River Sailing...

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jimc
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:45 pm
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River Sailing...

Post by jimc » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:01 am

Interesting experience... to give a bit of support to a close neighbouring club's event and for the experience I took 257 down to Thames Sailing club, which is on the River Thames at Surbiton a mile or two upstream from the Royal Canoe Club where so much of Canoe racing started around a hundred and fifty years ago. It certainly gave me a bit of an insight into some of the issues and controversies I've come up with whilst working up my new version of the Canoe History... If you're not familiar with this special branch of the sport it might be worth firing up one of the net satellite photo sites and having a look at Kingston-on-Thames, UK to appreciate just how restricted the water is. I was sailing just south of Kingston bridge and the RCC is just north of it.

Yoou've got to temper this with my being a very average Canoe sailor, not at my best in light airs and utterly inexperienced and incompetent at the special requirements of river sailing. In addition, were I to contemplate river sailing, I'd make a few changes to the boat. However I still suspect some of the insights, most especially as regards things like ballast and the plank could have validity.

The most obvious thing that happened to me all the time on the river which doesn't seem to hapen much at all was when I got a puff of breeze. Lean back on the plank a bit, boat immediately accelerates (257 is around 72kg) and ten seconds later I'm apparently flat aback with the jib pushing me in the water. What's happened is that the wind has gone and I've built up so much speed that my own apparent wind is pushing me over. Having no space under the boom in my boat then I'm in some difficulty. A couple of times when I copped a real header at the same time I had no choice but to roll off the seat to stop the boat falling on top of me... A lot of this is practice, and more is boat setup, but I can easily see how a heavily ballasted boat, especially with no plank like the 19thC racers would be much less of a handful. Stability from the ballast would help, but I'm suspect the reduced accelaration and decelaration would be a bigger help. The power of the plank seemed to get me in more trouble than it gained me speed round the track...

Hope this hasn't bored you all...

bobfic102
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: River Sailing...

Post by bobfic102 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:04 pm

Ha! That might explain what happens on our lake where wind eddies are shed from wooded points.

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