The cape #
To stop at the cape with a laser, you must:
- Position the boat between beam and close hauled
- ease the sail all the way down
- Trim the boom vang
- Take up the tack fully
Going astern in a laser is relatively simple, just push the boom against the wind and steer in the opposite direction. Be careful, the helm tends to go all the way to one side or the other, you have to be gentle to avoid pivoting to the crosswind.
Beach start #
A beach start is always optional.
In certain sea conditions, it is important to minimize arrivals and therefore not return because of an oversight. So, before leaving, check the condition of the boat and its crew/rider:
- Weather and tide: analyzed
- Boat correctly rigged, cunningham shocked, boom vang shocked.
- Clear listening
- Tightened cork(s)
- Crew/Steward: properly dressed, lifejacket tight.
- Departure paths: thoughtful (often one edge is more profitable than another)
Once these actions are verified:
- launch the boat, as upwind as possible. In the event of an important shore-break, the waves will predominate over the boat’s orientation.
- Hold the boat by the bow, avoiding that the boat touches the bottom again, or tie it up.
- Raise the boat.
- Depending on wind direction, make a reverse start. Move far enough away before stopping the backstroke.
- If the start is not made in reverse, avoid at all costs to start downwind.
The helmsman controls the trajectory and takes care of the collision avoidance. You must therefore look ahead! Do not accelerate too fast (getting too close to the beach can make the situation tricky).
Beach arrival #
A beach arrival must be prepared before starting. Depending on the sea and/or wind conditions, this maneuver can become difficult. The goal is to have the boat as upwind as possible.
Beware of other boats and bathers.
It is advisable to raise the rudder (horizontally to keep the direction) and raise the daggerboard as much as possible (boom vang down, so that the boom does not block if the boat is tacking). As soon as possible, it will be necessary to remove it completely.
In case of sea wind #
- Arriving downwind:
- Untie the figure eight knot at the end of the boom.
- Let the sail go downwind.
- Coming in astern:
- Get as close as possible and luff the windward end.
- If the wind is not quite perpendicular to the beach, visualize the trajectory in order to start the reverse at the right place.
If the wind is onshore #
Get to the right point. Be careful, the wind will often become almost zero near the beach.
Wind parallel to the beach #
Arrive at a slow speed and luff gradually to reach the beach as close to the wind as possible.
If the waves are big #
In case of a big shore-break (more than 70cm), go in the direction of the waves, shock the daggerboard and remove it (make sure it is well attached). Throw yourself into the water and let yourself drift for the remaining meters. The challenge of the maneuver is to control the timing, neither too late nor too late.