CLUBSWAN 50 WINTER TRAINING IN ITALY
Experts Help New Clients Prepare for the Season Ahead
Last weekend, North Sails ClubSwan 50 experts hosted a clinic for two new teams in Scarlino, Italy. Conditions were perfect for practicing the basics, with 7-12 TWS. Expert Giulio Desiderato coached from the RIB, providing tips and feedback that helped build confidence. Sail experts Alessio Razeto and Andrea Casale each sailed onboard a boat, trimming and discussing tactics. Tuning discussions helped trimmers set reference points to figure out the best sail trim and make small adjustments to improve straight-line speed.
“Working together is key on the 50-footer,” said Giulio, “so the primary focus was to keep everyone communicating on what was happening with rig adjustments, and how to tune the rig correctly with given conditions. From there, each maneuver was broken down into steps to show how overall boat speed was affected.”
Each day the group set specific goals before going on the water. Teams started out focusing on starts and crew work; once sailors became more comfortable on the boat and in their crew positions, jibes and tacks were fine-tuned. After sailing, video and photos were reviewed to show the day’s highlights.
Both Hatari and Giuliana sported 3Di 870 and 3Di 780. Mainsail and leech twist, mast sag, and traveler positioning were all part of the onboard tuning discussions. Alessio is also a Swan 42 expert, and he commented on the significant differences between the 42 and the 50: “I have extended my focus from the 42 to the 50 to help manage the jib blocks and double backstay set-up. Jibes are a bit different, too, as the gennaker is much larger.
“Throughout the clinic, we improved a lot,” Alessio said. “One thing I noticed with the other team is that they have a strong team that is already competitive, and we could have more in-depth discussions about sail trim. Everyone has their way of trimming, and it was good to compare and contrast the differences and how the outcomes varied.”
Coaching from the sidelines, Giulio collected photos, videos, advanced sail analysis, and computer assisted design to check sail shapes and how they related to mast tuning. “One team was more focused on tuning, so they matched our output with the telemetry of their boat to analyze further according to performance. The second team was more focused on boat handling aspects, like timing the starting line so they could get comfortable with the boat and what it required to get up to full speed.”
Both teams, he said, improved throughout the training, “and as they progressed, the differences in their boat speeds got smaller. Maneuvers on the starting line, and time on distance practice was key. Each team had their own goals, and I think we were able to help them achieve them during our time spent on the water.”
“Clinics like this are a great opportunity to improve and prepare for the season,” Giulio explained. “It’s all about giving our clients the information and tools so they can perform their best. It’s not always about service and commercial aspects, it’s about working as one team and staying involved with the class and the sailors to help them achieve their goals.
“It’s also fun,” Giulio added. “I like to share what I am seeing, and I try to offer different points of view. We had talented sailors on each boat, and it gave everyone a chance to grow and learn from each other.”
Alessio agreed about onboard talent. “This season, the ClubSwan 50 fleet will include many experienced sailors who want to compete against 18-20 larger one designs. I believe this will be the beginning of the greatest circuit in the last ten years.”