Author Topic: Light Air Upwind Tweaks  (Read 5381 times)

Jay Harland

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Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« on: May 31, 2010, 02:48:43 PM »
This weekend we took Madison to the Whiskeytown Regatta near Redding (Portsmouth Handicap Racing) for our first racing of the season.  As background, we bought Madison in mid-August 08 and just sailed her a little that year, so last year was our first real racing season (neither Elysia or I had any significant racing experience before then).  As such, we are still in major improvement mode...

The first race on Sunday was in 4kt-7kt and we felt pretty good on the first beat of that race.  We were right up there (or outperforming) some really good Moore 24's from SF Bay (they rate similar in those conditions).  The boat felt good and fast and I think we would have been hanging tight with other good U20's.  Then we rounded and started sailing to the wrong mark...but that's another story.

The rest of the weekend was very light 1kt-3kt.  Obviously in those conditions, there are a number of things that can work for or against you, but all-in-all we were just not as fast as we should be. 

On the upwind legs, we had the jib cars about 1/3 way from the front of the track, which looked about right to me.  The main had some outhaul let out for shape and very light vang to tighten the leach a tad to milk the energy out at the trailing edge.  Ballast was pretty good and felt we had the right heal angle.  Uppers were about 320# and lowers about 280#.  Maybe I should have backed off the shrouds some?  All that looked about right to my eye, but we were still slow.  I am at a loss?

On the downwind legs our kite trim is getting better in light air.  I think more racing with U20's will help us improve our attacking angles and that will make a big difference.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Jay
     

Billy Ellis

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 03:04:53 PM »
Jay, I may be off base but I have personally found that in super light conditions you cannot have enough heal. Get the wetted surface out of the water and get the boat sailing on a canoe shape. Get your crew as as packed as close to the shrouds as possible and drive the boat from as forward and outboard as you can get. Becarefull not to overtrim.

Brad Boston

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 06:34:19 PM »
Jay,
In light stuff make sure that you get all the weight forward to get the stern out of the water. Also I would take a bunch of turns off the rig so that the leeward shroud is flicking into the wind. This will let the forstay sag a bunch and give you a bunch more feel.
Another thing that helps is to pull the trav all the way up and ease the mainsheet a little to twist off the top.
Brad

André Labelle

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 06:52:46 PM »
Brad

May I ask at what point you think its time to lower the traveller in the very light stuff ?  I have tried a lot of variation on this lately and it seems that I cannot get the speed right in the light stuff.

André

Tac Boston

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 06:58:19 PM »
Andre, for me it would be as soon as you start moving people to windward, or maybe in flat water as soon as you are going as fast as the day allows. Then start to slowly click the sheet tighter and drop the traveler.
Tac

Jay Harland

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 09:10:13 PM »
Thanks everybody.

Brad- we did the traveller thing and did ease the main a little on day two.  It was better and we were not getting killed on day two (just not up to par).  We had the crew ballast on the low side and like I said the heal angle felt pretty good.  However, we could have been further forward.  We will try that next time.  I will take a bunch off the shrouds next time- I suspected that was a big problem.  I did not really think about the effect that would have on the forestay and that makes sense.

Thanks,

Jay 

Brad Boston

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 09:14:06 PM »
We will have one crew standing in the hole and the other on the low side laying down. I will not drop the trav till around 10 knots then it goes down about 1 1/2 feet.

André Labelle

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2010, 12:39:57 AM »
Tac / Brad

Is it your feeling that the U20 can keep up with the other light boats upwind in the 0-5 knts range when they are using the 150 %.  We have a lot of Laser 28s around here that are though to beat in the very light stuff... perhaps my benchmark is not the good one.

Brad Boston

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 01:00:11 PM »
Laser 28 are good boats....I have not sailed against them in a U 20 but I have in many other boats, I would think that they would be faster than us. They are a light boat with a tall rig.
Brad

Mark Allen

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 03:43:02 PM »
Andre,
  The biggest go fast secret in the light stuff is crew weight. On the Great Salt Lake where they consistantly sail in 0-8 knots, most boats sail 2 up. The fastest boat sails solo. If you know it is going to be light go solo, the boat does start to become a handfull around 10 knots though and an extra set of hands are faster. I feel you only need the third when the wind gets upwards of 12.

Mark
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Don Corey

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2010, 12:38:41 AM »
All good advise.  In the very light stuff very few boats can ghost as good as the U20.  My normal setting is for light air anyway with the uppers around 180 and the lowers much less.  Crew weight way forward and leward with driver leaning against rear of cabin top.  We normally don't touch the rig up until 10-11+ and then just a very few turns.  Just my two.
Thanks all,
Don       
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Trent Watkins

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Re: Light Air Upwind Tweaks
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 08:27:43 PM »
Jay - in say 10 knots or less 320 on the uppers is fine - but I'd go with something like 150 on the lowers at the most. But it depends on your sail cut too my last two sets they liked to have some mast bend. The set before that was flatter and liked a strait mast any bend and we would get smoked by everyone.