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Thought for the Day - Speed stripes rule

So I sailed at Emsworth on Thursday with a perfect wind direction for the slipper lake. Richard Callas set an excellent course to keep us all on our toes. A windward leeward with a spreader at the top mark. Wind strength was initially top end of A rig and after 4 races we all changed down to B rig and of course the wind dropped temporarily and then increased in strength towards the end.

Racing was close with a lot of interaction at the turning marks but Richard made sure everyone did their turns.

For me the stand out feature of the day was the impact lines I had drawn on the sails on my ability to better set the sail. The clarity of definition meant I could make meaningful minor adjustments and immediately see the impact, especially on the level of leech twist and chord depth. I was always able to do this without the lines but when the boat is on the water it is very hard to see the sail shape at a distance without help.

The other thing I could monitor was how the top of the A rig bladed out and inverted when overpowered. It did not matter how hard the wind blew when upwind, the boat remained balanced and in control at all times.

The lines I drew on the practice rig were a centimetre wide because that was the only pen I had with any width but it meant they were clearly visible across the lake. The lines on the racing rig are less obvious but should be no less effective.

The results are below. The third place was when I was leading but wiped out in a gust on the run and 2 "B" rigs sailed serenely past and the 4th was when I tried to cross a starboard boat at the windward mark and the hit another as I tried to do my turn. When will I learn the lesson not to take stupid risks.

I am off for more competition on Sunday for the Eastbourne Open which is one leg of our district championships with the final meeting, a week after on Saturday at Chipstead. "A" rig conditions are forecast and thankfully dry. Last year we did 24 races. It was a marathon but great fun.

One last note on drawing the lines. Best keep them away from the seams of the sail as the thinners in the ink may weaken glue in the seam. I had not thought of that when I drew the lines on the practice sails.

The line

The results from Thursday

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