Take Notes Any Way You Can!

When you are on the phone with a multiple DN North American and World Champion and riding shotgun with a DN North American champion one should ALWAYS TAKE NOTES! Not having a pen and paper at the ready, the sharpie and my right hand had to suffice.

Yesterday, T and I were driving back to RI after three days of great sailing on Walled Lake in Michigan. The ice was HARD and the wind was UP! I am pleased to say I did really well. No one was taking scores, but I am pretty sure I won every B fleet race. My starts were spot on and I was really focused on my body position in the boat. Yet, the fear factor remains high when coming into the leeward mark at a high rate of speed. I was definitely slipping more than I wanted to and in one race I almost spun out. Sunday was even windier with monster puffs in the upper 20s. I had little traction during my tacks and gybes.

I used my heavy 90-degree max inserts all weekend and my front runner has a 95-degree profile. The bigger and more experienced sailors were using 95-degree side runners and still maintaining control and going incredibly fast. Impressive! It’s truly these little things in DN racing that can make all the difference in terms of speed and your position in the fleet.

Mid-day on Saturday, I remembered Jane Pegel, kindly emailed me last year about big wind and her runner choice. I recalled something about an 85-degree front runner. Today, I just reviewed the notes she sent me. Yes, indeed, her front runner was 85 degrees. She said she rarely used her 90-degree side runners even in windy conditions If Jane was able to go fast and maintain control with her 95s and rarely used her 90s, because they are just too sharp and dig into the ice too deeply, should I get a new front runner for better traction? I am definitely considering it.

Then yesterday, Ron Sherry called us on the road. Ron gave me two key tips for big air and they went onto my right hand. Loosen my side stays and lower the halyard a bit. He said both of those small changes will make a huge difference and help you stick on the ice more. Thanks Ron for always being willing to share your knowledge!

I always think I am going to remember things people tell me, but in this sport there are so many variables and scenarios. There is different ice and wind conditions, multiple runner options, rig adjustments, and I am nowhere close to considering the different batten options that exist. I know now taking notes and keeping them for reference will help me make better sense of this sport.

Can’t wait for more sailing soon!

NEIYA Secretary

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