Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's Not Lazy, It's Fast!

Skipper says he's not laying down on the job
We had a good race the other night.  It was a pursuit race, where Sunfish and Lasers and Day Sailers and Flying Scots all race together.  Because we have such little sails, we get a head start on the bigger boats that have fancy jibs and spinnakers and big giant main sails. It's kind of scary and fun at the same time.

Sunfish 79461 and her skipper are really fast. They came in 5th at Winter Camp this year, and they like to race in the pursuit races. Me and Skipper try to keep up with them, but we never can.  Anyway, Skipper and I got an awesome start, right next to Sunfish 79461. They were faster than us, but Skipper and I did everything we know how to keep up with them.  I even let skipper mess with my outhaul to see if we could go any faster.  When they turned, we turned. At one point, Skipper's sail adjustments let me point higher than them, and by the first mark, we were ahead!

They did better than us on the second upwind leg, plus we got caught up with a bunch of Flying Scots at the second upwind mark and Sunfish 79461 got a huge lead on us. They were low, in front of the Scots, and we were behind them.  Just then, Skipper leaned down and whispered "Watch, the Scot's are going to steal their wind. We'll go high and go right around everybody." Sure enough, the Scots all popped up their big spinnakers and Sunfish 79461 slowed down to a crawl. Then Skipper said "I'm going to  try something". and he laid down on the deck and grabbed my boom right at the tack, where it connects with my gaff, and swung my boom way out. I thought he was crazy, or at least very sleepy. All of a sudden, we were not only gaining on Sunfish 79461, we actually passed a couple of Flying Scots along the way!

 Skippers new way of laying on the deck made us go really fast, and we caught up with Sunfish 79461. They beat us at the finish line by half a boatlength.  My bow was even with her skipper, and we were going faster. If the race had been 20 yards longer we would have beaten them. It was our best finish against Sunfish 79461 ever!

Skipper says that laying on the deck lets him get his weight more forward so that my transom doesn't drag any water. And it lets him have more control over the heeling to windward that I do on downwind legs.  Other skippers are laughing at him. They're asking him if he wants a pillow, and telling him to sleep after the race, and to stop laying down on the job.  But we know that it's not lazy, it's fast.