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ROSS WILLIAMS: SLALOM TIPS

23/04/2020
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Want to improve your speed, kit set up or race tactics when we are allowed back in the water? Well, Windsurf Magazine have asked Britain’s most successful racer, Ross Williams for his top ten tips to help you be prepared next time you hit the start line.

Photos John Carter


TIPS FOR TUNING.

Always sail with a GPS watch and use is as a reference to what your feeling is fast and comfortable.

Try to always tune up with a guy you trust isn’t going to sandbag you, hence use a GPS watch as well to keep an eye on things. Try give each other enough room to have clear air in the beginning of your runs.

Always only change one thing or setting at a time. This way you can truly understand what it is that is making an improvement or not in your speed.

Invest in good fins, you can’t be cheap if you want to be the best, a good fin is worth the money. Second most important piece of equipment is your mast, try as many as you can get your hands on.

When adjusting downhaul settings don’t adjust more than 1cm at a time, even a small amount of downhaul can radically change the profile of the leech, so better to change a little and often till you find your ideal setting.

TIPS FOR RACING

Always hit the water early before the start of racing for the day, to make sure you are on the right size sail, board and fin. Nothing worst then rushing around before your first heat.

Try to sail the whole course at least once before your heat. This way you can make a plan as to how you will sail the course, maybe one reach is tight to the wind so best for gybing close out of the buoy, to avoid having to point too high down the next reach.

Make at least two starts through the starting line. Make one from the boat and one from the pin buoy so you can decide which of the ends has a bias.

Take a transit on the start line, line up a non-moving object with pin line of the start line so you know you not to sail over the start line too early. Most race officers will try to set their start lines with something that they can see above the sailor’s sails, if possible.

Always check your watch. It’s good to get close to the boat during the count down so you can hear the race officer counting down to the two minute signal, this way you can check that your timing was taken correctly.

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