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cditzen 09-13-2000 01:25 PM

Racing Books
 
Hi there,

I have been crewing on a J105, but am now going to take the leap and buy a boat, which I want to race.

What resources are there available to get started? Books?

...Chris

MightyBrer 10-11-2000 12:19 PM

Racing Books
 
There are a variety of recommendations? Are you looking for books only? or other ''get started'' options as well? Are you looking for info on buying a boat? or just racing one?
Reply with what you''re looking for and I''ll respond with some of my favs for that subject.

cditzen 10-17-2000 04:39 PM

Racing Books
 
Hello MightyBrer,

I am looking for any help with getting
seriously into racing a boat. We (my
girlfriend and I) just bought a ''87 J40,
which we should take delivery of at the end
of the month.

I''ve read ''sail & rig tuning'' by Ivar Dedekam,
which really is great. It has the best
illustrations I''ve seen by far.
For racing itself I am
reading ''around the buoys'' by Huck, which is
too detailed and in-depth for where I am in
my understanding.

What I feel I really need is some plan of how
to get started, what to concentrate on first,
etc., since there is so much, that I am not sure
where to start, and what to not pay attention
to for the next 6 months.

One other thought I had was to try to find
someone to sail with me, build a crew, etc. .
However, I am not sure how to go about that,
and whom to select/trust.

I am not sure if that helps. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help...Chris

MightyBrer 10-17-2000 09:50 PM

Racing Books
 
Concentrate first on getting to know the boat: all it''s parts, features, is everything in good repair to start with, go over every inch of it. Then go sail it and experiment. Don''t just sttle for a comfortable reach; get on a point of sail and see what happens when you tighten or ease the main sheet, what if tighten or ease the jib? both? On a relatively calm day without much traffic, try sailing without the rudder with sail trim only.
All the while, be reading. Of all the books I''ve read about racing, I''d start with Dennis conner''s (with Michael Levitt) Sail Like a Champion. It starts with what makes a boat (materials, fast shapes, movement through water), discusses sails (materials pros and cons, shape,), what is important about boat speed (e.g. pointing highest is not always fastest), the role of each crew member, sequence of crew actions for basic maneuvers (what each crew does when while tacking or jibe-setting), weather, strategy vs. tactics --- the whole shebang.
If you''re really serious about winning, see what you can do to speed up the boat: fair the bottom and foils (caution- do this right, wrong can really bugger things up), get the extra weight off (within class rules); buy good new sails and read the tuning guide (stay tension, jib leads, rake, etc.)
Find a tuning partner - someone with a J40 also interested in getting better. With two boats fairly evenly matched (class rules), three boats is better, sail together on different points and see the effect of changes. Code the fast settings for different wind strengths. Conner discusses how to go about this.
Race as much as you can. An evening sail with your wife is something you both should enjoy frequently, but there''s nothing like racing to help you learn about sailing because you have to go to specific points, in traffic, against the clock.
This should get you through the first six months.
Later on, when you get comfortable with your boat, start working on tactics and strategy. You''ll have learned a lot through experience, but a good read can be a shortcut. Gary Jobson and Tom Whidden (America''s Cup tacticians) teamed up to write Championship Tactics, but I found it requires a pretty good foundation, by this time you should be ready for it.
As for crew, in general, most yacht clubs have a ''crew'' list; ask around about who is good. Other owners, especially the top ones in your area, are a good source - for example, the club is hosting a J Fest but there''s a Schock 35 or T10 owner who is willing to trim the main, or serve as tactician.
Let me know what area you live in and I''ll see who I know in that area that may have better ideas what crew resources are available.

MightyBrer 10-17-2000 09:50 PM

Racing Books
 
Concentrate first on getting to know the boat: all it''s parts, features, is everything in good repair to start with, go over every inch of it. Then go sail it and experiment. Don''t just sttle for a comfortable reach; get on a point of sail and see what happens when you tighten or ease the main sheet, what if tighten or ease the jib? both? On a relatively calm day without much traffic, try sailing without the rudder with sail trim only.
All the while, be reading. Of all the books I''ve read about racing, I''d start with Dennis conner''s (with Michael Levitt) Sail Like a Champion. It starts with what makes a boat (materials, fast shapes, movement through water), discusses sails (materials pros and cons, shape,), what is important about boat speed (e.g. pointing highest is not always fastest), the role of each crew member, sequence of crew actions for basic maneuvers (what each crew does when while tacking or jibe-setting), weather, strategy vs. tactics --- the whole shebang.
If you''re really serious about winning, see what you can do to speed up the boat: fair the bottom and foils (caution- do this right, wrong can really bugger things up), get the extra weight off (within class rules); buy good new sails and read the tuning guide (stay tension, jib leads, rake, etc.)
Find a tuning partner - someone with a J40 also interested in getting better. With two boats fairly evenly matched (class rules), three boats is better, sail together on different points and see the effect of changes. Code the fast settings for different wind strengths. Conner discusses how to go about this.
Race as much as you can. An evening sail with your wife is something you both should enjoy frequently, but there''s nothing like racing to help you learn about sailing because you have to go to specific points, in traffic, against the clock.
This should get you through the first six months.
Later on, when you get comfortable with your boat, start working on tactics and strategy. You''ll have learned a lot through experience, but a good read can be a shortcut. Gary Jobson and Tom Whidden (America''s Cup tacticians) teamed up to write Championship Tactics, but I found it requires a pretty good foundation, by this time you should be ready for it.
As for crew, in general, most yacht clubs have a ''crew'' list; ask around about who is good. Other owners, especially the top ones in your area, are a good source - for example, the club is hosting a J Fest but there''s a Schock 35 or T10 owner who is willing to trim the main, or serve as tactician.
Let me know what area you live in and I''ll see who I know in that area that may have better ideas what crew resources are available.

cditzen 10-18-2000 12:24 PM

Racing Books
 
Wow, Jeff,

thanks a bunch. This is really great feedback. I''ll take it to heart. Oh, I live in the San Francisco bay area; the boat will be located, at least initially, at the Berkeley marina. Anybody you could point me to would be great.

I have another question: I have done some racing on a JY15 dinghy, on which you initiated a tack by sheeting in the main a bit to get weather helm, etc.. Can/should you do the same on a big boat? On the J105 I''ve been crewing on, they don''t seem to do that, but instead ease the jib by a couple of inches, which I don''t really understand. While balance should shift to head up, wouldn''t you also slow down more than sheeting in on the main?


...Chris


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