Thursday, 4 July 2013

lessons learned, evaluation of the J-boards

What did we learn/see at Barcelona?

- The majority of the fleet is using T-foils
- In medium conditions most people trapeze downwind
- The J-board boats did win the races in medium conditions
- Stevie and Landy excelled upwind
- More people with soft (pentex/polyester) cloth than hard cloth (aramid/carbon) were fast
- Already big separation in the fleet after first windward mark
- Short starting lines are horrible

The J-board boat became European champion and was fast in all circumstances. Landy and Stevie outsailed the others especially upwind as they were always close at the first mark and Stevie is fast on any boat downwind. His downwind speed is only matched by Glenn's.
Manolo was fast in all circumstances but lost two races; one to gear failure (broken hook) and a bfd.
Mischa was fast in medium conditions, but lacked speed in the light and was probably pushing too hard in the stronger stuff.
Brayshaw did remarkably well as he had never sailed the J-boards and was immediately fast.

If Mischa and Landy had not missed the layline at one race (Mischa dropped to fifth and came in second) the DNA would have won all medium wind races due to superior downwind speed (Mischa 2 wins, Manolo 1 win, Brayshaw 1 win). In the light stuff the J-boards do not have an edge downwind as you pull the boards up and were certainly not slower upwind as especially Manolo showed. The difficult circumstance were 15-18 kts on port tack, where the boat wanted too fly too much, on starboard tack still faster but trapezing on the other tack did not pay. Manolo stopped trapezing and was still one of the fastest downwind. Over 20 kts the J-boards are easy as you can easily oversheet the sail and go for depth. In the 15-18 kts with swell against waves you had to change gears more often and Mischa and I clearly lacked practice, just after the race I found the right groove.

The results of Landy and Stevie show that pure sailing skills do sometimes outpace a faster boat, by sailing smart and steady.

The J-boards make the boat feel very light even when not completely foiling, the boards support the boat definitely more than the C-boards. (not my personal opinion but shared by Brayshaw and Manolo).
The J-boards have actually less drag in the light stuff than C-boards.

If you not trapeze downwind these days you are dead meat on the course. Trapezing with the winglets is easy and fun what makes going flat in light stuff even harder (where is the fun...).

In sails we saw more radial cut sails and more membrane sails. Fuller sails are faster downwind but must be flat enough upwind. Roeland, PJ and Thilo were using a new aramid Maxx cloth Landy sail which was especially fast upwind but needed high cunningham tension.
The Landy membrane sails were fast at Garda and did well in Barcelona too. Stevie and Stephen showed good allround boatspeed as well with a pentex radial cut Brewin sail
Manolo did use an Ashby Stratis carbon membrane, the same cut he used last year in Garda.
Gustavo did very well with the Pink Hammer sail of Micky.
The Mischa sails do excell downwind especially while trapezing.

We see a convergence in mast bends. Masts and max luff curve are getting more equal over the field though the maxx lufcurvers are 5 cms up compared to a few years back. (16-19 cm now)

1 comment:

  1. Very useful tips!
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