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Old 3rd September 2007, 08:14 PM   #3
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi Roly,
Crazychemical has given you some pretty good tips, but let's back up a bit here and talk about some basics.
First, you need to know what alignment you need to sucessfully beachstart and waterstart. The alignment will be very much the same for both.
So, if you find that when you beachstart with your board on a beam reach (board straight across the wind and perpendicular to the wind) that your board turns up into the wind too much as you are getting your foot on the board, then compensate by pointing your board further off (down wind) the wind so you are on a beam reach AFTER you get on the board.
Next, you need to figure out how to "steer" your board into alignment using only the rig via the mast foot. You can practice this in shallow (just a little deeper than the fin) water at first.
Without touching the board at all, you will (with a bit of practice here) be able to point your board in any direction and even turn it around in both directions with only a hand on the mast and a hand on the boom, or better still both hands on the boom.
When you can "steer your board" move to a little deeper water, and practice deeper and deeper beachstarts.
Soon you will be chest deep in the water and your beachstart will actually be a waterstart where you can still touch bottom. Then move out until you can no longer touch.
Remember, to extend your arms fullly as you come up out of the water.
Remember to give your rig a little "push" up to overcome some or all of it's inertia.
Your first few deep water beachstarts will help you to understand how much you need to compensate (angle wise here) so you end up on a beam reach when you are fully on the board.
Some folks advocate waterstarting with the rear foot on the board near the rear footstrap and pulling the board under your butt as you come up out of the water supported by the rig. This works well for a lot of sailors.
I don't put any feet on the board as that generally pushes the tail of the board too far away. Maybe I'm not flexible enough or something...!
Anyway, I get as close to the tail of the board as I can, then pop the sail up, and kick with both feet. My goal is to get a foot on the board near the rail to rail centerline.
Then I get both feet down, sheet out the sail, and get everything set and in alignment before sheeting in again to get fully underway. All of this happens very quickly so it does not look like I'm waterstarting differently from other sailors.
So, there are a number of ways to waterstart, and you need to try different things until you find the techniques that work for you with your gear.
Speaking of gear, with your small sails (6.5 m2 is your largest I think) you won't be able to effectively waterstart in < 14-15 knots and even then it will be a bit marginal.
If you had a 7.5, learning to waterstart in 12 knots would make the learning process alot easier as the water is much flatter.
Hope this helps,

Last edited by Roger; 3rd September 2007 at 08:18 PM.
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