Symmetric Pumping

symmetric pumping

Though we have been discussing much about downwind sailing and ways to go fast, based on our experience the big money in sailing is on the runs, so there is always room for more gains to be made.

In the video you can see our 470 Indonesian team of Chika and Zili working downwind in light winds and flat water.

The basics are: get a big roll to initiate a faster airflow over the sails that will accelerate the boat, and maintain the longest water line to make sure you maximize boat speed.

So let us go over the steps shown in the video

We use heeling the boat to initiate steering, so heeling to leeward will cause the boat to luff up and accelerate, the sails are being trimmed to the new wind angle and the team must work simultaneously to ensure smooth and effective steering of the boat. Now we need to bare away so from a leeward heel we roll the boat as aggressively to windward as we can depending on our abilities and the conditions, now the boat will accelerate and bare away back to a run, The sails trimmed to run depending on the apparent wind generated by the boats acceleration. If we repeat that action we should go faster and perhaps a bit lower than static boats.

The gybe is pretty similar to the regular downwind pumping with the difference we can allow a bigger roll and pump to allow the boat to to bare away fast enough so the boat gybes. The helm should ideally pump the main as the boat starts gybing, at the end of the gybe, right after the main gybed the team gives another big roll that pumps the boat forward, at that point it is important the main is tight enough as it is delivering the pump that accelerates the boat and must ensure proper airflow to maximize the effect of that final roll.

Boat trim is just as important factor as the boat is sailing in displacement mode hence needs to maintain the longest water line to be the fastest it can, trim is controlled by the movement of the team depending on the position on the wave and the pressure delivered by the sails. In the video we can see that during the roll when the helm leans backwards instead of inwards while rolling the bow of the boat is being detached from the water, this causes water drag on the stern that slows the boat down, every team member should know when and how to move on different phases of the wave and learn where to look to be able to adjust his or her body movements.

During our training at TopLevel sailing we develop the communication skills needed to ensure the speed of the boat, the ability to feel the trim of the boat and the correct techniques for effective and legal pumping under rule 42.

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