Finally got some of the spin and trap gear rigged up on the 420’s and started to get some kids out on the wire. I have been pushing this across the region as I think it is the best way to expand a sailors knowledge and make them better all around sailors. The plan is to focus on sail shape and controls the next few practice sessions and see if I can break a few bad habits the sailors have. I have found it pretty common on boats rigged with a 3:1 collegiate style vang for the vangs to slip “on” while the boat is derigged, making it difficult to raise the sail and the sailors will often just muscle the main all the way up resulting in a super tight leech. This drives me crazy, seeing sailors doing everything in their power to roll the boat and put as much power into the boat as possible only to sail with a hooked leech and wonder why they are getting passed!.
The leech telltale is arguably the most important informational tool on a dinghy. It instantly lets you know if your main is stalled or to far blown open. Finding this balance and knowing which “gear” you are in based on how your leech tell tale is reacting is crucial to making the boat sail fast. I like to explain sailboat racing in terms of percentages, After a roll tack you should be at 110 percent of your upwind speed due to a nice roll and flatten, your job is to stay above 100 percent for as long as possible! Inducing a bunch of drag because of a hooked leech will drop you to 100 or below faster than being in 4th gear. Hammering home the mantra of leech, jib, wind, for the skippers this week in the order of where they should be moving their gaze.
Another race this upcoming weekend, going to be a bit emotional as I will probably see one of my old sailors again for the last time before they head off to start their college sailing career. Will have to wait and see how it goes!