Earth, Wind & Water

Ramblings of an Earthling, Laserite and small boat sailor

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

High vs Higher Performance Sailing by Frank Bethwaite

Several big online book retailers have made the mistake that Higher Performance Sailing is merely the second edition of High Performance Sailing.  It is not.  It is a completely new book.  I know this from my own correspondence with the author, and I recently got hold of both books.

To this sailor, engineer, and workshop tinkerer, they are nothing short of inspirational.  So far, I've only dipped into the books in places, but I'm already inspired by the advances the Bethwaites made by careful thought, clever experiments, and bold new thinking carried forward into practice.  These books remind me of Carrol Smith's classic book on motorsport engineering, Tune to Win, the pinnacle of his much admired "... to Win" series.

To get back to my original point, the books, referred to by Frank Bethwaite himself as HPS1 and HPS2, are two distinct works.

So, instead, here's something useful which would be difficult to find elsewhere online, the table of contents of both books:

High Performance Sailing

Ch. 1  The Racing Helmsman's Wind
Ch. 2  The Gradient Wind
Ch. 3  The Two Surface Winds
Ch. 4  Light Airs
Ch. 5  The Breeze over a Cool Surface
Ch. 6  Friction and the Wind-Wave Patterns
Ch. 7  Heat and Thermal Patterns
Ch. 8  Winds near Clouds
Ch. 9  Winds near Shores
Ch. 10 Wind Appraisal and the Stability Index
Ch. 11 Race Preparation
Ch. 12 Sailing the Wind Patterns
Ch. 13 Waves
Ch. 14 Depth and the Warm Surface Layer
Ch. 15 Currents and Tidal Stream
Ch. 16 The Quest for Speed
Ch. 17 Sails
Ch. 18 Rigs
Ch. 19 Foils
Ch. 20 Hulls
Ch. 21 Scope
Ch. 22 Handling to Windward
Ch. 23 Kinetics
Ch. 24 Sailing Crosswind
Ch. 25 Sailing Downwind

Higher Performance Sailing

Ch. 1  The Origins of High Performance   
Ch. 2  The State of the Extreme Arts
Ch. 3  Review of Wind Dynamics
Ch. 4  The Spectrum of the Wind
Ch. 5  The Quick Gust Peaks
Ch. 6  Surges and Fades
Ch. 7  The Drive to Sail Faster
Ch. 8  The Materials Revolution
Ch. 9  The Design Response
Ch. 10 Hulls that Don't Baulk
Ch. 11 More Power - Trapezes and Wings
Ch. 12 Handicaps, Performance Equalizations, and Turns per Mile
Ch. 13 Sail Forces in Steady Airflow
Ch. 14 Evolution of the B-18 Marque
Ch. 15 Design Refinement for Long-course Speed (by Julian Bethwaite)
Ch. 16 Design Refinement for Short-course Maneuverability
Ch. 17 The 49er
Ch. 18 Transition Years
Ch. 19 The 29er
Ch. 20 The Critical Ratios
Ch. 21 The Evolution of Manual Adjustment
Ch. 22 The Automatic Rig
Ch. 23 The Evolution of the Sailing Simulator
Ch. 24 A New Way of Thinking
Ch. 25 The Simulator Printout
Ch. 26 Fast Handling Technique
Ch. 27 Handling an Apparent Wind Skiff
Ch. 28 Sailing the Foil Moth (by Rohan Veal)
Ch. 29 Racing with Speed: 'Connecting the Dots'

Safe trip over water

Fishing hooks made by the Mauri in New Zealand have evolved from being functional hooks made of whale bone to being ornamental good luck charms made of various materials.  Whale bone is now rare, so bleached cow bone is often used instead, and moving to more exotic materials, they are often made of jade, or greenstone, as it is locally known.  This particular one is made out of metal and paua shell, which is similar to mother of pearl.

Ornaments of different shapes have different meanings.  The triple twist signifies two people or cultures joining together for eternity, while the single twist represents the paths of individuals, separating and coming back together, (which is apt given the "overseas experience" had by many young people living on an isolated island nation).  The spiral signifies the unfurling fern bud and connotes new beginnings, while the Hei Tiki brings fertility.  The fishing hook is meant to bring strength, good luck and prosperity, and safe journeys over water.

In related news, my parents are home from New Zealand.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Back from my walkabout. First time I've driven my car to the sea. So, customary sporadic service could have resumed today, but instead it will tomorrow. Probably.