Gold Sail Level VII – completes the learn to sail program and starts with boat tuning for speed and the adjustments that can be made to the mast, sails and rigging. How to control the spinnaker and pole in all wind conditions, on a reach and run. Boat trim and helming techniques which promote maximum efficiency of the rudder and centerboard in single handed or double handed dinghies.
Section 2 covers the rules and candidates will have a thorough knowledge of the racing rules as a competitor, race committee member or protest committee member, The candidate must take charge of a race committee boat and run a club regatta or series of races using all necessary rules and race procedures.
Section 3 looks at the preparation for a regatta. Candidates will ensure a wood or fiberglass dinghy is safe, leak proof and strong by testing for and repairing leaks, examining and replacing fittings and rigging, properly covering and storing boat during summer and winter, properly securing boat and equipment for trailer and/or car top transportation. They will ensure the dinghy hull and centerboard rudder are smooth, fair and light by using, fiberglass, epoxy, gel coat, and other fairing materials, wet sanding or dry sanding and cleaning solvents.
The students will maintain a written season plan that includes, a personal racing logbook, performance objectives, regatta schedule and goals, a physical training program, an on-water training program, sport nutrition and mental training, transportation and program administration They will be able to describe the influence on racing strategy of the fleet size, the starting procedures and timing, the course length and location, the finish line placement and time limits, the compass bearing to the windward mark and current/tide.
Section 4 covers an assessment of the race course and includes registration and check in procedures, special protest requirements and starting procedures, current, tide and the weather. The next sections considers tactics that apply to starting, mark rounding, upwind, reaching, running and finishing. On the water candidates will demonstrate as skipper a roll tack and gibe, while helming take advantage of appropriate techniques in flat or choppy water, use body weight to maintain proper boat trim and assist steering and adjust equipment and sails.
As crew, assist skipper with above tasks and supply compass readings to determine wind shifts and locate marks together with information for tactical decisions. As skipper and crew, prepare and fly spinnaker on a close, beam, broad reach, a run and by-the-lee, apply appropriate tactics on the water in large fleet or small fleet with strong current or tide either with or against the wind, in shifty oscillating winds, persistent shifts, increasing or decreasing winds, either leading or trailing in a race. Candidates must prepare a seasonal plan for competition indicating personal performance objectives, regatta schedule, physical training, on the water training, transportation and administration, nutrition, and mental training. They must have a race record which includes 5 regattas with 2 being outside their local area.
On completion of this course a candidate will be able to race a dinghy with moderately good boat speed and control. The candidate will have a well-rounded knowledge of sail theory, racing rules and tactics.
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