North Sails NEWS
INTERVIEW WITH J/105 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION
North Powers Mandate to Another North American Title
This is the third North American title for Terry McLaughlin’s Mandate. Terry bought the J/105 in late 2012 with friend Rod Wilmer. They race during the week on Tuesday evenings in Toronto and do weekend local regattas in preparation for larger events. Terry really enjoys sailing his J/105, commenting that it is “incredibly comfortable to race both on deck and down below”. Terry also enjoys the competition within the class explaining, “no matter where you race them there are always good sailors on the race course.”
Prior to the start, they made sure they had the correct shroud tuning and best jib for current conditions. In variable conditions they found it was better to be a bit loose on the rig tension, so they weren’t too tight in the lulls. Like most good sailors, Terry typically planned to win the favored end of the starting line.
“At the NA’s the lines were usually quite square so it was more important to decide what side of the course you favored. In the windier races, we didn’t push the line too hard knowing that we had good speed in those conditions.“
“There were some teams that were also fast downwind so we had to be at our best. As the wind comes up, there is a point that you have to put the bow up to get it to plane. The vang is sensitive on the J/105, so we focused on sailing with less vang while soaking in our low-mode, which is something we wouldn’t have previously done. Our crew weight is always at max weight. It doesn’t take much to be overpowered. The rudder is quite large, so I try to keep the rudder movements small, but if its too small the bow has tendencies to go down. Having my crew understand when they need to lean in and out to hike when the pressure comes is important.”
Terry said that his team improved mostly on vang tension downwind. They were much more sensitive to it this time around, and he noticed a difference in boat speed and how they could sail lower angles much faster.
Mandate’s worst race was a third in race seven. “We went for the RC boat-end of the line, which we thought was slightly favored, despite the fact that we liked the left side of the course. We were never able to get left enough after that and had to fight back all race to salvage a third.”
We asked Terry what the hardest part of the event was for his team. He mentioned;
“Bruce Stone’s Gryphon [finished 2nd] was good right from the start of the regatta. Bruce and Nicole are both very experienced J/105 sailors and know how to make the boat go well in just about anything. Bill Zartler’s Deja Voodoo got stronger every day [ finished 3rd] .”
For the most part, Terry’s team sailed clean and stayed out of trouble. They’ve spent a lot of time together racing the J/105, and they can feel when the boat needs something to improve speed.
“My crew is very willing to hike hard, which is key to speed,” Terry said.
“The two 3Di Jibs looked really good. Both had nice, straight exits.”
- Sail with a consistent crew. Form a group of seven or eight crew members that you can count on to be available most of the time.
- Have your tuning numbers on hand. Putting together a tuning guide for the shrouds that is very extensive is key. Get to know what the right “look” is for the forestay sag, leeward mast sag, and leeward shroud tension.
- Have Fun & Ask Questions. Ask questions to those who are out front. We all have things to share. Everyone is willing to help out.