words of advice for a green laser sailor

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Next week I am entering my first major laser regatta and it will be the first time I have sailed a laser in a formal regatta. I have a decent understanding of tactics and dinghy racing as I race J/105s J/80s and 420s. Is there any advice you guys can give me that will really give me an edge in the fleet since I am really new on the laser scene. Maybe advice on boathandling, weight or trim? Thanks.:confused:


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sit well forwards in light winds - next to or infront of the centreboard. i think the idea is to help the bow cut through the waves so you dont lose so much speed when you hit them
Use this regatta as a training event.

Watch the other good sailors and work out how they are sailing differently from you. Copy their technique and see if it works for you.

Ask lots of questions, but be specific. Don't just ask how can I get an edge. Ask things like how far do you let your sail out when sailing by the lee in these conditions, or how tight is your hiking strap.

Write notes afterwards about what worked well, what didn't, what you need to improve, what you observed, what other sailors told you.

Come back here after the regatta and ask specific questions about anything else you want to know.
If you need to put in a big duck and it's windy, you must ease the vang first (as well as the mainsheet.) In keelboat racing you probably just expected to have the mainsheet trimmer put in a big ease for you.
After you stop the boat (on a bad tack, or penalty turn, or bad start, or whatever) you must ease the vang some in order to open up the leach a bit in order to re-accelerate the boat. Once the boat's moving with speed, you can re-trim the vang. (this advice is valid for sailing in 12+kts)
Sailing downwind, your starting point for vang trim has the top batten parallel to the boom. If the top batten is angled forward of the boom (twisted forward) put on more vang. To much twist forward leads to instability and death rolls.
Have fun. If you're not having fun, you won't stay in the boat long enough to develop the speed needed to move to the front of the fleet.