Earth, Wind & Water

Ramblings of an Earthling, Laserite and small boat sailor

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Upwind in the Foiling Laser!

Some bright Aussie spark has come up with this WOMBAT (Waste of Money, Brains, and Time), that's right folks, the foiling Laser!  Great fun on a broad reach, but absolutely impossible to foil upwind...until now, that is.  I've put the rocket science division here at Exploding Water hard at work to come up with some techniques to get you to the windward mark before the sun goes down.  I divided them up into three groups, and here's what they came up with:


"Everyone knows this beast won't beat on the foils, so don't.  Just sail on a beam reach, and work the shifts for all they're worth until you eventually get there.  You'll have the worst VMG in your club, but the best boat speed"

Chicken Tack

"Don't listen to those shifty guys, with the right sail trim and boat handling, it will in fact 89° of the windAs you near the leeward mark, pull on the controls as hard as hard as you can (Cunningham cringle past the gooseneck, and vang so hard the boom hits the gunwale). Rounding up veeery carefully - one touch of the hull to water means instant displacement mode - head up, but no more than 1° north of beam reach.  Foiling tacks are out of the question, so gybe instead! Hell, it's only 2° further than you would have tacked...  The vang is on so hard you'll have to crunch yourself into an even tinier ball than you do to tack in the conventional Laser, and you'll have to push the boom over as it scrapes the deck, but don't worry, it'll just bend more than usual and spring right back. You may have heard of or done the chicken-gybe, when you tack through 270 instead of gybing through 90 because you're scared.  Well, this is the chicken-tack, when you gybe instead!"


"Down under in the basement we've come with this genius bit of inverted thinking.  When you hit the leeward mark, flip the main and rudder foils into their negative-incidence sink-mode.  The foils on this little number are so big, that unlike most yachts, this boat actually draws more water when healed over, just like Australia II! So, you heal the boat over by crouching in the cockpit (this also reduces windage, as the AC-72 yachties do), increasing the effective draft of the foils, while the sink force actually pulls you up to windward. Brilliant!  You know that Veal-Heal the Mothies do, swinging the foil lift force over to windward so the boat crabs up into the wind, this is the inverse of that..."

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