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Soling Racing Recaps

Weather permitting, we film all of our races. Not only is it a fun thing to watch at the post-race gathering, but it is a great tool for seeing how your crew work was at a mark rounding, or how you started with the rest of the fleet. Here are just a few races from recent years, but you can find even more on our YouTube channel.

Soling Racing Wrap Up: 5/22/18

Welcome to our first night of Tuesday racing! Let’s run through some standard operating procedures before we get to the racing.

Rigging

In rigging any boat the first three things you do are...

  1. Check the equipment
  2. Check the bilge
  3. Check the running rigging

In racing it is more detailed. After checking the safety equipment you must check out all the equipment. Check that both jaws of your spin pole work, check for a rip in the chute, make sure your pins have ring dings in them (shroud pins should be taped), make sure your tiller universal in not compromised, look for frayed lines and broken parts. The list goes on. Take nothing for granted as the boats get sailed and raced constantly. If there is a problem it’s a lot easier to fix on the mooring field than it is out on the race course, away from our work float.

Don’t just check the center bilge, open up the inspection ports in the bulkheads and pump any water in your bow or stern (bilge water can get trapped there).

Checking the running rigging includes all sheets, halyards, lanyards. Where are they and do they work properly. Boats are set up differently, know your boat, and please don’t pull out a magic marker and label our boats up. And if you see something labeled, don’t assume it’s labeled correctly (because the BSC does not label anything in marker). After checking the running rigging, check the standing rigging and set up your shrouds right, which is even. Then consider your rake and if windy, your mast bend. Basically the forestay positions your rake, the backstay determines your bend. Not sure, ask and look. All BSC staff and most experience racers are helpful to others, unafraid of handing out trade secrets. On the race course look at how the top finishers are setting up their boat. Mirror and copycat and you’re on the right track.

Now that you believe the “rig” is right for the conditions. Next is the “set”….setting the sail up right for the wind and water conditions using the many controls the Soling offers. That’s another whole discussion but I will say this… Set the sails when they’re luffing and check them when they’re full of wind. It’s easier and it gives a better feel for sail shape. Also, “set” the sails on the race course not in the mooring field where you don’t have a proper gauge of the wind.

RIG-SET-TRIM

Trim is the third part of the equation but that’s a lot to tackle. So I’ll say this for now, if you want to “Sail the breeze of the moment” you need to trim to the breeze of the moment. Things are always changing so you must (A) notice that change and (B) shift gears swiftly yet smoothly. Ah, proper rig, set, trim for the conditions at hand, to unleash the essence of pure Boat Speed. An elusive but obtainable quest. Of course there’s a quest for perfect boat handling and tactics too. The 3 tines that make up the Racers Trident…

OFF TO THE RACE COURSE 5/22

PRE-RACE

Thanks for getting out early, though if you were late the RC wouldn’t have waited. It gave you time to read the breeze, deal with your rig, set, trim and see the RC set up the course. Why did we set that type of race course in that area of the inner harbor? Tonight’s course in the SW-WSW meant wind shadow/blanket at the top of the beat with a sketchier starboard approach than port. Twice arounds gave more time to recover from an early mistake (like a poor start) and more threat to be overtaken if in the lead (so consider moments to consolidate/cover).

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