Forestay Sag

Racing Tools & Techniques

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Postby derek_jackson » Tue May 30, 2006 8:56 pm

We raced our J/80 for the first time last week and got outpointed by almost our entire fleet who we owe a ton of time. We tried footing off for speed and then sailing higher but we were still getting out pointed bigtime. Our headstay length is at the max but I think I may have had too much backstay on? Would this be a good asessment? We had great boatspeed, just not the pointing. There was 8-12 knots of breeze with very flat water. Seemed like perfect J/80 conditions and we got crushed upwind.
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Postby Guest » Tue May 30, 2006 9:34 pm

The J-80 is not a up wind machine compared to other designs. You will make your time on other down wind. With that said, there are several things that could lead to you not pointing well. Probably rig set up with sails... Forestay should be tight with little deflection with most sails desginers. I would suggest sighting up mast in 8-12 should be straight. Not enough lower shrould tension would cause mast to fall off in center thus reducing pointing ability and causing forestay deflection thereby powering up the jib as well. The J-80's last 5% of performance is a lot harder to get compared to the 1st 95% of performance. The above info is assumming good sails and proper sail trim. Good luck with the boat

[Posted by: Bill
]
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Postby thomas_arj » Wed May 31, 2006 3:30 pm

Hi Derek,
sailing upwind with the J80 is very challenging.
I took us two season's to get it right. I found out that the most important part is the twist in the main sail: use the outhaul, the backstay the sheet and the traveler to have the boat point high at target speed.
Now I agree with Bill, we are looking for the resting 5%, but I enjoy every second of it.
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Postby jackal » Wed May 31, 2006 5:42 pm

HI,
WE race our J80 against a mixed fleet (all with conventional rig). I find that we sail upwind extremely well, pointing higher and basically 'kill' the others on beats. Where we suffer is on downwind legs as we have to reach'n'gybe for miles against others' straight line to the mark tactics. We sail in 8-12 knot conditions mostly (in heavier air we kind of round up to windward and then bear off again, clawing our way up, despite being oversailed) and find that we point really well. I don't use any backstay tension, but aim to get the traveller up about 5-6 inches, with medium sheet for twist. Shrouds are set on standard and our forestay isn't that tight, given that the halyard only has a clam cleat. We don't use the vang on beats unless its blowing hard. Hiking rules though. We set our jib not too tight but enough to get a good slot and then aim high. I think sometimes we may sacrifice boat speed for course but it usualy pays off. On beats we do sail aggressively and try radical stuff like tacking frequently up the middle - anything that others don't do - and that seems to work well. We tear large chunks off others on beats as a result. If you try to trim too hard or flatten your sails too much, I've noticed a drop-off in performance, so I suggest moderate trim, get the lower telltails flying on the jib, ignore the luffing uppers and get the boat into a groove. Sail upwind consistently and tactically. Not sure if this helps, but hope so.
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Postby derek_jackson » Wed May 31, 2006 7:20 pm

Hey that helps a ton. Lots of things to try. I was all excited to go out tonight armed with new ideas, and a storm system came through cancelling our race, so I guess I'll have to wait till next week.
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