Steve Cockerill shared top tips for dinghy handling at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in London in early March 2017. I found these to be excellent insights that will definitely improve my boat handling performance this season, if I perfect them. The Dinghy Show looks as though it was a good sailing skills educational event. London is a bit far from the Midwest US, so YouTube will have to transport me.
You can watch the video below.
Steve spoke about the rudder as a lifting plane and how that can work for or against you. Assuming that you’re sitting on the windward side, he spoke to the tendency to pull the tiller to bear off as a puff hits creating a force that drives the stern out of the water and boom into it. Conversely, it can drive the boom and bow out of the water if you train your reactions properly. Awareness of sail dynamics can be used to reduce the focus on the tiller to steer. The proper body dynamics can aid in capitalizing on unforeseen wind events and combined with sail handling lead to speed and control. He highlighted how the sail has a natural shape that it wants to maintain – the happy vs unhappy sail – which can be used to advantage. Steve then combined these factors to show how they can be used to also gain performance in waves.
- steer with the sails. 0:00
- the “ready position” on downwind runs, etc. 8:07
- “unhappy sails” lead to “death rolls” 19:00
- sailing wave patterns 31:00
- “gain more by doing the simple things better…” 35:10
- “playing with instability to make the boat agile” 37:08
- transitions 41:10
- using your knees to aid turning 42:20