Laser slalom course

Thread starter #1
Does anyone have a diagram of the slalom course as used by SFYC? It seems as though I remember Tillman's first book in the 1970s having a slalom diagram, but I may be dreaming that part.

Thanks.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#2
I have that book right here and you are dreaming, partially: it doesn't have the bird's-eye view of the San Francisco course, but it does show how to set up a small (less than 100 m long) training slalom course using a bunch of plastic bottles. There's a sideways/underwater diagram of it.

I think there is a course diagram included in the original story of the race in a 1970s issue of Yacht Racing. I'll check that next time when I get to my summer cottage sailing magazine stash. :D
 
Thread starter #3
Thanks so much. What is the recommended distance between marks? Also, and this is through the murk of time, I recall Tillman had a trash bag at the leeward end of the string of marks to keep the marks square. Is that correct? Thanks for the help, LaLi.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#4
What is the recommended distance between marks?
36 feet (11 metres), which is not even three boatlengths. With seven bottles, the whole thing is less than 80 m long. Doesn't sound very useful beyond the lower end of the wind scale. (What's the highest wind you can throw two gybes within three boatlengths?)
I recall Tillman had a trash bag at the leeward end of the string of marks to keep the marks square. Is that correct?
Yes it is. I understand that he wanted to have a bigger, but still cheap everyday object as a wind vane at the end of the buoy chain.
 
Thread starter #5
Well, our little group is looking to have a heavy wind slalom at our little lake right off the club dock, making it a spectator event! The primary class at our club, the Flying Scot, doesn't sail in wind exceeding 25 mph, so the idea is to sail the Laser slalom during a FS blowout. In our neck of the woods, it can blow very hard in the spring, so that's what we're looking for. You're right that 36' between buoys isn't sufficient; however, we can certainly rectify that.

Thanks again, LaLi, for your input.
 
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