RC Laser sailing in extreme weather is not for the faint hearted. Sydney experienced some extreme weather yesterday. Winds averaged 20 knots plus and gusted to 33 knots. Six gusty RC Laser sailors set up at Rodd Point in Sydney to test their Radio Control Lasers under these conditions.
Our correspondent, Noel, thought he might get away with a C sail and set out try it out. He promptly came back, rigged the D sail.. and sailed with that all day. Here is Noel’s report.
“The wind, from the south west, was swirling around as well as blasting in in heavy gusts. At times there were quieter periods just to annoy us as well. The one thing about the direction was that the water was relatively flat; so downwind, if you got your boat going, it really screamed along.
Under the circumstances, we felt the wind was an additional handicap, so we settled for scratch starts. It was a struggle to get to the line in the first place. There was so much leeway on the boats that it would wipe out any planning to get near the pin on the starts. Having gone through the start line, the next problem was to tack… you really had to keep going and wait out the gusts, choose your moment, then go for it. The marks were rather lively at the best of times, but you had to sail so far past the windward mark that you would not be caught be the leeway on the boat to run into the mark or have to make another tack to get around. Sailing to not touch the marks kept us away from them.
In spite of the conditions, we had some very close finishes – I think that is a good reflection on everyone who sailed.”