Winter Program Week 3

Hi All,

We recently finished up our third practice of the season and what will be our last practice before taking a break for the holidays. This was our coldest practice yet with temperatures right around freezing but I always like to joke with the kids that we still have 30 or so degrees to go before hitting zero which is actually cold. The wind at practice was pretty light and we were fighting around 1.5 knots of current which meant the boats couldn’t make much up river progress so we focused on sail shape, trim, and boat tune. we have the 420s on the Columbia rigged up in the club racing format which means they have a floating block on a bridle system in the main sheet which prevents the boom from being pulled down by the main sheet when trimming in as well as a much more powerful vang system lead back to the skipper which allows the mainsail shape to be much more dialed in. Using the bridle, vang, cunningham, and out haul all together is really key for the boat to go fast as is knowing what each control does and why you would adjust it.

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All sailors are familiar with the wind circle diagram of boats sailing on different points and where the sails are trimmed and I would say most have heard “bring the boom to the corner when you go up wind” which is a good rule of thumb for beginners as it gives a good visual reference for what you should be doing but once you get passed a certain stage and are looking at racing the instruction needs to move from boom at the back corner to looking at leech tell tales and the draft of the sail. So we spent a lot of time at practice unlearning the habit of putting the boom at the corner of the boat focusing on what the sail actually looks like. This is a continuing process as you will be setting up the boat differently based on any given wind strength but eventually I am hoping all the kids will have developed their own preset settings for light, medium, and heavy and then tweak slightly for a given day.

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The sailors have been progressing well and I collected their journals from them at practice to read over winter break we will have another three week session after the holidays are over, hopefully with a bit more breeze so we can go back to focusing on the trapeze  and really step the game up. Happy Holidays! -Peter

Check out our blogs from Week 2 and Week 4

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