SARASOTA WINTER SERIES #2: SPEEDY TIPS
Bennet and Beardsley Dominate Weekend Regatta
The VX One and Viper fleets enjoyed two days of great sailing on Sarasota Bay last weekend. Saturday started off with a nice 12-15 knot breeze that slowly died, while Sunday brought a steady 9-16 knot breeze. The Vipers completed 8 races and after a tie was broken, Rachel and Peter Beardsley came away with the win over Jackson Benvenutti sailing with Jan Majer and Jesse Fielding. Hayden Bennett and Mike Marshall won the seven-race VX One Midwinter championship.
What We Learned
VIPER 640 CLASS (Jackson Benvenutti)
Puffy conditions create possibilities for huge gains (or losses) downwind due to the boat-speed and angle differences between puffs and lulls. The tactician should spend most of the time looking backwards, studying the wind to see where the next puff is coming from, and figuring out how to take advantage of it. Questions include
- Is that next puff within reach?
- If so, how do we get to it as quickly as possible?
Figure out which jibe keeps the boat in the puff for as long as possible.
Having an in-between race routine is just as important as the routine at the start of each race day. Develop a checklist that allows for a quick mental rest and then quickly reenages both skipper and the crew. Here is what we do, in order:
- Water and food
- Debrief from previous race (What worked? Were we fast or slow? Did one side of the course pay off?)
- Adjust rig (Check rig on both tacks)
- Ping line
VX ONE CLASS (Mike Marshall)
A flat boat and flat sails are very fast. Anytime you are hiking, get the sails as flat as you can so that you can trim them hard without heeling. A combination of vang, cunningham, and rig tension all combine to make flat sails. Don’t be afraid to pull the lines harder.
Sport boats have two modes: searching for power, and depowering. In light air, the goal is to get the crew hiking. Trimming the sails extra hard can help add power, as long as they are not stalling. As soon as you are consistently hiking, you are looking to flatten the sails to reduce drag.