Ingham’s Insight: Pinch Through The Lull

Once you start wrapping your head around VMG, you start to realize that making the boat go faster sometimes might be the slower way to the mark. From Sailing World.

From Sailing World

From Sailing World

Although it defies our instincts, it pays to pinch in a lull.
By Mike Ingham Posted February 10, 2015

We were in Newport, R.I., last summer doing some straight-line upwind speed tests. The puffs felt good with crew weight nicely on the rail, but the lulls sent the crew scurrying inboard to balance the boat. The helm got that terrible squishy feeling and the jib’s windward tales stalled.

My focus was on those windward jib tell tales and it seemed logical to bear off to keep them flowing, but I had to bear off a lot, and I lost height with almost no forward gain. I was losing VMG, and even worse, I gave up my gap on the boat to leeward.

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By |2015-04-22T10:25:03-08:00April 22nd, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

Sailrace Seminar Reminder, Monday the 9th, Sail Trim for Speed

The T-Birds get a solid start at the Shipwrights'. Photo, one of many great ones, by Wendy Feltham.

The T-Birds get a solid start at the Shipwrights’. Photo, one of many great ones, by Wendy Feltham.

Dear Sailors,
For those of you participating in the Shipwrights’ regatta, let’s hear what you learned from our sessions this winter!
Did you repack the spinnaker?
Did you hoist the spinnaker on the way out to the racing course? First beer already!!!!!
Did you practice jibing a few times?
Did you go up wind and check you jib leads.
Did you check the wind direction on either tack ?
Was there any osscilations any pattern to the shifts?
Did you test your speed with any of your other competitors going upwind or checked with them to determine which side was favored.
Did you check the starting line bias?
Did any one circle counter clockwise before the start?
Had a few beers, told a few stories and had lots of fun I gather.
See you on Monday at 6 pm NWMC.
Guest speaker Vince Townrow from Ullman Sails well talk about Sailtrim, sailshape and how to make you go faster!

By |2015-03-04T22:00:56-08:00March 4th, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

Monday Sailracing Encounter Group Reminder

Here is a reminder that we are still meeting. Next seesion is on Monday, February 9the at 6pm at the NWMC.
We are planning to discuss the racing rules. If you need an update, Speed and Smarts #124 Jan/Feb 2013, and for a rules Quiz, #125 March/April 2013 issue. They can all be downloaded on the internet so you can get immediate access.

Jim Heumann will discuss a smartphone app called RaceQs and give a demo on this as well!
It is raining in the mountains, plead for dropping freezing levels!!!!!

By |2015-02-05T11:15:22-08:00February 5th, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

A Video Worth Studying

Excellent seminar on the 26th. Stig showed this video and pointed out that he and his crew watch it frame by frame. Lots of great information from technique, to timing, to using crew weight to steer the boat.

Shipwrights is just around the corner. What are you working on to up your game?

By |2015-01-26T21:31:43-08:00January 26th, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

Sailracing Seminar Reminder, Monday, January 26th

May 08, 2009 on board Telefonica Blue in Boston. Rounding the windward mark behind Puma as other boats come in on port tack.

Here is a reminder that we are now rounding the windward mark and heading downwind. Please review Speed and Smarts issue 130, Downwind Strategy and Tactics. See you on Monday at 6 pm at the Maritime Center.

By |2015-01-25T13:01:14-08:00January 25th, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

McKee’s Key West Minute

Inspired by the Seahawk’s win in the NFC Championship game, Jonathan McKee draws some lesson we can use on the race course.


Monday, Jan. 19
Sometimes inspiration and truth can come from unexpected sources. I am referring of course to the Seattle Seahawks amazing come from behind victory over Green Bay in the NFC Championship last night! Of course I am a Seahawks fan, as every red-blooded Seattleite is. But even if I wasn’t, there were some relevant lessons. Number one: Never give up! Even as they were playing terrible throughout most of the game, even as the game seemed out of reach with five minutes left, they never relented. They just kept playing, kept pushing, and just when it seemed impossible, the game turned around.

Number two: Keep playing as a team. There is a tendency when the chips are down to try to do something special as an individual. We have all felt that. But in the end, we don’t know who the hero is going to be. So we need to continue to trust our mates, and believe that as a team, we can still do it. Have your teammates’ back and keep doing your job.

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By |2015-01-21T09:49:46-08:00January 20th, 2015|Racing out of the Bay, Racing Skills|0 Comments

Upwind Sailracing Tactical Principles



Post by Nick Turney, Destination One Design 10/2/2007 8:02:19 PM

What are upwind tactics? Up wind tactics involve positioning yourself compared to other boats or groups of boats to take advantage of wind shifts or current. There are many levels to upwind tactics.

The first and most important level of upwind tactics is the wind shifts. I think of sailing upwind like climbing a ladder. The steps or rungs of the ladder hang perpendicular to the wind direction. The boats on the same rung are the same distance upwind. This ladder rotates as the wind direction changes. The boats closer to the new wind direction are on a higher rung now and the boats furthest from the new wind direction are on a lower rung. Example, when two boats are sailing side by side on starboard tack and they see a 10 degree left shift. The boat to weather is now behind by a ladder rung.

There are a number of tactical principles to keep in mind as you sail upwind.

1. Keep clean air- You control your own race. Look ahead and plan your tacks, you need to look ahead and position yourself clear of crowds.

2. Cross when you can- This is even more true in the extremely shifty stuff. Take the opportunity to consolidate your gains.

3. Don’t let others cross you- when the wind shifts, don’t let the boats who made gains on you consolidate. Look upwind and find the next shift.

4. Avoid the laylines- Once you have reached the laylines your options are gone. Pick which side of the course is favored and try to be middle to that side. Always be aware of where the mark is. There is one exception to this rule and that is when you are huge fleets. In big fleet racing it is best to work the edge of the favored side.

5. Leading, never ducking- In more cases than not it is best to lead the big crowds. Tacking ahead and to leeward.

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By |2015-01-14T16:52:48-08:00January 14th, 2015|Racing Skills|0 Comments

January 12th Sailracing Seminar Reminder

232px-Tacking_IntervalsHappy New Year
Here is a reminder about our upcoming meeting on the 12th of January, 6 pm at the Maritime Center. The cost is $5.

We are now ready for the upwind leg. Please review Dellenbaugh’ s Speed and Smarts #129 newsletter regarding the upwind leg. Think about the following:
– How long does it take to tack your boat?
– How many boat lengths do you loose?
– How long does it take to get up to full speed?
– Based on our two previous sessions when is the ideal time to tack and set up for the final approach to the start?
– How long does it take to get up to speed and cover 200 feet, ie approximately 5 to 7 boatlengths depending on the size of the boat?

By |2015-10-20T19:04:16-08:00January 8th, 2015|Meeting Announcement, Racing Skills|0 Comments