Thursday, August 24, 2006

Summer Series 2006 Race 7 Results

Results and notes from Summer Series 7 are posted here.

Winds prior to race were West and shifted to North just prior to race. The course was a bit confusing. I had to get my bearings on the next mark and where the wind was coming from for the pre-race. The course was an overall beam reach to beam reach. This threw me off a bit because of all the windward, leeward class races recently.

Overall boat speed was good. We undertuned the rig and it seemed to give us extra power and speed. I also tried sailing with boom vang, outhaul and backstay off and only a little cunningham on. This also seemed to make a difference. The traveller over all was centred but occasionally in gusts I dropped it a touch and alternated between letting the main out and adjusting the traveller. I kept the boat as flat as possible and we seemed to benefit from it quite a bit.

The low point of the race was rounding the second mark. I got into a situation where there was overlap and had to give way. I was over cautious and gave too much room. When I headed up to fetch the mark I went too far into the wind and lost power.. We lost speed and I had to foot off to regain speed in order to tack. By the time we gained enough speed to clear the mark on a tack large boats were fetching the mark which I had to give way to. I ended up getting shadowed big time on the next leg.

Gaining confidence back. Next race should be a good one. Will have my head back in the game again soon. Looking forward to the Basin regatta.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rooting out Boatspeed Issues

In an effort to achieve maximum boatspeed and figure out our pointing issue I came across this explaination from Ullman Skelly Sails regarding Tuning and the" J dimension". I took the opportunity to measure as much of the bottom of the boat as possible when it was out of the water for Kingston. The one thing I have not measured yet (or paid enough attention to) is the mast height and forestay length. This article seems to get at the root of our problem, and gives solutions that are worth investigating. The following is an excerpt from the Ullman Skelly Sails site.

The J-24 has an inherent problem of leeward helm. Leeward helm is evident when the center of effort above the waterline is too far forward in the boat, meaning the boat is not well balanced. The problem of leeward helm can be detrimental to boat speed and pointing ability, especially in light air. Leeward helm will make it difficult to steer the boat to windward where a balanced helm or a slight amount of weather helm will help the helmsman keep the boat in the grove while sailing very flat. “The flatter you can sail a J-24 to windward while staying in the groove, the faster the boat will go!”

By shortening the mast to minimum and lengthening the headstay and J measurement to maximum, you move the sail plan as far back as the class rules allow. Raking the mast aft will move the center of effort aft in the boat, which will induce more weather helm in the boat.

Note: If possible, we recommend having a certified J-24 class measurer mark your minimum mast length, maximum headstay length and maximum J. To cut your spar as close to class minimum as possible, you will need a class jig. There seems to be some discrepancy from one boat to another to exactly where the stem/sheer line point is at the bow. This point can make a big difference in your headstay length and J dimension. It is crucial to your upwind light air performance to have the mast length as close to minimum and the "J" measurement and headstay length as close to maximum as possible.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is Class Racing!

Here are the J80 North Americas, May 2006. This is the kind of competition we faced recently at CORK. Much tighter pack and some good fights for position around the marks. Some close calls (John and Tim this one is for you guys for giving me a hard time about my last few incidents! Non-sailors :-D ).

This is What it is All About

Great video of club racing. Courtesy of Google video. It is pretty difficult to explain to non-sailors, the rush and complexity of racing sailboats. So for all the non-sailors this gives you an insight into the race course. Check the spinnaker work out at the end of the video. Looks like they recover but the video ends before it is certain.

Sad Day for Sailing Bloggers

It has come to my attention that Tillerman, the author of the premier sailing blog "proper course" is considering scuttling the blog. His post this morning mentions time for a change. I think the loss of this particular blog would have an impact sailing blogs in general. The main reason I started my blog was to help fill the void of sailing blogs out there. The community has grown since, and there the numbers are increasing but as far as quality blogs "the Proper Course" is at the top!

Many thanks TIllerman for posting. I hope you do re-consider but if not Thanks for the ride!