Slowly does it
November 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm #10295
OK so a Weta is fun and easy to go fast – but how do you go slowly. Going slowly in a Weta is a requirement when approaching a crowded start line or a mooring and you need slow your approach, it’s much harder to do so in a Weta and still retain control.
On a typical monohull, all you do is point up into the wind and you can balance the tendency to stop with adjustments of the sail and tiller to keep the boat there – this is especially true on single-handers like the Laser and Finn.
However, if you use the same technique in a Weta the boat is likely to turn into a raft and start to drift sideways or worse, stall and then as you bear away speed up immediately which may cause a collision, or you may end up in irons drifting backwards.
The trick is to back the jib and balance the effect of the jib with position of the mainsail to slow the boat right down – let the main right out and keep the tiller heading up into the wind and you’ll go hove-to and almost stopped with some sideways drift (you can reduce the drift by keeping the daggerboard down or raise it if you want to slip sideways).
This technique also works to enable you to approach a start line slowly and then accelerate in the last 15-20 seconds to cross the line at speed. All you need to do is uncleat the backed jib and the boat will quickly accelerate.
A quick way to get the jib backed is to to gybe but leave the jib in the cleat on the “wrong side”.
If you want to time your run to the line, try sailing away from the start line on port at 2 minutes to go with the jib backed in the port cleat and at 1 minute release then jib onto the starboard cleat and gybe onto starboard without uncleating the jib, then release the mainsheet. Use the main to speed or slow your approach to the line as required and when you release the jib from the port cleat, quickly cleat it on the opposite side. Now all you have to do is bring on the mainsheet as you cross the starline.
- This topic was modified 5 months ago by Paul White.
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