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Ideal competitive weight range

Pennlaser

New Member
What's the top-end weight a Masters-aged sailor can be and be competitive in regional Full-Rig competition?

Asking for a friend...
 

Pennlaser

New Member
Hoping to enjoy the pursuit of winning boat races, whether it happens or not. 200 lbs. seems reasonable.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Having gone through all the available statistics over the years (which actually doesn't amount to very much), I don't think any Olympic-level sailor ever raced the Laser at more than 88 kg. I am myself heavier now (due to a number of unsolved health problems), and definitely not "competitive" :( I feel it's not as much about the straight-line performance than being agile enough, and simply fitting between the deck and the boom with the vang tight :confused:

_
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I race in the same circuit as Jason. In my 20's and early 30's 185-190 was my range and fine. Now I'm in my 50's and while I do hit 210 at times I feel much better in the boat at 200, and really try to get to 198 or so. I do ok at 210, but do sail better at 200 and can move around the boat much easier as well which includes ducking a super vanged boom during tacks. Can't get under it at 210...
 
Also maybe a bit dependent on the region (SF Bay or Finger Lakes?) and the quality of the fleet (and the sailor!) Another variable would be the fitness level of this sailor in question. All things being equal, probably 200 lbs.
 
Regarding folks having trouble getting under the boom with a tight vang, we see this one quite often.

Have you tried moving your butt back a bit, then getting your feet to the back of the cockpit? Your back knee should drop down on the cockpit floor to leeward of the hiking strap (with foot alllll the way back) and probably your front knee will have to go down at well. Arms spread across cockpit as you move across, bridging the two decks. Head crossing right at the mainsheet where boom is highest. We have had some really big guys get under very consistently using this method. Maybe it will help you too.

You can practice it on shore on your dolly (have a friend sit on the bow with another friend tacking the boom).
 

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
Regarding folks having trouble getting under the boom with a tight vang, we see this one quite often.

Have you tried moving your butt back a bit, then getting your feet to the back of the cockpit? Your back knee should drop down on the cockpit floor to leeward of the hiking strap (with foot alllll the way back) and probably your front knee will have to go down at well. Arms spread across cockpit as you move across, bridging the two decks. Head crossing right at the mainsheet where boom is highest. We have had some really big guys get under very consistently using this method. Maybe it will help you too.

You can practice it on shore on your dolly (have a friend sit on the bow with another friend tacking the boom).
Yep- this is how I do it. Big exhale during the squat as well....
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Also maybe a bit dependent on the region (SF Bay or Finger Lakes?) and the quality of the fleet (and the sailor!) Another variable would be the fitness level of this sailor in question. All things being equal, probably 200 lbs.
True! I have found being around 200, (and in decent shape) I'm very competitive in anything 12knots of breeze and up or 5knots of breeze and under. It's the middle range that I suffer most on boat speed.
 

suthera

Member
Regarding folks having trouble getting under the boom with a tight vang, we see this one quite often.

Have you tried moving your butt back a bit, then getting your feet to the back of the cockpit? Your back knee should drop down on the cockpit floor to leeward of the hiking strap (with foot alllll the way back) and probably your front knee will have to go down at well. Arms spread across cockpit as you move across, bridging the two decks. Head crossing right at the mainsheet where boom is highest. We have had some really big guys get under very consistently using this method. Maybe it will help you too.

You can practice it on shore on your dolly (have a friend sit on the bow with another friend tacking the boom).
I don’t get this picture. I know who it is and would never doubt his technique, but why is his foot not to leeward of the toe strap? I’m assuming this is the entry into the tack. I stretch my leg out to the back of the cockpit as described, but have my foot over the toe strap. Once the boom comes over the left foot them goes forward and under the toe strap to hold on new side.

Am I missing something here?
 
Hi Suthera,

Good question.

You can put the foot to leeward of the strap if you prefer (and many do). It's a matter of personal preference. Plenty of good sailors do both.

You're correct, this is the tacking entry.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I don’t get this picture. I know who it is and would never doubt his technique, but why is his foot not to leeward of the toe strap? I’m assuming this is the entry into the tack. I stretch my leg out to the back of the cockpit as described, but have my foot over the toe strap. Once the boom comes over the left foot them goes forward and under the toe strap to hold on new side.

Am I missing something here?
I crouch and slide one leg back on the leeward, soon to be windward side. of the hiking strap/cockpit. It's like doing a lunge in yoga, but very compressed and I don't get the back leg fully extended/knee is on the cockpit floor. Then, crouching deeply I lean to the inside of the cockpit inside my bent leg and behind the main sheet. Once on the other side my bent leg can extend to get my body up to weather side and my extended leg comes back under me and under the hiking strap. As my body rotates that leg becomes my forward leg under the hiking strap and I put the other leg/foot under the aft side of the strap.
 

suthera

Member
Hi Suthera,

Good question.

You can put the foot to leeward of the strap if you prefer (and many do). It's a matter of personal preference. Plenty of good sailors do both.

You're correct, this is the tacking entry.
Thanks for that. In all honestly, I’m often so tired that if my back foot is on the windward side going into the tack as per this photo, I would trip over the toe strap when I try to cross the boat. Having my foot over the toe strap on the way into the tack allows me to kind of fall into the boat. Which has me thinking about how bad my tacks probably are. I suspect I have a sheg load of leeward heel going into the tack. There’s something about this picture that has all his weight on the windward side going into the tack that just looks fast. Oh well, maybe with 6 hours of fitness training a day I’ll be this good too!

thanks again for the feedback - excellent tips!
 
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suthera

Member
I crouch and slide one leg back on the leeward, soon to be windward side. of the hiking strap/cockpit. It's like doing a lunge in yoga, but very compressed and I don't get the back leg fully extended/knee is on the cockpit floor. Then, crouching deeply I lean to the inside of the cockpit inside my bent leg and behind the main sheet. Once on the other side my bent leg can extend to get my body up to weather side and my extended leg comes back under me and under the hiking strap. As my body rotates that leg becomes my forward leg under the hiking strap and I put the other leg/foot under the aft side of the strap.
Yup - that’s a pretty good description of what my tacks try to be like.
 
Thanks for that. In all honestly, I’m often so tired that if my back foot is on the windward side going into the tack as per this photo, I would trip over the toe strap when I try to cross the boat. Having my foot over the toe strap on the way into the tack allows me to kind of fall into the boat. Which has me thinking about how bad my tacks probably are. I suspect I have a sheg load of leeward heel going into the tack. There’s something about this picture that has all his weight on the windward side going into the tack that just looks fast. Oh well, maybe with 6 hours of fitness training a day I’ll be this good too!

thanks again for the feedback - excellent tips!
I HEAR YOU! It's tiring stuff. Don't worry about having your foot on the windward side. The point was just to get it AFT all the way (it can be to leeward, no issue there).

Perhaps your tacking entry could use some work as you suggest. One idea -you could try practicing a few key points of a nice entry when it's lighter/medium and you're not so tired. Do all your footwork the same as high wind when you cross the boat. Once that's a bit more automatic/efficient/habitual you'll be more confident to try in a bit higher wind.

You could try:
- Start the entry slow
- Don't take your weight inboard at all until you start to lose deck pressure. Don't let it heel to leeward in the entry.
- Sheet in slowly as you round up
 
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