Training day

It takes 3 buoys to practice.

This Saturday was announced to be a sunny windy day. So we decided to ask our club to lay out a mini race course with 3 buoys. They made us a start line with 2 buoys and the third buoy was used for the upwind mark. This way we had a quick and cheap way to practice or manoeuvres and starting skills. No club personnel or rib was needed. Starting procedure was as follows: Gill made a warning sign by sounding a horn 3 times and after 10 seconds he made a horn signal for the 3 minutes starting sequence. Everyone had to start after those 3 minutes and be fair not to start early. This procedure went very well, everyone was honest and we even had some very exiting close starts.

The course was small, so in 15 minutes we were at the upwind mark, and then in 5 minutes back at the gate. We did this twice for one race and 4 races were held in total. We enjoyed this concept very well and learned a few things. The other club members were thrilled also since we were with 9 boats in total!

The first 2 races we scored 2 bullets, yeah baby! Everything went very smooth, from the start, over our upwind trim and to our downwind speed and depth. We noticed that we had learned alot from last weeks Zwinrace and we had a huge lead over the number 2 and three boats.

The third race we underestimated the current. Tide was coming in and the direction of the current was equal with the direction of the wind. So at the upwind mark we had to be very careful! In the last round of the third race we rounded the upwind buoy, Gill was still in trapeze, I was in front ready to pull the spinnaker when suddenly BOOM a huge break and I almost tipped over the boat. Our speed went from 10 knots to 0 knots in a split second. Our daggerboard was caught on the buoy rope. Damn! This took us a while to get loose, so no results for 3rd race. The current was so strong (we just had spring tide) that 4 other boats also got caught. Check out the video below.

The 4th race started well, we were second to tack for the upwind mark. But the other boat (Infusion) who sailed a bit higher but below us, played it well and pushed us over the layline. We waited for them to tack and when we tacked we noticed that we were over the layline so we had to bear away a lot. And we stuffed it! We both got slung to the front of the boat and somewhere I hurt my foot so we decided to quit the rest of this race.

All in all a very nice sailing day. And a good concept for those of you who want to train and don't want to have a rib, a starting boat and a racing committee out on the water.

Some pictures

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