Learn to sail by racing, a good idea? - Page 9 - SailNet Community
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post #81 of 86 Old 07-18-2016
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

If you don't keep score, it's hard to measure progress.

If you enjoyed sailing, and then racing then by all means continue it, and don't be talked out of it.

As noted above, the discipline of following a course at a given starting time will challenge your skills, and provide feedback on your progress. Taking care to know the rules, and prioritizing safety ahead of speed is appropriate, and you can track your progress as you pass boats that you used to follow.

Learning to handle you boat in close quarters on a starting line, rounding marks and crossing others is an excellent way to learn for when you may need to recover something overboard, clear an obstruction or just get home before the bar closes.

Knowing how to point and foot and when to do both, to tack effectively and get best boat speed for your conditions, may be merely pleasing for mastery of a skill, or it could be important in a future time to get you to safety ahead of the weather.

Given a chance, crew with others, and take both newbies and experienced crew along, you can learn a lot from different opinions and questions both asked and answered.

We race a 40' 20,000lb 1962 Yawl on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary, where the courses can look like this:

We struggle to stay ahead of the Santana 22's in light air, they can tack faster and point higher, but we have a mast that gets above the shoreline obstructions and can occasionally ghost past them.
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post #82 of 86 Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

Now that race season is over for our club. I wanted to come back and say Thanks! to everyone here that encouraged me to keep racing. While I did suffer a couple last place finishes early on. I keep improving, gaining confidence (I now sit on the rail, steer with the extension fully extended, don’t need to look at the wind vane to find the wind) I had 2nd place finish in the last race of the season. Heck I even had a tip for an experienced cruiser on his keel boat. Yeah, I still struggle in light air, rely on experienced crew to help with rules (room at the mark, overlap…), but I’m having a blast and getting better every time out. Now if I could just learn to roll-tack and fly my spinnaker.
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post #83 of 86 Old 10-21-2016
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

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[snip] Knowing how to point and foot and when to do both, to tack effectively and get best boat speed for your conditions, may be merely pleasing for mastery of a skill, or it could be important in a future time to get you to safety ahead of the weather.
OK, I've been racing for 4 years now and not until a few weeks ago did someone mention the term "footing". What exactly is this? Is it just keeping the boat in a straight line? What are you doing or looking for when you're footing correctly?
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post #84 of 86 Old 10-21-2016
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

footing is sailing close hauled but a slightly lower angle to get the power in the sail to accelerate after a tack. the opposite of pinching

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post #85 of 86 Old 10-23-2016
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

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footing is sailing close hauled but a slightly lower angle to get the power in the sail to accelerate after a tack. the opposite of pinching
Got it. Thanks. Now I know what to call that move
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post #86 of 86 Old 10-25-2016
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Re: Learn to sail by racing, a good idea?

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footing is sailing close hauled but a slightly lower angle to get the power in the sail to accelerate after a tack. the opposite of pinching
That's pretty much it, but I'd broaden that to cover ANY time you're cracked off slightly and willing to sacrifice height for speed. A great example is when you are in another boats foul air but want to go in the same direction, footing off will create lateral separation and allow you to sail in clear air.

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