BNC Text J3X

Royal Yachting Association instruction video: sailing. Sample containing about 7298 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C471

PS3PN X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PP X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PR X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PS X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PT X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PU X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PV X f (Suzanne, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PW X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3PX X m (John, age unknown, national sailing coach) unspecified
J3XPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J3XPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 110301 recorded on unknown date. LocationUnknown ( Menorca ) Activity: sailing video recording

Undivided text

(PS3PN) [1] Erm it's an adventure and it gives you a sense of freedom.
(PS3PP) [2] I don't want to do anything too energetic, I just like erm the sound of the water on the boat, wind in the sails
(PS3PR) [3] You can be as serious about it as you want to be.
(PS3PS) [4] It stops you sitting on the beach and just doing nothing all summer.
(PS3PP) [5] and I've been out of there for three hours and loved every minute of it.
(PS3PT) [6] You can go from being a total novice to someone who's got a reasonably good idea by the end of one week.
(PS3PU) [...]
Suzanne (PS3PV) [7] When you're on your own you will thrive in it, it's a really good feeling.
(PS3PW) [8] All these people have discovered a passion for one of the most popular recreational sports, sailing, and as you can see, you can take it up at any age.
[9] Now sailing encompasses windsurfing, dinghy sailing and ocean cruising and if you've got millions of pounds to spend you can enter the Fastnet or the Admiral's Cup but whatever level or whatever part of sailing you want to take up, the basic techniques are best learnt in a dinghy or sail boat because it's less expensive and a lot more simple to operate and that's the purpose of this video to learn the most basic techniques as quickly as possible and to be at one with the wind.
[10] Now since I take to water like a duck does to orange sauce I enlisted the help of Suzanne here because if there's any fooling in the water to be done I'd rather she did it and not me.
[11] That's alright by you, isn't it Suzanne?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [12] Well it seems just a little bit unfair but I'm sure I could put up with it.
(PS3PW) [13] Well we're in the fabulous surroundings of Menorca and as well as being a wonderful holiday resort, it's also recognized by the Royal Yachting Association as a training centre.
[14] Now since I've just about learnt the difference between the sharp end and the blunt end of a boat, I've decided to go straight to the top and get some expert advice from the R Y A and who better than the R Y A's national coach John , Hi John.
John (PS3PX) [15] Hi.
(PS3PW) [16] First of all what exactly is the role of the R Y A?
John (PS3PX) [17] Well the R Y A is Britain's National Authority for the sport of sailing, simple as that, we look after every aspect of sailing and powerboating but our particular role in training is to set the syllabi pre to the courses, to train the instructors and to make sure the standard of teaching in every centre is up to scratch.
(PS3PW) [18] That beautiful white sail belongs to a Topper, doesn't it?
[19] Now why do the R Y A specifically recommend these sail boats?
John (PS3PX) [20] Well we know that a lot of beginners are put off by the complexity of larger boats and one great advantage of the Topper is that it's so quick to raise and easy to sail, so great for beginners.
[21] The second point is that the Topper's hull is made of polypropylene which is remarkably tough and resilient.
[22] Now that's important for sailing schools dealing with a lot of beginners.
[23] It's also important for the first time buyer.
Unknown speaker (J3XPSUNK) [24] Right I'm convinced [...] such a good breed and you very kindly rigged this Topper up for me so well ... you won't mind if I take it for a spin will you?
John (PS3PX) [25] Just hang on a minute.
[26] I know I said it's easy but it's not that easy.
[27] Before you go out there are some important safety considerations we should talk about and the first one is personal preparation. [music]
Unknown speaker (J3XPSUNK) [28] I think you're having me on now John.
[29] This is the Mediterranean so why am I squeezed into this [...] number?
John (PS3PX) [30] Well in really warm weather a T-shirt and shorts may be enough but as it gets colder so you need to add layers of sweaters, trousers and top the whole thing up with a wind and waterproof spray suit but all that can make you a little clumsy, so the answer for most British sailors is a wetsuit like the ones that you and Suzanne are wearing.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [31] But why is mine slightly different to Howard's?
John (PS3PX) [32] You're wearing the summer shorty for greater freedom of movement for your arms and legs but Howard's got the full suit, for more protection in colder weather but they both work on the same principle.
[33] When the suit is wet, it traps a thin layer of water between the body and the suit and your body quickly warms that up to a comfortable working temperature but if you fall in when the suit is dry, the cold water can be quite a shock and so a good trick in cold weather is to put the wet suit on in a hot shower and then over the top you wear a spray suit again to keep off the wind and to protect the wetsuit.
Unknown speaker (J3XPSUNK) [34] Right, so exactly what are you wearing?
John (PS3PX) [35] Well if you take this I'll explain.
[36] The dry suit is great for winter sailing because you can wear lots of warm layers underneath and the suit keeps them completely dry by means of watertight seals at the wrists and the neck but you mustn't forget about the extremities either.
[37] In summer you'll need a sun hat to keep the sun off and in winter don't forget that about a third of body heat is lost through the head so a warm woolly hat is great.
[38] Bare feet are asking for trouble and so you need a pair of soft soled shoes which don't slip on the boat.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [39] Is wearing one of these suits going to help me stay afloat in the water?
John (PS3PX) [40] No, you should always wear personal buoyancy when going afloat in a small sail boat.
[41] For larger boats a life jacket like this one is fine, particularly if you are going further offshore but it's too clumsy to wear in a small sail boat like the Topper and so we prefer the buoyancy aid like this one.
(PS3PN) [42] So it's probably just as well that I didn't leap off in your boat because er even in this climate I, I could have ended up pretty cold and miserable especially if I'd fallen in.
John (PS3PX) [43] Well the thing is Howard, I don't think you'd have got very far if you hadn't understood how we put the boat together and so I think it's important that we look now into more detail at how to rig the Topper. [music]
Unknown speaker (J3XPSUNK) [44] It seems [...] have done that John's intent on making us a nation of master mariners and under these circumstances, I think I'll adopt the old maritime adage, women and children first, so I'll [...] it back, John can show you how to rig one of these things, alright, come on.
John (PS3PX) [45] Right Suzanne, now we're going to look at the various parts of the Topper and how they fit together.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [46] Right.
John (PS3PX) [47] We'll start with the hull
Suzanne (PS3PV) [48] Mm.
John (PS3PX) [49] one piece unsinkable, all ready to go in the water.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [50] Right.
John (PS3PX) [51] And we've got the files, the rudder and the daggerboard.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [52] Right, then I know [...] steer the boat, I'm not quite sure what the daggerboards are for.
John (PS3PX) [53] That slots down into a hole in the middle of the boat but that just stops us drifting sideways.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [54] Oh.
John (PS3PX) [55] Then we've got the rig, the mast comes in two parts, the boom, the sail and all the ropes to put them together.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [56] And you're gonna show me exactly how it's been fixed together are you?
John (PS3PX) [57] That's next.
[58] First of all we slide the top and the bottom of the mast together, lining up the red dots and then we touch the halyard.
[59] The end of the halyard goes through the end goes through the end fitting and then we tie a little stopper knot in the end, then we bring the other end of the halyard down and make it up tight on this crease at the bottom of the mast.
[60] That holds the two halves of the mast together
Suzanne (PS3PV) [61] Yes.
John (PS3PX) [62] while we sleeve it into the sail.
[63] Okay Suzanne, keep on feeding it through.
[64] ... Fine, now we're ready to tie the top of the halyard to the top of the sail.
[65] There are a few knots that we need to learn when we're sailing.
[66] This particular one is called a rail turn and two half hitches ... it needs to be tight so that it doesn't come undone when we're out there.
[67] Okay Suzanne, now you had to slacken off the halyard to let me tie that last knot so if you could tighten it up again that will pull the sail up to the top of the mast.
[68] That's fine, now all we've got to do is to tidy up this end of the halyard and tuck it out of the way.
[69] You will see that most sailors are tidy around the boat particularly with loose ends of rope, and there is a very good safety reason.
[70] If you leave them lying around, then you're liable to trip over them.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [71] Fair enough.
John (PS3PX) [72] Now before we step the mast, we need to turn the boat more or less into the wind and that's a good chance for us to start thinking about where the wind's coming from.
[73] Where's it coming from today?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [74] At the moment it's coming from over there.
John (PS3PX) [75] That's right, so we need to turn the boat round and line it up like this.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [76] Right.
John (PS3PX) [77] Let's go.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [78] Okay.
[79] It is nice, isn't it?
John (PS3PX) [80] Now your next feature of the Topper is this special mast gate.
[81] We open it up like that, slide the mast in, slide it shut again, put the toggle in.
[82] A little knot here just so there's no risk of it coming out and off we go
Suzanne (PS3PV) [83] Right.
John (PS3PX) [84] so that's how it works, open it up and get the mast.
[85] You will probably find it easiest to slide the mast in at an angle like this until the collar fits neatly underneath the mast gate.
[86] ... At the moment the sail is only attached down its needed edge but before we can use it, we've got to control it properly and that means to tuck it in the boot ... the jaws clip on here, the down-haul clips on to the sail and is threaded through the jaws before we make it up on the cleat ... the position of the boom and hence the sail relative to the wind is controlled by this rope, the mainsheet.
[87] The next thing to attach is the kicking strap or boom bang.
[88] This is used to control the twist in the sail and to stop the boom riding too high.
[89] At this stage you simply clip it on and leave it slack.
[90] This other cleat is for adjusting the out-haul, we'll come on to that in a moment.
[91] To attach the sail to the boom we have two clips, one simply holds the sail down to the boom, whilst the other one, the out-haul is used to bury the tension on the foot of the sail.
[92] The rudder and tiller assembly simply slot on to the back of the boat but the important thing to remember is that the tiller must go underneath the rope force before the rudder is clipped on.
[93] Otherwise the mainsheet won't be able to slide over freely.
[94] The kick up design at the top of the rudder means that it's particularly easy to fit on the beach.
[95] Right, that's it, the boat's ready.
[96] So let's go afloat to look at how the basic boat controls work.
[97] ... [music] Okay Suzanne before you go for your first sail there are a few things you need to learn about basic boat controls.
[98] The most important control is you, the helms are always set facing the sail.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [99] Yeah.
John (PS3PX) [100] And so if you sit just a little bit further forward, that's fine.
[101] Now you steer a boat with a tiller here at the back and you always hold that in the hand nearest it.
[102] Then if we hold this rope in the other hand and effectively that's our accelerator.
[103] That's what pulls in the sail and makes you faster.
[104] Now today because it's a little windy we've rolled up some of the sail out of the way to make it easier for you
Suzanne (PS3PV) [105] Yeah.
John (PS3PX) [106] and so you could pull it in just until it stops flapping and then you'd be able to sail away and we'd never see you again.
[107] So before I let you go, I think you ought to learn how to turn the boat around, we call that tacking.
[108] It's quite a complex manoeuvre and so we'll break it down into the different parts that changing hands, turning the boat around and changing sides.
[109] Now we'll get the changing hand out of the way first because it's easier that way and so what we do is to bring the rope hand towards the tiller hand and then you can tuck it under your thumb, pick up the tiller with the other hand now, that's fine.
[110] Now we initiate the turn by pushing the tiller away and the next thing to do is wait.
[111] This takes quite a long time and slowly the boat turns around.
[112] When the boom comes over the top of the boat then you can change sides, sit on the new side, straighten up the tiller and you're sailing away again.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [113] Oh, that sounds better [...]
John (PS3PX) [114] Well we'll try that once more and then we'll let you go.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [115] Okay.
John (PS3PX) [116] So the first thing we do is to change hands, that's good, push, wait ... change sides, straighten up the tiller, look where you're going ... that's fine.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [117] Great.
John (PS3PX) [118] You're ready to go for your first sail.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [119] Oh.
John (PS3PX) [120] Now it's only going to be a short one, just out towards that buoy and when I call you, you can turn round, okay?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [121] Okay. ...
John (PS3PX) [122] Okay come back to me now.
[123] ... Alright let everything go ... fine you've become a sailor.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [...]
John (PS3PX) [124] Now all we've got to do is teach you how to sail.
[125] ... [music] This is our stable starting position crawl on the [...] .
[126] The wind is blowing directly across the boat, it's known as the basic [...] two position.
[127] The sail is just flapping and there's no drive in it.
[128] It's flapping freely.
[129] To start sailing we simply pull in the rope that controls the sail that's the mainsheet.
[130] ... [music] Then we can sail off on a reach in either direction just as we saw Suzanne doing.
[131] ... [music] Now let's watch that again.
[132] From the basic [...] two position, we pull in the mainsheet, we start sailing away on a reach, the wind is blowing directly across the boat and we accelerate away.
[133] ... [music] Now to start sailing closer towards the wind, we need to pull in the mainsheet, pop the daggerboard down and then turn the boat gently towards the wind, we reach the point where even with the sail sheeted in tightly, the front edge, the luff of the sail is still flapping, that's as close to the wind as we can get and so we maintain a course to keep the sail full.
[134] Now we're sailing at about forty five degrees to the wind.
[135] We're on the edge of what we call a no go area, if we try to sail any closer to the wind the boat will come upright, the sail will flap and we'll slow down and stop and so the best we can make either side of the no go area is known as a beat.
[136] Let's look at that again in practice.
[137] Sailing along at forty five degrees to the wind the sail is in tightly and it needs constant adjustment on the tiller to stay on that right course because the wind is never totally steady.
[138] Keep a look out for where you are going and watch the luff of the sail.
[139] ... Now we cross to the other side of the no go area but turning is called tacking, and so to make ground for wind width we have to go in a series of zig-zags, each time turning for about ninety degrees and see that the sail is kept full most of the time only flapping momentarily as the boat turns directly through the eye of the wind.
[140] Now let's look at the manoeuvre and tacking in more detail, you will remember it's a sequence which involves changing hands, pushing, changing sides and then straightening up again.
[141] So the first thing we do is to change hands, then push, wait until the boom comes across and change sides and straighten up.
[142] Sailing upwind is hard work so don't waste effort by letting the mainsheet out.
[143] Keep the sail driving for as long as you can through the tacks.
[144] Now watch this, as we go through the tack the sail is driving for most of the time just flapping briefly as the sail turns through the wind.
[145] The whole thing becomes one fluid manoeuvre with power on for the maximum possible time.
[146] Change hands, push, wait, change sides, straighten up and off you go.
[147] Now what can go wrong?
[148] The most common fault is to be stuck halfway through the tack, head to wind, the boat's right in the middle of the no go zone and the sail's flapping.
[149] Simply push the tiller away from you, push the boom out and the boat will sail backwards and then pull the tiller, pull the mainsheet and sail off again.
[150] If you get stuck remember, push, push, then pull, pull.
[151] ... [music] From the reach let's now look at sailing downwind.
[152] The first thing to remember is that as you turn the boat away from the wind, you let out the mainsheet, the sail only works properly at one angle to the wind and so it's essential to let out the mainsheet as you bear away.
[153] Sailing away from the wind is known as running and you've got great freedom of choice in the exact course you pick, you can even sail dead downwind.
[154] What we need to look at though is how we change course if that means moving the position of the sail across the boat.
[155] Here we're sailing downwind and we want to turn left effectively, so that means moving the sail across the boat without changing the course of the boat too much.
[156] ... There, that manoeuvre is known as gybing but really it's as simple as that, sailing downwind you don't have to change course very often, unlike when we're sailing upwind with tacking but we need to show you a few more demonstrations about it in quick succession.
[157] Like tacking a manoeuvre consists of a series of related movements, change hands, push, change sides and straighten up again but the difference is in the tiller movement where you move the tiller towards where you were sitting, so let's watch that again, change hands, push the tiller to where you were sitting, watch the boom, as it swings across, straighten up the tiller and settle on the new side.
[158] Again, change hands, push the tiller to where you were sitting, watch for the boom, as it swings across, straighten up and sit down on the new side.
[159] In stronger winds the manoeuvre becomes a bit more lively and here it's a good idea to twig the mainsheet to help the boom come across.
[160] There's lots of power in the sail all the time and so you will have to remain agile.
[161] Change hands, push to where you were sitting, crouch in the middle of the boat and straighten up on the new course.
[162] ... Two last points before we leave gybing.
[163] Always check the area you are sailing into to allow for the time when you will be facing battlements but when you crouch in the middle of the boat, do keep an eye on the boom or you'll end up with a nasty bump on the head.
[164] ... By the time you've mastered gybing, you can sail in almost any direction and so it's now time to look at the five essentials for sailing well.
[165] ... [music] Sail trips, maximum driving power from your route.
[166] ... Boat balance, keep the hull flat for maximum speed.
[167] ... Before and after trip keep the hull level, don't make waves.
[168] Daggerboard position, get the right compromise between drive and drag ... course wave good, the shortest or fastest distance between two points.
[169] Sail trim isn't simply a question of pulling everything in and forgetting about it as the sail works at its maximum at any one angle to the wind.
[170] On a beat, that is with the sheet pulled in tightly but as we turn on to a ridge you'll see that we have to ease the sheet out so that the sail stays at the same angle for the wind.
[171] Again moving from a reach towards a rung the boat effectively turns underneath the rig and the sail stays at that same angle.
[172] Boat balance is simply a question of matching the heeling effect of the wind and the sail with your body weight.
[173] As the wind tries to tip the boat over, so you counter that effect by sitting out.
[174] The aim is to keep the boat flat at all times so that it glides cleanly over the water.
[175] ... In light weather you either keep the boat upright or heel it very slightly away from the wind so that gravity helps to fill the sail.
[176] ... When the boat has heeled too far it tries to turn up into the wind and a lot of rudder movement is needed to keep it straight.
[177] That rudder movement equals braking and so it's slowing you down, it may look impressive being heeled over like this but I'd sail a lot faster if the boat were flat.
[178] Let's look at that again, when the boat's heeled over that rudder movement causes a lot of turbulence and that's just slowing you down.
[179] ... For an off trip is much the same, the idea is to keep the boat flat with the bow skimming slowly across the water without too much bow wave and the water leaving the stern very cleanly.
[180] Again without too much turbulence.
[181] ... The most common beginner's mistake is to sit too far aft in the boat and that causes a great wrist a tail of [...] to come up from the trunk [...] .
[182] A far less common problem but one which is much more dramatic is if you put your weight too far forward.
[183] Not only will this make the boat difficult to steer but if you try doing it too far, you'll start sailing straight under water.
[184] ... Now for the daggerboard position.
[185] The purpose of the daggerboard is to stop the boat drifting sideways.
[186] When we're sailing downwind, the wind is simply pushing the boat forward and there's no sideways force, so we don't need the daggerboard.
[187] We could lift it right out but it's easier just to lift it until it's just below the level of the boom, so that it doesn't foul it when we're gybing.
[188] When beating the sideways force of the wind is at a maximum and so we need the daggerboard right down to get a good grip on the water and stop the boat drifting sideways.
[189] When reaching it's a compromise between those two extremes, halfway up and halfway down.
[190] Now to see just how effective a daggerboard is, let's look at these two boats beating.
[191] The one on the left raises the daggerboard and immediately starts to sag off away from the wind.
[192] He is still trying to sail the same course but the boat is just sliding sideways across the water.
[193] ... Course made good, means sailing where you want to go as effectively as possible.
[194] The first thing is to remember is that no daggerboard is completely efficient and so if you try aiming for a goal point, you'll actually end up slightly downwind because the boat would have drifted sideways.
[195] The way to overcome this is to sail slightly high of your intended course and you'll end up in the right place.
[196] This effect is most pronounced when you're beating.
[197] Sailing upwind involves tacking and here you have a wide choice of routes to reach your windward goal point.
[198] You could reach it in two tacks or in many more.
[199] The route you actually take will be influenced by things like the tide, obstacles like shallow water or other boats and by wind shifts and wind shadows from the land.
[200] All other things being equal, the most direct route is the best.
[201] Sailing downwind it seems most logical to head straight for your goal point but in fact, particularly in stronger winds, sailing [...] downwind can be slightly uncomfortable.
[202] It's better to sail two oblique courses to get down there but this if you choose where to gybe to reach your goal point.
[203] ... [music] Launching with an offshore wind is a straightforward process.
[204] First simply lift the boat into the water but don't let go at this point because you'll find that the boat will drift faster than you can swim after it, then you lift the daggerboard here, halfway down because you'll be sailing off wind.
[205] Then lower the rudder for control when you're sailing away and gather the tiller and mainsheet in one hand.
[206] Step in gently and push the boom out to help the boat turn away from the wind.
[207] ... As the boat picks up speed, so you can settle gently into the boat to gain control.
[208] That's it, you're away into deep water and sailing happily.
[209] ... Returning in an offshore wind is slightly more complicated as you have to beat back towards the beach.
[210] ... Look ahead to choose where you want to land and try to judge the depth of water, raising the daggerboard as you come into shallower water.
[211] ... Make allowance for the fact that you'll be drifting sideways more with the daggerboard up but as you come into shallow water then you can raise the rudder and step ashore.
[212] Then you can lift the rudder completely, take the daggerboard out and lift, not drag, the boat ashore.
[213] Taking it far enough up the beach so that it doesn't blow away again.
[214] Launching with an onshore wind demands a positive approach.
[215] Walk the boat out until the water is deep enough for you to put the daggerboard down far enough so that you'll be able to sail away.
[216] Push the rudder down, prepare everything because if you get it wrong you'll be straight back on the beach again and then climb in and sail away.
[217] ... Choose the tack which takes you most directly offshore and when you're clear, and only then, it's time to worry about the technique by getting the daggerboard the rest of the way down and sailing efficiently.
[218] Returning with an onshore wind is potentially the most spectacular of the lot.
[219] If you don't do something you'll sail straight up the beach and rip the bottom out of the boat.
[220] So as you come in raise the daggerboard, lift the rudder and then when you come into shallow water, turn the boat up towards the wind to lose power for the sail and stop before you hit those rocks.
[221] Then as before, step out to the shallow water, lift out the daggerboard, raise the rudder completely and lift the boat ashore.
[222] ... Now we've covered the basic techniques of sailing, the best way of putting them into practice is by sailing round the triangular course and so I've laid out these three marks.
[223] We'll start down at the far end of what we call the lured mark and from there you'll have to tack all the way up to this closest one, the windward mark.
[224] From there it's a reach out to the far end to the wind mark, drive there and back to the beginning again.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [225] Great.
John (PS3PX) [226] We'll try it a few times just to put it all into practice.
[227] Okay let's go.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [228] That's fine .
[229] ... [music] Okay.
Unknown speaker (J3XPSUNK) [230] Okay Howard, this should be a good test to see how much she's learnt.
(PS3PN) [231] Over she goes.
John (PS3PX) [232] No she's let out the mainsheet to spill wind and now she's under control again.
[233] It's quite a steady tack around the windward mark, now that she's reaching she should have raised the daggerboard a little.
(PS3PN) [234] Now ready for the gybe.
John (PS3PX) [235] No I don't think she's ready quite yet, she's got a few things to sort out first and that's definitely not right, she wants to raise the daggerboard not lower it, bit of confusion there about which way to turn the tiller but she's round safely, she should be looking where she's going now instead of sorting out all the string.
[236] Okay now she's off really quickly on a reach but she's oversheeted, she's got too much power there, she's sheeting the sail in instead of easing it out until it flaps and then just pulling it in a little. ...
(PS3PN) [237] Should Suzanne have let the sail out like that?
John (PS3PX) [238] No, by letting the sheet go she lost power.
[239] After the tack she'll have to put it all in again to accelerate away.
[240] Now sitting out to balance the wind ...
(PS3PN) [241] That tack looked Okay.
John (PS3PX) [242] Yes, but she doesn't need that bundle of mainsheet in her hand.
[243] For this part of the course she should have the daggerboard right down, ... and she could be sailing in slightly shallower tacks towards us.
(PS3PN) [244] Whoops.
[245] What happened there?
John (PS3PX) [246] Well she let the boat heel so far before sheeting out that the boom hit the water and wouldn't go any further.
[247] She recovered by leaning out more.
[248] Suzanne's got a good sense of balance which is always useful when you're sailing ... Now let's look at this gybe to see if it's any smoother.
[249] ... Oh yes that's much better ...
(PS3PN) [250] Wow, she's really taking off now.
John (PS3PX) [251] Yes, the wind is stronger out there.
[252] Considering she's only been sailing for a couple of days, she's doing very well.
[253] If she were more nervous we'd have reached the Topper.
[254] ... She's still a little unsure on those tacks, she's easing out the mainsheet as she goes round.
[255] It's not dangerous but she loses power.
[256] At least she's got the daggerboard down there.
[257] I see she's sailing more efficiently to windward. ...
(PS3PN) [258] Well it looks as if Suzanne is beginning to relax and enjoy it more now.
John (PS3PX) [259] She certainly is, after only a couple of circuits her confidence is growing.
[260] She's acting more naturally to the gusts, leaning out and then easing out the sheet.
[261] It's all becoming a more natural process.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [...]
John (PS3PX) [262] Well how was that?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [263] It felt absolutely [...] .
John (PS3PX) [264] You did very very well.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [265] Oh thank you very much. ... [music]
John (PS3PX) [266] Capsize.
[267] This is the part of sailing which every beginner dreads.
[268] The boat's on its side in the water and you're nowhere to be seen but in fact it's all quite straightforward, neither the boat nor you can sink and it's simply a question of pulling the boat back upright again and carrying on sailing.
[269] ... A deliberate capsize is part of every beginner's course.
[270] Once you've tried it you'll lose all its fear for you.
[271] This is the easiest way of turning the boat over, to tack without moving.
[272] Swim clear of all the ropes, swim around to the back of the boat, pull the daggerboard down and then simply flip the boat upright again.
[273] ... With the Topper, you'll find that there's very little water in the cockpit and so you can start sailing almost immediately.
[274] ... With a little more confidence you barely need to get your feet wet.
[275] If the boat capsizes because it's overpowered ... simply scramble into the high side until you end up standing on the daggerboard.
[276] Then lever the hull upright again and clamber back in, it's as simple as that.
[277] ... The worst thing that can happen is for the boat to become totally inverted and here you need to slide the daggerboard quickly out before it drops through the hull.
[278] Now the accent is on patience.
[279] Just think of the resistance to the sail dragging through the water.
[280] You have to pull very slowly and carefully, try to jerk it and you'll bend or possibly break something.
[281] ... Once the rink breaks through the surface everything happens far more quickly, you scramble in and you're ready to sail again.
[282] If things go drastically wrong and you're a long way from home and need to call for help the most effective way is with an orange smoke flare.
[283] If you see one of these from the shore, phone the coastguard.
[284] Even if you're upright you might need to call for assistance.
[285] Perhaps you're exhausted where you've had a gear problem.
[286] While you're waiting roll the sail up round the mast.
[287] That will reduce your rate of drift and avoid the risk of further capsize.
[288] So you tie it up neatly out of the way.
[289] ... Then you can signal for help in the approved method, raising and lowering your arms slowly.
[290] It may be tiring but keep signalling until you're absolutely certain that somebody has seen you and is on their way.
[291] As the rescue boat approaches, prepare to be towed by taking the daggerboard out and get your painter ready to pass to the rescue boat.
(PS3PN) [292] This is more my kind of sailing, rescuing damsels in distress.
[293] Rescue boats are extremely important.
[294] Good sailing centres will have at least one and certainly the R Y A ones do and they're important because if beginners get into difficulties out on the water you need to be able to get to them as quickly as possible and it also gives them a sense of security to have one of these things around.
[295] Are you alright like that?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [...]
(PS3PN) [296] The [...] get her into shore.
[297] So you've shown us all the basic techniques of sailing and more importantly how to get yourself rescued should things get out of hand but apart from the dubious pleasure of capsizing, are there any other ways of getting thoroughly wet?
John (PS3PX) [298] As with any other sport, Howard, the real exhilaration of sailing, comes when you're going faster and that can certainly mean getting wet.
[299] In our case the wind is the driving force, so let's now look at strong wind technique.
[300] ... [music] In strong winds we don't want beginners to be overpowered and so we reduce the sail area, that's known as reefing.
(PS3PN) [301] Okay, so how do you do that on, on this?
John (PS3PX) [302] On a Topper it's very simple.
[303] You simply ease off the out-haul, take the kicker off completely and then we rotate the mast, then just wind the sail up.
[304] When we've finished we tension the out-haul and put the kitty strap back on.
(PS3PN) [305] Well that thing's pretty easy if you're doing it on the beach but what if you're out in the water and it suddenly gusts up.
[306] Just how easy is it to do that?
John (PS3PX) [307] Well it's always better to reef ashore if you can but if you do get caught out you can reef afloat just the same.
[308] ... [music] I remember the time I was out there struggling in a strong wind, the boat was definitely overpowered.
[309] I had to use a lot of rudder to keep sailing on a straight course.
[310] If a boat heeled right over it's not good for the boat and it slows you down, it is far better to reef, the technique is just the same afloat as it was ashore.
[311] Roll the sail around the mast until it's reduced in area.
[312] In these conditions I wanted to get rid of about a third of the original sail area and so that's it, now I'm sailing much more happily instead of struggling against the boat I'm sailing in harmony again.
[313] ... The excess sail is rolled up neatly around the mast out of the way and still I've good a good sail shape.
[314] That means I can sail happily upwind or downwind in perfect control the whole time. ...
(PS3PN) [315] That's [...] to an expert sailor to reef wasn't it because of course the stronger the wind the more exciting the sailing [...]
John (PS3PX) [316] Absolutely so if we move over from Suzanne's boat over to mine, we'll see some of the fittings which make the boat go faster.
[317] Okay?
(PS3PN) [318] Right so what have we got here?
John (PS3PX) [319] Well this boat's fitted with the [...] race pack which gives it a lot of the extra controls that you'd expect on a larger sail boat.
[320] First of all we've got the kicking strap [...] three to one purchase, the down-haul has a three to one purchase, and the out-haul, that's got a four to one purchase.
(PS3PN) [321] It all sounds a lot more complicated now aren't you just making extra work for yourself?
John (PS3PX) [322] No, in fact it makes life easier.
[323] Three to one, four to one, that simply means that it's that much easier to pull everything in.
(PS3PN) [324] [...] the scale along the boom there, one to ten, what does that mean?
John (PS3PX) [325] Well that's for consistency of sail setting.
[326] If you know that for your particular weight and the certain wind strength you want the block next to number four, you keep it like that all the time.
(PS3PN) [327] You can always go straight through it, it would be right every time?
John (PS3PX) [328] Yes.
[329] ... [music] In your enthusiasm to get afloat in a good breeze, it's easy to forget about getting the right sail shape and the effect can be dreadful.
[330] Just look at this, the sail is far too full for the conditions, the foot is billowing out ... and the luff is horribly wrinkled which has got too much power there, it's a bag of wind.
[331] ... The general rule is if it looks bad, it probably is bad, so let's get it right.
[332] First we tension the foot and then the luff until we get a properly shaped aerofoil.
[333] ... Another classic mistake is to forget to tighten the kitten strap for boom bang.
[334] When you're beating it doesn't matter because the boom is held down by the mainsheet.
[335] If you don't tension the boom bang when you're sailing off wind, the boom will just lift, the sail roll twist and you'll get bags of uncontrollable power.
[336] ... The way to tighten it is when you're on a beat, just pull it in as the tension is taken by the mainsheet.
(PS3PN) [337] What are so special about these racing birds of a [...] ?
John (PS3PX) [338] The other thing we've got is a ratchet block on the mainsheets.
(PS3PN) [339] What does that mean?
John (PS3PX) [340] I'll tell you.
[341] ... Hear that noise?
(PS3PN) [342] Aha.
John (PS3PX) [343] That's a ratchet locking the sheets, so all the load is taken by the block and I'm just holding it.
(PS3PN) [344] That means that you can sail for longer.
[345] Strong winds without getting tired, so it's a lot more fun. ... [music]
John (PS3PX) [346] It's also pretty wet but with the ratchet block taking the strain out of controlling the sail I can concentrate on technique and having fun ... and respond to the gusts by sheeting in or sheeting out if I'm overpowered and moving bodyweight in or out to suit the [...] .
[347] Even with the boat sailing flat a certain amount of spray goes aboard, so get the bailer down to drain the cockpit.
[348] The daggerboard is raised slightly from the same position in lighter winds because the boat's sailing faster.
[349] ... If the wind drops a bit then you can sit inboard more to keep the boat flat.
[350] This is what sailing is really all about.
[351] It's not a struggle, you're harnessing the elements and having fun.
[352] ... Sailing upwind works the boat over the waves gently. ...
(PS3PN) [353] Well it really looks as if you're having a lot of fun out there, John, but you are an expert.
[354] Now I'm sure that screaming along with fifteen knot in a force six is really exciting but for a landlubber like myself it's certainly not on.
John (PS3PX) [355] As I suspect it's not for many of the people here.
[356] Well sailing is what you want it to be.
[357] For some of us it's pitting our strength against the elements, for others it's pitting our wits against other people by going racing and yet other people seek adventure by exploring new sailing areas and the beauty of a small sail boat like the Topper is that you can do all of these.
[358] ... In tidal waters like the Channel Islands, you must find out what the tides are doing.
[359] That means looking up the tide tables to see the times of high and low water and the tidal stream [...] list to find the maximum rates.
[360] In tide free waters like the Mediterranean we don't have the same problem but we still need to consult a chart to find out a suitable location for sailing.
[361] That may be affected by the prevailing wind and we'll have to find a suitable launching site. ...
Suzanne (PS3PV) [362] Well this is a beautiful boat.
(PS3PN) [363] Presumably we can just go and load, rig up and away we go, can we?
John (PS3PX) [364] Well, almost, in this particular bay it's fine, we know it's a public beach, we've checked on the map.
[365] It's a different matter if you're sailing inland because most inland water is owned by somebody.
(PS3PN) [366] What about the er winds here?
John (PS3PX) [367] Well here we've got an onshore wind, that's perfect, because we know that if we get into trouble just get blown back ashore.
[368] It's different if the wind's offshore because then it can be deceptively [...] close into the shore and further out bigger waves and if you get into trouble you're lost out to sea.
(PS3PN) [369] Right well we're all set.
[370] Fancy a sail round here Suzanne?
Suzanne (PS3PV) [371] I think it sounds pretty good fun, I think we should go for it.
(PS3PN) [372] Right [...]
John (PS3PX) [373] Let's go.
(PS3PN) [374] Let's go. [starting up boat]
John (PS3PX) [375] Fun?
(PS3PN) [376] [...] doesn't actually seem to be a lot up there, are you sure we've brought everything?
John (PS3PX) [377] Yes, that's the beauty of the Topper, we've got the sail in the bowels of the boot and everything else is on the roof.
[378] In fact when I keep my Topper at home over the winter, they just lift the whole thing up into the roof of the garage, keeps it right out of the way.
[379] So all we've got to do now is to untie everything and go sailing.
[380] ... [music] Now that you've learnt to sail on your own, the next step is to sail with other people.
[381] That probably means buy a boat and joining a club.
[382] ... If you are of a competitive nature, most clubs provide the opportunity for you to start racing and there's no faster way into a pretty good technique than by sailing against more experienced people.
[383] If you have no intention of racing, every sailing club offers a safer and supervised area to continue your sailing.
[384] Having learnt to sail in a sail boat like the Topper you can move on to more complex boats with confidence or continue to exploit the versatility and convenience of this single-hander which has become the best selling sail boat in Britain ... the one design nature of the Topper, due to its injection moulded hull, is perfect for racing and secondhand values remain high.
[385] Like every other lively class the Topper has an owners' association which organizes rallies, open meetings, national and international championships. ...
(PS3PN) [386] I'm beginning to realize why perfectly sane people pitch themselves at the mercy of the elements miles from the security of terra firma, [...] has provided the perfect resort for our first events of the [...] .
[387] Thanks to the excellent facilities here at Menorca sailing.
[388] Thanks also to the R Y A and particularly to John .
[389] The R Y A beginner's course has certainly got Suzanne here sailing with confidence in no time at all.
Suzanne (PS3PV) [390] It certainly has.
(PS3PN) [391] Well you look as if you're raring to go and show us what you can do, so I'll give you a push up and away you go.
[392] Bye ... [music]