Key West J-80 meeting summary?

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Postby Guest » Thu Jan 31, 2002 7:46 am

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend Key West and the J-80 meeting. Did anyone take minutes of the meeting? Is anyone willing to provide a synopsys (sp?) of the meeting? Also, if anyone felt that they learned something about the boat that would be helpful for all J-80 owners this is the best place and time (shortly after the regatta)to reflect upon that knowledge.

From the outside looking in and at the results it appears that Kerry Klinger had a speed advantage as well as great steering and tactics. What was this speed advantage atributable to, ie sails, rig tune, boat prep, sail trim? I would sincerely appreciate some discussion or insight. Thank you.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:02 pm

I had a view from "inside" as I was on INFINITY (USA 122) during the entire Regatta. While USA 352 is fast, I don't belive that the boat itself had speed advantage over all of the fleet. Yes, there were boats that we better prepared than others and were faster, but several boats competed head to head on speed with USA 352. Kerry is an outstanding driver, had excellent crew work, and good tactics. He had good starts (for the most part) and it's tough to play "catch up". If you look at the time differences in the various race finishes, the boat placements as compared to last year, and the "mixed results of the three race days, I'd say any speed advantage the Kerry may have had is rapidly diminishing against the fleet. All the items you mention (rig tune, sails, trim, etc.) help but I beleive time in the boat and on the water in KW conditions was most important. What for next year.................

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 14, 2002 10:25 pm

To the Executive Committee,

Today is February 14th, 3 full weeks since the Open Class Meeting in Key West. The meeting created great feedback from the owners to the executive committee. Hopefully, you heard the feedback. Please share the meeting minutes with the rest of the ownership and paid membership of the class. This forum has numerous requests for informatation related to the discussion at the meeting. In fact, you made the commitment we would get the minutes within a week. Please respect the members who could not attend Key West and share the discussion and commitments made.

Specifically, you provided clear information when and where the Worlds would be in 2003 and 2004. It is essential that members begin planning and budgeting today!

Additionally, the meeting included a discussion of how ownwers could obtain very affordable charters for the J80 Worlds in LaRochelle, France. Wouldn't it be great for everyone to know that Going to the Worlds in France and chartering a brand new boat could cost less than going to Key West?

If for some reason you cannot create the minutes, I'll share my notes that I took. I felt it would be best that the information comes from you as I'm not the official voice of the class.

Please share the minutes !!!

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:56 pm

Dear Gene & J/80 class members, Racing in the J/80 class on USA-352 has been fun for my crew & me. Most of the class members have been helpful and fun to race against. In an effort to support the class and its membership, I have had a policy to share everything I know on how to make a J-80 fast and easy to sail. I think that anyone that attended our seminar at Key West would agree; our goal is to improve racing and the caliber of our competition. If you or any one would like a copy of my tuning guide feel free to contact me at kerry@uksailmakers .com or call me at UK Sailmakers, tel: 718-885-1700. I do feel that our effort to improve our boat has paid off. There has been an improvement to all our sails since last years win at Key West. Last year we had to come from behind more often, where this year we were able to get ahead and extend easier. Our worst two races last year were a 10, & 12. This year our worst races were a 3 & 5. The biggest difference for us has been a year in the boat, and speed. We just know more than we did before; we have better sails, with faster speed.

Kerry Klingler

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 19, 2002 8:50 pm

Great job Kerry. Your consistency in the class has set the bar for the rest of us. For us on Flyer 2000 Key West completed our first full year in the class. I can't agree more, time in the boat gives the best bang for the buck on climbing the learning curve. We spent a lot of time sailing last year and hope to do as much this year. Our team still has a ways to go and we look forward to the next opportunity to race against you.

I would welcome your information. There is no doubt that you have the best VMG upwind and your downwind speed isn't bad either. After sailing against you at Key West, we felt we had decent speed in comparison to the rest of the fleet, but also had good height. You seemed to point your bow a little lower and motor past everyone. I would appreciate your emailing me a copy of your tuning guide. Please send it to . I am also interested in knowing why you think your sails are an improvement over last year. How are they different and how have you changed the way you set up and tune the boat from last year. An important factor in Key West was sailing in clean air. Certainly, getting off the starting line cleanly with speed helps. How do you think your sail development has helped you on the starting line? Also, why were slower on Thursday after dominating on Tuesday and Wednesday?

Jay, I know you are out there, I'm sure we would all welcome your input and opinion on these issues. I'm not really convinced there is a right way or wrong way to sail these boats, I think it is understanding how you want to sail the boat and then making sure you have the sails and set up to match, and then sail, sail, sail, and then sail some more.

On a final note, we are thinking about going to Annapolis for the NOOD. We would certainly be there if there way going to be a decent number of boats. I don't think we would make the trip if there were a small class. St Pete and SORC look to be a bust. Sorry we couldn't fit either in our schedule. How many boats can be expected and who is planning on sailing in this regatta?

Chuck Holzman
Flyer 2000
USA - 266

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:29 am

Notes from the meeting held at KWRW have just been posted. Thanks to PK Carelli, Karl deHam, Dwight Myers, Mike Lague, and Geoff Pierini for providing input. Click on the link below to go directly to

KWRW Meeting Notes

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 05, 2002 9:48 pm

Dear Chuck & Class,
In considering the changes we made in our sails it is hard to relate our changes compared to our competitors products. I have not sailed with a North or Quantum sails. Therefore I do not have any experience in relationship to them. However I can tell you what we did with our sails. At 2001 Key West Race Week I felt we had the fastest sails in wind speeds where the whole crew was on the rail or in a wind speed over 8 Knots. We won the regatta with 6 first, but in the two light air raced we scored a 10th & 12th. After that regatta we sailed at the Annapolis NOOD regatta. It was there that I felt the same problem, lack of light air speed. After careful consideration, I decided to try a change in the design of the Main. I felt that when the rig and sails were loaded the shape were very efficient. But that when the sails unloaded the main became too draft forward. My new design is a very similar in fullness with a change of shape in the forward half of the sail. We flattened the forward curvature and moved the draft aft slightly. This change yielded a huge speed difference in lighter air. It made us very fast at the worlds, which was a lighter air series. Other changes we made in the main were fine-tuning of the window positions. We use collision window for traffic and a spreader window for Jib trim. After racing on the boat I realized the collision window should be farther forward and slightly lower. The spreader window needed to be longer for and aft so that the Jib trimmer and skipper could see the leech of the jib in relationship to the lower spreader. The changes we made to the Jib had to do with things that made the boat easier to sail. First off the Jib window was lowered to see the competition in lighter winds when the boat sails a little flatter. The other changes we made were to the draft stripes, I changed them to align with the spreader tip to make the leech of the jib easier to see through the spreader window. The end result is that it is easier to trim, and set for optimum trim. For 2002 Key West Race Week this year, we decided to try vertical battens in the leach of the Jib. We did this because I did not like the Harken roller battens in the leech of the sail. They tended to rip sails over time and made the sail develop a hard spot at the forward end of the batten. With the batten Parallel to the Headstay vertical battens work without the negative effects that the Harken Roller Battens caused. The end result is a sail that will last longer with less trouble when furling. Before 2001 Key West Race Week we made the biggest change in our spinnaker design. UK Sailmakers had a meeting of the sail designers and I challenged our best designers to design a fast asymmetrical spinnaker for the J-80. Right before Key West we tested 4 different designs with the best sail being a design by Des McWilliam of our Ireland loft. Des’s design projected better to windward than any other sail we tested. It was easy to handle and fast. Since then we have worked to make the sail as large as possible under the class rules and more efficient as far as material usage. As far as our lack of dominating speed on the last day of racing two things happened. In the first race we were leading with Kicks about 6 boat lengths behind us. We both jibed about the same time to the leeward gate, when they all a sudden had boat speed on us. They rounded the leeward mark just in front of us so we tacked away to clear our air. All of a sudden I realized that I couldn’t get the boat up to speed. Actually we were about a ½ knot slow. I then came to the realization that we must have weeds on the rudder & keel. Getting them off the rudder was easy but the Keel was hard. It took about 6 tacks to get the weeds off and the boat up to speed. I cant tell you the desperate feeling I had, when I just couldn’t get the boat up to speed. For a wile I thought we could have lost a lot of other boats. After sailing that day, other boats told me of similar problems. Some had rigged lines with knots to floss off the weeds. I think that next time we will have to come up with something to take care of this problem. The interesting thing is how long it took me to realize the problem. We lost way too much distance before we started to try to clear our keel. In the last race we just had way too much tension on our rig. The tight rig gave us a big advantage in windy conditions, but you have to be very aware of the conditions. Because if your lowers and intermediates are too tight you can force the draft forward in your main and have a case of the slows. I don’t think that the uppers need to be lighter, but the lowers are critical to up wind speed. When you are not sure, use less on your lowers. On most sails the J/80 logo is about the middle of the sail. If your draft is well forward of the logo, chances are you will go slow and not have pointing ability. I also made a tactical error on the first beat. About ¾ of the way up I consolidated in the middle of the course, the boat that went to the south of me put a lot of distance on me. We rounded the windward mark in the teens. On the run we closed in on a few boats and rounded the leeward mark in 11th. The next beat we sailed a lot better and rounded the windward mark in 6th right behind Kicks. Both Kicks and 352 jibed right away to protect the south and traveled west. We sailed a little higher and faster than Kicks and passed her going into the leeward mark. On the last beat we had our hand full trying to keep between Kick and the finish. I was happy to have that race over with, and was relieved to keep our lead on Kicks. Dave and crew did a great job of pushing us a little harder than I would like.

By the way we are planning to race at the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, Any one who wants to tune the afternoon before the regatta is invited to come tune against us. We should be on the water by 3:00 PM. Hopefully this year I will not forget my boom!

Take Care,
Kerry Klingler, USA-352

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