.By Andrew kerr Sail Trim, Tactics & Boat Handling for Speed By Andrew Kerr
Rig tension – light Air • In light air watch the leeward shrouds – if they are taught then the rig is too tight , set it up for the lulls and lots of power
Watch the leeward shrouds – how loose are they ? How much forestay sag ? Try a spinnaker halyard to the forestay as a reference.
Key Elements upwind – Mainsail trim • At the start- set up for power, note the 3 baton positions on mainsail across the range of conditions – Open, closed, open again. • Light Air Upwind : • Set up the sail for twist - ventilate the leech – have a fast mark on the mainsheet. • Ease the Mainsail halyard to open the top of the sail
Key Elements upwind in light air - Jib Trim • Soft Jib/ Genoa Halyard – keep evaluating. • Ease in the Lifts to help the speed and gain the lift
Roll tack the boat – but be sure not to pre roll as it unloads the boat.
Speed build out of tacks with both leeches open and then closed as up to speed.
Medium Air Trim • If smooth water Trim the mainsheet on so the top baton is parallel to the boom or 2 to 3 degrees to weather for pointing. • Set up for the lulls not the puffs – set the rig up half a setting looser than the tuning guide.
Medium air trim • If choppy set the boat up with more twist to help deal the changing apparent windle angle changes .
Medium air Trim • If there is too much forestay sag the mainsail will luff early – backstay on or tighten the forestay and/ or shrouds. • Play the backstay like a throttle for power – be sure to set it from the premise of max hiking on the rail
Jib trim – Medium air – flat water. Halyard tension effects leech profile .
Heavy air Trim • Max outhaul • Max Backstay • Tight Cunningham • Rigid forestay • Tight vang – “ Vang sheeting” • Traveler down • Very tight Jib halyard for draft forward shape • Jib leads aft a small amount • Ease headsail in gusts in tandem with mainsail to keep the slot consistent.
Heavy air Trim • Play the traveller to keep the boat at a constant angle of heel • If the traveller becomes exhausted as a vehicle of balance, or the gusts are coming in very quickly or you have a short traveller consider Vang Sheeting .
Heavy air Trim with the Jib • If sailing with the small jib – be sure to not over sheet it and ease it slightly in the gusts to keep the slot consistent and the boat tracking • Make sure the halyard is really tight so that you can ease the sheet and still maintain the leech profile
Key elements for a big fleet • Get off the line in the front row with a gap to leeward - go for a low density area. • Sail fast unhindered by other boats until you decide to tack and consolidate. • Meet the fleet later in the leg when it has thinned out and the lanes are wider.
Rounding the weather mark • Be smooth – keep weight on the rail as long as you can • Ease the Vang slightly prior to the rounding • Be sure to ease the main out fluidly and quickly to help the bear away
Sailing to an offset mark • Sail the boat well between the marks • Sight the offset mark – where is it, how far and what angle ? Can we set the spinnaker? Do we have to beat to it? ( left shift)
Downwind Trim Have the pole height or tack line set to a fast Mark • Have the Vang set to a fast mark • Assume the right angle as soon as possible – the trimmer should immediately be talking to the skipper about pressure on the sheet
Assume the correct angle immediately – the trimmer should be talking pressure on the sheet all the time
Downwind trim – Key elements • Play the pole height in puffs and lulls – raise up in the puffs to get more projection , lower the pole to induce stability in the sail • Playing the vang & watching the top baton carefully – 3 modes : • Low mode – top baton open 3 to 5 degrees • Average – parallel to the boom • Rolling – enough o stop rolling
If overpowered on a reach- weight aft, go with a bigger curl on the luff , play the vang and leave the backstay on.
Spinnaker Pole height • Watch where the luff breaks
Pole height in light/ medium air, center seam is vertical – look back for shifts/ puffs as you sail to the line.