Calm winds. I just wanted a relaxed sail on the waters. My son Viktor, 4, insisted to join, which I permitted. For extra safety, I did not use the gennaker. I did not make a single gybe, instead I made all turns as upwind tacks, even on a downwind stretch.
We had fun, safely. Dinghy sailing is no kids’ game.
I had not sailed the dinghy for a long time. But at the summer cottage at the waterfront there was no excuse for NOT sailing daily. Today I went out with a friend. The others went by motor boat. We tried to agree on a meeting point, a tiny island for picnic.
After one capsize and some rain, top speed 8 knots, me and my mate finally arrived at the island, Trädskär, only to realize that it was the wrong island.
The others waited for us at Lövskär. We set sail again, but the wind died out and we had to paddle ca 1 nm to reach the destination. Good thing we were two onboard. We took turns, one sitting paddling in the bow and one steering.
Catching up with everybody, we had a great picnic, but then there was still no wind, so my dinghy, loaded with kids, was towed back home by the motor boat.
During the past winter I have learnt a new sport, Kitewing.
On the ice, on skates, and dressed up in kneepads and helmet, you hold on to a wing-shaped sail.
The experience is similar to windsurfing. You easily reach high speeds on the ice.
My top speed so far is 50 km/h but I am more interested in practising sail trim.
Here is a video from a lake in February:
Nice weather. Top speed 10 knots with gennaker. Had one controlled capsize, when I simply stepped on to the daggerboard and heaved the boat up without even getting wet.
Once onboard, starting to sail again, I got an unexpected gybe, instantly capsizing the boat to the other side. Since I was sitting on the “wrong” side, I had now way to climb to the daggerboard and I fell into the water, while the wind gust made the boat drift away. Indeed I was warm in my drysuit, but you should never be separated from your boat. It only drifted a few metres, so I swam, caught up with it and could continue sailing.
I had my mast float fitted in the mast top. Thanks to that, my boat never turteled (inverted) and thus much easier to raise. But since my boat lay on its side, the wind caught it and it drifted away. If I had not fitted the mast float, the boat would have instantly turteled and remained on the spot, but more difficult to raise.
Thus, was my mast float a good or a bad thing?
Good wind (7-10 m/s = 14-20 knots) with white crest waves.
Upwind tacking at 5 knots in choppy waves and my ovesized main sail kicked to the max.
Downwind with gennaker I maintained 10 knots for an continuous leg of 0.5 nm (1 km) and peaking at logged top speed 11.8 knots.
At the end of that leg I prepared for a gennaker gybe, found it difficult, changed my mind and decided to change course to a flat run and drop the gennaker. While pulling the gennaker halyard, I lost control of the tiller for a moment and as a result I capsized. Oh well, great fun!
Nothing remarkable. Just had fun. But I need to practice and improve the roll tacks.
Top speed downwind on gennaker: 9 knots. Top speed upwind: 6 knots.
Today another dinghy was on the water, a Laser with one of the club’s top sailors, who are in the Swedish elite, participating in Laser races around the world.
I tried to fillow him upwind and downwind (with gennaker) but could never cath up with him. A skilled Laser sailor always beats a rookie in an RS Vareo, even though my Vareo theoretically is a slightly faster boat.
My logged top speed upwind was 5 knots and downwind on gennaker 10 knots.
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