Archive for December, 2011

PostHeaderIcon School

if you school a competitor, you teach them a lesson; out sail them. If a competitor schools you, they have out sailed you and taught you a lesson. If you go to school on a competitor, for example the boat that always leads the fleet in the section that starts before yours or the fastest boat in your own fleet, you learn their methods and tactics. You copy their set-up; see how they trim their sails and position their weight, etc. You borrow their knowledge and creativity.

PostHeaderIcon Mid-bow

a crew member whose core responsibility is to be an extra hand as needed. A mid-bow may be asked to help repack spinnakers and organize and stow sails below decks. On deck, this crew member works with the foredeck, mast, and pit crew to help hoist and drop sails and may assist with the spinnaker pole during jibes. A mid-bow is selected as much for his or her strength and agility as for his or her sailing ability. Also known as a caddy, floater, runner, sewer, sewer rat, squirrel, and sweeper. See also: bow team.

PostHeaderIcon inversion wrinkles

wrinkles in the mainsail that extend from mid-mast to farther aft than mid-boom. Inversion wrinkles are usually caused by over-bending the mast. Inversion wrinkles rob the boat of valuable power. Also called over-bend wrinkles. See also: speed wrinkles.

PostHeaderIcon Back-of-the-bus

another term for the afterguard; the crew members who collectively determine a race boat’s course of action—the decision makers. This can include the strategist, tactician, helm, and navigator, or crew who have these additional duties. Many different names—most of which are unprintable—are used to refer to this group. One of the kinder names includes brain trust. Also members of the speed team.

PostHeaderIcon Hip-hop

tacking into position on a competitor’s windward hip—just astern of her windward quarter. The windward boat is in a controlling position that limits her opponent’s ability to tack; the leeward boat has clearer air. Also known as hipping up. See also: pin.

PostHeaderIcon Doldrums

equatorial area between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres weather systems characterized by light winds, major wind shifts, and squalls. Compare to: trade winds.

PostHeaderIcon Speed Mode

trimming and steering the boat for increased speed, usually by bearing off slightly. Pointing ability is traded for speed. Also known as going fast forward, foot mode and acceleration mode. In more traditional nautical terms, sailing in this trim configuration was referred to as sailing full and by. See also: rumble and shift gears. Compare to: point mode and wave mode.

PostHeaderIcon Jibing Duel

two competitors, one covering the other, repeatedly jibing. The covered boat jibes in an attempt to lose the covering boat. The covering boat jibes to maintain coverage. Usually happens during the last downwind leg between the two lead boats, or between two boats in a battle for overall position in the standings.

PostHeaderIcon Optimum Sailing Angle

a boat’s course relative to the wind that provides the greatest progress towards or away from the wind. See also: polar diagram and VMG.

PostHeaderIcon Wind Bend

wind direction affected by local terrain. The more tactically advantaged course, whether sailing upwind or down, is to sail to the inside of a wind bend.


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