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  #11  
Old 06-27-2007
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Nice videos.

It looks pretty stable close-hauled. Is it? I see him sitting on the corner, can he shift around inside without throwing it off balance? What would it be like if Glen sat in there too? Stable?

Looks like it scoots across the water pretty quick. Does the rudder kick up if it runs aground?

Thanks for sharing. I am in/out of sailnet today.

- CD
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2007
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Tom, Fred knows the heel technique downwind, and he uses it often, however it only works under certain wind conditions.

If the wind is irregular or weak, it actually slows the boat down, so it should not be used all the times.

Its funny to see sometimes, that one kid starts doing it, then they all do it, even if it slows them down, they're allways looking at what the other guy is doing, and do it too.

I have a blast sometimes, I see them doing things that are slowing them, but because one started it, they all do it...give it a try...ask an opti kid to sail near or between the other ones doing something like that...soon they're all doing it.


The angle of heel technique, however can and should be used under all conditions with those boats. Here is an example, see the hull lifting on leeward, not too much, just what is needed for that wind.



And here, both heeling to windward goind downwind.



Now...as far as me spending money, etc.:

Fred's boat is not a bad boat at all, its a boat from the 1998 Optimist World Cup held here in Portugal. I was lucky to get him one, its a fast thin skin boat, and is very well equiped, with good rig and and rudder/centerboard. I had the builder of my boat strip it completely and redoing it frm scratch. But Fred uses it every weekend for the last 2 years, so its showing some dents, dings and scratches, call it "use patina"!!!

It has a brand new sail, and its kept at his club all year round. No need for a yardie, as all the boats are kept and maintained by the kids themselves, which is good, teaches them how to do things for themselves. Remember they sail every weekend, so they are allways doing something to the boats.

They are not allowed to have adults rig the boats, they have to do every single knot and tie by themselves, everytime they sail, even if they are coming back next day, the boat gets completely de-rigged and washed every time.

We can help with the tuning if the coach allows. Which is rare. Every kid needs to know what and where to trim, we're growing sailors, not sissy Playstation boys...the floats are never deflated, and I blew those, with my mouth a year or so ago (G). We try to make them do everything, not to save money but to install the spirit into those little bastards...because believe me, you turn your back and they all disappear as if by magic...

I am thinking getting him a state of the art Opti, but, big but, he has to show more responsability in the keeping, maintenance and readiness of his boat, the results...well he is, so far keeping his part of the deal, and has been showing results that justify me buying him a better boat.

He got new gear this month...can't spoil the brat can I???

Last edited by Giulietta; 06-27-2007 at 11:12 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2007
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So Giu...what is the difference between what Fred has now (aside from the dents!) and a "state of the art opti?"
If one is a big advantage over the other, how do they allow that in the class association? I thought class associations were designed to see who is the best sailor not who has the best boat??
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Old 06-27-2007
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Giu

When my sons were both very young, I was on the board of directors of our yacht club / sailing school and started our OPTI program. That was 16 years ago. Today my son is the head instructor of the Racing OPTI class on our lake. It has been such a wonderful experience to watch him grow up around sailing and develop into a confident adult and enthusiastic sailor. You have much to look forward to watching your son growing up.

Just a thought about buying him a newer boat. I have learned through my 30 years of racing that more than the boat and equipment being an obstacle to ones success on the race course it is their attitude and knowledge that helps the most. The key to success is eliminating mistakes and making the proper choices of where to go on the course. I made sure that Steven had adequate equipment, we never had the newest or best available. We emphasized the mental game on the water, that is what makes the difference. He did get the better equipment. It never had as much of an impact on performance as did the decisions that were made on the water.

Thanks for sharing.


Jeff
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  #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
So Giu...what is the difference between what Fred has now (aside from the dents!) and a "state of the art opti?"
If one is a big advantage over the other, how do they allow that in the class association? I thought class associations were designed to see who is the best sailor not who has the best boat??
Cam, your asking difficult questions now..

There are 3 classifications for the kids in Optimists, based on their age, Infantil, Junior and Juvenil. (I don't know the names in English), but Infantil is like 7 to 10, Junior is from 10 to 12, and Juvenil is up to 14, and these are the high competition levels, where kids can compete even outside a club, and the class rules are less forgiving, the competition level is quite high and the differences here lie in tactics and faster/better hulls and material, just like any other competition, still inside box rules off course. (these are the kids in the World series).

(May I remind you that you, our US friends were the ones that started reading the loop holes in regulations and came out with the round roach Optimist sails, I think 8 years ago, but now they are forbidden, this to show that every ounce counts)

For Infantil and juniors, the boat doesn't really matter, as they are still being sorted out in the races by what mistakes they do, where they go, who stays upright, etc. as you mention, boat quality here is of less importance, most boats are property of the club they represnt, and the championships are done between clubs of the 3 regions we have (North Center and South), however, the tendency is to see more and more private boats in the junior levels because kids change the clubs, and most kids start appreciating having their own boat, so they become affectionate with it, start knowing the boat instead of sailing a different boat all the time. I got him one because we take the boat on our holidays for him to play around us, and because in the beginning I was teaching him how to sail and he changed club, bringing his boat along. After all its his boat...different taste...

So to answer your question, this boat thing is not so much for the regular Infantil and some Juvenil classes, the most common club races,(as you said, its to sort the best sailors, not the best boat), but for those that are now in the final stages of Opti competition, and have already been sorted...once sorted, the best, the difference really is in the sailor brain and his equipment choice.

There are some differences, between boats from 10 years ago and now, for example in the finish of the hull, before the hulls were either gell coat or painted and polished, now they have water repelent coatings (your not even allowed to use solvents to clean them), that make them glide better, the masts, booms etc. now are made from aeronautical aluminiums, with flex ratings based on the sailor's weight and type of sailing (like tenis raquets and string tension), the sheets now are mostly dyneema, the rudders and center boards are high tech finish and flex, etc. All still inside the regulations.

Of course, the moral factor also counts, a kid feels much better when he is sailing on a boat that is similar to the ones his buddies are using.

That is why I said, when the time comes, Fred will get his Super duper Opti, a very expensive thing by the way, but as I said, he first needs to move on, show the results, then we talk about it. For now he is moving up the ranks, his boat is just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string
Giu

When my sons were both very young, I was on the board of directors of our yacht club / sailing school and started our OPTI program. That was 16 years ago. Today my son is the head instructor of the Racing OPTI class on our lake. It has been such a wonderful experience to watch him grow up around sailing and develop into a confident adult and enthusiastic sailor. You have much to look forward to watching your son growing up.

Just a thought about buying him a newer boat. I have learned through my 30 years of racing that more than the boat and equipment being an obstacle to ones success on the race course it is their attitude and knowledge that helps the most. The key to success is eliminating mistakes and making the proper choices of where to go on the course. I made sure that Steven had adequate equipment, we never had the newest or best available. We emphasized the mental game on the water, that is what makes the difference. He did get the better equipment. It never had as much of an impact on performance as did the decisions that were made on the water.

Thanks for sharing.


Jeff
Thanks Jeff

You were writting that when I was writing my reply to Cam , stating just the same...I, due to my lack of English need to write it in very long posts. But you said waht I meant in fewer words...

Thanks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
It looks pretty stable close-hauled. Is it? I see him sitting on the corner, can he shift around inside without throwing it off balance? What would it be like if Glen sat in there too? Stable?

Looks like it scoots across the water pretty quick. Does the rudder kick up if it runs aground?

Thanks for sharing. I am in/out of sailnet today.

- CD
CD the optimist is quite forgiving, and its meant to be sailed shifting your weight by seating forward (normally one leg on each side of the central mini bulkhead) for upwind and at the very rear near the transom for downwind, just like we do on a big boat, exactly same principle. Doing so changes the CofG and center of pressure causing better sailing performance and wind/sail positioning.

As far as sailing with 2 or even 3 small kids, no problem either. But stability will decrease as they move, obviusly.

Fred used to go sailing and take his cousin, (my niece) all the time when he was learning how to sail, it was a way to keep him distracted and happy, because they would be talking and helping each other. Today, he doesn't want anyone on his boat.

As far as the rudder kicking out, it doesn't, waht do you think it is?? a Catalina???

Its a sailboat, not a shore boat...just like any real sailboat, don't go to near the shore! Altough the draft is somewhat small, and with centerboard off the rudder only need a foot or so.

Sorry about the photo quality. Fred here, at age 6 almost 7 with his cousin in an Optimist.

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  #18  
Old 06-27-2007
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I think it's great how well Fred is doing...
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2007
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Thanks for the explanation Giu!
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Old 06-29-2007
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I'm teaching my kid to swim this year, but just in Lake Ontario...no pools until winter! I figure that the combination of cold and flotsam will prepare him for starting in Optis next summer at the age of six. He already knows how to tack the 13-tonne boat, if you put him on a crate to see over the pilothouse...

Nice videos, Alex. Portuguese just sounds like Portuguese to me now. Doesn't mean I understand it, but I can certainly recognize it.
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