Join Date: Aug 2008
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Barq, I just had my first experience doing exactly what you're talking about in the offshore race we just completed. We only had 5'-6' but they were relatively tight and steep.
Pinching into them, it's not bad at all - and the guys above have nailed what the crew taught me about how to take them. You'll get used to it really quickly. I was lucky to be on a PSC 37 that was super solid. My C27 would have been a lot more work.
Steering with the waves on the beam is more challenging, but still the same concept.
Just keep a controlled "S" up and over to avoid pounding and use the wind to keep the boat stable. It's really just a balance...and most importantly, anticipation game. You really have to think ahead on the steering and anticipate. Fool's advice on being able to see everything while at the helm is critical. AND you have to stay balanced yourself!
I'm still not great at it, but dude, it was really, really fun for this lake sailor.