Tag Archives: SSA 2011-2012 Frostbite Series

SSA Frostbite Results: March 11

It felt a bit windier at times, but the CBIBS buoy said the steady breeze was about 12-14 and the gusts were around 15-17. Probably says something about unscientific wind speed estimates in Annapolis (and my inability to hike hard for more than 2 minutes at a time). We sailed 6 quick races, and I think 4 of them were triangles with nice fast angles, so everyone got their fix of fast reaching. The waves were a nice change from the flat water of most offshore-breeze frostbite days.

Those who have done more than a couple of TESOD’s probably noticed that the conditions were almost an exact copy of a windy summer Tuesday night. The only difference was that we were in dry suits instead of bare feet…. The similarities were almost uncanny – I used embarrassingly simple tactics the entire day. I started near the left end of the line and sailed to the left in each race. I tacked at, near, or beyond the layline depending on traffic on my windward hip. On the runs, I avoided sailing close to Eastport (to stay in the breeze), which meant staying relatively close to the rhumbline. On the last leg (upwind), sailing all the way to the right often paid, as there is often a geographic right wind shift down in that part of the harbor.

Upwind points: Unlike some recent frostbite days with wind, the chop made it unwise to pinch when overpowered. In flat water, its more acceptable to pinch through the puffs, but today the wind was much steadier so there wasn’t a need to quickly dump power. I was careful to keep the bow down (away from the wind) to keep the boatspeed up, unless the boat to leeward of me dictated otherwise. I used a ton of Cunningham and kept my vang quite tight so that I could ease the mainsheet for extra speed, or to dodge a bad wave. The Cunningham keeps the draft forward but also allows the leech to twist off. This allow the bottom of the sail to be trimmed with more power in the front of the sail. Without the Cunningham, the back of the sail is the only part of the sail pulling, which just makes the windward helm worse. The vang keeps the mast bent when you ease the mainsheet and bends the lower mast much more than the mainsheet alone. I didn’t need to ease the main to dump power very often, but being able to ease sheet and accelerate is a good thing, and I was often sailing below closehauled after going over the port layline. The waves were really only a problem on starboard upwind as the waves were oriented further left than the wind (exactly like TESOD).

On last week’s reaches, it seemed like the boats that made the effort to sail high were rewarded with lots of opportunities to get over the top and make a pass, so I was resolved to stay in the high lane today. I went way too far in one instance when Bryan and I got way off the rhumbline. Today’s waves probably made the difference here – when the angle is right for bearing away onto a wave on the reach, the boat to leeward has an extra opportunity. Some of this week’s reaches were unbelievably epic.

On the runs, the mismatch in wind/wave direction make it relatively easy to sail too far left (looking downwind) because you can sail straight down the wave by the lee (on starboard). Therefore, I worked very hard to catch waves and then surf them towards the right. I took almost every opportunity to do so because it was always easy to bear off by the lee and go fast to secure the inside overlap. This led to lots of big downwind turns (hey, it’s fun when it’s done right).

It was easy to stick the bow into the waves, whether you were going up, down, or across the wind. It’s important to minimize this, though impossible to avoid entirely on a day like today. It takes a long time to drain the cockpit when it fills up and its surprisingly heavy. Upwind, I try to steer around the steep waves when I could, and when you have to go through one, having a bit of heel will allow most of the water to fall off the leeward side of the boat. For those new to the laser, try to learn how to kick water out of your cockpit – it’s faster than waiting for the bailer. You might have to pinch for a second in a stretch of flat water to allow yourself to slide your body inboard. On the runs and reaches, the best thing is to move weight back, and to steer out of the wave. Sneak your weight aft when flying down a big wave, or when you know you’re going to be a in the upcoming moments.

Last point is that nothing helps downwind technique more than getting out there sailing. So try and get out there and do it with others, especially when it’s windy. And talk to others about their experience to learn the little tricks that make you feel comfortable so that you can figure it out.

Luke Shingledecker

Division: Laser (18 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 198025 Shingledecker, Luke 3 3 1 1 4 1 13 1
2 170058 Fishback, Bryan 5 4 4 2 1 2 18 2
3 701 Chitter Charter Brady, Christopher 1 2 5 4 3 6 21 3
4 92 OHare, Gavin 7 1 3 6 7 3 27 4
5 183826 Tan, Robert J. 4 9 2 3 5 4 27 5
6 157905 Maxwell, J.R. 2 7 7 7 6 5 34 6
7 9 A Burley, R. D. 6 5 6 5 2 19/DNF 43 7
8 187741 Clifton, Tip 8 8 9 10 8 9 52 8
9 180536 Cold Feet Cofer, Steven 9 12 8 12 11 10 62 9
10 155315 Whitacre, Hal 19/DNS 6 13 9 9 8 64 10
11 200369 Petty, David 10 11 10 13 10 14 68 11
12 200405 /184472 Parramore, Michael 14 10 11 11 17 7 70 12
13 194547 Liana Laser Caruso, Jeffrey 11 16 12 8 16 12 75 13
14 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 12 13 17 15 13 11 81 14
15 185776 Smith, Jerry 13 14 14 14 12 19/DNS 86 15
16 213072 Wrangle, John 16 15 16 16 14 13 90 16
17 172523 Goscha, Jason 19/DNS 17 15 17 15 19/DNS 102 17
18 192031 Samba Linares, Carlos 15 18 18 18 18 15 102 18

Division: Laser Radial (2 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 191513 (13) Beigel, Reid 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1
2 186519 TBA Haldeman, Dorian 2 2 2 2 2 2 12 2
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SSA Frostbite Results: March 4

Great conditions greeted sailors this past Sunday, March 4th, in the shadow of the one large construction site that our little corner of Eastport has become.  San Fransisco sailors would have called it 12-14 with flat water.  Most east coast sailors would have called it 16 with puffs to 20 and some chop.  Life-long Annapolitans would say it was 30 with waves…

A couple of quick things:

1.  Regardless of the breeze, it was flat water, so if your outhaul wasn’t pegged, you made life hard on yourself.  When I watch OCR footage or study the habits of the top sailors in other classes, I find that they are always sailing with flatter foots in their main, especially when it is windy.  I’m starting to think that it should be a default setting for most flat water conditions like those that we sail in.

2.  Upwind technique in breeze:  I know what it looks like…  I can even do it for 10-12 second bursts.  However, I gave up on ease-hike-trim on the first beat and replaced it with ease-sit-pinch-sit-trim-sit.  Now you’re thinking, “Yeah, he’s 205 lbs… mostly in that big head!” and you’re right.  The truth is that no matter how hard you hiked, you still needed to find a comfortable medium between ease and pinch so that you could keep the boat semi-flat and moving forward.  If your boom was consistently hitting the water upwind or you were really slow and high all day, you need to find this compromise.

3.  The vang needs to come off before the windward mark.  It was so obvious when you didn’t do it, to the point where people would yell at you because you were jamming up the works.  I did it once, and I think I’m pretty lucky not to have broken anything.  Luke said that if there had been waves, I would have.

4.  The cunningham needs to come off down wind!  This moves the draft forward and stabilizes the boat for reaches and runs.  You want the deepest part of the sail as close to the mast as possible.

5. Weight back off the breeze, especially on the reaches.  On the second reach, I was essentially holding the tiller and sitting on the stern.

6.  When the boat starts rocking on the runs, TRIM IN THE MAIN!

7. You could pass people by sailing high on the second reach.  Especially, if you timed it correctly with a puff and create enough separation to windward that you couldn’t be challenged without causing a capsize.  I found that I could always get back down to the mark, so I never had any fear of adding another jibe to the leg.

8. This brings us to leeward mark roundings…  Each one I participated in was terrible.  Most of my competitors were equally as bad.  Three basic trends developed. Jibe right at the mark and flip.  Round up around the mark and flip.  Round up around the mark with the main all the way out, go into a death roll, and try to save it with desperate main sheet trim.  I got nothing for you here folks, I was the worst..  Ease a little vang before the rounding?  Wide turns?  Better planning?

9. My board was up six-eight inches off the breeze, mainly because it is loose in the trunk and drives the boat too much when its all the way down.  Someone smarter than I would know if it was one of the days where it could have helped to be a couple of inches up going upwind.  My inclination is to say no, because these boats don’t plane upwind.

Big thanks to the RC!  Great races!  Big thanks to Ashley Love for chartering me the boat! (Ashley, stop reading the email…) – Chris Brady

Division: Laser (14 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 701 Chitter Charter Brady, Christopher 3 3 1 2 1 4 14 1
2 198025 Shingledecker, Luke 2 5 4 1 3 3 18 2
3 157905 A Field, Jack 1 1 6 4 6 1 19 3
4 170058 Fishback, Bryan 4 2 3 3 2 5 19 4
5 182815 Reinke, Eric 7 6 2 8 4 2 29 5
6 183826 Tan, Robert J. 5 7 5 5 5 6 33 6
7 200405 /184472 Parramore, Michael 10 4 7 6 7 7 41 7
8 180536 Cold Feet Cofer, Steven 6 9 9 7 10 8 49 8
9 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 8 10 11 9 9 10 57 9
10 194547 Liana Laser Caruso, Jeffrey 15/DNS 11 10 10 8 9 63 10
11 178857 Second Life Glass, Adam W 9 8 13 11 15/DNS 15/DNS 71 11
12 200369 Petty, David 11 12 8 12 15/DNS 15/DNS 73 12
13 192031 Samba Linares, Carlos 15/DNF 15/DNF 12 13 11 11 77 13
14 185776 Smith, Jerry 15/DNF 15/DNS 15/DNS 15/DNS 15/DNS 15/DNS 90 14

Division: Laser Radial (2 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 191513 (13) Beigel, Reid 1 1 2 2 2 1 9 1
2 175592 sailregattas.com Gebhardt, John 2 2 1 1 1 2 9 2

SSA Frostbite Results: February 26

Division: Laser (17 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Points Pos
1 182814 Key, Jonathan Ramsay 5 5 2 1 2 2 5 2 24 1
2 157905 Maxwell, J.R. 1 6 3 3 3 3 2 5 26 2
3 182815 Reinke, Eric 2 3 15 2 1 1 1 3 28 3
4 170058 Fishback, Bryan 3 2 9 4 5 4 3 1 31 4
5 183826 Tan, Robert J. 6 1 6 6 4 6 4 4 37 5
6 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 8 11 8 8 10 5 8 7 65 6
7 200405 Parramore, Michael 15 4 4 11 7 10 9 9 69 7
8 194547 Liana Laser Caruso, Jeffrey 11 7 10 5 9 9 11 10 72 8
9 180536 Cold Feet Cofer, Steven 9 8 14 9 11 11 6 12 80 9
10 168447 Yertle Merz, Greg 18/DNS 10 11 7 6 7 7 15 81 10
11 178857 Second Life Glass, Adam W 10 12 13 12 8 8 12 6 81 11
12 173641 Wilson, Leo 4 13 7 14 13 12 13 11 87 12
13 185776 Smith, Jerry 13 16 12 10 12 16 10 8 97 13
14 172523 Goscha, Jason 12 14 5 13 14 13 16 14 101 14
15 155315 Whitacre, Hal 7 9 1 18/DNS 18/DNS 18/DNS 18/DNS 18/DNS 107 15
16 213072 Wrangle, John 14 17 17 15 16 15 15 13 122 16
17 192031 Samba Linares, Carlos 18/DNS 15 16 16 15 14 14 16 124 17

Division: Laser Radial (5 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Points
Pos
1 191513 (13) Beigel, Reid 4 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 13 1
2 175592 sailregattas.com Gebhardt, John 3 2 2 3 2 1 1 2 16 2
3 186519 TBA Haldeman, Dorian 1 4 3 2 3 3 3 3 22 3
4 153006 Flight Risk Westphal, Sandy 2 3 6/RAF 4 4 4 6/DNS 6/DNS 35 4
5 176087 Gibb, Victoria 6/DNS 5 4 5 5 5 4 4 38 5

SSA Frostbite Results: February 19

The two Radials started with the full rigs and that made it even more of a challenge. I wanted to get left but couldn’t avoid getting spit out the back if I started near the pin, and kept getting forced to the right to keep clear air. The left seemed to be pretty consistantly favored, at least near the top of the course, but I had trouble getting there. The middle of the course had to be avoided especially when behind. The boats ahead would create lots of disturbed air.

So, I just started at the boat and tried to keep clear air as best I could.

Good lesson in boat speed. Without it, it is almost impossible to execute your game plan. Everybody is always getting in your way. Make sure you have good speed, then good things will follow.

In the last race, Victoria sailed a nice weather leg, stayed ahead of me downwind, would have had a nice victory, except for a botched leeward mark rounding. I snuck inside, accelerated pretty well, and covered her to the finish.

Another “match racing” day for the radials. where are you guys?

Thanks to The RC for another fine day of racing. You guys had a lot of shifts to deal with and you did a great job of keeping the course square and the delays to a minimum.

Division: Laser (16 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total
Points
Pos
1 7 Davids, Keith 1 1 1 3 1 3 10 1
2 198025 Shingledecker, Luke 5 3 3 5 6 2 24 2
3 701 Chitter Charter Brady, Christopher 3 7 14 2 5 1 32 3
4 92 OHare, Gavin 2 2 2 4 16 6 32 4
5 182815 Reinke, Eric 6 8 10 1 2 7 34 5
6 157905 A Field, Jack 7 4 9 10 3 4 37 6
7 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 8 6 7 6 4 8 39 7
8 178857 Second Life Glass, Adam W 4 14 5 7 9 11 50 8
9 200405 Parramore, Michael 9 5 13 9 7 9 52 9
10 156631 none Johnson, Eric 17/NoFin 9 6 8 8 5 53 10
11 173641 Wilson, Leo 10 10 4 11 13 14 62 11
12 194547 Liana Laser Caruso, Jeffrey 11 11 8 12 10 10 62 12
13 172523 Goscha, Jason 12 15 11 13 12 15 78 13
14 213072 Wrangle, John 14 13 15 14 14 12 82 14
15 196049 (168424) John, Edward 13 12 12 16 15 16 84 15
16 192031 Samba Linares, Carlos 17/NoFin 17/NoFin 16 15 11 13 89 16

 

Division: Laser Radial (2 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total
Points
Pos
1 175592 sailregattas.com Gebhardt, John 1 1 2 1 1 1 7 1
2 176087 Gibb, Victoria 3/NoFin 2 1 2 2 2 12 2

SSA Frostbite Results: February 5

Standard Rig

A couple of quick notes on what I thought it took to be successful on Sunday:

  1. A couple of weeks ago, I asked Ramsey to look at my Intensity sail, while I sailed upwind. His answer about the shape was, “really deep…too deep”. With the standard vang and cunningham settings, I never had a sail shape that would establish consistent flow and allow me to point with everyone. By sailing with more vang, cunningham, and even outhaul to flatten the sail, I found that I was faster and able to hold lanes. I don’t think you need to ask one of the top players either. We all have stepped into the power boat to do RC and compared the sails of the competitors in the race. It is much easier to gauge a good sail shape from outside the boat, compared to inside the boat. Plus, with so few variables at play while laser sailing, sail shape is the single biggest thing you can do to go faster in a straight line upwind.
  2. It was a pressure over shift day. I was willing to sail through a slight header on the beats (especially the first beat) if it was going to take me to the best pressure on the course. This was even more apparent downwind. Boats that sailed in pressure the longest made the most gains downwind. As a large person, I would sometimes sacrifice pressure for separation from groups of boats, because I knew that I would be the victim if I sailed in a pack. The truth is that I got burned every time I didn’t try to get the boat downwind of the pressure on the runs.
  3. Starts… Every time I had a bad start, it was a general recall. Mostly, I started like it was summer camp. I would use a big hole to leeward to reach down and then power over the first boat, until I established an upwind groove to keep my lane with everyone else. This is terrible advice! Do not do this! If it was a smaller line or a large regatta, that tactic would have failed miserably. Like many of us, I need to work accelerating in a limited hole and maintaining speed and point to keep a viable lane after the start.
  4. 2 or 3 really lucky shifts always help. However, the top right of the course seemed to be consistent throughout the day.

It was a great day on the water! Great RC work! Does anyone want a Harry Anderson (sp?) course for this week?

-Brady

 

Radial Rig

This past Sunday we only had two participants in the Radial fleet, so it was much like a match race event. John Gebhardt is always fast and tough to beat, so I knew it would be a challenge. Since there were only two of us, the RC elected to start us with the Standard fleet but score us separately. Sharing the starting line with rigs slightly larger is a challenge. Several times when I attempted to start at what appeared to be the “favored end” I found myself spit out the back into the second or third row. John and I quickly learned that it was better to start as far away from the standards as possible to get clean air and maintain a clear lane going upwind. For this reason, John and I often ended up on the right side of the course on the first upwind leg (which did not particularly seem favored, especially judging where we ended up compared to the standards, but it did allow us to cover each other.)

In the early races there seemed to be some fairly large puffs followed by long lulls, so I felt like I was constantly changing gears. Later, the wind got progressively weaker so I found myself pulling on lots of vang (which you do in the Radial in light air), sitting as far forward as possible and trying to keep the boat moving. Downwind, I sailed by-the-lee with slight windward heel. A couple of times on the downwind there was a right shift that caused me to accidently jibe, then I would sail downwind on a broad reach.

Tactically it was an interesting day. I constantly had my eye on John, and we were neck and neck most races. He is incredibly quick upwind. One race I managed to pass him going over to the right side of the course on the downwind leg, catching a puff. Other races, I made attempts to overtake him downwind and he managed to defend against my advances. In nearly every race we were within 2 to 3 boat-lengths of each other at the finish. We both won three races and lost three races, and I managed to win the last race by sheer luck. I had an early lead in the race because John was OCS, and I thought I was home free. I rounded the leeward mark at the back end of the Standard pack, still with about a 6 boat-length lead. As I was gathering speed on port tack after rounding the mark, I was forced to tack by someone on starboard. After that I was temporarily pinned on the left side of the course. I attempted to break free of the boat to windward of me by pinching him off. Once I was ahead of him and free to tack, I tacked back to port only to find John had scooted way ahead. (And I think NOOOOOO, how did I blow that lead!!). The next time we crossed tacks he was several boat lengths ahead of me. We had a small tacking duel, but he ended up tacking onto port ahead of me as we sailed to the finish. Then, just before the finish, John was in a crossing situation with a Standard rig. By this time the wind had died almost completely and he elected to duck the starboard-tacker, which closed the distance between us. I managed to cross behind the starboard-tacker without changing course and won by inches. Had John tacked instead of ducking, things might have ended differently. What a fun day!! Thanks John for the great competition, and thanks to the RC for running the races. See you all when I get back from Florida!!

Dorian

Division: Laser (18 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 701 Chitter Charter Brady, Christopher 5 1 3 1 5 5 20 1
2 92 OHare, Gavin 4 4 6 2 4 1 21 2
3 183826 Tan, Robert J. 1 5 2 3 9 3 23 3
4 157905 Maxwell, J.R. 2 7 5 5 8 9 36 4
5 152814 Alexander, Ramsey 19/OCS 2 1 4 3 8 37 5
6 182815 Reinke, Eric 6 3 11 9 2 11 42 6
7 198025 Shingledecker, Luke 3 8 8 15 7 6 47 7
8 155315 Whitacre, Hal 19/DNS 6 10 10 1 2 48 8
9 170058 Fishback, Bryan 9 13 4 8 11 4 49 9
10 200369 Petty, David 13 9 7 6 6 10 51 10
11 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 11 10 9 13 12 7 62 11
12 200405 Parramore, Michael 7 14 13 7 15 16 72 12
13 173641 Wilson, Leo 10 12 14 12 13 12 73 13
14 156631 none Johnson, Eric 19/DNS 11 12 14 10 13 79 14
15 180536 Cold Feet Cofer, Steven 8 15 16 16 17 17 89 15
16 196049 (168424) John, Edward 12 16 17 17 16 15 93 16
17 152989 (3889) Futcher, JR 19/DNS 17 15 11 14 18 94 17
18 192031 Samba Linares, Carlos 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 18 18 14 107 18

Division: Laser Radial (2 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Points Pos
1 186519 TBA Haldeman, Dorian 2 1 1 2 2 1 9 1
2 175592 sailregattas.com Gebhardt, John 1 2 2 1 1 2 9 2

Notes
(1)Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 2009-2012

SSA Frostbite Results: January 29

Division: Laser (18 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Points Pos
1 157905 Maxwell, J.R. 1 5 5 2 4 1 1 2 21 1
2 183826 Tan, Robert J. 4 8 4 8 2 6 3 1 36 2
3 92 OHare, Gavin 12 3 7 5 1 4 2 3 37 3
4 198025 Shingledecker, Luke 3 6 8 7 5 7 5 6 47 4
5 9 A Burley, R. D. 19/DNF 7 2 6 6 2 10 5 57 5
6 168574 Schofield, Matt 5 2 12 3 12 10 6 7 57 6
7 152814 Alexander, Ramsey 19/NoFin 1 1 10 3 3 4 19/NoFin 60 7
8 200369 Petty, David 8 4 3 4 8 16 9 8 60 8
9 155315 Whitacre, Hal 2 10 6 9 9 5 8 19/NoFin 68 9
10 200405 Parramore, Michael 14 14 16 1 13 8 14 4 84 10
11 178857 Second Life Glass, Adam W 10 17 9 16 7 11 7 9 86 11
12 180536 Cold Feet Cofer, Steven 7 9 10 11 15 14 16 12 94 12
13 172523 Goscha, Jason 6 15 11 17 14 12 13 10 98 13
14 169781 Wesdyk, Russell 9 12 14 12 11 9 19/DNF 19/NoFin 105 14
15 173641 Wilson, Leo 11 13 13 14 10 19/NoFin 11 19/NoFin 110 15
16 152989 (3889) Futcher, JR 19/DNF 11 17 13 16 13 12 11 112 16
17 196049 (168424) John, Edward 19/DNF 18 15 15 17 15 15 19/NoFin 133 17
18 179458 Singer, Charlie 13 16 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 19/NoFin 143 18

Division: Laser Radial (5 boats)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Points Pos
1 191513 (13) Beiger, Reid 1 2 3 2 1 1 2 2 14 1
2 175592 sailregattas.com Gebhardt, John 6/NoFin 1 4 1 2 4 1 1 20 2
3 199585 Schofield, Phillip 3 4 1 3 4 2 3 3 23 3
4 153006 Flight Risk Westphal, Sandy 2 3 2 4 3 3 6/DNF 5 28 4
5 33773 Esbensen, Gretchen 4 6/DNF 5 5 5 5 4 4 38 5

Notes
(1)Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 2009-2012