Thanks Jacques. Yes, you are right -- I'm a flatlander! Our waves would having you east and west-coasters laughing!
Last season we had a starts, on a crowded line, in 10-12 MPH of wind that did not go well. At this regatta we were probably 380 - 390 lbs. New crew. I would get good position on the line -- first row, clear to my leeward, fell off for speed, and hit the line running. Within about one to two minutes the fleet separates and I'm in the second group.
I've read an airticle by Frank Bethwaite about wind barriers for winds in the 10 MPH range, on a crowded line, and how the wind influences the first row (he says point initially). But this is counter to general opinion.
I think my first problem is that I may not be footing for speed. I'm also curious if there is something in that first one or two minutes where I need to be shifting gears to keep up -- say as I foot for speed, etc. Do we have the jib in too tight? Are we handling the jib wrong, like sheeting in too quick? Maybe I need to be doing something with weight position, like weight back a bit before the start, to get the hulls up so the wind will push them down, and then slide forward at the start?
I'm still not clear on setting the jib correctly during the run upwind. How does one tell?
So the question is really aimed at the first few minutes after the start. What can I work on come spring?
Interestingly, in winds 15-18 we do very well. Out point the Nacra F18 and good speed.