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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Downwind racing sail trim and techniques

I was wondering what the forum’s thoughts were on proper downwind sail trim and technique for racing.

Being forward on the boat provides good results, but does anyone have an opinion on if it's better to be on the windward or leeward side of the mast? Or even directly behind the mast? Is the point of moving forward to reduce drag?

On days when the water has waves, does it makes sense to try a surf the waves? Does being forward helps this, like standing on the nose of a Surfboard?

When sailing downwind, what's the proper sail trim? Are the telltales a good guide? If you are not dead downwind, do you sheet in to make the outside telltale flow? Do most sailors release the downhaul, and would you tighten up if not dead downwind?

Is it always smarter to sail dead downwind, or is there a wind speed where it makes more sense to try and tack downwind?

Thanks, in advance for your thoughts

Ron


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Location: Benicia, CA
Those are all good questions and the answers are always, 'it depends'.

Mostly it depends on wind and current and sail suite.

The following assumes you have a spinnaker...if you don't have an asymspin, disregard.

In light racing breeze (2-5 kts), position yourself on the leeward ama and forward. Trim so apparent wind is coming from in front of the boat as if you are on a close reach.

In a medium breeze (5-8 kts) position yourself on the windward ama. Trim body weight and fore-aft so that the boat is flat and you are slightly lifting the windward ama.

In a heavy breeze (see whitecaps) position yourself and crew on the windward ama aft to keep lee ama above water. Try to keep apparent wind just slightly coming from in front of amidships.

Have fun.

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SeaRail 19
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Formerly Getaway with Custom Spinnakers
Formerly raced F24 Mk II


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:18 am 
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Aim the thing straight downwind. It doesn't pay to reach up and build speed. The boat wants to be level so the two hulls share the load.

You should have magnetic tape tell tales about two feet down from the bridle adjuster. They point straight downwind, in the direction you're going. The main sheet should be eased until the bottom batten is just starting to distort into an S curve. In light air you will need to sit on the leeward side well forward. This keeps the sail from falling into the boat. If you have a "well developed" physique, you might want to sit sideways with your legs on the windward side to keep the boat more level.

In heavier air you'll be sitting on the trampoline, not the hull, just forward of the "bump" between the seating pads on the hull. You want your telltales to point just a tiny bit to the sail side, you are very, very, slightly reaching. No, you're running. Point the nose at the mark and let'er rip. If the telltales get a tiny bit on the other side, the non sail side, then jibe.

Drink some water, stop hyperventilating, figure out which way you're going to go upwind.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:58 am 
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I think bigwhoop just says that so he can beat you. :lol:

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SeaRail 19
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BMW C600
Formerly Getaway with Custom Spinnakers
Formerly raced F24 Mk II


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
More:

After I gave you the answer I read the question. This is specific to the Wave. Bigger, faster cats like to reach.

Downwind racing sail trim and techniques

I was wondering what the forum’s thoughts were on proper downwind sail trim and technique for racing.

Is the point of moving forward to reduce drag?

Yes. You want the transoms out of the water. Otherwise you get some suction on the back of the boat that slows you down. In really creepy crawly light stuff you can lift the transoms clear of the water by ... maybe two or three inches. Keep the boat level side to side so the hulls share the load.

On days when the water has waves, does it makes sense to try a surf the waves? Does being forward helps this, like standing on the nose of a Surfboard?

Yes again. But if there are significant Waves and wind you can bury the nose. This is slow. The boat will pitch pole. It's difficult but it can be done. Turn the boat down as it gets to the top of the wave and maybe lunge forward. Turn up if you get the boat to the trough of the wave. Mostly the wave moves past you. Turn up a tad then too.

When sailing downwind, what's the proper sail trim? Are the telltales a good guide? If you are not dead downwind, do you sheet in to make the outside telltale flow?

If you take my advice and sail straight downwind then the telltales are useless. You're sailing a square rigger.

Do most sailors release the downhaul, and would you tighten up if not dead downwind?

You should set it up at 3:1 and between snug [light], and as tight as you can get it leaning down on it hard [heavy]. I suspect that most people occasionally sneak it up to an [illegal] 5:1.

Is it always smarter to sail dead downwind, or is there a wind speed where it makes more sense to try and tack downwind?

After a few experiments everybody sails nearly dead downwind, as explained above.

Thanks, in advance for your thoughts

Ron

PS Hope this helps. And, yes, I wii beat you any way I can.


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