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5. TRI Training. Crewing

5. TRI Training Crew work


The majority of Corsair owners come from a recreational side only a few come from racing background. The racing guys understand the scope of work and don’t have as many issues.

After many years of sailing with really inexperienced people, the easiest way for us to do this is to put the lesser of the experienced on the helm and then the more experienced is running around the deck connecting sails etc while guiding the helm when the need arises. In most cases, the ‘experienced’ guy sits in the back of the boat yelling at the inexperienced and I’ve never seen it work well!

If we look at taking a Corsair around the race track, the C750/760 are great with 3 people onboard. The C28/31/970 are good to have 4 due to the heavier weight of the gear onboard.

Helm: responsible for steering an accurate course.

Foredeck: someone on the front of the boat that knows how to connect sails.

Trimmer: someone that can trim the sails and feedback to the helm course, angle, pressure.

All three: watch out for other boats, obstacles, obstructions.


The helm should be able to steer a good course focussing on the heading, angle, speed.

Trimmer sets the sails up for the course so that the helm can focus on keeping the boat in the ‘window’ where the boat is sailing fast for that angle.

Foredeck should have the sailis prepared before they are required and while in idle time, try to look at what the wind/water is doing further up the track.

Weight distribution

The common mistake of beginners is,

  • helm sits aft of the traveler and everyone sits in the cockpit!

The 750/760 are small boats any weight in the cockpit just pushes the transom into the water. This does two things,

  1. Creates poor water flow around the hull and,

  2. Lifts the bow out of the water making for a shorter waterline. Shorter waterline = slower boat.

This is not as bad on the C28/31/970 but it’s still a good idea to get used to moving the crew weight around to suit the conditions as well as the point of sail.

Lightwind (2-10 knots)

Keep the knuckle of the bow in the water at all times upwind, downwind, reaching. This will put the boat on its designed waterline just as the designer planned. A longer waterline is a faster boat in these conditions and especially upwind.

Crew well forward and probably to leeward.

Helm windward side as far forward as the tiller extension will allow.

Medium wind (10-18 knots)

All (3) on the rail of the ama that should be flying. Spread the weight forward aft along the rail to,

  1. keep the bow knuckle in the water upwind

  2. Move aft when reaching to keep the bow from digging

  3. Spread the weight evenly to keep it flat when running

High wind

All (3) on the rail same as above except when running, keep the boat flat and put weight aft to help lift the bow.

Generally speaking,


  • upwind place the crew weight forward to get the boat on its intended waterline.

  • downwind move aft as the conditions permit


  • try to keep the platform heeled to leeward a bit


Everyone needs to keep an eye out for other traffic and changes to the weather.

Make sure you all understand the course/track so that it’s clear what the route is and what sails will be needed for each leg. Then get those sails ready to go.

Example: for us racing here on the Equator, the weather changes extremely fast. Before we head out we make sure we have the IFS (Screecher) attached at the Tack (bow pole) and the sheets are ready. It stays lashed to the trampoline until it’s hoisted. We use 2 spinnakers so we have these on standby but all the gear (sheets, halyard, tack line) is affixed to one area where its easy to grab. Choosing which spinnaker is merely a matter of wind strength and the angle we want to Run at. That we decide just before heading downwind.

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