Dynamic Sailing and Bow Splashes
One of the most destructive aspects to speed, in any sailing boat, is the bow splashes. This is particularly true in an optimist; more so than any other boat.
Due to the shape of the optimist bow, each bow splash is equal to hitting a wall of a couple of dozen of litres of water, which, in turn, slows down the boat.
The only way around this is by adopting a dynamic sailing approach and adjusting your body forward and aft to ensure the bow stays flat on the water. The sailor, seen in the video (Ken), was focused enough to find the correct sitting position that minimises the bow splashes and ensures the boat has the longest waterline for maximum speed.
By anticipating the waves, he can adjust his body weight in order to prevent bow splash. Of course, as he is learning, he gets some at the wrong timing or is not moving enough, but he was mainly doing a good job and managed to prevent most of the splashes while keeping the boat at top speed. He will continue practicing this new skill and will continue to improve over time with the right mental attitude and determination.
At Toplevel Sailing we focus much of our Optimist sail coaching around dynamic sailing and minimizing bow splashes to maintain speed. This is a part of our cycle of tasks and every aspect of it is trained separately to ensure maximum efficiency of our sail coaching sessions.