Dual-handed sailing

Adaptation is key in sailing, but also in life. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and measures are still strict, we have to shift our strategy. Thanks to the EWVA (Enkhuizer Watersportvereniging Almere), where we have been training this year, we can train dual-handed with 2 boats! This way we can effectively improve our sailing whilst complying with the health-safety rules.

Olaf and Ivo on the Yang

The weekend of 5 and 6 December we did our first dual handed training. Our new skipper Douwe prepared a training schedule and our new Boat-Captain Olaf prepared a safety check-list and an online safety training beforehand. Since we couldn’t practice manoeuvres in a normal setting, we figured the best was to focus on speed. Douwe and Joshua sailed on different boats with Delft Challenge rookies Mees and Ivo, since they’re more experienced in the Fareast 28R. The newbies got to know the boat better and soon we were doing line-ups to compare our speeds. On shore and through the VHF we discussed different mainsail- and jib-trim settings. In these conditions we were testing several approaches to find optimal VMG (velocity made good) and quickly reached our target speed (optimal speed for set angle and wind speed). It was a completely different challenge with only 2! We were depowering our sails at 10 knots of wind speed and the crews couldn’t sit still for a second. Nonetheless we learned many new things about the mast and sail settings of this boat and felt satisfied with the steps we made. Both new team members described their first training as amazing and we were all very happy to be able to sail again.

An even bigger challenge when sailing short-handed is safety. Dutch winter is harsh with water temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and air temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius. Our boat-captain discussed the danger of falling in the water in such cold temperatures. Therefore, we talked about the man-overboard procedure when you’re the only one controlling the boat. As always we made sure our safety gear such as life jackets, lifelines, knives etc. were in good state.

Fortunately we were blessed with a full day of sun and perfect winter conditions. We tested our new Magic Marine sailing wear for the first time in cold weather and we were very satisfied! Furthermore we were very happy with our new partnership with Sinner Sunglasses. The low hanging sun, reflecting water and intense training routine asked for well-fitting polarized glasses. These glasses also float, which is perfect for sailing. I can’t even count how many times my gear sank to the bottom.

Keep following our journey!

Auteur: Joshua Amato & Douwe Velds