Solo Training Videos

In this section you will find training videos created by members of the Solo fleet.

Videos and Learning Points from our Training Day 18-Feb-17

Graham organised the most fantastic event for us on Saturday. He also enlisted Chris Goldhawk and Steve Smith who provided additional pearls of wisdom and a mix of training techniques. After an initial session in the class room, we were shown the secrets of Chris’ settings before then going through a number of exercises on the water.

See below Rob’s CVLSC Solo Training Notes and  view the videos – including an excellent one of Chris demonstrating the fine art of tacking “Solo training 16”.

CVLSC Solo Training Notes


The following notes are the collective recollection of the sailors who took part in the Solo class association training at CVLSC under the guidance of Graham Cranford-Smith, Chris Goldhawk and Steve Smith. Our thanks to all three.


3 phases to the tack in light to medium airs

  1. Don’t heel to leeward to initiate the turn – the boat will start to turn on its own provided it is properly trimmed – just release your pressure on the tiller and let it do it’s stuff! Stay on the old windward side as long as you dare – practice “pausing” in this position – it doesn’t matter if you are stopped – you can accelerate back up to full racing speed later!
  2. Fist first past the falls to ‘shoot’ upwind and don’t loosen the main sheet yet.
  3. Roll over before crossing the boat to the new windward side, easing the main sheet, andthen roll the boat back upright drawing in the main at the same time, leaving the tack at the same speed as the entry.


In light to medium airs use the main sheet to shape the sail and not the kicker which closes the leach at the head of the sail. Don’t use the Cunningham until you are starting to be over powered i.e. you can’t keep the boat flat

Once hiking, start to use the cunningham as it opens the leach at the head of the main sail and maintains the low down power which induces less heel. Cunningham is your power control – pull more on to reduce power – off to increase power – use it to keep the boat flat (in tandem with the kicker)

Maintain a ‘fist width’ of chord along the foot of the sail to maintain power.

Drop the traveller about 150mm to enable greater control with the main sheet without pulling the boom inside the inner face of the tack at the transom.

Never sheet in the main so that the boom is inside the tank at the transom.

Use the tell-tail on the ‘fourth corner’ to maintain the greatest power at the head of the sail with the tell-tail on the edge of backing around the leeward side of the main.


Use the ‘rear view mirror’ to look for incoming gusts and choose the time to tack with boat speed to reduce the apparent wind speed.
Visualise the smooth route of the boat through the gybe and with a foot each side of the centreboard case, press on the windward side to heel the boat and initiate the turn.
Pull in the main sheet a little and grab the falls and allow the heel of the boat to steer the hull through the gybe, pulling the falls to move the main sail across whilst at the same time moving across to the new windward side of the boat.
In stronger winds, arrive on the new windward side of the boat in advance of the main filling on the new gybe.
The gybing angle narrows as the wind speed increases.
Drop the centreboard for the gybe as the boat will otherwise slide sideways and will not turn effectively.


Look for approaching pressure and sail towards it.
Drop the cunningham before the windward mark as the main might not otherwise release in the mast groove.
Loosen the kicker almost all the way off in light winds to enable twist at the head of the main and heel the boat slightly to windward to balance the centre of effort. Progressively tighten kicker as wind increases to improve stability and prevent “death roll”
In light winds on a run – Keep the boat trimmed fore/aft with your weight on the thwart/traveller, perhaps with one foot forward in the leeward side. As wind increases move progressively back.
Lift the centreboard, it otherwise only offers drag. Progressively lower centreboard as wind increases to improve stability and prevent “death roll”


Calibrate all your controls with 3 settings for each.