Six Days and Counting!
Frosty, Karen, T, Ron, Rhea – Great day of practice!
After six straight days of sailing, I woke up this morning with my brain was saying…"I am Living the Dream." My joints were saying, "Stop! Please!"
Yesterday, David Frost, Rhea Nicholas, and I had the incredibly benefit of an on the ice private coaching day with James "T" Thieler and Ron Sherry. Two of the very best….
We set up marks, the breeze filled to 10-12mph, and the drifts seemed a bit smaller. Scratch racing, switching boats, and mark rounding practice all afternoon. During Nationals my mast inverted several times during tacks. That is not fast because you have to bear off a ton and let out a lot of sheet to get it to pop over. I am sure that allowed for boats to zoom by me a few times. So, I asked Ron for tacking advice.
He broke down how he tacks and said I was probably tacking too fast. Ron heads up very gently/slowly. Then scoots forward, bends his knees, eases his body and his head under to slide under the boom, uses his knee to push the boom over to help the mast to rotate, then let’s out a TINY bit of sheet. As soon as the sail fills he straightens his legs by pushing hard on his steps and pulls the sheet hard back in. It worked. I was easing way too much sheet and going into the tacks way too fast. My tacks improved dramatically and no more mast inverting.
So, then I asked him about gybes. At the speeds we were going during Nationals, I felt my boat was floating a bit during gybes so I avoided doing too many gybes. That also probably cost me a few boats in various races. Ron said he does not let out any sheet when he gybes. He scoots forward, gets under the boom, and gybes. Boom. It worked. I felt my boat was staying down on the ice and I felt much safer.
The highlight of yesterday was beating Ron and T in a two-lap race. Maybe they started late. Maybe they were taking it easy. I don’t know. I raced really well and Ron’s tips were extremely helpful. I hope they will be to you, too.
Fun day as the picture shows. Today was a no wind day so no sailing. Joints are happy. We are here in northern Michigan for a few more days. With snow predicted everywhere else in the next few days maybe we are in the perfect spot to sail more.