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Fast Handling Technique [Kindle Edition]

Frank Bethwaite
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £19.99
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Book Description

From the author of the bestselling High Performance Sailing and Higher Performance Sailing comes the first scientific analysis of what makes fast sailors fast. Eschewing the idea that luck or innate talent are the keys to success, Frank Bethwaite shows how knowledge truly is power. Making use of video cameras aligned to GPS read-outs to track the fastest racers, he meticulously analyses what winners do and how they do it, to show the rest of us how to get the best out of a racing craft.

Frank Bethwaite's previous books were groundbreaking bibles that applied scientific theories to how sails and hulls interact with wind and water to influence boat speed. But whilst they applied scientific theories to boat construction, they didn't apply science to practical boat handling. This book fills that gap, and then goes further.

Budding racers of all levels will welcomethis unique book as a godsend. It will inform, instruct and enable them toemploy the techniques (and timing) of the most successful racers, and make racingmore competitive for participants, and more exciting for those of us watching.

Product Description


An author venerated by the sailing community, his books will be read by sailors for decades to come. His qualities of patient observation, interpretation and conclusion shine out of his book. Yachting Life

About the Author

The late Frank Bethwaite has coached every level of would-be champion from basic to Olympic standard. His family boasts no less than 3 Olympic medallists and 3 world champions in 4 different classes. He is the author of the landmark books High Performance Sailing and Higher Performance Sailing, both published by Adlard Coles Nautical.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6838 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Reed; 1 edition (12 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 20 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
They main thrust of the book is over stated. Bear away in a gust. Still some interesting points.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my view of handling 9 May 2013
By ivan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is simply amazing. I've been sailing since I am 6 years old. (Im 21.) Went through Optimist, Cadet, 420, Laser, 40 footers and right now 29er. Had my fair share of international championships as well. Anyway, Due to university i wasnt able to sail as much as i would like to, and there are lots of things you kinda start to "forget", therefore the importance of training. However, i read this book, and not only i learnt a lot of set up and trim with it (and the physical explanation), but i kind of reactivated the whole routine thing that leads you to the top! Lots of motivation, and you will not be able to wait until your next regatta once you read this book! Let the magic begin!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Bethwaite, but read his other stuff first 4 Jun. 2014
By Peter - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bethwaite was a thinking sailor's sailor. He used a lot of common sense and very innovative straight forward experimental techniques to explore some rather involved questions about the nature of wind and water and how sailors can use that to go faster around the course. His success is self evident. This last book of his is more of a wonderful ramble though his mind, thoughts and ideas, which I assure you is a worthwhile use of your time. What this book is not is a prescriptive "How To" book. There are a few specific suggestions, but they are not the true value of this read.
Personally I thoroughly enjoyed every one of his books and this one is no exception, though it makes more sense to read them in the the order he wrote them so you can see how he develops his thoughts. Every time I go out on the water now I see more and more of what he has pointed out, and I am sure this makes me a better sailor.... not because he told me exactly what to do, but because it makes me think.

If you want a quick "How to" book this one will only frustrate you. But if you enjoy sitting quietly on your off the water days and stretching your mind to understand the forces and elements that make you and your boat faster than your competition, this book is a gem.

There are very few books I consider to be at the level of personal treasures, This book along with Bethwaites other two are among them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Book from the skiff master. 12 May 2014
By Harbormaster - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frank Bethwaite's "Fast Handling Technique" was published in January 2013 about 7 months after he passed away at almost 92 years old.

He repeats himself as one might expect a 90 year old to do. But he repeats it in ways that if you pay attention you will learn quite a bit. I first came across his "High Performance Sailing" in 1995 when it was given as a gift. These two books have changed my outlook on how to sail fast. As a high school coach, I can see the vast and disparate results from those that understand Bethwaite's fast handling technique premise, even if they cannot verbalize it, over the natural handling technique that most all of us grew up with.

There is a nice description of how handling techniques have evolved, prior to 1900, then with the advance of light displacement 'overcanvassed' Patiki's in New Zealand [he was apparently unaware of the parallel development in the 21' class in New England by designers like Herreshoff], to the Aussie skiffs of the 1980's, then the foiling Moths in 2005, and concludes with the adjustable camber wing sails observed in the AC45 in 2012. His premise in the book is logical, sufficiently supported by fact, and points towards a future model of instruction for youth and adult sail training that might just reverse the decline in the sport.

Reading this Bethwaite book I am able to draw a logical conclusion that points to the root causes of America's Olympic draught for the last couple of cycles rooted in our instruction models. The handling techniques are changing, and while the elite may know the techniques, if they are not ingrained in their competitors as they move up the ranks from club sailor to regional then national competitor, they will be winning based only on handling and not on the further development of the tactics that go with it.

Bethwaite's almost pedantic discussion of how he knows the secrets and no one else has written about it, might put the reader off, so too the repetition of issues; but, none of that should cause you to dismiss this book from your sailing library if you race--no matter the boat. We effectively use these techniques on a Tarten Ten, and routinely get hounded by competitors that our handicap is too soft--never mind that it's one of 400 plus boats that are raced with well-established handicaps or that we have the fastest rating in the nation. No it's not the handicap, its the technique.

How much faster will you be by adopting these techniques? 10% maybe, may be more depending on your base--who knows, but you will most likely move up in the fleet.

If you are an instructor, you can base an entire summer's curriculum for your advanced students out of this book. If you are a high school coach in a competitive league, you can do the same and likely have your kids on the podium within six months.

I strongly recommend this book for advanced instructors, advanced high school and college sailors.
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read, endless rewards if you can mange 11 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with Frank Bethwaite's other books, this book contains a lot of graphs, vector diagrams and the physics of sailing. If you can get your head around it it will help you understand the physics of how a boat sails and how you can minimize drag to sail faster.
If you've read all the other sailing books with their simple explanations of how to sail fast and want to know WHY you sail a certain way or WHY you adjust the kicker in certain wind, this is a brilliant book and will explain all you could ever want to know about sailing small dinghies and skiffs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bethwaite will make you a faster, more confident racing sailor 8 Oct. 2013
By Blake macDiarmid - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bethwaite will make you a faster, more confident racing sailor. Whether you are a skiffy or more traditional, this book will change the way you look at every part of sailboat racing. A must read.
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