Thread: Serenity.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 08:47 PM   #35
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,483


No tricks at all after almost 8 years of training and use. This is what I'm doing as described below :

If I tilt the sail too much on the outside to force the hull to turn, it's easy to loose my balance and make the board very tippy. It's ok to do it with a light 7.5 m2 sail as depicted on the video above, but with a heavy and big 10-11 m2 sail, I won't recommend to tilt the sail way outside because the weight of the sail will make me fall on the outside of the turn while passing the eye of the wind when dead downwind, i.e., when the board is at her tippiest point of course.

I rather keep my big and heavy 11 m2 sail fairly upright and nicely balanced with a very wide hand grip on the boom. I move my front foot back and next to my back foot, both behind the board's handle bar. The sail is then slightly sheeted out and I bank the hull on her windward shoulder to initiate the large radius turn. Standing on each side of the center line (the long black stripe of the large oval footpad), my windward leg is kept straight while I bent the knee of my leeward leg to bank the board. The board turns downwind while my upper body is always facing the upright sail.

Depending on the next course to come, I do one of the following :

1) if I want to continue dead downwind, I release the banking of the board by keeping both legs slightly bent and I flip the sail by holding firmly the mast straight upright with the front hand. It's very important to let go the boom's rear end describe a full half circle around the mast in order to keep my balance on the board. I grab the boom on the new tack and continue to sail downwind. The choppiest and the windiest it becomes, the tippiest the board and the more difficult it will be to keep my balance. Then I usually go very low with my center of gravity by bending my knees very much and tilting the mast on the back to speed up the rotation during the sail flip.

A very good exercise is to flip the sail alternatively on port tack and on starboard tack but try to keep the board course as straight and as dead downwind as possible. Deviation to the course is usually the end result of unbalance by the sail and your footwork that came from accidental banking of the hull to compensate the initial unbalance.

However, if I tilt the sail on the outside, it becomes very easy to make the board tippy and to inadvertantly change course while compensating with the pressure on the legs : usually the old front leg pushes down the windward rail, wich makes the board to go further on the turn, making the sail tilt more on the outside and finally loosing your balance. It just makes things worse with a heavy and big sail.

2) if I want to complete the jibe and to further turn the board to the new direction, I still continue to bank the hull with my feets but now, I twist my upper body to go clew first with the sail. I move the new windward leg to the front (front leg), release the back hand and let the sail flip. I continue the normal sailing on the new course. The goal here is to keep the speed of the board all the way during a nice flowing jibe in very light wind (2-7 knots). On a very deep reach (130-160), my speed is usually twice that of the wind, so it's better to exit the jibe sequence with as much gliding speed as possible until the sail will deliver again its forward power on the new course. The Serenity is such a gliding beauty, so try to keep her nicely flowing momentum during the entire jibe sequence.

The banking footwork is very important to achieve that goal, i.e., do anything to prevent the board to slow down too much. The S-curves (deep reach - dead downwind - deep reach - dead downwind - deep reach) without flipping the sail is a very good exercise to learn how to turn da big Bertha solely by banking the hull alternatively on her windward or leeward shoulders. Try it on a dead flat pond first (or at sea but without any swell/chop to unbalance you) with your 7.5 sail in say 3-5 knots wind or less. Try to make long radius turns only with your banking footwork. Once you've mastered that, repeat the S-curves, but flip the sail each time to complete a jibe sequence. Once done, repeat with your 10 m2 sail and I'm sure you will see how easy it is to unbalance yourself if you tilt your big and heavy sail too much on the outside of the turn.

Cheers !


Last edited by Jean-Marc; 2nd June 2014 at 09:04 PM.
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