Reply To: Tech info
All good info.
I think Daen make’s a good point regarding time on the water and in the boat. Sometimes we can worry too much about our gear.
Once you have tried out the OK, and you enjoy it, you can them buy one. Then once you do some sailing and training and have perfected all of the following items you can then look at getting the best gear.
If you look at the OK Dinghy fleet around the world, most of the top guys have sailed a lot, some have over 20 years experience, and in each country the top guys have been or still are in the top 10 in the world.
Regarding boat shape, mast etc. most of this is dependent on availability and personal preference, so don’t worry too much about it.
Boat speed is not everything; there are many things that make up a good race. Every boat length lost is critical.
1) Good starting
a. You must be on the line, near the biased end, and moving when the gun goes.
b. If you end up in bad air, try and tack to get into clean air, you can lose a few boat lengths if you stay in bad air.
c. The perfect start allows you to have clean air, and the ability to tack when the first shift hits. This means planning where you start, don’t start below someone who is faster than you.
2) After the start make sure you watch the shifts, the first shift is critical, if you tack onto this in clean air this will give you a few boat lengths.
3) If you are not confident on picking the shifts, an easy solution is to watch the good guys, once they tack they usually are tacking onto a lift. If you are calling starboard on the good guys, think to yourself “Why are they on the opposite tack to me.” Are they looking for clear air, or are they on a lift.
4) Try and sail up the middle tacking on the lifts, I know when not going so well we all look for an easy fix, but usually there is not one, and the odds that you have picked it better than anyone else are low.
5) Make sure you don’t get caught out on the lay line, small shifts near the windward mark are critical, you can make up lots of places if you do it right.
6) Nice clean mark rounding’s, make sure you get on the first wave around that mark, once surfing get the centreboard up and settle down.
7) When approaching the wing and bottom marks, access the situation, don’t get into a fight, if there is someone who is notorious at being grumpy let them go, otherwise you may loose more than one place.
Once around the bottom mark, once again watch the shifts.
Other items that individuals can practice by themselves.
3) Sailing High and Low
4) Sitting on a start line ( This can be practiced at any fixed mark)
5) Sailing fast downwind.
6) Rounding the bottom mark close and clean.
7) More sailing.