When Vaughn isn't coaching sailors at our week long, all-inclusive Laser clinics in Mexico, he continues his work with countless Olympians, youth and masters sailors. He coached at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and founded ISA in 2008.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting your mainsheet tangled in a manoeuvre. Most of the time there is no rhyme or reason. Perhaps it’s related to karma, spiritual beliefs, or luck of the draw. Sometimes it’s so aggravating, it could cost you the race mentally. Is it some sort of practical joke? Do you have the wrong type of line or is there actually a correct way of handling it? Here’s the secret to frustration free sailing (FFS) shown in the video, along with some other small tips that may help.
I decided to do some testing and video work to see how it’s really done. Last night I wore my socks to bed in the hopes that my sheet would slide free, and it worked!
Before tacking you can see my forward hand sliding up the sheet clearing about 6 feet of tail between the main block and the ankle knots. The sheet is placed quickly and neatly on my lap. When I go into the tack, that 6 feet is all I need to make sure there’s no hiccup, and it falls nicely into the cockpit without me stepping on it.
After tacking you can see me finishing a tack and doing the same thing with my forward hand; sliding it up to free 6 feet from the block.
Recovering from a mistake: I did my usual tack without any prep and casually clove hitched the mainsheet to my feet. I finished the tack without mainsheet in hand. Why? I thought it would be better to keep sailing fast than to verbally abuse my sheet.
If you feel like you are experiencing mainsheet mental breakdown (MMB), come join one of ISA’s support groups here in Mexico as we work together in a classroom environment to overcome our frustration.