A-Cat tacking with central sheeting system

AClass USA 230

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Do whatever works for you and then do it 1000 times. There are plenty of great A-Class sailors who use the trapeze handle going in and/or out. I've seen pictures of Landy, Mischa, and Outerridge using the trapeze handle.

Try to shoot for being from full speed coming in to the tack to full speed on the next tack in less than fifteen seconds initially. Be cognizant of your tiller angle at the beginning and end of the tack. Think about looking forward as much as possible and not down at your hands and feet (you will be amazed how well that works). When you can complete tacks in less than 15 seconds (again full speed from one tack to the other), you are tacking the boat well. The best A-Cat sailors are probably doing it close to 10 seconds each time. I'm happy to be consistent at sub-15 second tacks.

I've always used the handle going in and out. If I change my technique, I think I would try to not use it going out as I should be able to sheet the main in quicker. I come in on my butt, just can't get comfortable with coming in on my knees. Coming in on your butt seems to work well grabbing the handle. I sail against Ben Moon a lot and I think I can tack the boat as well even though our techniques are different.

A couple of tools to help you would be to get a Speed Puck or similar where you can download your GPS tracks and then replay with a software like GPS Action Replay. You can zoom in on your track during the tack and see exactly how long it takes you to go full speed tack to tack and also check how you are steering the boat during the tack. Great tool. And a GoPro mounted on a hull is a great compliment to that to see your moves. Both are not bad investments in your training for being under $800 total.

Good luck.

 
USA230 I hope that you don't actually mean 15 seconds (full speed to full speed) for a tack. Assuming full speed is 11 knots upwind with a 10-15 knots wind, even if I am already on the wire after the tack, I would probably need more than 15 seconds just to reach these 11 knots and sometimes much more.

I assume that by full speed you only mean 80 or 90% of top speed.

Personally during a tack my speed goes down to about 4 knots (minimum speed with speed puck). Can you keep a much higher speed during the tack?

 

AClass USA 230

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Louisiana
If you want to hang with the big dogs, you have to master the wire to wire tack. 15 seconds or less is achievable. I sailed for 3 hours last night and I was averaging 16-17 seconds, had a couple at 13-14 seconds (looking at my GPS replay). There is a video of Glenn Ashby sailing in France several years ago in breeze. They start a training race with several boats and Ashby is ahead and to leeward on starboard. It looks like he cannot cross if he tacks but he suddenly just explodes across the boat and crosses on port. Under 10 seconds, fastest tack I've ever seen but unfortunately too far away in the video to see his choreography.

 

SimonN

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Sydney ex London
This is the video of Glenn sailing in France in a borrowed boat. (sorry I don't know how to embed)



Watching that, you will see that the first tack that A Class USA 230 mentions isn't shown in full, but Glenn comes out ahead because they are tacking on a 20 degree shift, not because of a super quick tack. However, I agree that about 15 seconds is right for a good tack, and if you time the ones on this video, that's about right, depending on when you really think the tack starts and when he is back to full speed

 
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AClass USA 230

Anarchist
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52
Louisiana
Check out the video above, Ben Moon does two tacks that by my count are less than 15 seconds each. At about 2:00 minutes, you see the first boat tack ahead and to leeward. Turns the boat fast but stops. That's me doing the shitty tack. Ben rounds in 3rd at the weather mark just behind Matt Struble and I. The good old days, when I could keep up with Moonie upwind!

In that video, Ben and I are sailing the ASG3's that we modified by moving the front beam forward 200 mm and moving the daggerboard trunks aft 100 mm. We also replaced the daggerboards with Hall C-boards. The changes really transformed that boat. We were also just starting to learn how to trapeze downwind. The small transoms of the ASG3 made that difficult. I've wondered if adding winglets would make it feasible.

 

LCD

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At the 2007 Worlds Jan and Meade Gougeon said that Ashby tacked 2 seconds faster than anyone else.

 

AClass USA 230

Anarchist
961
52
Louisiana
I'll eat some humble pie. Last day on the water yesterday before prepping and packing for the trip to the west coast for the NAC. Nice 6-9 knot breeze with flat water and trapezing upwind 60% of the time. I decided to try tacking by coming in off the trapeze on my knees rather than my butt. It seems faster as it is easier to get across the boat. A bit more awkward a couple of times to unhook but overall seems quicker and smoother.

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
I'll eat some humble pie. Last day on the water yesterday before prepping and packing for the trip to the west coast for the NAC. Nice 6-9 knot breeze with flat water and trapezing upwind 60% of the time. I decided to try tacking by coming in off the trapeze on my knees rather than my butt. It seems faster as it is easier to get across the boat. A bit more awkward a couple of times to unhook but overall seems quicker and smoother.
The unhooking can become automatic if you can get a few things aligned. First, the handle has to be at the right height. Second, you actually have to slightly stand as you come in before sinking to your knees, so that your hook is higher than the handle. Get these 2 things right and you should automatically unhook almost every time. I think the biggest problem people have is to have the handle a bit too high, meaning you stand up too much. Of course, if you have it too low, its a pain.

 




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