At ISAF Youth Worlds in Cyprus (2013) one of my coaches suggested some cross training. In particular to round out perspectives on optimizing performance. After getting home from Open Worlds in Denmark Kiting was the easiest and most accessible cross training available. It’s interesting to think of kiting as cross training, but it’s given me a whole new perspective on apparent wind. My biggest revelation is board speed relative to kite speed. As long as the board speed is maintained the kite continues to have to catch the board. Maintaining this relationship between board and kite so generates more and more apparent wind.
Now that I’m starting to get hours in sailing the 49er, I’m starting to see a similar relationship between hull speed and apparent wind that was less obvious in the 29er. One technique in the 29er that we discovered was to sail the boat in “rudderless” mode as much as possible. This keeps the hull as slippery as possible; i.e. it wants to move forward rather than left or right. As this slipperiness increases the apparent wind increases, as the apparent wind increases hull speed increases and the centerboard speed increases making lift under the water increase. All things increasing is a good thing. Lesson learned as applied to the 49er is really the same, keep the hull slippery.