A bit of double tacks...(and other stuff)
This is Sophie here and I was sailing with Rachel in the 420 again last weekend on Cumbrae for the Scottish Squad. After Saturday I found out my drysiuit leaked and so I donned the wetsuit on Sunday. This meant I got to try the new Aquafleece Pro and I loved it. I wasn't cold at all with my race skins, polypro and thermaflex underneath and I found I had much more freedom of movement.
Over the weekend we worked on improving our boat handling under pressure and on the start line. On the Saturday a small triangle course was setup including a middle mark. Our coach gave us very complicated instructions to get around the course which included 360s round the middle mark, a small and very small windward/leeward and a small reach. On the small downwind and reach we were pushed for time just to get the pole on! This forced us to increase the speed at which we did everything and reinforce our routines. We also had to use lots of communication to just remember the course!
On the Sunday we practiced reducing our drift rate on the line and double tacks. We had a competition with the other two boats to see who could hold on the line the longest before they drifted to the port end. Unfortunately at around five minutes we went over the line and were disqualified! A flat boat, position of weight and pointing as close to the wind as possible are key to reducing the speed a which you drift. When the bow does blow off slight leeward heel with a small sheet of the main(with only the back end of the sail powered) is needed to drive the bow back into the wind.
For the double tacks we used loads of heel, backing of the jib and massive angles to get them to work. At the start of the session we didn't join with the exercises to get some practice by ourselves before we joined in as we were practicing next to the other 420s and didn't want to damage their boats! By the end we were surprised at how much bear away was needed and how little space it could be completed in..
Thanks for reading!