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Old 14th August 2008, 04:22 PM   #19
Roly Gardner
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 74

Hi All,

Been following this thread as I made a couple of posts earlier. Thanks to Roger I can now get in and out of the harness more easily and find it so much more controlled particularly when getting up to speed. I have the same board as you do Rob but sail on open water with more chop probably. We are also quite gusty as we have a pier (stupid inconsiderate Victorians) which interrupts the predominant South Westerly wind direction and a marina harbour wall to the East. I find the anticipation described by Roger quite helpful. I also have to get really low and sort of hanging from the boom with a bent back(and sometimes front but I am not sure if this is good technique!) leg. In this position you can resist the urge of the sail to whip you over the front. At first I thought that I was getting low but was not. I exaggerated the stance having watched some more experienced sailors and this helps a lot.

It also helps to really commit to the harness. You read this in all the mags and it was easier said than done for me. A chap here called Jem Hall advises in his DVD Beginner to Winner, to lighten your grip on the boom to test that you are committing to the harness. He likens this to playing the piano with your fingers. So where Roger suggests you can take both hands off the boom ( tried it, it hurt, stopped doing it ) in theory, this tip is a nice transition.

Once more comfortable in the harness I started to put the tips on foot straps into practice. For me progressing in this sport seems to be a fairly slow and methodical process. I am not one of these people that gets up on the board and everything falls in to place. I need to get comfortable with one element before moving on but get there in the end. I can get in to the front strap and sail in a ( fairly) controlled fashion. I am now concentrating on the smooth and controlled transition to getting the back foot in.

In relation to stopping quickly, something odd happened to me recently on the water. I was planing nicely in to the beach and picked up some good speed. Like you Rob, I have in the past just pulled the ejector chord. However, on this occasion I sort of went into a carve tack if such a thing exists. I did not get all the way around but ended up heading straight into wind and stationary! Not tried it since and am convinced I could not do it again.

One quick question for you Roger if I may. When you say "rake the rig back" does this draw the mast to aft as I assume and if so why does this not drive the board into wind? I think it does when I try it so am I supposed to balance this action by doing something else? I have a feeling that it may have something to do with foot steering while and whilst I have read some articles on this I am still not clear. I am using your tip on taking the pressure off the front foot with the rear foot steering across the centre line which works nicely. Is it an extension of this?


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