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Getting Whipsawed

 
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ledel



Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Getting Whipsawed Reply with quote

I'm an "intemediate" sailor and was sailing yesterday out from the new HR Waterfront Park area, happy as a clam cause the wind was great for practicing stance, harness , straps and ugly jibes. But later in the pm the gust to lull ratio got a bit steeper and I was getting whipsawed pretty severely trying to get out. Tried pointing more off the wind only to get slammed forward. Heading upwind was like getting backwinded. Gusts were about 33, lulls 15 and wind from the west( though it seemed NW). On a 103 synchro and 4.2 sail which seemed right once moving forward the few tims I managed. Any smart (not smartass) tips other than stay out in the channel. My arms were toast.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19921

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specifics? Not really. You're doing the one thing most critical to handling crap like that: getting out there and taking it head on. You will very quickly learn to:
1. Sheet in and squat in response to gusts.
2. Keep your weight back to avoid getting pitched forward when bearing way off the wind.
3. Use smaller boards (and fin, I'll bet) when you need a 4.2.
4. Read the water's surface to anticipate gusts and lulls.
5. Use your harness and footstraps more and your arms less.
6. Eat and drink the right stuff (carbs, low-fat protein, water or sports drinks) to last longer.
7. Use feet and rig to better control power and direction.
8. Pack it up and follow the good wind when it turns to crap.

Mike \m/
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bowtie



Joined: 02 Oct 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't feel to bad. I was at the hook from 12:30 to 3pm and my wind meter read a range of 20 to 50 mph which appoximates the main channel speeds.
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thomas_tlusty



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wind at the event site was nasty yesterday, not only was it crazy gusty it was changing direction all the time. Sounds like your experience was about right, everyone had about the same comments as you. When it's that bad all you can really do is try to stay sheeted in and keep your speed up to lower the shifts in apparent wind, or possibly sit and drink beer.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 3341

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty good advice, overall. When you see a gust, stay in the straps, first and foremost. Point the board straight up the river as best you can. This minimizes the apparent wind, running with it.

Definitely do not sheet out. When one does so, the sail will slam you down. Have you jumped yet? When you do, you'll see how quickly you come back to the water when you sheet out. Same effect when you sheet out when a gust hits: slammatude.

BTW, a smaller board may help, but IMHO I do not think staying big is a bad thing. The Synchro is a good board to stay over powered on. Maybe just go with a smaller fin....
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anamatrix



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to bleed speed off by "S" turning across the river but it felt "dangerous" to sheet in and carve a jibe or do a pivot jibe. Do you also have some tips for jibing in wind like yesterday, please? I couldn't seem to depower my sail to do any sort of (ugly) jibe. Rolling Eyes
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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 302

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being able to sheet-in is the only way to pull off a jibe in extreme over-powered situations. It is not always easy to sheet in when over-powered so be sure to have plenty of speed, try a little wiggle upwind before quickly turning downwind into your jibe, and instead of pulling in with the back hand, push out with the front hand.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 3341

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday, I sailed onshore ugly stuff up in Flagler Beach, FL. Wind was 18-27mph, and the angle was about 50deg onshore. Shore pound was 4 foot, outsides were well overhead. I had to rig a 6.2 sail to get past the shore pound, quick.

Once outside, I was O/P'ed in the gusts. How did I gybe? Over sheet the sail like you may see in a lay down gybe, with very bent knees as well. This also worked in my limited wave rides. I could hide the sail from the wind best that way, esp screaming down the out side waves. Bonus to that is the wind is very fluky inside the wind shadow of the surf.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19921

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anamatrix wrote:
Do you also have some tips for jibing in wind like yesterday, please? I couldn't seem to depower my sail to do any sort of (ugly) jibe.


Google Mike Fick's Jibe Tips.

Mike \m/
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Mulekick84



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real key for me when jibing way overpowered is to move your back hand further back on the boom. This makes for a stronger pivot point to lay it down or just to oversheet the sail and kill the power.

The second thing I do is actually twist the entire rig back towards the tail as you oversheet and drive the rail into the turn. This will help keep up your speed and allow the rig to balance up as you pull the mast back towards you with the front hand to finish the turn.

It is a very fast procedure and you have to let the back hand go while you still have plenty of speed. I see many people who simply hold on too long. Let that boom go, even go for a hand drag, which makes you concentrate on keeping your speed through the turn and keeps you low with knees bent to absorb chop and prepare to exit the turn with max speed.
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