[Public-List] FW: Racers speed of A30

Gordon Laco mainstay at csolve.net
Thu Jul 22 13:53:28 PDT 2010

Hello Bruno and Elyse -

I think that when racing you should not consider shortening sail until the
wind is getting up toward 20 knots.  At that point I would leave the 150 on
the headstay and take one reef.

If your sails have good flat shapes with the draft forward... When the wind
is getting near 30 you can take a second reef and might set a 120 if you
have one.

Cruising, it would be uncomfortable to drive the boat that hard, but you
won't win races if you don't.

If you are changing to a 120 genoa in wind under 25 knots, you will be
creating balance problems that will slow you down.  A basic rule of thumb is
that you should shorten sail from aft forward.   So the sequence might be
more like this

First step - flatten main
Second step - feather main (sail with a 'bubble' in it)
Third step - take a reef (wind is over 20 now)
Fourth step - remove 150, replace with smaller headsail
Fifth step - take a second reef
Sixth step - sail double reefed main feathered

At this point you might be in over 30 knots of wind...

Beware of memorizing tables with specific wind speeds and making sail
changes based on that.  For example, the temperature will have a huge effect
on the power in the wind.  25 knots in October will have a lot more bite
than the same wind in August... Cold air is denser...  Piling crew to
windward perceptably increases sail carrying power....  And back to the old
theme; sails with good shapes will drive your boat forward and upright in
the same wind that baggy sails (that still might look 'good') will have her
flat on her side in.

Your indicators for when to shorten sail should not be a particular wind
speed... But angle of heel and amount of helm.  We raced quite happily last
night in about 25 knots of wind with a single reef and our regular genoa.
We shook the reef out on the reaches and runs, took it in again for the
beats.  We feathered it in the gusts and filled it again in the lulls.  I
told the fellow on the mainsheet "you are the man with his foot on the gas
pedal... Keep the rail just out of the water".  So he sawed back and forth
on the sheet keeping the boat under as much pressure as she could stand.

Cheers - 



On 22/07/10 4:39 PM, "elyse.pastor at sympatico.ca" <elyse.pastor at sympatico.ca>

> Dear Lawrence, dear Gord, dear Jonathan, dear David,
> Thanks again for your detailed explanations about the reasons why we are
> slower then the others. I will certainly take every point and look into it.
> I have spoken again to my mentor of our club (who has been racing for more
> then 30 years on his Alberg 37) and gave him your responses. What he asked me
> again was with what size of sail in what wind are you sailing and what are the
> maximum speeds that you are experience? He knows exactly what sail to take on
> his A37 at any wind speed. And about the waves - we are on a fairly small lake
> where the waves (if they build) are very close together and may-be max 3-4ft.
> Am I correct if I list the following (or please correct if you have better
> data and I will go out and try them (with what sails I have)):
> 0 - 10kts  150-170 jib with the complete main sail
> 10-15kts  120jib with complete main sail
> 16-21kts  120 jib with 1st reef on main sail
> 22-26kts   120jib with 2nd reef on main sail
>> 26kts - we would need a smaller jib that we do not have.
> Maximum speed upwind: 5.8-5.9kts
> In any upwind setting, we have the jib as tight as possible (in perfect
> shape), and try to have the toe-rail about 4" out of the water. If the wind
> increases and we have the same size of jib, we also move the roller on the
> track further backwards in order to spill some air on the top of the jib
> (change the shape of the sail and let some wind drop-out on top). Another main
> adjustment we do on the main sail depending on the wind-strength - we open it
> to the point where we see that the main sail has a slight back-wind pocket
> just after the mast. If possible we close it tight to the centre of the boat
> (we also have a traveler that we use), depending on the wind force. Always
> with the objective of the rail about 4" out of the water.
> Again, the maximum speed we are obtaining (close to the wind) is about 5.8 -
> 5.9kts under the above circumstances (we use a GPS to measure boat speed and
> assume that the speed is accurate). Unfortunately, this will still leave me
> towards the end of the race group even if our start is perfect (closest to the
> committee boat within 3 seconds after the start over the line). For your
> information, we race a triangle and then a sausage with the winner (last week)
> in 55 minutes (Grampian 26), us (6th) with 1 hour 4 min and and last (Tanzer
> 22) (8th) 1 hour 9 minute. On the net after correction: 1st 51 minutes, us 59
> minutes and last 1 hour 4 minutes.
> For those of you who also race against many other sailboats, would you know
> what rating a Grampian 26 "0.929" or a Mirage 24
> "0.923" have in your club? I just would like to compare if these numbers are
> similar or even the same (our A30 is "0.929").
> So - that is enough. Our next race - next Tuesday.
> Thanks again to all of you for your inputs.
> Bruno & Elyse; Lady Heron 297
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