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Instruction

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13866
Printed Date: 09 Dec 22 at 10:04pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Instruction
Posted By: wolfram
Subject: Instruction
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 9:27am
Any tips on getting some good sailing instruction to take me from competent in a single hander all weather (only capsizing when i'm trying to hard!) to good club sailor?

I'm exploring the 'start racing' courses at my local club, be these run rather infrequently and I already race (all be it at the back of the fleet).

I know that old adage practice, practice, practice - but also value the feedback of experts.

Could tag this on to a holiday somewhere, but ideally i'd be in UK so I could bring my own boat.



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Wolfram



Replies:
Posted By: Old bloke
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 9:44am
I would start by looking at what your class offers.
There are also a number of professional coaches ,the Mark Rushalls and Richard Whitworths etc, who don't just deal with Olympic aspirants.
However, I would start by finding the fastest teenager or uni student at the club and give them a few beer vouchers


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 10:40am
Buy "Start To Win" by Eric Twiname, read it cover to cover, then get to some class opens and hope for a long lunch break to chat to the top guys about boat setup.



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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 10:58am
There used to be a fabulous Laser coaching clinic run somewhere in the Caribbean. Maybe you can find something on Google.

I know that's not very helpful, but winter coming on, ... Caribbean ... .

So, what you're looking for is something to fill in until you can get on a course.

Maybe cast your net a bit wider than your own local club, and also consider commercial sailing schools.

Read books. There are quite a few "be your own coach" books around. Start with Twiname Start to Win. And do the practices they recommend. And invest in Bethwaite High Performance Sailing and keep it on your bedtable.

Try to keep your theoretical knowledge just half a step ahead of your practical experience, so that when something new crops up you can fit it into your theoretical framework and best learn from it.



Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 11:50am
Welcome to dinghy racing.


Clive Eplett's book, see; http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/book-review-by-hugh-brazier/ could have been written for you.


As you say, time on the water, practice racing and non-racing, drills all help.


Crew for someone good and who is prepared to discuss their decisions ... maybe at a regatta or championship.


Find one or two buddies who are at the same level and in the same class of boat and be practice partners ... do lots of short races with them.  Maybe hire a coach between you ... or get your fleet class captain to organise something.


Have a notebook and write down strengths and weaknesses, what you got right and what you got wrong after each race, and formulate a plan to correct them.


Whilst sailing smart is way more important than boatspeed, don't handicap yourself with kit that doesn't work.


You will learn far more sailing in a one design or class fleet than in a handicap fleet, since you will see what works and what doesn't.


I don't think that anyone that I race with would not be happy to offer advice, whether it be about tactics, rules, fitness, routing, boat set up, though the skill might be in working out the b***s**t, we are all interested in improving the quality and depth of the fleets that we sail in.


If I go skiing (which I do) or wished to play golf (which I don't), I would not hesitate to get coached.  For forty years of my sailing career dinghy racing coaching was very hard to find.  Now there are several very good coaches available (for less than a day with a ski instructor in the alps) as well as class organised schemes ... never turn down an opportunity to be coached, it can be very rewarding whatever level that you are.


I have no idea how old you are from your post, but I guess that you have not emerged through some youth training pyramid ... take heart that there have been plenty of people who have entered the sport later in life and had success at championship level.


The key thing is to short circuit the many years that it has taken to learn the hard way!





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Happily living in the past


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

Clive Eplett's book, see; http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/book-review-by-hugh-brazier/ could have been written for you.

It was Thumbs Up


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http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/" rel="nofollow - Great book for Club Sailors here


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by fab100

Originally posted by davidyacht

Clive Eplett's book, see; http://clubsailor.co.uk/wp/club-sailor-from-back-to-front/book-review-by-hugh-brazier/ could have been written for you.

It was Thumbs Up
Did any of my suggestions meet with your approval?


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 2:45pm
Originally posted by Brass

There used to be a fabulous Laser coaching clinic run somewhere in the Caribbean. Maybe you can find something on Google.

I know that's not very helpful, but winter coming on, ... Caribbean ... .




That would be Ari Barshi on Dom Rep, Cabarete, lot of good guys go there, but to me as different a thing sailing a Laser in warm blue waters to racing in a grubby green puddle.. Chalk & Cheese don't think it will help much, maybe with fitness and boat handling

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Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 04 Nov 21 at 8:02pm
Warm blue waters ...

Descriptions I read said it was a very methodical program.


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 22 Nov 21 at 12:39pm
Remember practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent! If you are doing something wrong more practice simply makes it more ingrained!

So as others have said, I'd recommend a balance of theoretical knowledge, coaching and practice. Also, racing is not always the best way to get better at racing. You aren't really learning much about tactics if you aren't keeping up with the fleet, and you won't learn much about sailing faster when you are at the back and trying to catch up, all you tend to do is repeat the same things right or wrong.

However an hour spent practicing (eg) windward mark roundings when not racing, when you aren't under pressure and trying to rush, when you can experiment with different ideas and see what works and what to avoid, will teach you more than dozens of races. Even more so if you have read up beforehand and / or have someone who can coach helping you.



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 22 Nov 21 at 3:12pm
Originally posted by ohFFsake

, and you won't learn much about sailing faster when you are at the back and trying to catch up, all you tend to do is repeat the same things right or wrong.


Exactly the reason sailing the same class as everyone else is wrong if you are not up to speed, buy something faster, you were never going to win anything anyway so the spreadsheet results won't matter, sailing a faster boat amongst a slower class gives you an insight into the sailing 'style' of the lead boats and now and again if you can't work out why they did something just ask, they can always tell you to p**s off, but genuinely good guys are usually keen to help others so it improves the depth of the fleet, if for no other reason than to put more numbers between them and a close rival.

Ignore them when they tell you to get a proper boat like the one they're using, until you find the confidence to start a race in the first rank and hold your course for the first beat of a given race.

By faster boat I mean something like a Phantom racing against Solos or Lasers or if all you've got are Lasers, chuck up that big rig made by Rooster, the only way to get to the front is by boatspeed which then as we all know makes you a tactical genius, except you won't be, it's just helpful to be aboard a viewing platform of what you should be doing. As long as you come back to earth eventually it'll be well worth the effort.


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Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 22 Nov 21 at 4:14pm
"or have someone who can coach helping you."

I am always surprised to find very little, in my own experience anyway, of buddy training / coaching.   
Before I took to sailing I spent years from pre teen to early thirties riding horses and ponies. We generally rode in company and generally watched each other, not so much hacking for simple exercise but when schooling nearly always had a buddy watching to critique what we were doing. 
Fact is you cannot see yourself and more times than not are not doing what you think you are doing. 


Posted By: wolfram
Date Posted: 28 Nov 21 at 7:53am
Thanks for all the advice! Am currently on page 280 of 'hHigh Performance Sailing' it's quite a mental workout!

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Wolfram


Posted By: GybeFunny
Date Posted: 29 Nov 21 at 9:19am
Are there any good double handers at your club? Try offering to crew for the best one, you will learn a lot how the good guys sail around your water.



Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 30 Nov 21 at 8:22am
Originally posted by GybeFunny

Are there any good double handers at your club? Try offering to crew for the best one, you will learn a lot how the good guys sail around your water.


This is better than sailing a fast boat very badly. In the process of achieving the latter you might spend a lot of time swimming and there is nothing more frustrating when leading a race on handicap in a Solo than being starboarded every other tack by a Phantom who doesn't know where he is going. All good sailors avoid conflict if possible and will do their best to work around you but you'll be putting yourself in a position where you will need a sense of humour and potentially a very thick skin. You'll also be in a fast boat, potentially faster than your ability can cope with and in the part of the fleet with the most traffic - I think this is very poor advice, sorry.


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 30 Nov 21 at 9:14am
I completely agree. Quite apart from anything else fast boats are generally harder to sail than slower boats, so you may well find that it takes you longer to get (say) a Phantom around the race course than (say) a Solo.

Also, if the challenge is to sail in the fleet rather than behind it (and we've all been there!) then the first thing you need to master is getting off the start line in reasonable shape. A fast boat does not help you achieve that at all, and again it is easier to improve your starting technique in a slower and more manageable boat.

In summary, as an old guy at our club once observed: "If you are sailing in the wrong direction, the last thing you need is a fast boat!"

(apologies if iGRF's advice was actually intended to be tongue in cheek)



Posted By: Mark Aged 42
Date Posted: 30 Nov 21 at 1:40pm
Have you analysed why you are at the back? Upwind - Are you picking the shifts? Are you hiking hard enough? Downwind - do you pick the right waves to get planing? How efficiently do you round marks? Is your sail trim good on each leg? Do you handle gusts well? This will help focus your future training.



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