May 29, 2018 Practice Briefing

Ahh, beautiful weather. We should finally get on the water today! Email me if you can make it, or sign up online.

Let’s try to be dressed and rigging by 6pm (if you’re late, pair up and join us on the water.) Most of you will be paired with a co-skipper, and it’s extremely important that you practice the craft of crewing as well as helming, both so you can be good at it, and so your skipper can improve. It’s nearly impossible to correct skipper issues if the crew work is not good.

With the Easterly, we should have a fairly long river, so we’ll do some follow the leader to collect everyone, then some work with tack and gybe on the whistle. We’ll try to line up luffing on a beam reach, and then go either upwind or downwind (depending on which way we have water.)

In the upwind drill, three whistles means accelerate or stop (don’t lose steerage though when you stop.) Two whistles means do a 720. One whistle means tack. As a helm, do not rely on my whistle to tell your crew you’re tacking, spinning or stopping. Relay the message to your crew, as your situation may require a delay (boat in your way, etc.), or perhaps your crew heard something different. We’re working on roll tacking, using weight and sails to spin, and controlling our speed when we stop, then accelerating again quickly.

Downwind, three whistles means start or stop. Two means go from a wing to a reach or a reach to a wing. One whistle means gybe. Get a roll and flatten out of the gybe as well as the turn up to a reach. A crew’s roll initiates each of these turns. The crew should have the board DOWN for all gybes, and to go from a wing to a reach. All gybes should end on a reach. The crew should wing the jib ONLY through the fairlead (I always say “through he block”). The skipper can slide forward, collect the sheet, and walk it around the side-stay. Try to spend as little time as possible with the jib not drawing, and also to steer as much as possible with the sails and your weight.

See you all out there!