RS Tera tips & links

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This document shows what is allowed in the current rules. 

The kicker system which is shown is available, complete and ready to fit, from Mike Saul.   It is a vast improvement on the basic V cleat and allows the helm to easily adjust the kicker whilst sailing.

rs_tera_permitted_modifications_2011 pdf

RS Tera Technical tips:

Winter Clothing, Thanks Jennie

RS Tera Links and reference Documents

RS Tera Coaching Brett Cokayne

RS Tera Coaching Bernard Clark


Thanks to Jennie Clark, Rebus Coaching and RS Tera for suppling this help full insight to keeping us all warm on the water.

Red Bus Coaching

RS Tera

This article was first produced in 2013 and has been updated to take account of the wider range of products which are available now.

As we head towards the winter and thoughts turn to squad coaching, it’s perhaps a good time to look at some of the developments in sailing clothing, particularly for winter sailing.

In North squad we insist on ‘no bare legs’ (ie no hikers or shortie wetsuits) and the use of drysuits or winter grade ‘steamer’ wetsuits for all sessions. This is to ensure that helms are able to maintain core body heat if they capsize and also to meet club requirements at our coaching centres. These basic rules are just as valid for non-squad sailors who are going to be on the water during the winter months.

It’s important to understand that a drysuit is only as good as the thermal insulation you wear underneath it and a wetsuit only keeps you warm when you get a layer of water between you and the neoprene. So what can you do to help keep warm and avoid the very real danger of hypothermia?

Just as in any outdoor sport, the secret is to layer. Layers trap air between them and this helps to keep you warm. Drysuits offer no warmth at all, they just keep you dry. A good pair of thermals, worn underneath a fleece suit inside a drysuit will help you keep warm. There are some great suppliers of such gear, from the standard chandlery suppliers to your local outdoor clothing outlet. If you are buying a drysuit look out for offers on ‘woolly bear’ suits to go underneath – they are often available at reduced prices or come free with the suit. Last year we repeatedly had children coming off the water complaining that they were cold. In all cases checks revealed a failure to use good insulating under garments resulting in loss of heat from the core. In many cases sailors were wearing rash vests – these are designed to keep you cool and are no use for winter sailing in the UK.

Suggestions for layering with a drysuit are close fitting thermal leggings and vest (eg Helly Hansen, Crewsaver Tokko, Rooster Brushed Polypro) underneath a fleece ‘woolly bear’ (Gul and Crewsaver both make good ones), with either wool walking socks or purpose made sailing socks such as those made by Gill and Rooster. Make sure that the sailor is comfortable wearing these layers underneath the drysuit and if need be buy a bigger pair of boots (always put popsocks or drysuit socks over the latex feet of the suit to protect it from wear) so that toes aren’t crushed due to all the extra layers. Thermal gloves and a hat on top.

If you are wearing a steamer wetsuit, or one of the two piece combinations such as Rooster’s Supertherm long john and top, consider topping this off with one of the widely available thermally insulating dinghy sailing tops and make sure you have thermal layers underneath. The tops keep you dry but also have a thermal layer inside which gives more warmth than a standard spray top. There are a number of suppliers of these including Gill and Rooster. These also have the advantage that

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they are specifically designed to be quick drying. It’s also worth considering wearing waterproof ‘high trousers’ over your wetsuit to help keep you dry. If you want to wear hikers put them on over your steamer or drysuit, we won’t let you sail in them on their own. Don’t be tempted into buying a wetsuit ‘to grow into’ for winter sailing. Wetsuits have to fit really closely to work.

So that’s the body bit, but what about hands, feet and heads? You lose 30% of your body heat through your head so it’s easy to reduce that loss with a hat. Pick something that fits well and won’t get knocked off by the boom. It needs to have some thermal insulating properties. The ones made by Neil Pryde get rave reviews from some of our fleet – fleece lined and really warm.

Feet soon get cold if they are wet. A number of people make insulating socks, some of which are thin enough to go inside your normal sailing boot. Fitting extra thick socks into tight sailing boots can be a very uncomfortable experience and tight boots make for cold feet. It is worth considering having a ‘drysuit’ pair of boots which are bigger and allow you to move your toes around when wearing the drysuit and thick socks. As stated earlier, if you wear a drysuit protect the feet in it by putting popsocks or specially made ‘drysuit socks’ over the top of the rubber feet – your feet will slide into your boots much more easily.

Winter gloves are readily available too – look for the ones which are designed to keep your hands dry as this prevents heat loss. If you can afford it try and have a pair for each race, putting on wet gloves is a horrid experience! If you can’t, and/or if your hands get really cold try wearing a thin pair of rubbery gloves under your sailing gloves – they won’t provide any warmth but they will keep your hands dry which makes it all much more comfortable. You can buy a box of 100 pairs from places like eBay, Amazon and the local Pound Shop for less than £5.

Of course how cold you get is dependent on the weather. We’ve had winter sailing when it’s sub- zero but equally we’ve had it when it’s not too cold at all. The wind strength can make a huge difference – if there is little or no wind it’s easy to get cold quickly, whereas if you are working hard you will keep warm but windy conditions often mean capsizes . . . Make sure you have a range of options which suit the conditions but always remember that it’s better not to go afloat than to go afloat when you can’t cope or havn’t got the right gear.

The developments made in sailing gear over the last few years means that no-one needs to be cold when afloat – and most of the kit is available to suit adults and children alike. Make sure your winter coaching is comfortable and warm and let’s hope weather stays fine for some great winter sailing

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Our daughter’s favourite winter combination. Worn over polypro leggings and a polypro long sleeved top she’s been sailing in the snow and kept warm.

The drysuit option. Thermal legs and matching top, woolly bear suit and drysuit.

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Winter gloves and liners, specifically designed to keep hands warm

Don’t forget that you lose 30% of your body heat through your head – neck gaiters and balaclavas or beanies are essential in winter months.

Some great items for Christmas presents!

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© redbuscoaching 2015

Version 2 Sept 2015