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Thought for the day - What could go right did go right.

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

I took a trip up to Bourneville radio sailing club for their open meeting on 1st August. It was raining on arrival with no wind on their excellent facility. An oval pond with no weed and a walkway round the entire pond. They had what I could describe as one of the best boat houses for upwards of 30 radio and vane yachts and a kitchen.

The rain cleared and we were able to get down to racing in what I could only describe as a typical Frensham breeze. One moment you were beating and the next you were running in zero to eight knots of breeze but Bill Green (Race Officer) did a fantastic job setting courses that made best use of the weather.

Starts were difficult, often in no wind and many times the tail of the fleet overtook the front but a wind pattern emerged and consistency was possible.

The race report and results are below from the Midland MYG.

The key change I made to my boat for this event was to change my Flysky transmitter to a Futaba T6K. The Flysky is excellent but the reason for the change was the Futaba has a ratchet (if that is the right word) adjustment on the sheet toggle meaning if you eased the sheet 1 notch the sail would ease a specific distance. I found this really useful and was able to control sail setting using the jib tell tales with precision, plus, I would know how much I had eased the sail depending on the number of notches. I am convinced this helped my sailing performance in this light condition.

Regarding set up, I used little or no sail luff tension on the main or jib and 15 mm of sail depth at the foot on each. I used a little mast bend as I have BG sails and you need to take out a little luff curve to make the sails perfect. The kicker was just tight enough to hold the leach with about an inch or so of twist when under pressure and set up the sheeting of the main so I could over sheet slightly in the gusts to hold the main leach parallel to the centreline of the boat. The goal is to be able to generate twist in very light air but limit this as the breeze increases. The luff wire in the main was tensioned just enough to hold it straight to allow the main boom to rotate as freely as possible in the calms of the day.

Rudder movements were small and smooth. The goal was to keep the boat moving at all costs. A moving boat has apparent wind and this can get you through the calms into the next puff. I spent most of the time sailing upwind with the sheets slightly ease for maximum acceleration.

Hope this helps.

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