Bill Brangiforte WOW: 2009 Spring Frostbiting

Posted March 01, 2009

What a great day; Certainly didn't feel like frostbiting weather.

I was going to write about all the tactical implications involved with sailing in a randomly shifting breeze, like we had on sunday, but then realized I would be simply quoting Stuart Walker. I am a big fan of Walker, and if you read his articles about sailing in category 3 conditions, you would see how useful his ideas are in these conditions.

Instead, I am going to talk about tell tales. Many of the top guys in the sunfish class say tell tales are useless on this boat. I disagree! Without tell tales, I might as well sail blind folded. In shifty conditions, upwind, tell tales are the key to boat speed.

Watching the leeward tale is the key! When the leeward tale starts to lift, the sail is becoming stalled. The leeward tales lifts because you are getting lifted or the breeze has increased. The key to going fast when this happens, is to do the following, in order:

  1. Ease the sail to reastablish flow
  2. Wait until the tales flowing straight back
  3. Begin to head up
  4. Trim back in tight. (Whatever that is for the conditions)

When you do this right, the boat responds very well. It will let you by excellerating nicely. When you do it wrong, the boats goes sideways. This technique is fairly easy, but takes practice.

All in all, I think it was a good season of frostbiting (dispite the lousy fall weather).

Big congrats to Andy! Not only did he sail the most races, but he was the most consistant, by far! Nice job!

We also cant thank the race committee enough! These folks sat thru all those cold days and never complained! Great job guys!

As Eric said, lets get everyone out to some summer regattas (and show off what we learned this winter)

Happy Spring!

Bill



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