Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Flying Takapuna style

Last weekend I sailed two days on the boat Mischa used at the Worlds. It has the longer Exploder rudders and the bigger winglets. This set-up is a big improvement over the set-up I used last year in Barcelona (boat the same, just other rudders).
It was easy to make the boat foil and the control was much better than with the shorter rudders.
The longer rudders give more control and the boat accelerates much better once on the foils. I sailed in 13-17 kts and it was easy to control the big gusts. The hardest part was to survive the lulls. In a lull the boat rises agressively and the weather hull wants to come down, if you do not anticpate the leeward hull comes up and the weather hull lands hard in the water.
It did take some practice to ger it right but the sailing itself was awesome and it was remarkable how much faster I was than the standard boats, in just a few minutes I sailed hundreds of meters away by sailing both faster and deeper.
If I was just out of the groove I sailed 5% deeper and the same speed as non-flying boats, but if I found the groove I sailed 10 degrees deeper and 20% faster (that is 33-50% faster on a leg).
It was not stable flying all the time but if the hulls touches the water now and then you are not really slowed down. When the wind was less gusty I could fly stable for longer periods of time. You have to balance the boat with your body weight all the time but once you have the feel it is just awesome.
These two days were  two of my best sailing days ever.
Making it fly does take some skill  comparable to learning the wildthing.
The great news is that you can even fly if you are not trapezing. PJ found a mode in which he was sitting on the side and foiling. In that mode he could sail very deep and sailed easily away from the non-flying boats.
You do not need to be Nathan, Glenn or Mischa to have some foiling fun. Anyone who know how to do the wildthing can master flying too.
At one moment I made a mistake whenI did see a small yacht too late. I lost my balance at landed near the forestay. To my surprise the boat did not pitchpole due to the winglets. I had no agressive wheelies either.
Coming weekend we have a class event at Muiderzand and there will be at least 6 flying boats.
Both Chris Field and Mischa will be present.

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