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New to this. Never sailed sunfish before and going racing

uncutproducts

New Member
What could go wrong? Picking up boat tomorrow. Racing Sunday. Have some sailing experience but not these little boats. Been watching my daughter race optis and get the tactics. Stoked to follow her around course in her 420. Read up a bit and have been watching YouTube videos on tacking technique. Figure on getting out Saturday if it’s not too windy and practicing tacks and capsize recovery. What’s max wind speed I should go out in? Anything I should watch out for besides boom hitting me in the head?
 

LVW

Member
The boom catching your life preserver (PFD).

At this late moment, use duct tape to raise the mainsheet parallel to the boom (where it counts).
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
A lot could go wrong!
Just my opinion of course, but racing adds a dimension to your sailing adventures mostly because you will be in close proximity of other boats. A collision may well lead to an unhappy competitor but, more importantly, to damage to your own or another boat. You can also hurt yourself or another racer.
What you could do is follow the racers from a safe distance and learn from that.
You also need to be(come) familiar with the important aspects of the RRS.

With respect to your question, I suggest that initially, you don't go out in more than 10 mph breeze. Once you are comfortable tacking and jibing, have fun in bigger winds.
 

uncutproducts

New Member
I plan on staying in the back. Feel like racing makes it more exciting and gives me people to follow and watch.

A lot could go wrong!
Just my opinion of course, but racing adds a dimension to your sailing adventures mostly because you will be in close proximity of other boats. A collision may well lead to an unhappy competitor but, more importantly, to damage to your own or another boat. You can also hurt yourself or another racer.
What you could do is follow the racers from a safe distance and learn from that.
You also need to be(come) familiar with the important aspects of the RRS.

With respect to your question, I suggest that initially, you don't go out in more than 10 mph breeze. Once you are comfortable tacking and jibing, have fun in bigger winds.
 

joe c

banned
youll be fine. not gonna win most likely but why not? i know motorcycle racing we just say, hold your line, be predictable. faster boats will get around you. sounds fun. post your results and laptimes. ;-)
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
My most important advice is be sure to start on starboard tack. And when on port watch out for starboard boats.

As the race progresses, most likely you will find yourself far behind the fleet. If you are the only one far behind the polite thing to do is towards the end of the race return to the starting line so you don’t delay the next race for the others.

Looking fwd to your report !
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
Sailing a sunfish is more about the dance in the cockpit.

First off, stay forward in the cockpit- at least that is what the very experience fish sailors in the club tell me constantly.
Now thats out of the way..

As a very new, this was my third year, sailor what I found improved my sailing on small boats was the tack and gybe dance.
Rear leg is put to the opposite side, lines kicked forward so you dont accidently step on them. (Ummm that is one way to go in the water)
There is the slide the mainsheet along as you pass it behind your back and pick up the tiller.
Important, make sure you have a firm grip on the tiller (Another way to go in the water)
Always turn looking forward.

Gybes can be a bit more trouble. You want to do them with purpose. Make sure that you have a firm hold on the tiller. (Boat really goes in the wrong direction if you dont).

In strong winds dont be afraid to keep speed up as you tack and gybe.

I went from staying in the back of the pack when racing to this year not being afraid. The big change was I am confident on how I gybe and tack at all times.

Still dont know what I am doing in a race, but I still race. Well try to as I also have a recreational sail and that makes a difference as it is slower and does not point as well in strong winds.

I should point out I am racing with 40 to 60 year olds who started racing when they were 6.
 

uncutproducts

New Member
Thanks! I’ve never sailed any single hand dinghy but have been watching my daughter sail an opti for 8 years. I too will be sailing against 60 year olds who’ve been doing this 50 years. I’m stoked.

Sailing a sunfish is more about the dance in the cockpit.

First off, stay forward in the cockpit- at least that is what the very experience fish sailors in the club tell me constantly.
Now thats out of the way..

As a very new, this was my third year, sailor what I found improved my sailing on small boats was the tack and gybe dance.
Rear leg is put to the opposite side, lines kicked forward so you dont accidently step on them. (Ummm that is one way to go in the water)
There is the slide the mainsheet along as you pass it behind your back and pick up the tiller.
Important, make sure you have a firm grip on the tiller (Another way to go in the water)
Always turn looking forward.

Gybes can be a bit more trouble. You want to do them with purpose. Make sure that you have a firm hold on the tiller. (Boat really goes in the wrong direction if you dont).

In strong winds dont be afraid to keep speed up as you tack and gybe.

I went from staying in the back of the pack when racing to this year not being afraid. The big change was I am confident on how I gybe and tack at all times.

Still dont know what I am doing in a race, but I still race. Well try to as I also have a recreational sail and that makes a difference as it is slower and does not point as well in strong winds.

I should point out I am racing with 40 to 60 year olds who started racing when they were 6.
 
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