Sunday, March 29, 2009

Roll tacking a Laser

We seem to be stuck on Laser sailing at the moment.

Over at Tillerman's blog he had a piece about roll tacking a Laser. Tillerman goes to a lot of clinics and I appreciate his passing on the coaching tips free of charge. I do know in watching some collegiate hot shots in the Trux Umsted regatta that they were very active in using a physical outboard lean/ hip bounce to maximize their roll tack in light to moderate air.

Last year, I borrowed a Laser for the weekday Tuesday night series. Typical very light air and in my first tack over to the starting line, I got stuck on the leeward side in attempting a roll tack, and capsized. Once the Laser rolled up, either my stomach muscles, or my quadriceps refused to work and I got stuck. I was glued to the side deck and the Laser came over on me. Needless to say, I was very hesitant to roll tack very hard the rest of the night .... more like a slight rock tack.

Let's go to YouTube.... This guy makes it look easy though it must be emphasized that the more weight you carry, the less movement you need to get a roll going. For the shrimps, you need to attack a roll tack more aggressively.

In the Robert Scheidt video posted earlier, you can see him giving a hip push to finish off his roll tack.

I must admit, this is all easier on a Gen 2 Classic Moth.


Tillerman said...

These look like great roll tacks. Very smooth. But he seems to be starting the windward roll with a body movement as he is heading up into the tack. What I recently wrote about on my blog was advice from a coach saying that you should not move the body outboard as early as this but head up with the boat flat, and then only do a bump of the shoulders to make the boat roll if it doesn't do so naturally as it crosses head to wind.

Tweezerman said...

Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate your distilling of the best teachings from the Laser coaches. Recently watching some collegians, it looked like they were giving more of downward hip push at the apex of the tack (before scrambling to windward). I'm sure there are more ways to skin this cat.