Despite it being almost the middle of November, an enthusiastic band of 15 sailors in 12 boats turned out for the extended Sociable Saturday activities of Coaching and Racing in the morning. Matt and Mandy gave tips and advice alongside the racetrack run by Ian, where two races took place. Pete Windsor made a video record of the activities which can be seen on Youtube here.
Whilst the adults enjoyed cake (of course) – two types of muffins courtesy of Neal and Pete, plus lemon drizzle by Ann – Ian gave some very helpful insights about wind bends over the shore and other topics of interest and an enthusiastic band of Team Grafham youngsters enjoyed the sunny afternoon conditions on the water.
Matt and Mandy sent a helpful debrief email to the participants of the morning session:
We wanted to give a bit of feedback today by email. We weren’t able to do a debrief as there is less time available before the kids’ session now that each session is shorter.
We commented on boat trim to many people today. In particular, many of you would have benefited from sitting further forward. For the boats with mainsheet cleats on the decks, a good guide is to sit on top of the cleats. It is quite painful but that’s about the right position!
Take care with oversheeting. If your boat is upright because the wind is light, you don’t want to be block to block. You need to ease the sail to let the rig breathe and help the wind flow over the sail. As the wind increases, you can sheet in to block to block. In a gust, if you are fully hiked and the boat is still heeled, ease the main slightly. You can also pull on more kicker and downhaul if you are still not flat. The boat needs to be flat for the boat shape and foils to work correctly. As the boat flattens, pull the main back in to the optimal position- block to block- or slightly out if it is breezy.
When the wind drops and the boat feels like it has stopped or is too upright/coming over on top of you, sit further in and heel the boat to leeward slightly to allow gravity to take force on the sail shape. At this point, all the manoeuvres need to be really gentle so you don’t stall the boat.
A final thought is to try and use the tell tales to help you sail efficiently upwind. You should be watching them 99% of the time. If the windward one flaps, bear away slightly. If the leeward one flaps, point up more.
Hope this helps. See you on the 25th for the next coaching session.