newbie "racer" (thinking about it) here, so please be gentle. I bought my FJ last summer but only got it out twice, and in calm winds. My background prior is mostly chartering/cruising.
I'm thinking about racing this summer, and met some folks recently that race. Let's just say these people did not look like college racing sailors/athletes, but when I mentioned that I just typically dump the main a little or head up when things get wild, instead of hiking out, they snickered at me!
I'm 43, and these are people 25+ years my senior! That's a shot to the ego. "Hike or swim" I believe is what they said.
So, I'm reading up on hiking, but have never been on a racing dinghy doing this, I have some questions....
- is most of the leverage gained by butt off the gunwale, or is it the pulling up of the hiking straps (or the two in concert) ? The reason I ask, it doesn't seem once most of my weight is ON the rail, that additional leverage could be gained by going OFF of it. Obviously, I must be wrong as that's the way it's done - I just want to understand better. Perhaps being off the rail provides more "up" power to the hiking straps (?).
- re: the racers I met - I would guess I have at least as good of ab strength/core strength as them, but it seems hiking out for even a minute or so is about all I can do without getting exhausted (at home, hiking off of my ottoman, feet held under the couch). Yes, I'm gonna work on this daily, but does that sound right? I'm 6'1", 205 lbs, and reasonably active.
- other tips ?