Book review :: the Asymmetric Dinghy Book

25 May 2021 - by Andy Rice

A perk of being Publicity Officer is getting sent a free copy of a book to review occasionally. Andy Rice has written The Asymmetric Dinghy Book - “ Asymmetric sailing from start to finish” published by Fernhurst Books, who have a great catalogue of stuff which you might thrust in the direction of anyone wondering what to get you for a present.

Asymmetrics transformed our sport since the 1990s. They led to new types of courses and a new sailing style.

Andy’s book is 121 pages of more knowledge than you can possibly hope to assimilate in one go; but I recall the words of Terry Venables (England football manager) :: “The last thing you learn is the first thing you forget under pressure” so this is a book that you’ll find yourself coming back to for years and years probably.

The breadth of choice of asymmetric boats is large now, and runs from the volatile 3 skiffs to what we’d call quite pedestrian teenagers’ craft.

There are contributions included from experts in many different classes which is really illuminating. There isn’t a 2000 expert but there is a lot of input from RS200 sailors which is quite directly applicable. There are very good photo sequences showing manoeuvres; hoists, gybes, drops.

Some of the sailor’s contributions are from verbatim conversations and here and there it’s hard to understand quite what they mean as they slip into their racers’ vernacular. I expect it’ll make sense to me in a few years.

So what does it cover?

Getting started

The Basics

Standard moves

Advanced moves

Strong winds

Survival sailing

Avoiding disaster

Capsizing

Masterclasses

Boatspeed

Racing Strategy & Tactics

The Racing Rules

The Final Five Percent

I found myself reading with interest throughout, breezing through Getting Started ( but re-reading the bit about apparent wind several times) , and getting very engrossed in strong winds, and having to think quite hard in the Masterclass section.

It is well worth reading. But I sort of hope you don’t; I would quite like to keep some of these tips to myself. I’ve shared it with Laura Holmes-Short, and it has provided a lot to talk about!

Recommend price £16.99. www.fernhurstbooks.com

MF