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22.12.2011 - by: Ed Sinclair

PWA Tips of the Week

This week we asked the slalom fleet to provide their top tips on how to squeeze out some extra speed on the straights.

The ability to control your equipment and increase your speed by a few knots can make or break a slalom race. This season we witnessed many a ferocious battle on the straights where it came down to a true test of speed to take the sailors to victory.

We asked the world fastest sailors to share their knowledge when it came to going faster in a straight line.

Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)

“When it gets really extreme I often sail with earplugs, the soft ones from the concerts. You might think you loose a bit of balance but I have the opposite experience. It takes away that aggressive sound of the wind away, everything is much quieter and feels like “slow motion”. It creates a completely different world around you. So I can concentrate on my own movements and focus on going fast.”

Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)

“Try to tune your gear well at the start of your session.”

Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)

"The best way to go fast on the straights is to have perfect tuning. The best way to do that is to speed test with a friend and try different ways of setting your sail. Here’s what to try: different mast track position, different boom height positions and different tensions of downhaul.

You will be able to feel the difference by doing this, and you will know what feels easier to go faster and what is slower."

Tine Slabe (RRD / AL360)

“Stay focused on the water a few meters infront of your board and try to read the waves and imagine where is the most flat. Despite this, sail a lot and I mean a lot especially in you have a chance with faster guys than you!"

Enez Yilmazer (JP / NeilPryde)

"1-Tuned gear: you need to have a good balanced gear that you can hold on to at high end and still get pressure when you need it at low end

2-Downhaul - make sure you have a good amount of downhaul, go out there adjust and try to feel the difference

3-Fin - make sure you choose a good fin - can change your world

4- Power - try to keep your gear balance and push the power of the sail to board through your legs and try to keep the lift"

Kurosh Kiani (Simmer / Angulo)

"One of the most important things that I have learned over the years is that you need to get to a point where you are able to sheet in fully, push the equipment and be comfortable at the same time. 

I have always worked on two aspects that I think have helped me out a lot. In high wind, I try to be compact and generally be in control rather than going fast for a while and wiping out. This means longer harness lines and perhaps a waist harness, so that you can really tuck into survival position when the wind gets really strong.

In lighter winds I work on the exact opposite. I try to get further out on the rail of the board and really work on the fin to get it lifting, and I really focus on keeping the rig upright so that I have as much power as possible to keep the lift and I will hopefully be flying down the reach.

We hope that helps! Remember if you have a question you would like to ask the professionals just post it on the PWA Facebook wall."