Upwind with a shortboard
Hi Roger !
1. Yes, I uphaul with the feet positioned as you said.
2. After uphauling , I hold the boom with the front hand only, while the sail flaps idle downwind.
3. I am not too sure if I step back precisely as you indicate, but, overall, I think my feet position is correct, because I align the front and back feet with the direction of the footstraps: the front one is diagonally oriented, so the foot is at an angle in relation to the centerline, while the rear strap is parallel to the center line, so the rear foot is perpendicular to it. I am not too sure, though, on which side of the centerline it is ( windward or leeward side, or perhaps straddling it..)
4. I am not sure if I am pulling the rig across the board when I sheet in in order to set the board in movement, but I noticed I have a tendency not to keep the mast upright once the board moves . I noticed that if I do so, things go a lot better.
5. No, I sheet in with a full grasp of the back hand on the boom, not just the two fingers. How could I use only two fingers? The pull of the wind on the sail is so strong at times,that it takes a full grasp to sheet in ( at least until you hook up the harness !)
6.Perhaps I am not too clear about why I should sheet in only until the board moves, because even after the board is in movement, the wind, at least here in our Canadian lakes, is so ever changing, at times gusty, that I couldn't help constantly correcting by sheeting in or out, as smoothly as possible though.
7. I definitely was not aware that I have to get underway (on a reach ?) before attempting to go upwind . The way I do it , I walk the board off shore until the water depth allows the extension of the CB, I position the board perpendicular to the wind, with me facing downwind and with the rig floating downwind, I get on, I push down the CB , I uphaul and then I immediately start to gear up for upwind , by tilting the sail backward, while weighing on the leeward rail. Today, for the first time, it worked, so I must have been doing something right !
This prompts me to ask the following questions :
a. Does the REACH point of sail require the CB down ?
b. Is the leeward rail sinking technique recommended, or even necessary, to start the REACH motion and prevent the down-wind drifting, in the same way that it is necessary to go upwind?
c. When you invert the direction of the board from upwind to downwind, in order to return to shore, should the CB be raised ? I know it definitely must be raised if you are on a RUN, but if you are sailing downwind on a broad reach, can you ( or should you )still keep it fully or partially extended down ?
d. I hear that , when the CB is fully retracted, the rail pressure dynamics are reversed : to go upwind you no longer sink the leeward rail, but the WINDWARD rail. Is this correct ?
e. Final point : Today the wind was probably 10 knts/hr and I felt the board was so far from planing , that I can hardly believe the claims made by some manufacturers that PLANING is the NATURAL behaviour , as it were, of todays boards... They are advertised as though they were just waiting to leap off the water even with under 10 knts/hr. winds ..Well, mine didn't even try ! I thought it was quite normal , because sheer common sense told me that it should have taken hell of a lot more wind for it to plane !
Anyway, thanks to you and the Good Samaritans on the Forum who have been kind enough to share their experience with me and give me their advice, today I had my first EPIPHANY, because, for the first time, thanks to the leeward sinking trick, I was able to sail upwind with my Rio and I had a lot of fun, until the darn rain started pouring down again !
I used a larger sail ( a 7.6) though, because the wind was light and I am envisaging to eventually buy a 8.5 ( Which brand would you suggest ?) .
I guess the sail size and my ignorance of the leeward rail sinking trick were the main causes of my failure . I still have a long way to go, I have to admit, and this darn winter will be here faster than we imagine and put a stop to my learning curve !
Thank you for your comments