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Laser sailor learning to trapeze

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As a fit 193 cm (6 foot 4), 18yo laser sailor how quickly will I pick up trapezing? I have only ever raced optis and lasers and have helmed 420 maybe a dozen times but never crewed so I have no experience on the wire.


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10 minute shore drill and you're away. So very quickly.

I run a program that teaches non sailors to sail twin wire skiffs [ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465  : If you scroll down, you'll see photos of the shore drill ], so teach this all the time.

And after a ten minute shore drill, they're on the water and playing the main (and setting the kite and playing it from the wire too).

It helps to have a sensible sort of skipper who will help you transition and won't expect you to crash tack on the first day.

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You are a kid, you are fit and strong. It isn't like you are learning how to do triple axels, or playing the Mendelssohn concerto #1 or anything. That includes skiff sailing. You can figure it out.

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59 minutes ago, jasper7427 said:

cool, thanks.

and as for getting used to skiff sailing? I've heard its rather different. 

Not looking to race (Yet).

Which class?

Years ago, I went from trapezing on a skiff (racing a Farr 3.7) to Laser racing, though I had the benefit of sailing junior classes previously.

Key lesson is to keep the front leg straight, and bend the back one slightly - more if there is chop). It took a while to get into that habit, and the consequence is the tendency to pivot around (or at least towards) the forestay.

I discovered that downwind stability (without a kite) had more to do with a higher centre of effort, and as many skiffs have higher aspect mainsails, be prepared for a tough learning curve. (Spinnakers mostly tend to stabilise - until the point of being overpowered).

When I started sailing Lasers, I couldn't figure out what the fuss others had about instability while broad reaching or running. I wanted to break out the sandwiches and have a picnic. All relative, I suppose.

Most skiffs with trapezes plane upwind, and close reaching is a blast. I found trapezing to be less physical than hiking - but in 20 plus knots, it just meant different muscles are used. On a reach, I can recall puffing at the bottom mark, and looking forward to the easier upwind beat for a rest.

One consequence of racing is that you learn a lot faster - most fleets help newbies a lot - and the more skills you develop, the more confident you are in higher winds which adds to the enjoyment a lot. Another consequence of racing is that you learn to lose your ego fast. Nobody cares if you capsize, come last or do not finish. Most of us started like that.

I'm so addicted to racing now that I'm either racing, or practicing for racing.

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