Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sailing Rules: A LinGin Focus in 2006

I attended a Dave Perry rules seminar this winter at SSA. He’s quite a character; very easy going and very funny. I had a blast and would definitely recommend taking any opportunity to see him that you get. (This was an SSA members-only event, or I would have invited everyone.)

Rules are something I’d really like to emphasize this season. At the outset, they look and sound overwhelming, but went you break them down, they’re not too bad. I think the best way for us to learn them is use the racing situations we see on the course.

In that regard, David (my son) and I are going to build a mini-magnetic boat set for us to use on LinGin to diagram different situations that we can discuss on the way to and/or from races. I’ll bring the 2005-2008 rules with us, and we can work through the basic ones.

Also, I highly recommend considering a membership in US Sailing (www.ussailing.org). It’s our national organizing body, and a very important part of our sport. When you join you get a copy of the current rules.


Andy said...

It would be great if you had an easy way to recreate the mini-boat rules situations in the blog. I think you did it a couple of times last year - little diagrams showing the situation and what ended up happening.

Those were great - if you could keep them up I'd love it.

Tim said...

I'll do my best. It's pretty easy for me to do. We'll use the little boats that Dave and I made to run through the situations on the boat. Then, for the good ones, I can put them up here.

You gonna come out with us this year?!! We need you!

Scott said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that while sailing rules can be "a" focus of 2006. It should not be "The" focus of 2006. I suggest at best it be a distant second to strategy. It is true that Tim is the only one with a strong handle on the rules. It is also true that as members of a sailing team we should all take and interest in learning the rules. That said, I think there will be at best one time this season that having others besides Tim with rules knowledge will make that difference between first and somewhere else (knock on wood). Strategy on the other hand is a subject matter where I see a strong benefit to having more contributers. I think Tim accurately placed strategy at the top. It is the place where we could get the "biggest gains for the smallest time investment". How often does Tim ask for suggestions on how to start given this wind direction and that current, only to be greeted by blank stares? Tim has a good handle on what to do but needs a crew of more then just yes men. I fear that when it comes to strategy, I rarely contribute. I have the same problem Brian mentioned when it comes to strategy, my memory is too short and I forget what I learned before I get a chance to use it. I think Dave's boat model could really help me there.

I also want to mention a weakness I think should go under strategy and above rules knowledge. Close hull sailing with the spinnaker. It seems that too often we do everything we can and yet we watch certain boats walk past us. We all sit there frustrated but don't know what to change. We need to find the right trim configuration or the right helm/foredeckmen communication combination to prevent that problem. I am confident that a solution here could make a tangible difference in our ranking this year. As a start, I will absorb everything the North U trim book has to say about it. However, I don't want it to just be book smarts so I suggest that as a team we go over it and practice it. That way, when the conditions are right everyone will know what to look for and how to critique it.