Wednesday June 28th 2017
Buoy turns are places in a race where you can gain or lose ground significantly. Learning how to execute a turn efficiently is an essential marathon paddling skill.
For buoy turns, the bow paddler needs to place a "post" in the water around which the boat will turn. This is either a post, or a crossbow post depending on which side the bow person is paddling on.
When placing a post in the water, make sure the blade is solid and not slipping. It should stay in a fixed position relative to the boat, and it shouldn't feel like its slowing the boat down too much. Adjust the angle of the paddle blade subtly as needed. The bow paddler doesn't have an easy job here - they need to do all of this while allowing the boat to lean away from their paddle side, which feels very awkward.
When approaching a buoy, don't take too close a line to it. Come in a bit wide; its's a lot easier to clear it properly especially if you are headed upstream. Lean the boat to initiate the turn, then move to sides to accelerate the arc. Turn tightly around the bow paddler's post and then accelerate out of the turn.