LSC Crew Notes - May 17 , 2004

Information for Crew Involved in Racing with Members of the Lansing Sailing Club.

Tuesday Practice Attracts Crowd of Sailors
Last Tuesday's practice session found thirteen of us on the water, including quite a few new to crewing. Everyone worked their way through the positions - getting a chance to drive the boat, trim the jib and fly the spinnaker. We were very impressed with how quickly the newcomers are learning. Thanks for joining in. Anyone is welcome. We meet Tuesday evenings at the Lansing Sailing Club from 6:30 until dusk.

Get a Start Line Transit
Commodore Mike Moody conducted a session at our recent Crewing Seminar on Starting Strategy and Tactics. One point he emphasized is the importance of getting a "transit". While sailing down starting line from the Committee Boat toward the "pin" (the buoy marking the other end of the start line), look through the pin and find something on the shore (a tall tree or flag pole for example) that is exactly in this line of sight.

The importance of having a transit is that it helps sailors know where they are with respect to the starting line. For example, as the boat approaches the starting line, look through the pin to the shore, if the transit point on shore is to the right of the pin, the boat is not yet at the starting line. If the transit point on shore is to the left of the pin, the boat is over the starting line. Having the transit is particularly helpful when there is a competitor between you and the Committee Boat whose sail is blocking your view of the start line.

Other transits can be helpful too. The reverse transit for example, is a point on the shore looking from the pin end of the start line through the Committee Boat. The reverse transit is important when competitors to leeward block your view of the pin end of the line. Another helpful transit is the close hauled transit - a spot on shore which helps you know when you are on a close hauled course from the starting area.

Become a more effective crew member by reminding your skipper to get a transit. There are several ways to get one - but having the transit is the important thing.

For more information on transits, check out Dave Cockerill's article on "Starting" at or a recent article by Zack Leonard titled "Getting Good Starts" at

Copyright © 2004 by the Lansing Sailing Club, 6039 East Lake Drive, PO Box 51, Haslett, Michigan 48840.
Prepared by the LSC Crew Coordinator. Send suggestions and comments to the crew coordinator by going to the Contact Us page of the LSC web site. Lightning owners also receive copies of LSC Crew Notes.