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ss59



Joined: 10 Nov 2016
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:24 pm    Post subject: light-wind water start Reply with quote

I have managed light-wind water start a few times, but I'm unsure of how I did it and therefore the best technique. When there is very little wind I have water started by putting my feet either side of the mast base, hold the bottom of the mast in one hand and the foot of the sail in the other. Very much like here

https://youtu.be/i5MGW6uwO3Y?t=72

I want to get good at this and so the question is, should I aim to get the mast vertical and try to use it to climb up or should i use the weight of the mast dropping to leeward to lever me up (which feels right, but also a bit do or die)? In the video clip, it looks like the latter, but I'm unsure.

Maybe a question for the wave sailers / Manual, but appreciate any input
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1102

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're doing well. I may say things you already know but it'll be good for everyone getting into light wind sailing Smile !

There needs to be enough wind to get it up so 8 knots 5.0, 10 for 4.5 roughly. After throwing the sail up, you can first let go of front hand to grab the mast, the lighter the wind the lower the grip on the mast. Then, you need to decide whether to let go of the back hand to grab the foot of the sail. If you do, you'll have a more rubbery sail handling and hopefully no gust will hit until you grab the boom when standing up. You can also let go of both hands and simultaneously grab the mast and the foot of the sail, I usually do it when wind is consistently light.

If after grabbing the foot of the sail nothing seems to happen then yes you need to let it lean back windward a bit then tilt it leeward with some momentum so that the swing weight lets you place your weight over the board.

Just like in a regular waterstart the key is to place our body over the board and use our legs to get up and not the sail. The less power we use from the sail the more remains available for balance and compensation for wind and current changes.

It's a bit hard from the video but the guy seems to have his front foot back when sailing and sinks the tail. It's a bit odd and may sink the nose but keeping from foot forward (or at least to the side of the mast base) makes it easier to recover balance when sailing in near zero or negative wind (like sailing backwards when passing white water or pulled back by the current when heading in).

It helps to have good downhaul or a smaller sail so that it's super quick to react and light in the hands. For sure it can be quite exhausting, and in the whitewater it may still fail, however it saves more time and increases waterstart speed immensely.

Another quick tip, place feet around the center line of the board when rolling up in near zero wind but place them more towards the windward rail when powered up. This avoids digging the leeward rail under. I often move my feet to adjust balance in the water but also when standing up. If a gust hits I move my front foot back behind the mast base to drive the power forward (most common position) and when there's a deep lull then I move it to the side a bit forward leveraging board volume like a buoy.

Happy wobbling!

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philodog



Joined: 28 Apr 2000
Posts: 196

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An easier way to do it (and works in even lighter wind) as taught by Andy Brandt - Once you are grabbing the foot of the sail and the mast flip the board over towards you so the leeward rail is up against the mast. Put your feet on either side of the mast, curl up into a tight ball and let the wind push the sail past vertical. Once it is past vertical you can use the weight of the rig falling to leeward as a counterweight to roll you and the board over. Then you just stand up, let go of the sail with both hands at once and and reach for the boom. Takes practice and flexibility but works amazing.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20107

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure all these VERY light-to-no wind techniques work ... I've done some of them ... but if the wind's THAT light, I don't even wanna be standing up doing the isometric hula unless I'm sure the wind will not resume and/or I'm struggling across a sustained wind shadow to shore to rig bigger or go home. I'd rather swim, or better yet slog home sitting down with my butt between the straps and the mast between my extended knees. On a sinker it's a whole lot less work, and with any luck I can surf some of the remaining waves for a boost in speed.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 3059

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe this thread is about getting out of a light wind beach launch through the impact zone, not come in.

Coachg
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4984
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda agree with Mike.
A bad choice is just that.
You can uphaul 10 liters over your weight in kilos. No secret there, been done for 35 years.
On any sinker, you still need 8 mph breeze to slog half submerged. Those no wind techniques can go lower.
But, why tempt fate? Just be aware and sail in sooner.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20107

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dllee wrote:
But, why tempt fate? Just be aware and sail in sooner.

Or grab a bigger board. We used to go out around sunset on whatever sails we had rigged until we could barely (or couldn't) tell where the shore was, simply because we had energy left and it was fun. Sometimes we got the strongest and steadiest wind and biggest and cleanest swell of the day, other times we just had fun hitching a few rides and yukking it up between them. We dubbed ourselves the Roosevelt Swim Club for obvious reasons.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4984
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Chrissy swim club, 2 members, have tossed 4 rigs each..
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10026

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a very scary day sailing by myself at a small launch close to the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Started off well off the beach and to the outside where there are a number of large angled rock islands where elephant seals tend to haul out on.

At my jibe point outside, the wind shut suddenly off completely, and unfortunately, I ended up in the water. I found that there just wasn't enough wind to waterstart, and I didn't have an uphaul. Started swimming in, and had to pass through some very thick kelp patches. All I could think in the back on my mind was the paranoia of a great white lurking about.

After about 10-15 minutes of swimming, a few light gusts suddenly came up, maybe about 12mph. Believe me, I gave it all I had to waterstart, and I was barely able to pull it off. Fortunately, I was on a big enough board to poodle in.

So many times I've been sailing and the wind tanks on the outside, and I will miss my jibe. Stuff like that can happen, and you have to be able to really hone your lightwind waterstarts to save the day. It's important to be focused, patient and closely watch for any gusts to windward to quickly be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

When things are super sketchy, a successful waterstart is almost like a miracle akin to your first waterstart.
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 587

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:05 am    Post subject: Re: light-wind water start Reply with quote

ss59 wrote:
I have managed light-wind water start a few times, but I'm unsure of how I did it and therefore the best technique. When there is very little wind I have water started by putting my feet either side of the mast base, hold the bottom of the mast in one hand and the foot of the sail in the other. Very much like here

https://youtu.be/i5MGW6uwO3Y?t=72

I want to get good at this and so the question is, should I aim to get the mast vertical and try to use it to climb up or should i use the weight of the mast dropping to leeward to lever me up (which feels right, but also a bit do or die)? In the video clip, it looks like the latter, but I'm unsure.

Maybe a question for the wave sailers / Manual, but appreciate any input


Personally, I am a big fan of this technique, if needed and use it all the time foiling. I rarely uphaul. Mostly I use the mid technique mentioned by manuel (back hand on boom, front hand on mast) but when that is not working I drop the back hand to the foot of the sail.

I believe that I let the mast go past vertical to leeward to lever me up. Stay crouched. I like to sail away a bit crouched before standing up and grabbing the boom.

This one is pretty good

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA3NqPFAHmO/

This one you can see what happens if you stand up before the rig is creating lots of leverage.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBJ9M5bgVA3/

In the old days when boards were narrow, I used to flip the board first, as coach G said. This flipping of the board would minimize drifting and create a better pivot point for the leverage of the rig. But with today's wider boards and esp foil boards that is difficult. Instead I try to sink the windward rail with my feet until the leverage is created then I shuffle my feet in.

Today's foiling session was about 2 hours and I did 30% full light wind water starts, 50% mast and boom technique, 20% regular water starts, and 0% uphauling. However, I do tend to rig a bit bigger than the average foiler.
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