Monday, September 11, 2006

Feeling Groovy

The Basin Regatta, although we did not do great form a point standing, was a good overall weekend of racing. On Saturday I experimented a little with trim, traveller, vang and outhaul looking for that groove. The winds were forecasted up to 10 knots so I tuned the rig to the base 10 knot numbers as specified in the tuning guide. On the upwind legs I centred the traveller, as suggested in another tuning guide and put no backstay and vang on and no cunningham and minimal outhaul. We did good in the downwind legs but I still did not feel the love on the upwind legs, and our results in the fleet suggested we had done better in other races. The boat was just not in the groove. I did not have a good balanced helm. It felt too much like I was fighting the boat.

On the Sunday I went back to another approach tried previously. I slightly undertuned the rig and went a tighter outhaul, and a bit more cunnignham and just a bit of vang. I also took the advice of yet another different tuning guide and moved the traveller all the way to windward until the crew was on the rail then dropped it 2" once the crew was on the rail. I used the backstay a little in the puffs (steady 10-12 knot winds with gusts of maybe 15 knots). The boat seemed to find the groove more easily. The boat felt fast and light. We had been having trouble with the jib shape and tried barberhauling the jib on the upwind as we had done in previous races with those wind conditions. It had an effect as well. I think the overall compounded effects were excellent on boatspeed. This might be a base starting point for boatspeed now. This Sunday is the first Frostbite race. The winds are usually 10 knots or above and steady which should give me a good constant for benchmarking the next few races.

Think I need to start keeping a log of tuning, trim, vang cunningham and outhaul tension and wind speed and gusts for the next few races to see what effects they have. '

Still need experimentation to find the right combinations under all the conditions but I definitely felt the groove much more this weekend then the last little while.

This weekend regatta was the first time I had been on the water consistently since Kingston and the collisions. Feel like I have my confidence back. Looking forward to the series. I have all the data to crunch and diagrams to plot of the weekend races and will have them up shortly.


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