Thursday, October 3, 2013

Header Photo: IC's at Loch Lomond

The previous header photo is of the International Canoe's at their European Championships held at Loch Lomond, Scotland. In reading through the regatta reports this looks like the race where the fleet came ashore after a storm rolled through. Two of the toughest dinghy classes to land downwind on a lee shore are the Laser and the International Canoe - the Laser because it has no halyard so the sail cannot be lowered in a seamanship manner - the International Canoe because it has no stability and once the single skipper bails out, it wants to fall over. Most International Canoeists let that happen as a matter of course, as the photo shows. The release of the main halyard usually takes place in a relaxed manner, when the IC is on its side, the IC is then easily righted, the main slides down and the beast is tamed. I did, early on in my IC career, when I was exhausted after a day of racing, run the IC downwind, at speed, too close to shore, grounded and bent the thru-deck rudder. It took a fair bit of whaling away with a maul to get that stainless steel shaft straightened enough for the next days racing. May I also direct you to previous post in Earwigoagin of someone having a heckuva time getting off the lee shore.


Tillerman said...

There are several ways to land a Laser safely on a lee shore. My favorite is to undo the knot in the end of the mainsheet and allow the boom to go forward of the mast in the last few yards so I drift slowly and safely towards the shore. Just as good as releasing a halyard.

Tweezerman said...

You are absolutely right Tillerman - a technique we hadn't quite cottoned onto in the 1970's - though you are left with uncontrolled sail and boom trying to bean you when loading the Laser onto the dolly. A main halyard is still the most convenient way of dealing with this but there is always some trade-offs between simplicity and convenience (though I must say this is one area where the Sunfish has the Laser beat).