Archive for May, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Two-pole Jibe

running almost dead downwind, setting a second spinnaker pole on the mast and lazy guy, jibing the main, heading up, and then disconnecting the leeward pole.

PostHeaderIcon Windseeker

1) A small, light sail used in very light winds, e.g., drifting or zephyr conditions. Instead of expending the little wind energy available on trying to fill a heavy sail, you use a windseeker to help get your boat moving. This creates apparent wind to add to the small amount of true wind available. Once some boat speed is attained, you can consider hoisting a larger sail. 2) A crew member who watches the water and other boats, looks for signs of wind puffs and lulls, and ascertains whether they are headers or lifts.

PostHeaderIcon Offshore Race

a race that is conducted on a large body of water and that lasts an extended period of time—from a few hours to several days or more. Offshore races can begin near one port and finish near another (i.e., a port-to-port race) or can return to the starting port after covering considerably more miles than a buoy race. Also referred to as a distance race. Offshore race strategy evolves as a race progresses. Early in the race, the strategic priorities are to find the most favorable weather pattern, to get to the weather pattern before the competition, and to be better placed within that weather pattern. Of course, as competitors approach the finish mark of an offshore race, tactics shift more towards buoy race strategy, where the priorities are to stay between any opponents and the next mark or wind shift, and to consolidate any leverage gained. Compare to: inshore racing.

PostHeaderIcon Fan Puff

downdraft or outflow winds that ripple the water’s surface in a dark, paw-shaped pattern—the winds are diverging at the leading edge of a gust. A fan puff is often preceded by a lull. A good turbulence and wind shear indicator. Also referred to as a cat’s paw.

PostHeaderIcon Twilight Racing

semi-organized, informal type of boat racing that is typically held in the evening after work. Also known as beer can racing. Compare to: picnic race.

PostHeaderIcon Putting Dogs in the Doghouse

slang for sending crew members below when the winds are really light, to relax on the leeward cushions near the mast. This offers many advantages: wind drag is reduced, the slot is not clogged, and their weight is concentrated closer to the boat’s center of gravity. Low centered weight also helps reduce pitching in leftover waves and swell. Being sent below is not always fun for the crew, but they can get out of the sun, have some food, and catch up on some reading. Also known as being bilge buddies or mushrooms.

PostHeaderIcon Retire

to choose to drop out of a race either before or after finishing. Common reasons for retiring include crew injury, collision, gear failure, or because you violated a rule. You are required to notify the race committee when retiring from a race. See also: RAF and RET. Compare to: DSQ.

PostHeaderIcon Light Sails

a collective term for the spinnakers, daisies, staysails and other lightweight sails set on a run or reach. Compare to: white sails.

PostHeaderIcon Protect the Right/Left Side

If a particular side of the course is favored, you protect that side by being in a controlling position on that side of the course. Not just towards the favored side of the course centerline, you want to be the boat farthest to the advantaged side if you are to gain maximum control and advantage.

PostHeaderIcon Level Racing

a fleet of similarly handicapped boats, though possibly of varying design, that race against each other without time allowance adjustments. See also: box rule. Compare to: IRC, one-design, ORR and PHRF.


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