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Old 11th August 2008, 08:49 PM   #18
Roger
Dream Team - School Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,110
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Hi Rob,
On your first question on "easing" your sheeting angle, I think we are still not clear
on how to "ease" (rather than sheet out.
First, try to watch the water upwind and ahead of you so you can "anticipate" when the
gust is coming.
Then, instead of "sheeting out" try to just ease off a little.
Easing off could be equated to an attempt to keep the power at the same level.
This is the level that you can handle comfortably.
Look at it this way...... as the gist hits your sail, there will be an increase in power,
so at the same time you ease off (at as close to the same rate as you can) your sheeting angle to keep the power at the same level.
I know on lakes you get mega gusts from hell that hit all at once and can almost double the windspeed, but the gusts affect on the water is usually visually quite dramatic.
The surface darkens alot, little ripples become much larger ripples, maybe even instant
whitecaping.
So, if you are watching upwind and ahead, you have some time to adjust BEFORE you get hit with the gust.
I also suspect that you may still have a bit of a harness line balance issue.
What sort of harness hook are you using? Reactor Roller.... or a solid hook?
If you get more power when you "ease off" your sheeting angle, this indicates to
me that you are slightly oversheeted to begin witn. In other words, you have learned to
sheet in a little more than the optimum angle to give your rig it's max. forward drive/min. sideways pull.
Try this, when sailing along on a beam reach or above, with your sail raked back and fully sheeted in, ease off the sheeting angle slightly.
Does this increase your speed........give better control......what?
Also, I'm having a bit of a problem with your statements about sheeting in and "pushing out" to ease or unsheet your sail.
Most sailor have their lines set so that just taking your back hand off the boom allows the rig to ease off slightly.
So, there does not seem to be any need for "pushing" with correclty balanced lines.
If I read your first paragraph carefully it almost seems like you are in an action/reaction
mode here and may be doing 2 or more things at once and the net result is an increase in rig pressure.

On your sailing downwind issues, try not to tip the rig forward so much, but rather'simply bring the mast more upwind.
You may want your harness lines a little longer for sailing off the wind. This is why the formula racers all use adjustable harness lines with stopper knots in them.
They crank the lines short to sail upwind maximally, then when they jibe around the top mark, they extend their lines to a stopper knot the put in and adjusted while traning or the race.
You could do the same with an adjustable harness line setup.
You normally do not have to "move forward" to tip your rig, just push it forward a little
and adjust your stance while still in the footstraps.
Also, to head off the wind, you would need to pull up a bit with your front foot and tip your back foot more toward the toes to get the board to turn vice doing it all by tipping the rig more forward.
Hope this helps,
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