How to Start Faster
It’s make or break time out on the racecourse, MARK RUSHALL explains how to get a flying start and what to do when things don’t go quite toplan.
Using a Transit
Especially in smaller fleets, a transit is a great indicator of where you are relative to the line. Without a transit it is easy to judge a “long line” when close to the pin or the committee boat, but much more difficult in the middle of line. Using a transit in individual practice also helps develop other ways to judge just where the line is. (See fig.1)
How to Start – Fig 1
Before the start, sail down an extension of the line. Find a stationery object (in this case the clock tower), which is on the direct line of committee boat and pin end. Wherever you are positioned on the start line, if the clock is directly behind the pin, you are right on the line. If the clock is on the course side of the pin, you are over, and if the clock is on the pre-start side, you are behind. (Note that if you don’t have a bowman standing at the front, you need to allow for the distance to the bow).
Some like to try to find a ‘safe transit’ by lining up about two boats lengths behind the committee boat. In the example (fig.1) the Eiffel Tower has been handily relocated to our shoreline. Two boats lengths at the committee boat equates to one boat length at the midpoint, less as you start closer to the pin. The transit frequently becomes obscured close to start time. Lining up alongside nearby boats (the sheep principle) will give an average start, but if there is a line bulge, an OCS. If there is a sag, we are giving away ground to those at the ends of the line.
Line judging skills come with practice. I recently learned a simple trick from Paul Goodison, ‘Point the boat directly at the pin, holding the tiller dead central. Now sight aft straight along the tiller. If you are sighting behind the committee boat, you are behind the line. If you are sighting in front, you are over.
On the waterfront, attendance and fun competition on the lake for racing has been great! Come early on Wednesday if you want a good parking spot!
Spring Series is complete for the Wednesday Spring Series. Super Sundays continue on the 4th Sunday of the month.
Summer Wednesday Series begins on July 4th with patriotic party favors and a raft up after racing for those who want to see different fireworks displays from the water (food and snacks provided).
The ECSC Regatta in on Saturday July 7th and it FREE for all registered club members! We will have a light breakfast and sandwiches for on the water. Dinner at the Beach Party must be reserved by emailing or contacting Nick Mates by July 4th.
We will hand out awards for the ECSC regatta and Wednesday Spring Series at the Beach Party. See you then.
Bob Hickok and John George – Race Committee