At the Pinnacle of Sailing

April 25, 2012 § 10 Comments

AC34

Or, who’s bringing the beer and PB&Js to the AC34?

I’m interested in the America’s Cup in the same way that I am interested in a mission to Mars: it seems pretty cool. I’m aware that it’s happening, and if I happen upon an attractive headline, I’ll scan the article. Like many, I’m intrigued by the science and technology and I’m impressed by the speeds that the new boats are achieving.

Sure, there might be some eventual technology trickle down, and that’s something to look forward to. But frankly, the opportunity to buy something pales in comparison with the opportunity to experience something, and like nearly everyone else on this planet, I face the reality that I won’t experience anything like it. Ever.

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Spinnakers and Speed

April 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

Spinnakers on Milwaukee Bay

Another great group at last Thursdays’s MCSC Advanced Sailtrim Theory class. Nothing like a polar diagram to show why downwind sailing should really be called downwind flying if it’s done right.

We discovered that the iPad Wind Tunnel app is just as good a tool to explain downwind sailing as upwind sailing, and more importantly, why “dead down” is appropriately called “dead down” (lot’s of drag, not much lift.)

Thanks to all who attended this series of classes. There are still a few great ones left at MCSC. Register here.

If you’re looking for the slides, missed the class, or would like to use these ideas for your own class, feel free to download the pdfs, and use the message tool below for feedback – questions, corrections and ideas. All welcome.

MCSC Advanced Sailtrim 201

Trepidation.

April 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

Watching from the dockIf you’re a seasoned sailor, you probably don’t feel much trepidation when you’re preparing to leave the dock. You’re familiar. You speak the language.

But nearly everyone else in the world does.

Sailing is one of those things that almost everyone would like to try, but few do, in large part, because of trepidation.

It can seem daunting. Imagine imagining what it might feel like to sail when you’ve never done it. You might be panicked about the motion, not knowing the names of things, not having the right clothing or safety equipment, feeling helpless when someone asks you to do something using words you don’t know, like “ease the sheets” or “trim the guy”.

But a small, unpretentious publication captures that transcendent moment when one who aspires to sail meets the one who will help them realize their dreams. It begins with an unusually firm handshake, an authentic meeting of eyes, the confidence of basic english, and the trepidation melts away so that the grand adventure can begin.

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