Sail Training #1


2015 Sail Training #1

What a great start to the Sail Training season! It was lovely to see the club packed and full of action on a Saturday, especially on a very breezy day which didn’t start very bright. But when the sun came out it was smiles all round and some great sailing!

Thanks to all the parents and helpers who got the paperwork done and provided so much vital help on and off the water :).
Before we started, we did a quick recap of important things when it’s windy…


  • Tie a knot in your mainsheet so the boom can’t go out more than about 80°. (Then tie another knot in case the first comes undone!)
  • Flatten your sails as much as you can before you set out: kicker, cunningham / downhaul and outhaul all on tight


  • Hike hard to make sure the boat can keep moving
  • If you can’t keep the boat flatlet the mainsheet out until you can (but keep pointing close-hauled). Be ready to react quickly!

Bearing away:
This is the most tricky bit, and caused most of the capsizes yesterday.

  • As you come up to the windward mark:
    • Ease off your kicker so the sail twists and the boom rises a bit (this can be tricky on a Pico 🙁 )
    • If you can, lift your daggerboard to about halfway
  • Then KEEP THE BOAT FLAT as you steer smoothly away from the wind around the mark, easing the sheet out as you go.
    Keeping the boat flat is really important, otherwise it will just turn back into the wind and you’ll have to start again.
  • As the boat accelerates, the rudder will get much more sensitive, so steer smoothly and firmly.
  • Finally, as you approach downwind sailing, the tipping force on the boat will suddenly disappear: you need to be ready to get in towards the centre of the boat to keep it flat (and the right way up…).

We did the first few races of the 2015 ‘Sail Training Series’ at the end of the afternoon session. Success mainly meant getting round the course without capsizing (or capsizing fewer times than others), but we saw a variety of results and some excellent, fast sailing

We’ll take all the results forward to an end-of-season celebration!

Well done yesterday, everyone who sailed should be very proud about their performance… it was solidly windy and very gusty, and we saw great sailing and great determination. Well done!

If you couldn’t make this time, hope to see you at the next session on
Saturday 2nd May 2015 at 10:00am
See you there!


About Author

John organises Sail Training at MSC, and sails a Hurricane 5.9 SX with Caroline.

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