rig has a wider range of wind speeds to match to an ideal full rig sailor weight than a radial has to match to an ideal sailor weight.

that's my observation. I could be wrong. You would think it would be the same. It may be that while body wieght to sail area is matched, sail shape and wetted surface is not.

Once so much speed has gone that you see people being overtaken like they're standing still, tactics to the slow sailor becmes irrelevent. The best they can hope for is a penalty or a capsize - for the winner to lose, rather than for them to win.
 
#55
I think everyone would agree that strategy, tactics and speed are all very important for winning a race. And by speed we mean optimum trimming of the boat/sail for the given conditions. The original question was all about judging how you have the best speed, particularly when you don't have someone else to sail against and we seem to have drifted off on to all sorts of other topics (not thats thats bad - all discussion is interesting).
I guess if you don't have a feel for what adjustments make the boat go faster all you can do is sail more until you get the feel, or use something else that tells you your speed, ie instruments. I think we're dealing with an enquiry from a relative beginner here, and he's decided he wants to get his speed up before he starts thinking about tactics etc.
What about setting up a short upwind course ? 2 marks say 100m apart, on a 45deg angle to wind so you can do it on one tack, and keep sailing it timing yourself with different settings ? Where i sail on a narrow river that wouldn't work too well as the wind varies so much.
 
#56
One book I read said that sailing blindfold is good way to get a 'feel' for speed. Not a joke! Sort of in a 'use the force Luke, for your eyes may deceive you' kind of way except you're not using the force you're just learning to pick up on the feedback you get from the boat's controls and sounds, and heel etc. Anyway it actually seems to work or at least I found it very interesting. I don't actually use a blindfold. Just close my eyes.
Probably not recommended in close quarters racing.
Not sure how well the technique would translate to trying to land a glider either ? :)
 
Thread starter #57
While flying a sailplane you can use the position of the horizon in your windshield to indicate your relative speed, ie., whether you are climbing, descending, or straight and level. You can use the sound of the wind as another indication. Its taught in basic flight to recognize these things. You might say its the feel of the aircraft. Thats what I am trying to get you guys here to share. What are the things you see, hear, and yes feel that tell you that the boat is going fast. Chainsaw got the message. His reply was right on. Im not as experienced as you all, but I never really cared that I was going real fast, I just liked a leisurely sail around the lake. Now I have an interest in getting some serious performance from the boat.
 
#58
OK. Well... Telltales are the tool you use to make sure you're getting the best flow through the sail. The sail is your throttle and unless you're too overpowerd you really want the pedal to the metal. They tell you if you are heading too high into the wind or too low. I don't know if you're really familiar so I'll just say anyway. You want them to be flying straight back. If you're heading too high the telltale on the windward side of the sail will be out of wack. If you're too low the leeward telltales will not be going straight back. This is comparable to how you use the horizon to tell you which way you're flying.




 
Thread starter #59
Okay in the situation where you use the tales; there is a range where the flow accross the sail is smooth, maybe an inch or a foot of sheet. Which direction do you want to go, towards the high or windward side?
 
#60
Okay in the situation where you use the tales; there is a range where the flow accross the sail is smooth, maybe an inch or a foot of sheet. Which direction do you want to go, towards the high or windward side?
sorry I don't think I understand what you mean. These animations, and my explaination, really only apply upwind, when you've got your sail all the way in or almost, depending on what type of wind it is (in light air you will want a looser vang and the sheet out a foot to create a deeper sail shape, while in moderate to heavy wind you want it 'block to block.' Stop me please if you don't understand any of this. Upwind, the aim is to get the telltales to fly all of the time. On a reach it's a little bit different and downwind it's even more different. I'll talk about telltales concerning those next unless you have any more questions.... really I'm no pro, you should buy a laser sailing book or some dvd's to get started.
 
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