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Light Air Sailing

11/15/2001 by Struan Robertson

Copyright:© 2001 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

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In this article...

Page 1: You Need Wind?
Page 4: Mr Smooth

Courtesy of the Mesa Model Yacht Club

Like most people I arrive at the lake on a sailing day hoping for that beautiful breeze. You know, somewhere in the mid-range of number one rig and just oscillating enough to make picking the right shifts interesting. This is the way we all (or at least many of us) spend so much time getting our big rig right and letting the smaller sizes fend for themselves until needed. But, there are often days (especially in winter) when we arrive at the lake to find only the merest of wisps of wind.

It's interesting to watch other people's preparations in rigging their boat for these occasions. Most just stuck the rig in the same settings as last week and launch, hoping for everything to just happen. When they're on the water the boat is thrown into a tack, sheets are pulled on at a great rat of knots, and everything is generally jerky. You might be able to get away with this sort of behavior when there is more wind to compensate for small errors, but in light airs all this is magnified. And a regularly heard saying is 'I just can't seem to get the boat going today', plus a generally defeatist attitude, along with a subconscious hatred of light airs which makes matters worse.