Friday, July 31, 2015

Plenty of Wind for Ephraim Clinic

Ben and I made it to Ephraim by 1 pm, instead of 5 pm which is when we typically arrive. We discovered that arriving just a few hours early makes a huge difference.  We felt a lot more relaxed and had a lot of fun visiting with people.

 It was very, very windy; probably about 15 with gusts higher. Lots of white caps. Ryan Malmgren and Larry Taggart ran a great racing clinic, even though the wind was a bit higher than desirable for a clinic. First they held a chalk talk and 20-30 people attended. They had a very thorough handout that Larry's crew, Carrie Berger, created, that touched on everything from jib trim to "be nice to your crew." I definitely learned, or was reminded, of a few things I'd forgotten, including the importance of windward sheeting.

Then about eight or 10 boats went out for some on-the-water coaching. I decided, instead of helping Ben rig the boat (sorry Ben!) I'd go out in one of the motor boats to see if I could watch and learn. I started out on a pretty big boat with Ryan and Mike Faugust (and Ryan's daughter Chloe and her friend Julia). Then Larry and Jennifer Faugust came out in the dinkiest dinghy you've ever seen! They were so low in the water they were almost swimming! Boy, was I glad not to be in that boat...but then Jennifer needed to switch with me because she was video-ing and couldn't do that in the little boat! Ack! I had to clamber into that little boat, that was rocking in all the waves, but it all worked out okay in the end....

It was very instructive to watch the boats as they adjusted their sails according to Larry's pointers. Especially to watch how the main sail changed shape when they pulled on more vang or let it off, for example.

After a little more than an hour we all came back in. Meanwhile, Ben, with help from Mark and Maria Benner, had rigged the whole boat, including putting up the mast, so it was all good. The coaches held a second chalk talk highlighting the things they saw on the water and then spent a good hour answering questions from the sailors. All in all, a very productive afternoon.

Tomorrow, it looks like the wind will come down a bit to about 10-12. Skippers meeting is at 9:30. Stay tuned!

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