Sunday, August 08, 2010

Second Outing in the new Boat

Yesterday was my second outing in my new (read as "second-hand") Laser. I am very pleased with a 3rd and for all bar the last 10 minutes of the race I was mixing it up the the two front runners.

Reviewing my race on TrackTacker I believe I have been able to pin point my key mistakes. Referring to the diagram above, point 1 circled is the place I managed to loose 100+ meters on the front runners, with my VMG for the leg reducing to 2.27 knots vs ~3 knots for all other upwind legs. Basically for me, after 75 minutes of sailing I lost the opportunity to challenge for first or second place in the last lap (another 10 minutes of sailing). My focus quickly changed to protecting 3rd, as Ken had been tracking me all day and the gap had reduced between use by the end of this leg.

My analysis of the situation was that I was faced with two problems:

  1. The breeze had significantly eased between the circled area and mark A, and
  2. I had a Solo and Sabre pinning me to the Island side for this leg, based on position relative to me.
Lessons learned for me from this situation is to observe boats in other classes around me earlier, rather than solely focusing on the leaders and pressure zones on the lake. I believe if I had observed what the other class boats had been doing prior to or at Point 2, I would have mitigated the loss of the breeze easing. In hindsight, I should continued the port tack closer to the edged of the lake, which would have provide me options to pass the Solo and Sabre to the right side, which in all the past legs was working for me.

We will see next time when I am in this situation, if I have learnt from my past mistakes.

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