Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brighton and SeaCliff; Payne Mortlock Canoe, 12M Sharpie, Rainbow scow

This is the last video I extracted from the Vintage sailing footage from Brighton and Seacliff YC in the 1960's.

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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Music for Fridays: The English Beat

From the second wave of Ska, or was it the third wave?...... "The English Beat" with "Save it for Later"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Opening Day; Australia Early 60's

Opening Day for Severn Sailing Association is this Saturday. There is a brunch and then a meeting for members. No sailboat racing to speak of.

Contrast our 2009 version to this Opening Day for Brighton and Seacliff YC, Adelaide Australia in the early 1960's. They have a sail by of the Commodore's yacht where they acknowledge the Commodore with three cheers. And then an all hands race.

From the VHS tape that I deconstructed;

Laser Upwind Technique; The Good and Not So Good

I've been on somewhat of a Laser sailing kick with my recent posts. Video on Laser sailing on YouTube pops up on almost a daily basis, Laser videos are proportional to Laser's popularity. One can hear my audible groan when, another one of what must be a thousand onboard cam or headcam videos on Laser sailing, gets posted . Conversely, out of the chaff, there are some video nuggets that are excellent and enlightening Laser videos.

Sailing a Laser upwind, particularly in wind and waves, is a horse of a different color. Because of it's flat hull, large daggerboard and smallish rudder, there is no groove to speak of. The Laser rewards a very physical, attacking style of sailing upwind. It's not just good enough to hike the boat very hard, there is fore and aft torquing of body through waves coupled with a precise and rapid, almost sculling, rudder movement.

Through the unrelenting eye of YouTube one can see how a Laser World and Olympic Champion does it and then an average Master sailor subjecting himself to a coaches video at the Cabarete, Puerto Rico Master Laser clinic. (Oops! Tillerman has pointed out my geography error, Cabarete being in the Dominican Republic - see his comment).

First, Brazilian Robert Scheidt, 7 time World Laser champion, 2 Olympic Golds, 1 Olympic Silver sailing upwind;



Next, a Master sailor, who despite a good effort looks like a lardy lump compared to Robert.



I had grasped some of the torquing and sculling techniques of Laser sailing when I was in my 20's. Unfortunately in my 50's, my brain may be saying one thing but my upper thighs are screaming, my upper arms are trembling and I too, after a short energetic spurt, revert back to being a less energy intensive lardy lump on a Laser gunwhale (well not too lardy yet).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Music for Fridays; Mashup, Rhythms del Mundo does Coldplay

For those oldster hipsters who want to be in the know; one of the latest crazes in techno music is a "mashup", wherein technically savvy and creative maestro's use the computers ability to mash two songs or song styles together to create something recognizable yet different. Here, someone under the moniker "Rhythms del Mundo" takes the song "Clocks" by Coldplay and mashes it to the Cuban beat of Buena Vista Social Club. Not much of a video but I like the music.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brighton and SeaCliff, Rainbow Scow, early 60's

Part 2 in my deconstruction of a VHS video of classic Australian small boat sailng into YouTube chunks. Part 2 features a local Adelaide class of the early 1960's, the 12' Rainbow scow. It is now a defunct class but from the footage, it looks to be a superb sailing dinghy and as I've said before, I've always had a soft spot for scows.

Australians of that era employed "shikes" (shy kites) on long poles that were particularly effective close reaching.

End of Winter..........

Here in the USA Mid Atlantic region, mid March usually marks the last of any further winter storms and we see a gradual warmup. Daytime highs in 50F (10C) are the norm with occassional days over 60F. The college and high school sailing teams now populate the Severn River on weekday afternoons (though most work-a-day-Joe's won't start racing for another month). Winter hasn't been that harsh, relatively dry with only one snowstorm here .... unlike the Northeast which seemed to be pounded with snow on a weekly basis. For a look back at 2009 winter sailing, we need to look no futher than this YouTube of a bunch of hardy Laser sailors from Norway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Riding the daggerboard

In a previous post about capsizing to weather , I mentioned I could have speeded things up by riding the daggerboard underwater. Lo and behold, someone has posted a YouTube on just such a technique. What follows is a demonstration courtesy of an Europe dinghy sailor.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brighton and SeaCliff Opening Day, circa early 60's

I obtained (a while back) a VHS tape that had some old footage of dinghy racing at the Brighton and Seacliff YC, Adelaide Australia. As a new project, I wanted to see what it would take to get it into a digital format and onto YouTube. I was able to do this and ended up with four YouTube videos.

I don't have the name of the videographer of this footage. I am guessing he may have been professional because the footage is well shot and edited.

Part 1, Opening Day circa early 60's.........

Music for Fridays; Haddaway, What is Love

Jim Carrey with "Cuban Pete" reminded me of another SNL club hopping duo that did a movie that centered on their head bopping to this dance tune.....



Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in the 1998 movie "Night at the Roxbury" (Jim Carrey joined them in the SNL skits).

I'm back

I was off on a family reunion cruise to Cozumel Mexico aboard one of the Carnival Funships. It was my first cruise and despite my initial misgivings, I enjoyed myself. Despite having over 2000 passengers I was able to repair to the aft observation deck to read my book in relative peace. We came back to Galveston with gale force winds right on the nose and I got an appreciation of how nasty open water can be, even from the relative security of a 10 story floating palace. For those who have never taken a cruise, here is some learnings I took away;

1. Take a polo shirt. Although I packed formal wear for the captains dinner, all the rest of my couture consisted of rather garish T-shirts. It is expected that you wear collared shirts when doing the sit down dining.

2. The stuff they leave in the cabins (like bottled water) is not complementary! You will get billed for it.

3. The service is tremendous. Cabins get cleaned three times a day. The staff will always greet you, no matter what they are up to.

4. Always best to take cabins in the aft section of the ship. I don't think those in the forward cabins were having too much fun as we were bashing our way back to Galveston.

5. When the band starts up on the swim pool deck, always drag the spouse out of bed as the dancing is always a good time.