Racing Practice - Starting Drills


(taken from a note on the rec.boats.racing)
From: (Dierk Polzin) <dpolzin@macc.wisc.edu>
 
Here is the start of what I hope to see as a regular topic/post.
 
SAILING DRILLS
I hope to have time to post all the ones I can think of  over the next few
weeks. Every top team has a good repetoire of drills. Here are 21 starting
drills that you can use. Send me your idea for starting drill and I'll add
it to the list for future reference.. Feel Free to add any good ones you
know of, and take credit yourself.
 
The ICRYA email list can be a great resource and discussion forum if we all
make an effort to share what we know.  
 
NEXT WEEK: Team Racing
 
 
DRILL NAME
Description  =        "D"
Purpose =             "P" 
# of Boats =          "#" 
Optional variations = "O" 
 
ROLLING
D - The start for one series is the 2 minute signal for the next series.
P - Provides lots of starts in a short time. Warms people up.
# - 2+
O -  Some boats have to start from port tack approach.
 
SCORED
D - Scored each boat's start on the basis of 5  points, and keep a running
score.
P - Develop consistent starting technique
# - 2+
O - Bet on the outcome.. Bet that you will improve your total from last
practice.
 
CURRENT
D - Use a slowly moving power boat with an imaginary starting line
perpendicular to its transom to simulate current. Boat drives not into the
wind.
P - Help develope good current starting techniques & LINE SITES
# - 2+
O - Use a buoy at the other end of line.
 
MATCH RACE
D - Pairs of boats are started at a time.  2 minutes apart
P - Provide practice tailing and circling to gain control of an opponent in
a start. And taking control off the line.
# - Groups of 2
O - Include a short beat.
Comment - Don't wait until spring to practice Team Racing.
 
PARK AND ACCELERATE 
D - Alternate stopping, head to wind, holding that position on signal. Then
on the next signal accelerate quickly as possible to full speed.
P - Develop smooth boat handling and slow speed maneuvering ability.
# - 1+
O - Start, Stop & back up.
 
MID-LINE JUDGEMENT
D - Boats sail one at a time at full speed at a starting line and hail when
they think their bow touches it. The Committee hails back actual distance.
P - Build confidence in ability to judge starting lines
# - 1+
O - Need long line.  Good introduction to incremental line sights.
 
HOT BOX
D - Set up a box below the starting line and have all the boats required to
stay in the box before the start 3 min.  If a boat is pushed out by Right
of Way rules they must do a 720 to get back in.
P - Develop awareness of rules and the other boats before the start.
# - 3+
O - Change the box to vary the game.
 
SMALL LINE
D - Establish a starting line which is too small for all of the fleet to cross.
P - Gives practice in starting with large or competitive fleets which are
likely to  end up in rows at the start.
# - 2+
O - Do this drill in rough wavy conditions to enhance boat control skills.
 
SKEWED LINE
D - Skew one end favored.
P - Forces a one end game. Simulates barging situations if starboard end is
favored.
# - 2+
O - Put out two port end of line buoy's and change the favored end of the
line at one minute.
 
STARBOARD
D - All boats must be on starboard tack 30 seconds before the start on a
short line.
P - Help develop the ability to control speed, and dig out of a hole if
boxed in after the start.
# - 2+
O - change time.
 
FULL TILT
D - No pinching or luffing is permitted during the last 30 seconds
P - Improve timing
# - 1+
O - 
 
PORT TACK
D - All boats must be on port tack from 1 minute to 20 seconds before the start.
P - Build the recognition of patterns and holes on the line.
# - 3+
O - Have some boats on FULL TILT and some doing Port Approach.
 
 
BARGING
D - All boats must approach the starting line on starboard from above the
lay line.
P - Illustrate how to get out of a barging situation without fouling.
# - 2+
O - Set several boats up on the lay line.
 
SLOW START
D - All boats must fully luff for the last 30 seconds before the start.
P - Develop slow speed ability, including leeway management, and rapid
acceleration.
# - 1+
O - 
 
DOWNWIND START
D - Have a downwind start.
P - Develops timing, and time-distance estimation.
# - 2+
O - Fun drill, break monotony
 
BLIND FOLD START
D - Blind fold the skipper and have the crew communicate to the skipper
what to do.
P - Forces the crew to get involved with the start and improve Skipper-Crew
communication.
# - 1+
O - Vary the number of boats on the line.
 
RABBIT
D - Choose a boat to be around the leeward mark and take off upwind, all
other boats must duck it on starboard and then race. Rabbit then tacks..All
boats should be even if they all rounded close and gave each other a little
space.
P - Makes for a very even start and close racing. Races can be started
without an RC. Sailors can learn to group up and race while waiting  for
practice to start or while out on their own.
# - 3+
O - Start at a bouy, when the rabbit goes past the buoy the gate opens.
 
TEAM RACE
D - Three on three, two on two.
P - Gets sailors thinking about control and rules before the start.
# - 4, 6
 
CREW START
D - Crews steer a start.
P - Gets crew aware of how important boat heel is, and communication.
# - 1+
 
HEEL WINDWARD/LEEWARD
D - Boat must be heeled to windward 10% throughout the last minute.
P - Improves awareness of boat heel in acceleration.
# - 1+
 
FULL KINETICS
D - Boats can go as wild as possible during the start.
P - To learn about Kinetics envelope.
# - 1+
 
TAG HIM OUT
D - Every boat tries to tag out the boat to windward and then get a good start.
P - To learn to get off the line and squeeze out the boat to windward as
quick as possible.
# - 2+
O - Only half the boats try to TAG out, other half be clean and get off the
line.
 
********************************************************************
Here is the second installment of Sailing Drills. The saga.
 
SAILING DRILLS
Week 1- Starts (21 drills)
Week 2- Team Racing (or break the grip of the east)(or does Brown remember
1987 at K.P.) (12 drills)
 
Every top team has a good repetoire of drills. Here are a few. Send me your
idea for drills and I'll add it to the master list for future reference..
Feel Free to add any good ones you know of, and take credit yourself! Hey
there are infinite variations.
 
The ICRYA email list can be a great resource and discussion forum if we all
make an effort to share what we know.  
 
NEXT WEEK: Racing Tactics-Strategy
 
DRILL NAME
Description  =        "D"
Purpose =             "P" 
# of Boats =          "#" 
Optional variations = "O" 
 
MATCH UP
D - Start and race a pair of boats
P - Develop tailing, covering, and speed.
# - 2+
O - Change the match ups and score them round robin.
 
PASS BACK
D - Start anywhere and sail continously around a triangle. Each boat
attempts to slow the boat behind it  until a third boat passes.
P - Develop slowing, and passing skils. Application of rule and tactics.
# - 3+
O - Can be done without full blown Team Racing Practice.
 
LAST LOSES
D - Team racing with two boats on a team. The race is scored with 1 1/4
points for first place so that whichever team has the last boat loses.
P - Promote teamwork.
# - 4
O - Can just use windward/leeward, harbor buoys, anything.
 
IMAGINARY WIN
D - Establish an imaginary boat for Team A (that wins), so the team needs a
1-4-5 to win. Team B just needs to not lose.
P - Teaches winning combinations and develop a last boat strategy.
# - 5
O - Add a Green flag. 2 1/2 points.
 
SET-UP LEEWARD MARK
D - Set up specific combinations at the leeward mark, and race to the finish.
P - Develop stragies for a specific combination.
# - 6
 
SET-UP WINDWARD MARK
D - Set up specific combinations at the first windward mark, (have a boat
call out team assignments) and race to the finish.
P - Develop stragies for a specific combination.
# - 6
 
CHANGE TEAMS
D - Set up specific combinations just off the starting line, (have the
start boat hold up signs with team assignments) and race to the finish.
P - Develop stragies for a specific combination. Gets the crew to look
around and help figure strategy.
# - 6
 
START PLANS
D - Assign a type of starting strategy to a team.
P - Perfect various team racing starting strategies (geographic, tailing,
fleet racing).
# - 6
 
GREEN FLAG
D - Hold full scale team races and penalize the lead team at different
parts of the race.
P - Quickens race strategy adjustment and awareness.
# - 6
 
TEAM COACHES/ADVISORS
D - Send a coach boat up the course and let them send signals to their team.
P - Improves team communication and awareness.
# - 6
O - Rotate skippers of each team as a coach, so they learn to see race
development and signal ideas/problems.
 
HEAD START
D - Give the slower boats a head start on the rest of the fleet. 
P - Teaches the weaker member of the team how to make and utilize moves. 
# - 6
O - vary the amount of lead time.
 
HOT BOX TEAM
D - Restrict the area they boats can sail before the start.
P - Develop awareness of rules and the other boats before the start.
# - 6
O - Let one team go outside the box.
 
- ciao, 
 
- Dierk Polzin             Wisconsin Hoofers Sailing Coach, MADISON, WisCONsin
                             (unassociated with the 15th ranked Sailing Team)
                                         608-242-0030 hm, 262-8718 wk
===================================================================
(From the land of rBGH free milk, America's Dairyland)                     
             



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