Running by the lee
In Go Faster tips and questions.
May 12, 2022
Hi Ian, if you can go just to the point that the leech wants to gybe and then luff slightly from there you can get a little bit of an auto-pump (think that's what the Laser sailors call it/do). A bit more tricky in a Solo with the full length battens, but it can still work. In the absence of any other boats around it's quite easy to go from a very broad reach to going by the lee and "steering" between, ideally using the heel of the boat. This kind of sets up a subtle rolling action, so be mindful of rule 42, but on the sea you can use this to work the waves. Tactically though, it's not always a good idea, unless you have a big gap behind. With a group of boats somewhat line abreast to windward you can end up sailing in their dirty air. It's then better to consider playing the angles or at least keep a clean lane. All of this is very subtle and varies with wind strength. Can is very quick if done right, but can also end up with a swim :-) Practice, practice, practice... ideally with a mate who sails straight downwind so you can see what works. Cheers, Guy 5691