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  #11  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

I don't race and have a book and knotmeter to teach me how to sail better.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

Quote:
You must not do much bow work
I find the bow work to be more cardio then muscle.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

You either love it or you don't. I like single-handed and short-handed races. This past weekend, I sailed over to Richmond Yacht Club where the single-handed TransPac boats were getting inspected. I toured and spoke to the skippers of an Islander 36, a Garcia Passoa 47, and a Wilderness 30, that have their boats all set up for not just single-handing, but for safety and self-reliance in a big ocean. We talked electric, and windvanes, and sails, and engines, and autopilots, and so much more for hours. It was great. Could I be part of this group if I wasn't racing? I would guess, yes, because they're so inviting to everyone who wants to learn how to be a better sailor. This is why I love racing.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

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I don't race and have a book and knotmeter to teach me how to sail better.
Think a VMG instrument might teach you more.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

I race because the other guy and me are on the same tack...

I have an old boat, not particularly fast and I usually finish close to last acrossed the line. But my PHRF is 218 so it all evens out in the wash I guess. That being said I don't do alot of weekday races, although I have crewed in the past. I'm more of a weekend racer and distance races. Here in West Michigan the sailing season is short and it's fun for me and my friends to do a cross lake race. We get to hang out with good friends from other boats and meet new ones. Most importantly we look and listen, and learn how to do things better and safer ect.

Still with my boat and time I doubt I'll ever do weekday races with my boat. Too much time and energy.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

I am new to sailing and do not yet own a boat.

For me racing lets me learn how to sail better. It also exposes me to the pros and cons of more boats ahead of my first boat purchase.
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottUK View Post
Think a VMG instrument might teach you more.
*Edit - rereading I see I misunderstood Scott's meaning, but I'll leave the tirade below in-tack(t). He's right, VMG will tell you more than a knotmeter, and combining the both is awesome.

Not true. Having started racing properly about six months ago my skill set has increased dramatically, with years of progress yet to be made.

VMG at any given moment does not equate to best average VMG to a position. You need to account for current (potentially in the future), wind shifts, wind patches etc. To do this you get better at reading the water surface, reading the meaning behind other boats behaviors, the meaning of tells like clouds, flags and smoke stacks.

As well as that in racing each maneuver needs to be executed as precisely as possible and is easily measured against other boats sailing near you. Tack at the same time as a boat you are neck and neck with tacks and get rolled by them and you know they did a better job. Launch the spinnaker a minute later than everyone else and see the yards lost. You are forced to prepare the boat better, keep things organized, minimize mistakes.

Had to bear down to get to the top mark? You know you overstood the layline and lost ground, suddenly you start getting better at knowing how close to the wind you can sail and visually judging that relative to the current wind. You get better at knowing simple things like the true wind direction, at all times.

You're also going to expand your sailing envelope - going to push flying the spinnaker in stronger winds (hopefully with experience needed on board to help you out), not going to fire up the motor you're going to learn how to make the boat move in lighter air than it seems possible to move in.

VMG is useful, it is something I've used for years, but only sporadically. Seeing other boats on the water nearby, heading the same way is a far more visceral experience.

Lastly, find the right boat (I hope Kraken is one of those boats) and you will have fun, without angry screaming. Its teamwork if you want it, or you vs your mates. Its a bunch of people who love the same thing in the same place at the same time helping each other improve and figuring out a really complicated thing.
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Last edited by theonecalledtom; 06-03-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottUK View Post
I agree and disagree. You must not remember being a grinder short tacking. It can be brutal and I don't think I am all that weak or I wouldn't be asked to do it.
Grinding can be and generally is brutal, but it doesn't have to be. To take most of the physicality out of it, the helmsman and release person have to work in coordination with the tailer-grinder, and most of them don't. That's mostly because they haven't really analyzed the process. Even a weak person can tail an unloaded line. Tailing a line only requires hard grinding after the line has come under load. The trick to tailing a line without grinding the winch until you become arm-weary is to get the line in before it comes under load. That means that the tailer-grinder has a limited amount of time in which to bring in a given length of line. If the release person or the helmsman reduces the amount of time that the tailer-grinder has to get the job done, then he'll have to resort to the winch handle to get it in the rest of the way. A common way that the release person can reduce the time available to the tailer-grinder is to backwind the jib. The longer he holds the jib, the less time the tailer has to haul in all the sheet. (The wind will usually be enough to bring the jib across during a tack, but, if the jib hangs up, then have a crew member walk it across. Backwinding the jib is usually unnecessary, and it uses up the limited amount of time that the tailer has to get his line pulled in.) If the helmsman turns the boat too quickly, he will use up some of the tailer's precious time. If the helmsman oversteers the boat through the turn, he loads up the sail, and the only way the grinder can get it trimmed is with hard grinding. A skilled helmsman will execute the turn at a speed that will permit the tailer enough time to get the unloaded sheet in, and he will terminate the turn before the sail becomes heavily loaded.

Tailing and grinding doesn't have to be nearly so physical.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

I race because it's fun!
I race because I usually learn how awful a sailor I really am.
I race because it's fun!
and it's fun.
Not to mention... um it's fun.

Sorry that's more of an inside joke. Lemme let you know what I mean. I am told our sail club is a "fun club." This is usually in reference when we work on improving courses, or try to use a fair application of the handicapped rating rules we use. Someone tells me its a "fun club," implying that racing isn't fun, or the application of fair rules aren't fun, or perhaps the uneven application is more "fun," honestly I am not sure which.

Reality is I find myself trying hard to figure out what the faster guy is doing that I am not... which makes this hard, because it's handicapped racing, and that isn't really all there is to it.

Strategy is as much a part of racing as ANY game can give. The more avid the sailors you are with, the more like chess, and less like NASCAR it'll be (please don't get on me about how NASCAR is also a head game, before you do read my first sentence again of this paragraph).

Also we don't have BIG WATER on our little puddle, so the only way to challenge us, landlocked as we are, is to race.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2014
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Re: Why do you race

For myself, I am much more about melding machine and myself than I am about competition. I also still avidly trail ride motorcycles (at age 46), but even though on a trail I'm probably faster than the average bear, I do not find myself attracted to competing with others. I also have friends that still ride, and for them the only reason is to compete. The act of operating the machine (boat or bike) has different personal meaning to me. As some of the others have said, there are few better ways to hone skill-sets than by racing. And if thats your thing, I have no criticisms at all. But it's all about the individual. For myself, I feel no compulsion to prove myself against anything other than Mother Nature. I'm much more about the Zen rather than the competition.
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