North Sails NEWS

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Tips on Tuning the Rig for Extreme Light Conditions

Congratulations Zeke Horowitz, Sam Stokes and Ian Coleman! Photo SpinSheet Magazine |

Fifteen Vipers gathered for the Southern Bay Race Week in Hampton, Virginia to race for the Class’ Atlantic Coast Championship. The breeze was extremely light for the 3 days of racing and each day had several major wind shifts and a couple of total glass offs.


When sailing in the extreme light air conditions we had at the ACC’s, it’s important to make sure you get your rig tune soft enough to let the mast flex, and to remove enough mast blocks to let the lower mast bend. In under 6 knots, the rig tune should be about 20 on the uppers on the PT1 Loos Gauge, and you should set your lowers so that you see a hint of leeward «sag» in the mast when sighting up the mast track. Remove enough mast blocks so that when trimmed in, you still have to use the mast puller to pull the mast into the blocks to generate pre-bend, flatten out the lower part of the main sail, and induce head stay sag. On our boat, 2.5 inches of mast blocks was the right setting. Also remember that trying to point can be deadly upwind in light air! Press on that jib and get the boat speed up first! This gets flow on the foils to create lift and ultimately give you your ability to point!


There are currently 71 Vipers signed up for the Beacon Group Viper North American Championship in Ft. Walton Beach, FL this October. The North Sails team is super excited to support the NAs. Join Zeke, Eric Doyle, Jackson Benvenutti and Ched Proctor for the North Sails Tuning clinic a couple of days before racing starts. We look forward to seeing you there.

Contact Zeke Horowitz for assistance with sails or logistics for the NAs.

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