Rechtzeitig zur Saison 2006 für alle Wassersegler:
Der Beginn einer Artikelsammlung aus meinem Fundus:
1. PERFECTING THE JIBE SET
2. ACHIEVING DOWNWIND PERFORMANCE
3. CROSS TRAINING
4. MAINSAIL TWIST FOR WAVES
PERFECTING THE JIBE SET
(Polishing your skills on this fundamental maneuver will mean you've got more options at the top mark should you need them. Dean Brenner has a story on the Sailnet website that should help you do that. Here's an excerpt.)
A jibe-set can be more difficult than a bear-away in some ways, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. It simply requires more rotation of the spinnaker to avoid getting it caught up and wrapped in the rigging.
The Approach: As with a bear-away set, it is important to keep racing the boat upwind all the way into the mark. The tactician (or whoever is watching the compass) should keep an eye on the wind shifts as the boat closes on the mark. Knowing what phase the wind is in will be important because it will be one of the determining factors regarding whether to bear away or jibe-set. For the purposes of this article, we'll say that the wind is in a right-hand shift, so a jibe-set makes sense. As you head into the mark on starboard, keep as much crew weight on the rail as possible to keep the boat moving fast upwind.
Since you'll be jibing around the mark, you don't want to deploy the pole until after the jibe. On smaller boats, some crews prefer to set the spinnaker without the pole, just to get the sail up and drawing. Whether you set with the pole or without it, make sure that all the gear is ready to go. The clews of the spinnaker should be free and disentangled from any obstacles, and the halyard attached to the head of the spinnaker. A slow rotation of the kite will prevent you from having a good set. On bigger boats, some crews prefer to hoist the pole on the inboard end so that only the topping lift has to go up. Then they jibe the headsail over the pole. Having a mark on your topping lift is important as well because it will allow you to easily set the control to the optimal spot immediately after the jibe.
Pre-feed the Guy: In some boats, pre-feeding the guy is critical. On smaller boats it is not as important. At a minimum, make sure the hatch or bag is open and ready to go, and keep hiking.
The Rounding: Keep hiking the boat around the mark so you will need less rudder to turn the boat down. If you have the cunningham tensioned, ease it as you leave the rail, and in bigger breeze (and especially on a bigger boat with a large main) have someone ease the vang around the mark. This too will help the boat bear away quickly. The vang will then have to be
trimmed back to a good downwind setting, so make sure know what that is or you have good marks on it. Ease the main and jibsheets and try to focus on making a smooth, fast turn around the mark. - Dean Brenner, Sailnet website.
Full story: http://www.sailnet.com/
ACHIEVING DOWNWIND PERFORMANCE
(There are specific techniques that can help you make gains while sailing downwind. Zack Leonard discusses how improve your downwind performance and technique in part three of his story on the SailNet website. Here is a brief excerpt.)
As you enter the two-boat length circle and establish your rounding position in the pecking order, you can then slow down and wait for the boats directly ahead to round, giving you room to maneuver after you round. But how can you slow a boat that's sailing downwind? The most effective way to slow down is by dousing the chute early, or dropping your centerboard
early. Another way is to over-trim your mainsail-almost to the to centerline-to decrease its efficiency. A third way is to move crew weight to the wrong place. In a dinghy you can sit in or on the transom to drag the stern and slow down. And the final way is to use the rudder.
One quick lesson on technique here: The rudder can be a very effective brake when it is turned all the way over. But that will make the boat turn, won't it? Not always. A radical thrust of the tiller from one side all the way over to the other will stall the flow of water over the rudder. For a moment or two it won't be steering at all, just dragging, and then the water will find its way back around the rudder and it will begin to steer the boat again. At that moment, you need to shift the tiller or wheel all
the way to the other side, hard. That will continue the stall and braking action. While this technique is extremely effective in smaller, lighter boats, it's a lot less effective in big keelboats.
If you experiment with all the above techniques, you will become more proficient at waiting your turn and rounding right next to the mark. And, if you execute the mark rounding in this way, it will give you the freedom to continue on port tack or tack right away to clear your air.
As for the rest of the downwind leg, developing good, smooth boat handling will allow you to jibe the boat to take advantage of each shift, puff, or wave, as well as respond to the movements of the boats behind you in order to maintain clear air. And, staying aggressive with the waves and puffs will help you put some distance on the fleet while they break out the sandwiches and eat your dust! - Zack Leonard, SailNet website
(Polishing your performance is a lifelong pursuit, and one way to avoid complacency is to push yourself by learning aboard unfamiliar boats. Dan Dickison discusses the advantages of 'cross training' on the SailNet website. Here's a brief excerpt)
It's easy for sailors, particularly those who own and drive sailboats, to get into a rut by sailing just one kind of boat. After a while that kind of boat just becomes such a comfortable fit that you stop asking yourself, 'What can I do to sail better?' Getting into an unfamiliar boat will keep you on your toes as a performance sailor because it will require that you be particularly observant to figure out how the new vessel responds. Once you realize that the sailing techniques you formerly relied upon are only alternatives, not hard, fast rules, you'll be well on your way toward becoming a better sailor.
Jumping into a new class may be intimidating at first, but intimidation is only an initial phase. Knowing this will help you make the most of this learning opportunity and help you to enjoy what could otherwise be an awkward situation. Above all, you should avoid burdening yourself with unrealistic expectations about how you might fare your first time out aboard a new boat. Remember, Michael Jordan had no mortal equivalent on the basketball court, but in a baseball uniform he became just another guy on the roster, no more than a farm leaguer. The idea, after all, is simply to learn, so just try to absorb as much as you can about how the good sailors in this new boat set things up and how they sail the boat. You can start by asking questions, and as a rule of thumb, you'll find that most everyone who sails that new boat will be more than willing to help you learn.
Then, when you eventually get back aboard your usual boat, you won't realize it, but unconsciously you'll be distilling what you learned aboard the other boat and applying it. It's only human nature for you to make comparisons, and these will help you fine-tune your performance. - Dan Dickison, SailNet website.
(There are few sports that require the diversity of skills that sailing demands. In a story on the SailNet website, Sailing instructor Zack Leonard discussed how to coach yourself. Here's a brief excerpt.)
The single largest mistake that I see most junior sailing instructors, high-school coaches, and college coaches make is to start off by teaching boat-handling skills first. While basic tacking, jibing, and acceleration techniques are necessary just to turn the corners on a racecourse, many of the concepts needed to understand proper boat-handling techniques are hard
to grasp if they aren't first introduced in the context of straight-line speed. Understanding through experience the concepts of helm balance and rudder load, pressure on the sails, steering with weight and sail trim, crew-weight positioning, and kinetic responsiveness is crucial to perfecting tacks, jibes, and acceleration. These concepts are best taught in a straight-line, speed-tuning environment where experimentation yields immediate results. And once a sailor understands and feels these forces in the boat, the process of learning to squeeze maximum potential out of tacks and jibes is much easier.
When you are just learning to sail, or learning a new boat, that's when this principle is most important. When I coach or teach, I recommend beginning with a lot of straight-line sailing so that you get the feel of your new boat. You'll gradually learn how quickly the apparent wind accelerates and decelerates in the puffs, and you'll get to know how the helm reacts to heal and crew position, and how sail trim affects the helm. As you become confident in your basic sail setup and helming skills, then you'll be ready to move on to refining your boat handling.
If you ever have the chance to witness your local collegiate sailing team's practice sessions, you will probably see the team executing tacks in rapid succession with the coach urging the sailors on between his whistle blasts. While drills that emphasize the repetition of boat-handling skills are great for sailors who have mastered all the mechanics of these skills, they are often detrimental to sailors who are just learning the proper mechanics. - Zack Leonard, SailNet website
Mainsail Twist for Waves (Author: Dobbs Davis)
Moderate winds and uniform waves require matching sail trim. The 60th edition of the Acura SORC in Miami Beach this winter produced a fantastic variety of sailing conditions to challenge the 138 entries in the event. Starting with postponements and light air on the first day, the southerly breeze built steadily throughout the event so that on the fourth day the wind speeds approached and exceeded 20 knots. This kind of conditions offers a great opportunity for learning lessons, and that’s just what happened here. For everyone but the multihull competitors, the course areas were set east of Key Biscayne, just a couple miles offshore. For the duration of the event, the southerly breeze was slightly more to the west than the 'normal' southeasterlies, making for an interesting scenario in wind and wave sailing. Though the wind showed a tendency to bend around the southern end of Key Biscayne, the wave pattern was more uniformly from the southeast, and often at a significantly different angle than the wind. This made for a completely different kind of sailing on each tack upwind. On starboard, boats were taking the waves and chop head-on, while on port, the waves were hitting the boats on the beam for a slightly smoother ride. To optimize speed, balance, and pointing ability, this meant adjusting the sail trim in a different fashion on each tack—twisted but powerful on starboard, and a little flatter and less twisted on port.
For those of us sailing on the offshore one-design course (including Mumm 30s, 1D35s, and Farr 40s), the first challenge in these circumstances was to decide first how to set up the rig. Without the dynamic rig adjustment of running backstays or checkstays, the middle shape of the mainsail is controlled by mast bend, which in turn is controlled by adjustment on the diagonal shrouds. Since these could not be adjusted except between races, the question became whether to try and optimize the tuning for the deeper and more powerful shapes necessary on starboard tack, or the flatter shapes that were better for port.
On starboard tack, the waves were pretty square, requiring more power in the sail trim. On these two-spreader, runnerless rig designs, easing the diagonal shrouds (lowers are referred to as D1s and uppers as D2s) allows the mast to bend more and flatten the main. However, if made too loose, overbend in the mast section will compromise headstay tension, which is critical for keeping the jib shape from becoming too deep in breezy conditions. The challenge is always to decide how much bend might be too much, and only through trial and error will the exact adjustment be determined. The difference between a light air and heavy air settings might only be several turns on the diagonals' turnbuckles. Because of this, using the sailmakers' tuning guides in each of these classes is an excellent way to understand how and when to make these adjustments and match the mast bend and stiffness with the sails' designs.
On John Musa's 1D35 Jacaibon, we opted for having a little more bend and flatter shapes appropriate for port tack, reasoning that if necessary we could manipulate other controls such as the outhaul to deepen the main on starboard. Also, as the day wore on we saw a tendency for the wind to increase, and we wanted to make sure we would therefore be fast on the last beat of the race as well as the first.
Steep chop like that seen here can severely challenge a helmsperson, but trimmers can offer some assistance by powering up the sails.Fortunately, the other controls we had on sail trim were much more accessible than adjusting the diagonals. Deeper and more powerful shapes on starboard tack prompted us to use slightly less headstay on the 1D35, and even a little less outhaul on the main and less halyard tension on the jib. After tacking to port, however, we'd pull more outhaul on, pump on more headstay, grind on more halyard tension, and tighten the cunningham to help flatten the shapes for smoother water. These we'd keep fairly constant while on each tack, unless there was a significant change in wind speed.
The most dynamically adjusted aspect of sail shaping that we tried to manipulate was the twist in the leech. On starboard tack, the impact of taking the waves head-on made the boat pitch more readily than on port tack. This meant the angle of attack of the wind on the sails would vary widely, especially at the top of the spar. So, in order to reduce the risk of having the sails over-trimmed and therefore stalling the flow of air, we would put more twist in the main and maybe a little more as well on the jib. This meant easing the jibsheet about an inch or two from where it was on port tack, and a similar and sometimes greater amount of ease on the mainsheet. While a little pointing was sacrificed, the twisted shape made the boat perform consistently faster through the waves, with the balance on the helm and heel angle controlled through adjusting the traveler.
Adjusting sail trim to meet conditions can mean the difference between the unobstructed view up front and the view in the back of the pack.On port tack, the flatter water meant we needed less powerful shapes in the sails to accelerate, and the mast was not pitching through huge angles of gyradius. More headstay, halyard, outhaul, and cunningham tensions were applied, and if we had a backstay, we'd have pulled that on harder as well. Here also the challenge was not to keep the side-on waves from pushing the bow too far off to leeward, so a little less twist in the main kept the boat pointed consistently higher. This meant carrying a few inches more mainsheet tension than on starboard tack, although never was the main trimmed so hard as to have the top batten pointing to weather of centerline. This trim setup allowed us to maintain height as well as speed, with the traveler eased in the puffs and trimmed in the lulls.
After all this work getting upwind, going downwind was a blast, especially on port gybe where at relatively close true-wind angles we were all easily surfing down the waves. Fortunately both the finishes and the harbor were downwind, so it made for great endings to some long days!
If you encounter similar conditions when you race, keep in mind this simple lesson from the 2001 Acura SORC—when sailing upwind, the bigger the waves (and the more head-on they are), the more the twist.