Saturday, March25, 2017

Howto Start

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Sailboat Race Starting Techniques Page 1 of 3
by Allan are several ways of starting races Starting is a difficult skill to master It often
Runners stand still behind a starting line then takes years to achieve proficiency There is an
wait for the count down of on your mark get awful lot of stuff going on at once Each skipper
set and go at the sound of the starting gun wants to get an advantage such as a ice skaters and skiers start similarly position while
preventing the other oval track racers start in a pre from taking that advantage away from him all
arranged rolling grid following a pace car As while trying to hit that line at full speed as the
the grid approaches the starting line the pace car bell sounds but not crossing the line before the
pulls off the track and the race is on bell sounds It is very chaotic out racing puts each horse into a Usually
everyone wants to start at the chute where they stay until the doors end of the line so they can be on starboard tack
open and the horses bolt out Those methods requiring all port tack boats to keep clear of
control the racers position and how he is them They also want to be the most to move boat so
they can get the clear air
The LeMans Start in automobile racing is a The problem is that everyone cant get that most
little more interesting The cars are all lined up desired position What are the one side of the track and the drivers stand Well because
of the jamup at the starboard end
opposite their cars on the other side At the the other end of the line and the middle of the
starting gun the drivers run across the track get line are less congested You can try starting
into their cars start them up and then drive onto there But be mindful of starting on port tack
the track Their position in the pack is by how well they run how quickly There is nothing wrong with a port tack start but
they situate themselves into their cars how well you must do it cleanly If you can cross all the
the car starts up and how well they avoid anyone starboard tackers then youve aced them all and
else already on the track got the better start In reality though you wont
Its a rare occurrence Be prepared to give way
In sailboat racing during the starting countdown by tacking onto starboard or ducking the stern of
the racers jockey for position each trying to any starboard tack boats Why Because those
force a disadvantage on the other racers and to are the rules thats why A porttack boat
gain any advantage they can for themselves all MUST keep clear of or give way to a
at the same time Provided that he follows the boat Period
rules of sailing exactly where each racer goes
and how he gets there is uncontrolled You can also follow the first tier of starters
across the line Youll be just behind them but
What is the objective of a good start Most with good positioning for the first leg of the
people will tell you that it is to hit the starting course If you sail smart during the rest of the
line as the bell sounds while going full speed race you may be able to overtake the boats that
Yeah Ill agree to that But its not that simple you followed over the starting line
During the starting countdown we have to The most hideous and awful of things is with five to ten other racers each trying Dont
do it How can you not do it if you dont
to do exactly the same thing at exactly the same know what it is Barging is when a Ive been in fleets with as many as 18 boat
tries to wedge herself between the starting at once Now thatll keep you on mark and the leeward boat closest to the mark
your toes The real question though is how do when there is not enough room for her to fit
you achieve a good start
Sailboat Race Starting Techniques Page 2 of 3
boat As soon as the inside boat begins her final
move towards the starting line where her
objective is to actually start the race her rights to
room at the starting mark disappear Poof
Gone She MUST keep clear of both the starting
mark and any leeward boats even if she misses
the mark and does not start If you find yourself
in that position acknowledge to yourself that
you have blown the start and accept the penalty
of a poor start
To repeat myself do not force your way in and
do not stand your ground by not giving way
That is against the rules and it is unfair to the
skipper who has developed his starting skills to
the point where he is able to be in the right place
In the drawing boat A is close hauled and at the right time
heading straight to the line on starboard perhaps
a little too fast She has eased her sails to allow As the leeward boat in a starting situation you
them to luff thereby slowing down a little Boat have the power over the windward boats You
B has come alongside of boat A and has her sails can force them out of your way Dont let them
in tight accelerating to the line Boat C is push you to force herself between the starting My suggestion is to avoid situations where
mark and boat B where there is not enough room will become the barger and if you are in a
for her to fit Boat C is barging She has no convenient position close the door on bargers by
right to do that Boat B should be hailing her to hailing them to keep clear and by not giving
keep clear them room to start
Also in the first and second positions boat A Youve probably seen other skippers circle
could have luffed Boat B up so that B would around at the starboard end of the starting line
have to pass on the wrong side of the mark It is then zoop in at the mark at the last legal and boat B being the windward getting
themselves an excellent start It has
boat would have had to keep clear of A In that everything to do with the skippers boat boat C would have been blocked out skills
and sense of timing If your skills sufficient by all means try it Just be prepared to
Forcing yourself in or not getting out of the way back off or to turn away if the opening you are
of a leeward boat is completely against the rules aiming for gets closed down on you If your
Barging is a risky maneuver If you try it be skills are not sufficient you should do a more
prepared to miss the start If you follow the conservative start
rules most of the times you attempt to barge you The second most hideous and awful of things is
will or should miss the start No one likes it running down the line when you are early to the
when they miss the start but that is the risk you start In the drawing that would be if boat C ran
take when you attempt to barge along the line pushing both B and A out of her
Unlike at the rest of the marks on the course the way It is not against the rules to run down the
inside boat is NOT entitled to room at a starting line But if you do it and there are any boats to
mark while she is on her final approach to the leeward of you YOU must keep clear of them
line in order to start But again its not that Your choices are to cross the line early and
simple Before beginning her final approach round either starting mark to restart or lose
while still jockeying for position the regular some speed or duck behind the leeward boats rules DO apply to the inside dont get into
that position in the first place
Sailboat Race Starting Techniques Page 3 of 3
The danger of crossing early is that you lose all Clear air is what you want to sail in It is wind
of your rights to all boats that start properly that is undisturbed and can deliver the full force
You may have to travel with the pack until you of the current conditions Blanketing or wind
can work your way free to turn around shadow is when the windward boats you have to keep clear of everybody physically block
the air from getting to your
You cant force a boat out of your way in order boat In the drawing it is the dark triangle on
for you to go back to restart the leeward side of the boat It is not a large area
There are no brakes on a sailboat so how do you but the effect is relatively intense The backwind
lose speed Ease or loosen your sails zone is the area of turbulence thats left in the air
Depending on the conditions by either a lot or a after the wind has flowed across the sails It is
little If the sails are flapping which is called the larger lighter area in the drawing It lies to
luffing the boat has no driving force Hull windward and astern of the boat doing the
friction will slow you down But be aware of booms going out too far to leeward If they Neither the blanketed nor the backwinded with
a leeward boat then you have not carry the full force of the wind The clear of her and you are subject to protest effects in both areas
are considerably less with
Another way to lose speed is to make a series of our model boats as compared to full sized boats
rapid rudder movements alternating to port and but you should avoid sailing in either zone if
to starboard The further the rudder moves the drag it creates and the more speed youll You want the wind to hit your sails before it
lose You dont want to hold the rudder over to anything else It may be wise to temporarily tack
one side too long though because youll turn the away from a boat throwing dirty air at you so
boat Thats why you make a series of rapid that you get into clear to both sides It keeps the boat on
In summary a good start is one that finds you in
the same line You can think of it as linked S
the front row free and clear of other boats not
turns so quick that the boat still goes straight
just at the bell but a minute later after the sprint
If you are following a boat that might be early to off the line While it is not necessary to win the
the line watch out for her slowing down As a start in order to win the race a good start is
boat clear astern it is your to keep always of her Either use the same technique to
Getting a good start will give you the freedom to
slow your boat down or take a course where you
sail the first leg as you see fit A poor start
can safely overlap her
means other boats may be able to set you off in
the wrong direction or to make you sail in dirty
Lastly either while starting or on the rest of the
racecourse dont try to make moves your sailing
skills cant support With practice your skills
will improve Until they do try to stay out of the
other racers way Its just common courtesy
When you do decide to try a new move or even
if its an old move always leave yourself an
escape route just in case the move does not
work out

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