Since the challenges of Manor park, there were a few outings where I started to sail with a lot more of freedom. What do I mean by this?
A couple of examples.
On one start I was lining up for a windward end start to control the fleet on a very short windward leg when I felt the wind starting to head. There was a gap through the fleet on the line which I shot through to get to the port end on the gun and with the continuing shift was able to tack across the fleet and escape to lead the race by a good few boat lengths.
In another race, I was bumped at the start when I was lined up perfectly but the resultant knock had me pointing in the wrong direction. When I recovered the fleet were well on their way. Only one thing to do to go the opposite way into the calm zone on the course. Having tested it earlier I know there was wind but what I did not know was there would be a huge shift in my favour. Another race win.
These moves might seem obvious but when my thinking was more strained I might not have made the bold moves. It's a long time to the next ranking event where the competition is less forgiving but it gives me plenty of time to enjoy the new freedom. As my brother would say it is time to get less technical and go with gut feel. Results aren't so important as being able to follow your senses around the race course. Managing all the little things when racing is more important than thinking about results as I have done in the past.
The new thinking.
What am I seeing?
Where am I in relation to the wind?
Where am I in relation to the fleet?
Where am I in relation the course?
What I have noticed in simplifying my thinking is that my golf improved dramatically. Golf is a visually challenging game. It is very easy to see all the obstacles and not the fairway. Having read up on the psychology applied to the US tour ones thinking is dramatically simplified. The practice session beforehand is purely to loosen up. When one lines up a shot, there is the ball and the target which you make as small as possible, nothing else matters. Hit the ball, find it and repeat the setup routine. Since applying this my golf has much improved. I just need to do the same for sailing. Proof of the change, 6th in the club championships, finalist in a Summer match play competition and a significant drop in handicap.
In the past I used to think, the fairway is really narrow, don't slice into the trees, don't pull into the heather, don't go in that bunker etc etc. Whatever obstacle was out there, I would think about it and guess where my ball would end up. Similar to thinking, don't be in the last four.
On another tack so to speak, I got the Marblehead out sailing at Frensham. In preparation I had to dismantle the removable cassette which is sunk into the deck which housed all the RC to find if I could lengthen the battery and RC cables from the winch and servo so they could be easily inserted into the spectrum receiver. There appeared to be a lot of cable, coiled up and neatly tied with cable ties. The only challenge was it was nearly impossible to remove and reconnect the receiver as well as reposition it to just under the pot cover. You had to put your hands inside the boat with one of the deck patches removed to get at the receiver.
I removed the switch connecting the battery directly to the winch along with unnecessary cable. I always thought the switch was a great idea until I weighed it at 25gms. Once everything was back together it was off to the pond for Tuesday morning racing. Now it is easy to dismantle the receiver and get at the battery.
We had a good mornings sailing with a gentle Easterly. I sailed with the smaller fin but felt the boat sailed a fraction stern down so I will need to see how it sits with the longer fin which is the one Dave Creed recommends.
There are couple of Marblehead Games coming up at 3 rivers and Guildford RSC so I will be able to assess what my speed is like.
Onwards and upwards.