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Learning to race series....

11th April 2018   Author - Keith Cockburn

Sails and sail trimming

This is a four part series on sail and sail trimming, why and how they work, I have attached parts 1 and 2 and later in the month I’ll give you parts three and four.

The video are very detailed and you may have to watch a couple of time to get fully what is being said. Enjoy. Keith


28th March 2018 - Author - Tim Trent

Rounding the Leeward Mark

Racing means going faster than the other boats! Obvious stuff, that, Thanks Tim. Well observed!

You're in a Hansa 303 racing Hansas, or a Sonar racing our other Sonar/ And yes, on Wednesdays there are more other yachts than you can shake a stick at, but lets look at like vs like. You're racing against at least one other boat that's absolutely identical with yours. Your boat and crew weight is pretty much the same as the other boat, the one you want to beat. So what can you do?

Yes, Shirley is in a Topper. What you can do in a Topper you can do in a Hansa or a Sonar.

Two simple things to remember:

  1. Approach the mark wide and leave the mark close, so close tht you could reach out and tap it with you fingertips. Don't do that! There's a penalty turn if you do!

  2. Use Balance. Lean to starboard and the hull automatically turns to port.

The Hansa's cockpit sometimes makes leaning awkward, especially two up! As the New York cop said when asked by a well dressed woman how to get to Carnegie Hall,


Now watch the video again.

That rudder, the thing you use to steer with? It makes a very good brake if you put it hard over. That's what the other boat's doing. And that's why you've grabbed half a boat;s length lead om them.

When I took my Keelboat Instructor's course we all tried this out. The difference to boat speed just in rounding the mark was very noticeable.

What about using Trim?

I'm going to leave you to work out whether to lean forward or aft! Try it. See what happens. Work afloat with another boat.

Next issue is down to Anna. The video is reproduced by kind permission of the RYA.

14th March 2018


14th March 2018 Author - Keith Cockburn

Starting a race

Hi all,

In our desire to teach you more about “Sailing” and to increase our sailing skills, we would like to start a new video based learning platform called “Learning to race”. Every two weeks or so a new area will be discussed with accompanying videos, and I’ve drawn the short straw so I’m leading off and my chosen subject is “Starting”. I hope you enjoy this and hopefully increase our sailing skills.

Starting is the most important part in the whole race, you can end up buried behind the fleet in bad air and not have a lot of options, but if you start well you have so many options and can take advantage as situation develop instantly. Start badly then you have limited tactical options and you could be on the wrong side of the tide or wind shift’s, plus your main competitor could start covering you for the rest of the race, and that can be very difficult to break, even if you have a small speed advantage.

If you have any question or video suggestions please contact me and we can have an open forum discussion for all to enjoy.

Enjoy my first two video’s. Keith

I believe Tim will be the next presenter, so let’s see what Tim has installed early next month.

Thanks to NS14 class for the use of thier video

Thanks to North Sails for the use of their video

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