Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yachting World and the rug salesman

I've mentioned earlier how found the article in this month's Yachting World about sailing apps for the iPhone interesting - well it wasn't the only one.

Having previously met the ex-Star sailing rug salesman it was interesting to read more about the class. And as was about to order the selected rug from the ex-Star sailing rug salesman it was helpful to be able to say something sensible about the class - such as the ability to tune the mast rake.

Or maybe not, because he immediately went into details of checkstays which woosh! went over my head.

But one bit did make sense: the three stages of Star sailing learning curve:
1) Sail as normal, ignoring all the additional tweaky bits. Go pretty well most of the time
2) Start playing with all the other controls around, forget to look around at the fleet, mess up positioning, get tuning all wrong, and end up slipping down the ladder.
3) Finally work out when to tune what when and have time to look around - hurrah!

Getting to step 3 seems a lot of work - particularly as it seems physically a very demanding boat.

Anyone who sails at that level that must be a pretty good sailor and deserved this little sale.

(groan, that was pretty bad wasn't it? To make up for it here's an interesting article in The Independent about Olympic Gold medal Star sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson who have been doing rather well in Weymouth & Portland the last week)


Carol Anne said...

The Etchells has a lot of the same tweakiness as the Star and a whole lot of strings to pull, so it has a similar learning curve. However, it is not quite as physically demanding. In fact, the Etchells is what a lot of Star sailors move to when they get older and creakier.

It's still a really fun boat to sail, even if I'm somewhere in the second phase of the learning curve.

JP said...

Must admit that's a new class for me but see they were racing in the Solent 12-13th September so will keep an eye out. Look like a good fun day race keel boat.

Pat said...

They would perhaps have some bits of resemblances to Dragons or Solings, but the Etchells is heavier and longer, with a massive keel. Compared to the Stars, the Etchells don't require gut-busting droop hiking and are relatively much happier when wind and waves freshen into a bit of a blow. The complexities of the spinnaker are a fair trade for not having to futz around with a lot of the other Star stuff such as checkstays/running backs.