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Tame Your Mainsail

May 27th, 2010

On most boats you have five controls to properly shape and control your mainsail; the mainsheet, traveler, outhaul, cunningham, and mast bend. For this article we are looking at a typical masthead rig with overlapping headsails. In making trimming the main you need to be well aware of what effect changes in trim will have on performance. A flatter sail will cause less heeling and have less drag which means more speed in conditions where you are over powered, making the sail fuller will produce more power when need. A tighter leech will improve pointing (up to the point where the sail is stalled) while a more open leech will improve acceleration and speed. A fuller sail will inherently be tighter leeched than a flat sail which will help pointing.

In medium air, usually 7 to 10 knots of wind where you aren’t overpowered, the sail should take its natural shape without much adjustment. This condition is what a typical mainsail should be designed and cut for. You want to use a combination of mainsheet tension and traveler position so that the boom is right on centerline and the top of the sail is twisted just enough so that the back half of the top batten is pointing straight aft, parallel to the centerline of the boat. The traveler will have to be pulled well to weather of the centerline to achieve this. The tell tale on the top batten will be streaming back most of the time but the leech should be tight enough so that the tell tale does stall out now and then. The cunningham should be tensioned just enough to remove wrinkles along the luff and the outhaul so be set so the center of the foot is 2” to 4” away from the boom, a little more if the sea conditions are bumpy.

As the wind increases and you start to have more power than you can use flatten the main a little bit. Tighten the outhaul so the foot is pulled up close to the boom and tighten the cunningham a little more if needed to take the wrinkles out along the luff. If you have a bendy rig you should tighten the backstay to increase mast bend and flatten the sail. As you do this the leech will become more open so you will need to tighten the mainsheet enough to keep the leech tight. In this condition the top tell tale should be streaming back most all the time and you want the leech as tight as you can get it before the top tell tale starts to stall. As the wind increases you will have to starting to let the traveler down an inch or two at a time to keep from being over powered.

By the time wind gets over 12 knots you want to get the main even flatter. Pull the outhaul all the way tight and bend the mast to flatten the sail even more. If you are consistently overpowered ease the mainsheet an inch or two to let the top twist open a little more. Generally I let it twist just enough so that I’m not over powered in the average wind and then play the traveler up and down in the puffs. Pull the cunningham tight to keep the draft in the sail forward and the leech open. The top tale should be streaming aft all the time.

In the 5 to 7 knot range you want the main a little fuller to produce more lift in the under powered conditions. Ease the outhaul off so the foot is 6” to 8” away from the boom and ease the backstay to reduce mast bend. This will also make the headstay looser which will help the genoa shape in light air, making it fuller and the entry rounder. Let the traveler down a few inches so that the boom is a little below the centerline to increase speed. In these conditions you need to point slightly lower to develop speed and increase your apparent wind. Ease the cunningham so that you have a few wrinkles along the luff. You want the sail as soft as possible so that it responds to very slight changes in wind pressure. The tell tale on the top batten will be stalled 50 to 60% of the time.

In very light conditions, under 5 knots, you actually want the mainsail to be a little flatter. Too much camber and the flow in light air won’t stay attached. Pull the outhaul out just snug so the foot is up close to the boom and put on enough backstay to slightly bend the mast. This will flatten the sail and open the leech which both help to keep good flow over the sail. The cunningham should be completely loose so you have some wrinkles along the luff.

Below is a quick reference summary.

Boom position

Light air – boom 4” – 6”  down from center
Medium air – boom on centerline
Heavy air – boom down far enough to keep flat


Medium air – 7-10 knots, no tweaking, shape should be what was built into the sail, -Including designed pre-bend. Foot should have some shape, tighten the outhaul so the center of the foot is 2” to 4” away from the boom. Sheet tight enough so that top batten is PARALLEL to centerline. Top Tell tale should be stalled some of the time
Light air – 5-7 knots, main should be slightly fuller, less mast bend, ease foot so that it is 6”-8” deep. Sail with a little more twist, top tell tale will be stalled most of the time.

Very light air – 0-4 knots. Bend mast a little more than designed bend amount to open upper leech, tighten outhaul a little

Med-Heavy – 10-13 (or where you are getting overpowered) Tighten outhaul so foot is starting to wrinkle, bend mast a little more, tighten cunningham enough to take out luff wrinkles. Sheet so that top batten is parallel, top tell tale should be flying all the time.

Overpowered – Bend mast to flatten sail as much as possible without over-bend wrinkles. Pull outhaul tight, enough cunningham to remove wrinkles, drop traveler down 3 or 4”. Sheet so that top batten is slightly twisted open. Drop traveler as needed in puffs.

This article was provided from our good friends at Elliott/Pattison Sailmakers! Check them out!

BMW ORACLE Racing ready to race at the Louis Vuitton Trophy

May 20th, 2010

La Maddalena, Italy (May 20, 2010) The BMW ORACLE Racing team is ready to return to Louis Vuitton Trophy action in La Maddalena, Sardinia. 10 teams will battle for supremacy over the two-week regatta, racing off one of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular coastlines.

Competing on equalised America’s Cup Class boats (two of which have been provided by the team – USA 98 and USA 87), in Cup style match racing, the Louis Vuitton Trophy provides an important measuring stick for the team as it returns to monohull racing following its America’s Cup win in February.

“It’s really exciting to get back on the water and race against all of the teams again,” said skipper James Spithill (AUS). “It feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve been in a competition like this.”

BMW ORACLE Racing missed the most recent Louis Vuitton Trophy in Auckland as the team focused on its America’s Cup Match.

“I had a chance to see some of the racing in Auckland and it was all at a very high level,” Spithill continued. “This will be a good test for us to compete against many of the teams who are potential challengers in the next America’s Cup.”

The team racing in La Maddalena features several new faces, including navigator Ian Moore (GBR), who comes to the team after stints with Emirates Team New Zealand and TeamOrigin.

The full crew list for La Maddalena:
Bow – Brad Webb
Mid Bow – Ryan Godfrey
Mast – Shannon Falcone
Pit – Matthew Mason
Port Grind – Brian MacInnes
Starboard Grind – Jono Macbeth
Main Grind – Joe Spooner
Upwind Trim – Ross Halcrow
Downwind Trim – Joey Newton
Main Trim – Dirk de Ridder
Traveler/Up Mast – Mark Mendelblatt
Skipper – James Spithill
Tactician – John Kostecki
Runner Strategy – Michele Ivaldi
Navigator – Ian Moore
Aft Grind – Simeon Tienpont
Aft Grind – Gillo Nobili
Coach/Afterguard – Philippe Presti

Racing is scheduled to start on Saturday May 22nd and runs through June 6th. The regatta format includes an opening Round Robin, followed by two elimination rounds, a semi final and final.

Designers Focus on New America’s Cup Class

May 18th, 2010

Valencia, Spain, 18th May 2010-A significant step was taken towards creating the next America’s Cup boat when 19 designers met in Valencia.

Central to the deliberations was whether to develop a monohull or a multihull for the 34th America’s Cup.

The conference was held at the home base of BMW ORACLE Racing during its successful 33rd America’s Cup campaign.

“The teams want a new boat; the fans deserve one too,” commented Russell Coutts, four time winner of the America’s Cup. “It will not be a ‘defender’s boat’.  It will be the product of genuine discussion and dialogue,” Coutts added.

The Valencia meetings were chaired by BMW ORACLE Racing’s design coordinator, Ian Burns.

Around the table was a ‘who’s who’ of yacht design: 10 nationalities were represented, with winning records in every level rating class from Quarter Tonners to TP52s as well as the Volvo Ocean Race, Jules Verne Trophy, classic races such as the Fastnet and Sydney-Hobart and, the America’s Cup.

Structural and performance experts also attended as did those with experience of creating rules for the ACC, Whitbread 60 and Volvo 70 classes.

Two different multihulls (20m and 25m LOA) were discussed as was one monohull (up to 27m LOA).

The new concepts were conceived by eminent designers Bruce Nelson and Morelli/Melvin, creators of previous America’s Cup winning yachts.

Besides their expertise, Nelson and Morelli/Melvin were chosen because they are unaligned with either BMW ORACLE Racing or the Challenger of Record, Club Nautico di Roma/Mascalzone Latino.

High performance is fundamental to all three concepts. The monohull proposal will give significantly faster speeds upwind and downwind compared to boats used in 2007.

 “The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of our sport, so the boats should be physically demanding to race well and produce fast, competitive racing to engage new fans,” said Burns.

Requirements for all three concepts are:

• fast, dynamic and close racing
• high levels of athleticism required to race the boats to their optimum
• advanced, efficient and cost-effective technologies
• logistical efficiency to facilitate transport to a regular series of regattas
• distinctive to the America’s Cup
• versatility, enabling racing in any venue in winds from 5-35 knots

Versatility is seen as essential to minimise disruption to racing.

“Delays and postponements kill interest,” commented Coutts. “America’s Cup boats shouldn’t be the last to start racing and the first to quit whilst other classes are still racing. They also need to be designed from the outset to unleash the full potential of television.”

Television specialists will provide expertise and advice before the rule is written so that media requirements are incorporated at the outset.

The World Sailing Teams Association has been asked if it would manage the rule drafting. Non-aligned experts will be used to ensure fairness to all teams.

The rule-writers will report back to all teams equally and frequently. And teams will have the chance to review the new rule before it is finalized.

Publication of the new class rule will be no later than 30th September.

Musto helps see Jess safely home

May 17th, 2010

 Technical apparel brand Musto Australasia has joined millions of supporters all over the globe in congratulating teenage sailor Jessica Watson on her magnificent achievement – as well as her great tast.

May 17, 2010 – SYDNEY MAY 17, 2010: Technical apparel brand Musto Australasia has joined millions of supporters all over the globe in congratulating teenage sailor Jessica Watson on her magnificent achievement – as well as her great taste.

The young athlete, who on Saturday became the youngest solo sailor ever to sail unassisted around the world, has caught the attention of the world in recent days but snagged Musto’s attention much earlier after joining the exclusive club of elite athletes sponsored by the Sydney-based marine apparel brand.

Having identified Musto as the world’s leading provider of technical wet weather apparel, Jessica approached Musto Australasia managing director Duncan Curnow last year in seeking to have the very best in ocean faring apparel protecting her on her adventure.

In being named Jessica’s official apparel sponsor Musto provided the 16-year-old with a base wardrobe consisting of HPX Ocean Jacket (RRP $US 899), HPX Trousers ($US 599), GP Race Shoe ($US115), HPX Ocean Drysuit ($1,599), Thermal Long Socks ($US 15), Shelled Mid-Layer Salopettes ($US249), Windward Jacket ($US159), Amara Gloves Long Finger ($US30), Thermal Balaclava ($US20), Offshore Gloves ($US79) and additional HP Thermal Turtleneck and Trousers.

To help commemorate the occasion Musto has also launched a limited edition merchandise range targeted squarely at those interested in celebrating Jessica’s achievement. Available exclusively through Jessica’s website: www.jessicawatson.com.au, retail prices for the range start at $25.

Musto Australasia managing director Duncan Curnow said he was thrilled Musto could play a part in Jessica’s achievements and looked forward to tracking her progress as she set about achieving her many other life goals.

# # #
Established in 1965 by British Olympic sailing medallist Keith Musto, the Musto brand has revolutionised technical outdoor clothing. It is now ensconced as the world’s No. 1 technical sailing brand, offering high-spec technical quality, unique dedication to detailing and an authenticity of British design and engineering. In recent years Musto has also added fashion, equestrian and shooting arms to its core range, building on its reputation as a brand synonymous with quality, durability and reliability. Today Musto is sold across more than 20 countries globally.

Slam Foul Weather Gear Sale: Save 30% On Ocean Waves Foul Weather Gear

May 12th, 2010

 SLAM and Point Loma Outfitting have announced the SALE of SLAM’s OCEAN WAVES Series of FOUL WEATHER GEAR for a limited time

May 12, 2010 – SLAM Ocean Waves Foul Weather Gear is now on SALE at Point Loma Outfitting at unbelievable prices. Save $200 on the SLAM Ocean Waves Foul Weather Jacket and $150 on the SLAM Ocean Waves Pants. Save $350 on the SLAM Ocean Waves set.

The Ocean Waves Jacket Details:This is the garment with the most innovative technological content currently on the market. The O.W.S.B. jacket has revolutionised the concept of oilskins, improving the performance of previous models and at the same time becoming more comfortable and lighter. It has a 3-layer structure, resistant to a 20 m water column and breathable (5000 g of water vapour per square metre of fabric over 24 hours) with thermo-taped seams and ergonomic styling throughout. The double front flap has been replaced by a Riri Storm 8 zip, which is guaranteed waterproof to 1.7 bar pressure. It also features: foldaway ergonomic hood with 3 quick adjustments and polyester fleece lined collar, double windproof front flap on the collar, 500D Cordura reinforcements with double PU coating, Reflexite reflecting strips, double entry external front pockets with removable fleece lining and hole for water drainage and thermo-laminated quick adjust drawstring waist. http://www.pointlomaoutfitting.com/p/S120906200.html

The Ocean Waves Pants Details: Matching the jacket the O.W.S.B. Dungarees guarantee equivalent performance. Here too the front opening flap has been eliminated in favour of a watertight Riri Storm 8 zip and the side pockets have high resistance Riri Décor UV zips. The elastic braces are quick release, linked to stretch netting on the back and they have 500D Cordura reinforcing on the knees and seat with removable padding.  http://www.pointlomaoutfitting.com/p/S120907335.html

34TH AMERICA’S CUP Press Conference – Rome May 6,2010

May 6th, 2010

The oldest trophy in international sport: re-energised by
unprecedented collaboration between the Defender and the

• New, fair rules and independent professional management will give an equal
opportunity to all teams

• A new class of fast, exciting boats created in conjunction with all teams

• The 159 year old competition made irresistible to commercial partners with regular
racing in multiple venues under professional, neutral race management

• Transformed television and online coverage will place race fans right at the heart of
the action, wherever they are in the world

This was the message today at the first press conference of the 34th America’s Cup, which
saw the trophy brought to the home city of the Challenger of Record, the Club Nautico di

Speaking in the Sala Exedra in Rome’s Musei Capitolini, surrounded by some of Rome’s
most precious treasures, Russell Coutts representing the defending Golden Gate Yacht
Club and Vincenzo Onorato on behalf of the Challenger of Record, mapped out the future
of the America’s Cup.

The press conference webcast was streamed live around the world.
Discussion & debate; consultation & collaboration

“Diktat has been replaced by discussion, confrontation by consultation,” said Coutts, four
time winner of the iconic competition.

“Our minds and our ears are open. We are receptive to ideas.”

The opportunity to shape the rules and the design of the new boat has been offered to
potential teams.

The management of the on-the-water racing will be controlled by an independent, neutral
and professional authority, not the Defender.
New Protocol rules
Yesterday teams received the Protocol used in the 32nd America’s Cup and were asked:
“What would you change to make the competition better?”

This document was negotiated by the Golden Gate Yacht Club and produced the
successful 2007 America’s Cup. Feedback from the teams will be used to shape a new
Protocol for the 34th Match.

The wide-ranging reforms would not have been possible without close co-operation with the
other teams – who will be the Defender’s rivals when racing gets underway.

In particular Coutts noted the unprecedented collaboration between the Challenger of
Record and Defender: “The task would have been impossible without working in
partnership with Vincenzo Onorato.”

Onorato was given the honour of revealing the key decision date targets on behalf of the
entire America’s Cup community.

Key dates announced

• Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup will be issued by 31st August

• Design rule released by 30th September

• Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions published by 31st December

• Venue confirmed by 31st December

• Challenge Period open from 1st October – 31st January 2011
New thinking on television

A bow-to-stern re-think of the entire television and media output is already underway.

Not only will fans be able to turn-on and tune-in, anytime, on any platform, but they will be
made to feel as if they are on-board themselves, right at the heart of the action, alongside
the best sailors in the world.
New boat- faster sailing & thrilling racing

The new design rule will be a critical element of building a spectacular event.

Renowned but neutral designers – Bruce Nelson and Peter Melvin – have created two
different concepts – a multihull and a monohull.
Teams will sit down this month and discuss which concept to adopt and begin the process
to create a design rule.

The requirements of the new America’s Cup Class rule are:

• It should produce dynamic and close racing

• It should use advanced, efficient and cost-effective technologies

• It should be distinctive and epitomize the pinnacle of the sport

• It should be able to race in any venue in winds from 5-35 knots

The ability to race in all venues and in most wind strengths is vital to make race scheduling
reliable for fans and broadcasters.

“Delays kill interest. Even the hard-core fan doesn’t like having to wait for enough wind to
race,” said Coutts.
Venue and Year-host cities evaluated

2013 and 2014 were named as the most likely dates for the next Cup.

Sufficient time is needed to evaluate venues and create impressive, efficient infrastructure
for the Cup Village.

Coutts confirmed that American sites were not the only ones under consideration. But he
noted: “Every candidate city knows that a very strong case has already been put forward by
San Francisco.”

Cities in the USA and Europe are under consideration.

Highly experienced specialists have been engaged to manage the evaluation process.
Regular racing in multiple locations

Host cities are also being sought for a series of regular racing for Cup teams. This racing
will be integrated into the America’s Cup, in a plan developed in conjunction with the World
Sailing Teams Association.
Changes welcomed by Cup community

Paul Cayard, six-time America’s Cup competitor and representing not just Sweden’s Team
Artemis but the World Sailing Teams Association, commented on the reform package:

“We believe that the WSTA and its Louis Vuitton Trophy events are exactly the type of
activity that needs to be incorporated into the big picture of the America’s Cup.

“With its global venues in important markets, regular calendar of events, tight racing in
America’s Cup class boats, equal representation for each team, these events represent
great commercial value that the teams can pass along to their sponsors.”
Challenger trials for the challengers & litigation ended

Coutts confirmed that the Defender will not participate in the Challenger trials as the
previous Defender had done. And that all litigation from the contentious 33rd America’s Cup
was over because of a settlement signed last month with the Swiss.

“That episode is history. Our focus is the future,” Coutts said.
Issued on behalf of:

Golden Gate Yacht Club,Defender
Tim Jeffery
Director, Communications
Club Nautico di Roma, Challenger of Record
Lorenza Priamo
Director, Communications
Mascalzone Latino Team