Starting: shooting up to defend hole

boikie

New Member
Thread starter #1

In the video above a coach from the International Sailing Academy says that shooting up to head to wind is a good technique to defend your leeward hole from poachers.

Watch from 1:53. I'm not getting the rationale of this. What I see here is that the windward boat hast lost his leeward hole, and shooting up to head to wind won't change this fact. At most, it allows the windward boat to put his bow closer to the line than his opponent.

Isn't the regular technique in these cases putting your bow down? That is, when you see someone about to tack to leeward of you, you bear away to close the hole?

I guess I must be missing something, because I can't see how shooting up can help to protect your hole.

Since we're at it, why the advice at 2:14 to keep head to wind until the leeward boat bears away? Do you think it's to avoid leeward drag?

Any comments will be appreciated.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#2
It's interesting and a nice move! It accomplishes the following:

1)- allows you to gain separation after someone tacks to leeward of you.
2)- Allows you to hold a line position without drifting down the line or into the boat to leeward of you
3)- allows you to get back up to the line after you have drifted backward away from it

However, there is a big possible pit fall if you execute this poorly and actually end up tacking, (as several of the boats in the video did) onto port. Port tack is far different in the rules on a starting line than heading up head to wind and/or above close hauled. A boat who is tacking must keep clear of those who are not. Tacking kills you leeward advantage. You're no longer leeward to a windward stbd boat, you're now on port tack and in trouble.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#3
Pretty cool-looking technique but I agree with boikie that it doesn't work quite as well as the narrator implies. If someone to your leeward does it even half as well, all you can do is to wait for that boat to bear away... and to essentially lose the start.

Right-of-way-wise, this is very risky (as Rob said) because if you pass head-to-wind even once, you have to keep clear of everybody until you're on a close-hauled course on either tack. Add to that all the inevitable illegal sculling, and you're guaranteed to give judges a hellish time :confused:

_
 
#4
The good guys in the junior radial fleet have become very good at these moves.
Even pulling up the board and backwinding the sail for a moment to make the boat sail from left to right on the line.
If done properly it can turn a bad hole into a workable one, if done bad you flip.
But....
It is pretty hard to beat the time on distance start in a low traffic area.
 

boikie

New Member
Thread starter #5
Thank you all guys for your input!

I haven't seen any videos of sailors putting their bows down (bearing away by sculling) to close their leeward gap from poachers.

Is this something that is not done in the Laser class? If so, why?
 
#6
In any major regatta with good judges you are likely to be flagged for sculling below close hauled. It does happen but you could just as easily let the person in and build a new hole by backing up or making an up move. The good junior can make a 1 or 1.5 BL hole in a good back up and one up move.
The main reason why these moves are important in Lasers is because most starts your final approach is made on starboard between 1:30 and 2 mins. In this time you have to open and close your hole to protect from poachers. This is the key to starting well in a very good fleet.
 
#9
In any major regatta with good judges you are likely to be flagged for sculling below close hauled. It does happen but you could just as easily let the person in and build a new whole by backing up or making an up move. The good junior can make a 1 or 1.5 BL hole in a good back up and one up move.
In my experience, judges look at backing your main as a worse offense than sculling.
E
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#12
Interesting thread!

A more general question from a relative newbie:

When to 'hang on the line'
and when to do

'Time and distance'
 
#13
Emilio,

Please explain your reasoning; as LaLi already pointed out, backwinding your sail is not illegal
Backing your main will attract judges attention more than sculling. Neither is illegal when done within the rules but in y experience backing your sail is easier to spot for the judges and will attract their attention more than sculling.
And you really don't want to attract attention.
Time and distance might work in small fleets but it's very risky in large fleets or crowded lines.
E
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#14
Backing your main will attract judges attention more than sculling. Neither is illegal when done within the rules but in y experience backing your sail is easier to spot for the judges and will attract their attention more than sculling.
I still can't find a rule outside of which backing would be illegal.

_
 

thieuster

Active Member
#16
My son's back from a week in Portugal and I showed him the video and asked him for comment. He told me that it's more or less common practice on the Junior 'fields' (as was said before here on the forum). He had some 'ifs' and 'buts'... Apparently, this manoeuvre only works in light conditions (as shown on the video). High waves and strong gusts like they encountered last week in Portugal**), make it nearly impossible to perform this action without someone colliding into another boat. Then the rudder movement... His experiences are that the jury is very keen on watching for someone performing this movement - and overstepping ( going to far) with the movement. You have to be very precise with your rudder-action. And it gets wrong very easily.

Backing the main has never an issue. They even start learning and doing that in the oppis!

**) The swell near the harbour was frighteningly high. Even one of the RIBs tumbled over backwards when 'negotiating' a wave. The RIB crew did a recce trip to see if it was safe enough to start the regatta! That provided enough 'data' to decide to wait two hours!
 
#17
Push the boom at your own peril...
Basically if you backwind your sail you're at fault if anything happens; or even if nothing happens but the windward boat starts yelling at you.

E (who got flagged for backwinding his sail though no contact had occurred and was told by the jury that they really look for that)
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#18
Push the boom at your own peril...
Basically if you backwind your sail you're at fault if anything happens; or even if nothing happens but the windward boat starts yelling at you.

E (who got flagged for backwinding his sail though no contact had occurred and was told by the jury that they really look for that)
Huh. Interesting for sure.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#19
I still can't find a rule outside of which backing would be illegal.

_
You would need to look at the case histories and not the rule book.

If in the manoeuvre you start moving backwards, rather than being a starboard tack boat going backwards, you could be considered a port tack boat going downwind with an extremely blunt bow.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#20
Time and distance might work in small fleets but it's very risky in large fleets or crowded lines.
E
Yes, I discovered that painfully. I usually race with 10-20 boats, and 'time and distance' works most of the time. But then I went to a major Masters regatta with 50+ boats and found myself in the second row because the line was fully 'occupied' with boats that had 'settled in' a minute or so prior to the start. Ouch!
So much bad air...:(
 
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