Right after they won bronze at the prestigious Dragon Gold Cup 2019, we talked to North-powered Japanese-based team Yanmar Racing about their impressive result.
They’ve only sailed together in the Dragon class for one year, but the podium finish in Medemblik proves they have already clicked in the boat. The team consists of three sailors: boat owner and helmsman, Peter Gilmour, who lives in Perth, Australia; Yaji San who is based in Yokohama, Japan; and Sam Gilmour, who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.
A major perk of the International Dragon Association(IDA) Championship Events and Grade 1 Grand Prix competitions is the friendships developed within the class. Coming from a match racing background and used to racing just one other boat, the team found it a big change being part of a fleet of 90 boats.
Setting the mast to the mainsail has been a key mission for Yanmar Racing. “A stiffer mast section has allowed us to use a lower luff curve main, along with the standard North A-7+ . We used the North V-6L, V-6M and V-6H Genoa for light, medium and heavy wind respectively, and also used the R-5 Spinnaker.”
“The cloth quality is good for the Mainsail, Genoa and Spinnaker. They hold their shape well throughout the range specified.”
The Medemblik event was very well managed, Peter says. The starts were difficult with a 1 km line, but Danbuoys provided additional assistance along the line.
The sails handled the strong winds and choppy sea state well, Peter Gilmour says. “We typically change up our Genoa in slightly lower wind ranges than most specify, and this may cause us to get caught out below range with the heavy, for example. The sails seemed to handle these conditions fairly well and we were happy with the sail choices we made.
“Responding on board and changing gears to get the most out of the sail/mast combination as well as optimising course position is something that is evolving for us in each race and regatta we do.”
Race five was particularly exciting. With a steady 22 knots and gusting 28 knots, the team did not get off to their best start. However, after prioritizing boat speed until they found clear air, they reached the top mark in fourth. The downwind leg was fantastic, with some big windward rolls, nail-biting jibes, and a generous amount of fun.
Next up is the Dragon Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn, Germany on the 2nd – 6th July. Good luck!
A total of 29 teams, representing 9 different nations, engaged in fierce competition across six events this year. While Cape 31s have attracted some of the world's best sailors, the class rules, which limit the crew to three professionals, also create an environment where owner-drivers race with friends and family.
Located just east of Lake Tahoe, Minden, Nevada, may seem like an unlikely spot for North Sails’ 3Di manufacturing hub, a sailing industry flagship center. However, it is true that is home to North Sails’ cutting-edge 3Di technology.
After countless hours sailing, testing and competing in the Cape 31, North Sails shares our tuning notes in an effort to get sailors and teams up to race winning speed quickly for the most competitive racing. As we learn more about the Cape 31 and further its development, new information regarding setup, tuning and trimming techniques will be updated online at northsails.com. As always, contact your North Sails Expert for all the most up to date information and for help tuning your boat.
1. Tuning Guide
1.1 Tuning Matrix
+1 in front
1.2 Tuning Notes
Base forestay arc: 1.71m. Measure this from the top edge of the bottom white band on the mast to the middle of the forestay pin (swing the jib halyard to mark the forestay luff foil).
Mast butt position: 13.5-14.5cm from the aft edge of the mast to the center of the front keel bolt
Base deck chocks: You should have light pressure on the front chocks (avoid inverting the lower mast when on +1 chocks).
Settings tip: It can be worth having a few different stiffnesses of the 3 top mainsail battens. Please ask your North Sails expert to find out more.
2. Upwind Trim
2.1 Jib Crossovers
Light / Medium (LMi) : 5 -12 knots
Medium / Heavy (MHi): 10 – 20 knots
Heavy Weather (Hi): 19+ knots
2.2 Upwind Notes
TRAVELER. Max up in light winds. In strong winds it is best to not go far below the centerline with the traveler car, use the fine tune to twist open the main.
JIB CARS. In light and medium winds be max inboard on the car (most winds).
TRIM. Have one person behind the helm in light winds (none if you’re not all on the windward rail). In strong winds have at least 2 people behind the helm.
BATTENS. Tighten the top 3 battens in the mainsail so that there are no short vertical creases along the batten pockets.
RUNNERS. Off in sub 6 kts, then progressively tighter until max combined headstay / tack load of 1.7 tonnes.
Settings tip: Unless your rig is tightened for strong winds you may not be able to get to 1.6 runner load without the mainsail overbending (diagonal creases in the bottom ⅓ of the mainsail from the spreaders down to the clew. Overbend is slow).
Please get in contact with a North Sails expert to discuss techniques and settings further.
3. Downwind Trim
3.1 Kite Crossovers
A1.5: 5-10 knots
A2: 8-18 knots
A4 (or A2+): 18+ kts
3.2 Downwind Notes
In light airs (4-6 knots) Drop the jib.
In 7 knots + you are looking to get the jib up and start sailing VMG angles based on hee.
12 knots + is full VMG sailing. Don’t be afraid to keep the bow up to build the speed initially. Hike.
RUNNERS. Loosen the runners downwind, keep the windward one snug. When the wind increases, tighten the runners just enough to keep the headstay of the jib tight.
Please get in contact with your local North Sails experts to discuss techniques and setting further.
4. North Sails Class Lead
+44 7962 238 742
5. Crossover Chart