June 28, 2016 Practice Briefing

This week’s practice is going to be all about starts.  We will do several different kinds of practice starts.

  1. rabbit start races: The coach will designate a rabbit, and give the group about 45 seconds to get set up. Then the rabbit will round a leeward mark to port, and go close-hauled on port tack.  To start, sail between the mark and the rabbit (close hauled on starboard). See this .gif for an example of a rabbit start.  Remember, there is no barging at the “rabbit” end of the line.
  2. gate starts: there is a mid-line gate (two marks) where only a designated boat or two is allowed to start.
  3. random countdown starts: the time between 30 seconds and 20 seconds can be as long or short as the coach would like. Be on the line* and ready to accelerate at any moment.
  4. crowd-sourced starting line: the race committee/coach allows some push in the starting line, but will call over anyone who is is way early or late

*in this sense, when we say “be on the line” we mean near the line, with a hole carved out.  Usually, this will also mean being some distance back from the line so you have enough room to accelerate.  The right amount of distance is partially determined by the crowd, you often have to match the rest of the fleet so you aren’t either pushed over early by a leeward boat, or late to the start because you were blanketed by the rest of the fleet.

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