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Marblehead Ranking at Chipstead

Question - What do I know about setting up a Marblehead Swing rig?

Answer - Absolutely nothing but as a friend of mine once said, I have gained some intelligence on the subject.

Chipstead was a disaster for me. I was getting good starts but could not hold a lane. I was struggling to tack the boat as it would not come off onto the new tack easily but on the plus side when I was not focussed on the rig, I had some stellar second beats.

By lunch time I was getting frustrated, not because I was not doing well but because I could not solve the conundrum of the swing rig. In the afternoon I became more focussed on trying to solve the riddle rather than getting the boat around the course. I had the above symptoms for some time and not found a way to crack the code, but during the day made some useful observations.

In a gust the boat would head up a little into wind

When tacking the boat would not bear away

I was trying to pull the clew of the main into the boom. Others had the clew 1cm at least above the boom

The jib boom was a little high

My observations of the other leading (same design) boats were that there sails seemed to be much slacker than mine and the telling symptom was the clew of my mainsail was right against the boom. Chis Harris for example had his Gizmo shut off and he appeared to have quite loose leaches, certainly looser than mine.

Where do I go from here. Brad Gibson supplies a superb rigging and tuning guide with the boat. I will go back to the drawing board and study and perfect a better way of tuning for the next ranking at Fleetwood. I know I am doing something fundamentally wrong and I think is is applying too much tension to the main leech. Time to fix and get out and test.

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