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Righting Laser with unfavourable winds & waves

PatHo

New Member
While sailing my Laser (Standard) frequently for years, I capsize dry/wet on a regular basis, without blinking an eye. However, Sunday in the Grevelingen (Zeeland, the Netherlands), I was unable to right my boat due to an moody wind (up to 30 knots), and awkward waves, notwithstanding my weight of 95 kilograms (effect of French fries and Zeeland mussles accompagnied by Belgian artisanal beers). No way putting her nose in the wind, and the boat kept spinning to leeward until I was pooped, trying to drown me in the process. In the end, I had to untie my sail - good thinking of my comrades circling around - get onboard that way, and the crew in a 470 had to tow me back to the beach on their sail. Ironically, I helped another Laser just 1/2 hour earlier with same problem, by stopping the mast bashing over to the other side, by sailing past it, and grabbing the tip for just 3 seconds. Back home, I looked into the "Californian Roll", but I don't see how this could have helped me. Once you're gone turtle anyway, in theory you can tilt with your back in wind, on the right side. This is extremely nerve-wrecking, as I had this a couple of times before at sea. The waves definitely share part of the blame. It seems an aspect of my Laser I cannot handle yet, and I sometimes sail solo. Except from a dangling fender on the top of my mast, any tips from fellow Laser sailors?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
You have to release the vang and make sure you right it slowly to give it time to spin up into the wind. That should work.
 

PatHo

New Member
I can really visualise this working. My vang was loose, but my timing was inadequate. With the sail lifted slightly out of the water, I should have allowed the boat to spin towards the wind, then pull, instead of playing a hopeless tug of war with the wind. Thx, I'll give this a go next time !!!
 
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