Key Takeaways from Spring Clinic

The Annapolis Snipe Fleet was delighted to welcome George Szabo as our coach for the May 22-23 clinic. But two days together on the water wasn’t enough for this group! We gathered again via Zoom for an hour of sharing our key takeaways.

Eight boats joined the clinic fun over the course of the weekend.

George noted he saw great growth in skills between day 1 and 2 on the water. Some of that was shaking off “rust” accumulated over the winter; some of that was brand-new skills and knowledge. Here are some of the nuggets of learning from the weekend:

  • Little changes to control lines can mean big changes in speed.
  • For crews, to make gybes as quick as possible, you can pull the slack of the launch line out to the rail so you know how far you need to let the launch line in on the gybe. That way the pole clears the headstay—but doesn’t retract all the way. And then you don’t have to pull it back out all the way, either.
  • Do your homework before the start! Line sights, layline to boat and pin, compass headings upwind, wind shots, what’s the current doing, etc.
  • Communication leads to acceleration
  • Sailing by the lee downwind? Try a little looser vang. Sailing super low downwind in 10-12 knots? Consider easing the pole launch line off about 6 inches.
  • Think not only about where you want to start, but where you want to be 30 seconds after the start.
  • How much backwind on tacks? Just a “kiss”!
  • Repetition is key when practicing boathandling.
  • If you’re feeling slow, change something. You can always change it back if it doesn’t work.
  • Having fun makes you go faster.

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