Friday, September 08, 2006

Are We Tacking Again? And Again? And Again?

The crew was enthusiastic about last nights practice. The newly appointed Crew Chief conducted an excellent run through of tips and observations he had picked up from crewing on another J (who is in the top section of the fleet!). A few items were directly related to boat and deck layout. For example the winches were higher (vertically) then ours. Seems as though most of the top boats have custom blocks under the winch base to raise it up. We have been having issues with cross sheeting lately and it is possible that this might correct some of the issues.

Other pointers and observations were technique oriented. Simple changes in how we do things. When I took the J-world course they taught consistent middle of the road techniques. Solid techniques. While everyone has different techniques it is worthwhile exploring different ones to see what impact they have on overall speed, handling etc.

We went out and practiced fundamental tacking last night. Trying to analyze each step of the process and refine it to the point where it is second nature. Regular practice is going to have to be a regimen we get into for next season. We will need to start early and be consistent to advance.

After the practice we went back tot he clubhouse and had a great discussion with a local sail loft. I am hoping to get him out on the boat in the next few weeks to see if he can evaluate our sail shape and offer suggestions on trim etc. Think it will be very useful.

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