Tuesday, February 10, 2009

505 Midwinters Report

The Fleet 13 Winter Trip has come to a close. John Loe arrived back in Chicago with both boats yesterday afternoon and everything is back in the garage and out of the weather. Today’s 60 degree temps in Chicago may be a hopeful sign of an early thaw for spring sailing.

Overall, it was a very strong showing for Fleet 13 at the Midwinter Championship. JB and Ned Turney finished the regatta on a high note by taking 2nd in the seventh and final race of the series. They ended up 11th overall which was a bit lower than they had hoped, but it was good for them to break into that top pack on the last race. JB said that they were finally able to find the pace they needed to hold a good lane off the rabbit and not be dictated on the first beat. Considering there was a 29 boat fleet and the top 10 was extremely tight, this is a solid finish for team “Rough Housing”.

John Loe and I were very happy with our finish of 6th place overall. In John’s first 505 regatta, we felt like we had the speed to hang with the guys in the top 5. We sailed very conservatively, minimizing risks and trying to keep our finishes in the top ten. Only the first race of the series was sailed in “wire-running” conditions and the rest was all what you could classify as “light”. It was good that John got an opportunity to see how great the 505 is in breeze. Just have to put the bow down and “let the bitch eat”.

A discussion on sails:

Both Jay Glaser and Ethan Bixby were at the event, which was a unique experience. Being able to talk to them about sail setup was a very valuable learning experience.

Both boats were using new North V8F .75 oz spinnakers with the Chicago flag color scheme. We were both extremely pleased with these kites as they proved to be quick in the variety of conditions.

JB and Ned were using Glaser upwind sails. There is no doubt that the Glaser sails have been developed for medium to heavy air sailing. They are very full in contrast to the Norths. The tuning for these sails in light air is always somewhat of a compromise; you really need to load on the rig tension to pre-end the rig, which makes the headstay tighter than ideal. JB and I both have found that this results in a very “thin groove” in the light conditions.

John and I were using North upwind sails. I have always found the Norths to be extremely user friendly due to their relatively flat cut. In general you can sail with a looser headstay which is great for when you have a 505 rookie at the helm. This makes the boat very forgiving in the light stuff. I haven’t done much heavy air sailing with the North upwind package, but I look forward to some testing this spring.


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