Planing

When boats plane the bow lifts first and the whole boat rises clear of thewater as it goes from displacement to planing mode. In terms of where to sit - you will tend to move back as the speed increases and when in very high winds you can be right at the back corner of the boat. Many dinghies can plane offwind - fast ones do so more easily and this change is much smoother and possibly less obvious. (If you have ever planed fast in an Enterprise YOU KNOW - they are not a planing boat really so when they 'go' they make it very clear to the crew!)
Fortunately for us the Blaze can also plane upwind as well in some conditions (some modern ones and a few older ones will) This is a function of its excellent power to weight and leverage provided by the wings. The best way to promote this is to sit a little further back than normal - but you must have enough wind first and bear away only slightly. As the boat accelerates away carefully bring it back on the wind but do NOT pinch.
The velocity made good is much higher and you can overtake many lesser boats to leeward planing at speed but going just a little lower - and you can achieve this much more effectively than trying to outpoint them. If you do you can end up sacrificing your planing advantage by pinching as the boat goes 'displacement' once more. In medium and high wind conditions many of the decisions you need to make to get round the course fast will be related to this judgement. Get to recognise which is applicable and when - 'displacement pointing' or maybe 'low and fast' - Get this right often enough and you will get around a lot faster. If the wind is very high - make life easier for yourself and bring the plate up 1/4 to 1/3 - this will help as well in promoting and maintaining planing upwind - offwind in any wind most prefer it 1/2 up or 3/4 up. Some however swear by leaving it down all the way around - try both! It's trial and error and racing with other boats - this all takes time on the water to get right so expect any advise you try out not to necessarily work first time. Put the time in though and it will come. Where do you sail and can you get along to the training this year ?- at Burghfield in April and particularly at the Nationals in early June (it's not all 'gritted teeth' stuff at the Blaze Nats and we are running a lot of training there) Hope this helps but let us know........ Cheers - Mike Lyons