Tuesday 12 July 2011

Dutch Nationals

Roeland tacking in front of Sjoerd, the 2011 Dutch Champion

Having fun

More curved foils fun

Making a jump for Mark

Chris full concentration down wind in strong gusts

PJ leading the fleet

Great style by Frank

Eric, Hellecat's chairman crossing the finish line

All pics (copyrighted 2011) by Mark Cole/Eye for life. 

The Dutch nationals are won by Sjoerd Hoekstra, Chris Field was second and PJ was the last man on the podium.
Two days of strong wind and one day of light to moderate winds.
Sjoerd and Chris sailed the new Vision and were competitive with it. They did win  by smart sailing, better boathandling (Sjoerd!) and more consistency than the others.
PJ and Arno showed great speed uwpwind with their new ARC masts. PJ was very fast in the moderate conditions and Arno in the 18 knots plus breeze.

We learned that keeping the daggerboards down in the big breeze (while going sort of flat) gave more control than boards up. The DNA is fast downwind if you can keep the bow up.Working the gust right is key to topspeed. Pushing the boat while it is ploughing is definitely not fast. So ease in a gust and pull in hard shortly after that. If you keep the traveller far out you can both steer very deep and have flow over the back of the sail
The conditions were not ideal for trapezing downwind, either too much or too little wind.
Trapezing downwind in 12 -18 knots is quite common now and is both fun and fast. A footstrap on the transom is too far back for those circumstances. Trapezing above 18 knots is for the experts only at this moment. It makes only sense if you keep the bow up, else you are sailing higher with the boat in displacement mode. It is tricky to handle the big gusts , if you steer up the boat shoots in the air, if you do nothing it will nose dive, come up again and accelerate agressively.  Steering up will lead to a capsize, bearing away too much will haveyou fall in the water along side the boat.
If you ease the sheet a little bit, the sail will only become fuller, which will make your problems bigger instead of smaller. A big ease or complete drop of sheet  is not practicable either else the weather hull will drop in the water and you too. If you can all overcome this and keep the boat in the groove you are rewarded with 3-4 knots extra boatspeed.  We need just to practice more in those conditions and see which style our champions have made work.

Up to Danmark now, where we will see the first World Champion boat with curved boards, as the straight boards will be almost extinct at that event.

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