Micky Beckett has been selected to represent Great Britain at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Sponsored by Southeast Sailboats since 2016, this selection is a fantastic achievement for Micky, off the back of some truly impressive performances in 2023. Selection for the the Women's is still open and our other Team GBR sponsored sailor Matilda Nicholls is still in the running.
Congratulations to Thailand’s Weka Bhanubandh on an impressive win at the ILCA4 World Championships. Southeast Sailboats is proud to have supplied the custom set of rigging that Weka used for the event!
Chartering an ILCA for your next event and unsure what you need to take? I have put together the following to help remind you what you may need to take. Charter boats may come with more than we are assuming, but in recent years what comes on/with your charter boat seems to be reducing so we have erred on the cautious side. Let’s start with the obvious and then move bow to stern over all the smaller bits that you may forget to pack, and finish up with a few spares that you should consider.
A great write up by Southeast Sailboats sponsored sailor Matilda Nicholls on her first major events of 2023.
After a long winter of training, I was really excited for the first major events of the season to begin. It’s only my second year competing in these major Senior competitions since moving out of the youth fleets which made me even more excited to head back to Palma for the first competition, the Princess Sofia Regatta. It was also great to see so many familiar faces again with this being the first competition of the year where all the Olympic classes compete at the same venue.
A great write up by Southeast Sailboats sponsored sailor Micky Beckett on his first major events of 2023..
Palma World Cup and Hyeres Olympic week
Palma World Cup is normally the first highly anticipated regatta of the year, the first real occasion to put the winter’s training to the test and it is an event that indicates the competitive season has begun. Except this year it wasn’t the first event. Most competitors arrived directly from the ILCA Europeans in Andorra, Italy. The other Brits and I chose not to attend in favour of doing some additional training in Palma, from the outside it appeared to be a turbulent regatta with exceptionally long days on the water.
Southeast Sailboats may be based in the UK, but for years we have been providing our custom rigging solutions to sailors worldwide. Southeast Sailboats is therefore excited to add Chapman Petersen as a sponsored sailor. At just 19, Chapman is now part of the US Sailing Team and will represent the USA at both the Pan American Games and the Olympic Test Event in 2023.
Chapman studies Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Southeast Sailboats has been working with Chapman since 2018, providing custom rigging solutions to his exacting needs.
Chapman joins Matilda Nicholls, Micky Beckett and Jon Emmett as sailors sponsored by Southeast Sailboats. Welcome to the team, Chapman!
It's back to back wins for Micky Beckett at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Majorca. Sponsored by Southeast Sailboats since 2016, Micky Beckett helps develop and test our world class control line systems for the ILCA.
Your kicker/vang is arguably the most important of the three control line systems. So, how do you improve its performance so that its that much easier to use?
Lets start simple! If the small black fairlead behind the cleat has a groove on either side instead of a nice shiny surface it is acting more like a mini cleat than a fairlead, and every time you pull on or release your kicker whilst hiking (when the line is being pulled at an angle to the centreline) you will be wearing both the fairlead and your control line even more. So, upgradestep #1is
Congratulations to Southeast Sailboats sponsored sailors Micky Beckett and Matilda Nicholls on their results at the recent European championships. Micky, defending his 2021 title, was narrowly beaten into second position by Olympic medallist and multiple world champion Pavlos Kontides. Matilda scored a personal best 4th place, an amazing achievement.
GBR Team sailor and European Champion Micky Beckett has written this article for us...
"The most under-rated control line on your ILCA/Laser, is your hiking strap/toestrap adjustment system. I’ve seen all kinds of systems that don’t really work and a handful that just about do. What a working system can offer you is realcontrolover your boat and an ability to transfer power from your kinetics through the boat into straight line speed.
So, let’s get down to it, how tight or loose should your toestrap be?
Unfortunately the answer isn’t neat and tidy, it’s all very circumstantial. The tension you want will depend on how tall you are and how strong your ankle fibres are, what leg of the course you’re on, how windy it is and possibly the sea state.
Let’s go through these factors one by one:
How tall are you?
Broadly speaking, the taller you are the tighter you want your toestrap, with anyone above the 6’2 mark probably wanting a very tight toestrap nearly all the time. For everyone else a good adjustable toestrap system is essential. People who come in at 5’6 or less need a lot of slack in their toestrap so they can still generate adequate righting moment. A nice rule of thumb is that the gunnel of the boat should be half way between the back of your knee joint and bottom of your bum. A looser toestrap will cause your knee joint to be too close to the gunnel and visa-versa with a tight one. If you’re not sure, get a friend to snap a photo of you doing your finest few seconds of hiking!
Do you have ankles made of steel?
Even I don’t. I’ve raced against people with really tight toestraps and tried to copy this thinking it would be a good idea, but it just wasn’t for me – it gave me really bad ankle pain and pins & needles after tacking. This is not how it should be! Realistically the longest you may be on one tack for is 10 minutes, by the end of which your ankles (not to mention quads, abs and hip flexors) will be crying out for relief, that’s okay, but don’t ignore too much pain. If you’re losing any sensations in your feet then loosen off the strap. Equally if the top of your shins are getting sore from curling your toes then you could consider going tighter.
Where are you on the course?
Upwind is where you need the most righting moment, and dependent on your height as mentioned previously a looser strap may be required.
On the reaches what you need is some righting moment and a lot of control – you need to be able to sit up and move your weight into the boatfast, this is to keep the boat quick and flat and avoid rolling to windward, for this a system you can tighten up as you go around the windward mark is very useful.
Downwind if you’re in the habit of hooking your back leg around the toestrap you will feel more locked in if the toestrap is bar tight.
The breeze and the sea state?
Anything above 14kt and you want the maximum leverage available, this means your body being as far out the boat as possible, but hips not low and getting hit by waves. If you can’t hold your body up then consider tightening your toestrap. As the breeze drops from ‘maximum power conditions’ this is where it gets interesting. A tight toestrap can be really beneficial when it’s ‘marginal power’ conditions, when you’re sat up hiking.
Over-flattening the boat (rolling the boat to windward) can be costly, but if your strap is tight then you can be locked in, able to do kinetics and effectively transfer power from your upper body through the boat, without the risk of over-flattening the boat. Also when there’s a big swell, such that at the top of the wave there is a lot more power than the bottom, a tight toestrap can be really beneficial when the lull and the trough come along, so you can stay in control of the heel of the boat at all times.
A compromise will be needed in really gusty conditions – for example how tight to go on a 5 – 15 knot day? Something to maybe discuss with others!
Ultimately it’s always a trade-off between righting moment vs control. Insufficient righting moment can be particularly punishing when lane holding in breeze, but the added control of a tighter strap can have huge benefits. It’s never worth maintaining a posture or position that punishes your joints, hiking is painful but that pain should be reserved for your muscles.
It took me years to reach the point I’m at in the photo. I’m a long way out the boat – I’ve got plenty of leverage, but I’ve also got high hips so my body is well clear of the water and I can exert very powerful kinetics through the boat. Toestrap tension will determine what hiking position you can achieve, I highly recommend spending some time considering different tensions and experimenting. Photos taken outside the boat are incredibly valuable to compare what you feel with what’s actually going on."
GBR Team sailor and European Champion Micky Beckett is sponsored by Southeast Sailboats. Southeast Sailboats newhiking strap adjustment systemmay be just what you need to get this under-rated control line under control!