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Downwind technique


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Hey people.

So I am getting flogged downwind and I want to do something about it.

I have been dealing with this a while. 

I know that everyone is going to suggest settings. I feel I may have done everything and I have narrowed it down to the Nut behind the wheel.

So what am I doing wrong?

Firstly when I say I am being flogged I feel I might be quicker if I didnt put the kite up!!

I have swapped boats with another club member for a race and he flogged me worse when he was on my boat as he did when he was on his.

I dont feel its a weight issue we are 180KG combined.

I am slick upwind and that is the only reason I am not getting embarrassed.

 

So I would like to know where I put the following boat parts in about 15kts (Where I seem to be at my worst)

1. Centerboards ( I have been running them half up)

2. Mast Rotation (I have it inline with the front beam)

3. Cunningham (Barely ull the wrinkles out of the main)

4. Jib ( let it off enough to get around the top mark and dont care about it after that)

5. Traveller ( At very most 1 traveller car width of centre)

6. Main ( About 600mm from beam to boom or about 1.5m of sheet eased from upwind)

7 Crew ( On the trap and hooked in the footstrap)

8. Me ( Sitting on the back beam/hull intersection of the tramp)

9. I like the hull reasonably out of the water and usually the windward centerboard stays mostly dry.

 

So has anyone got some suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong.

My boat is quick and Light with brand new sails 

Any help would be great as we are starting to get a decent fleet here and I want to stop bringing up the rear

Cheers

Bevo

Nacra Infusion

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You haven't got many replies.  Why not have a look at SailingAnarchy.com forums.  There's a fairly active multi group there.  You may get your answer faster but you may get a lot of flack, most people do!

 

I've noticed that many cats that are apparent wind types (like yours) have a tendency to bear away, set the settings, as you describe then wait to go fast.  I've actually passed big cats (Taipan, Nacra's etc) in my Maricat because I've been paying attention to the telltales and they haven't.  I've seen sloops just sit there with stalled sails waiting for a breeze just in the right direction to create lift.  I think you need to be constantly adjusting and tweaking.

 

In the 15knot winds you describe it may not be as important, just set the settings but in this case you would be steering up and down to try to get the best speed, get a gust, go faster, soak down to chase the apparent wind and go as low as possible.

 

Just my 2p worth.

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One of the biggest improvements we made to our performance back when I was sailing F18 was when we added tell tails to the kite.  There is a huge sheeting range where the kite looks like it is set right but is either over or under sheeted. The traditional method is using luff curl but you can get a lot closer to optimum with tell tails.

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I feel your pain, I'm struggling with an issue too that has me stumped and regardless of what I do it doesn't seem to have an effect, problem now is that I've forgotten where my "base-line" started = frustration to the max !!! 

 

In your case I think you have the answer already ;)

 

you said.......

I have swapped boats with another club member for a race and he flogged me worse when he was on my boat as he did when he was on his

A simple solution would be to ask him to skipper your boat while you crew for him, watch what he does and learn

:D

 

 

 

regarding your 'list' of settings......

 

1. Centerboards ( I have been running them half up)

more importantly, why there ???

is this an old way from other boats you've sailed or is this what you opposition does, & have you noticed where they have their boards set

 

2. Mast Rotation (I have it inline with the front beam)

seems way excessive to me..... I wouldn't run that much but I don't sail an Infusion ;)

 

3. Cunningham (Barely pull the wrinkles out of the main)

again, how did you determin that setting ????

I don't see that many altering the Cunningham for a downwind run......

 

4. Jib ( let it off enough to get around the top mark and dont care about it after that)

This seems weird to me, I cant figure out why your effectively dropping a couple of square metres of sail area and wondering why its slow......

set and tune it ;)

 

5. Traveller ( At very most 1 traveller car width of centre)

6. Main ( About 600mm from beam to boom or about 1.5m of sheet eased from upwind)

I put them together for a reason.... I'd almost say your really just easing the main out and not much else, to me I'd let the traveller out much more and sheet from there

 

7 Crew ( On the trap and hooked in the footstrap)

8. Me ( Sitting on the back beam/hull intersection of the tramp)

9. I like the hull reasonably out of the water and usually the windward centerboard stays mostly dry

sounds about right :D

 

for me your simplest solution remains asking that other skipper for a lesson

:D

 

Cheers

Kingy

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You sort of answered your own question at the top.  If you have another club member that can get your boat to perform he is your best and closest source.  Get him to take you for a run.  You be the crew and watch how he/she sails it.  Most of the down wind speed will come from the tiller acton.  You set your sails in approximately the right position then steer the boat to get the most out of them.  Sounds like your fellow club member has the knack.  You just need to see up close how he does it.  I started on cobras and was well down the pack for many a years.  I would set my boat how the guns did it but could never keep up with them.  Eventually i got the knack and it all came down to how you keep the boat working with the wind.  If your club member won't show you because he doesn't want you beating him tell him  sheep stations aren't worth anything anymore 

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