Join Date: May 2002
Thanked 55 Times in 53 Posts
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The short answer is - maximize your speed. Increasing boat speed increases pointing ability. Never pinch. Although it sounds contradictory, the general principle is that you should bear off to point. The old timers used to say you should "give her a snoot full of wind." As boat speed increases, the apparent wind increases, and the lift that is generated by the sails increases, and the lift that is generated by the keel increases. In every respect, the boat becomes more powerful. After the boat has accelerated to her maximum speed for the conditions, then ease the pressure on the tiller slightly, and let her continue driving to windward at her maximum speed, with her best pointing ability.
Pinching is deadly, because it reduces boat speed, which reduces apparent wind, which reduces all the forces exerted above and below the waterline.
Also, it sounds like you had the genoa sheeted in much too tight. I can't think of any conditions in which I have ever benefited by having a 155-160% genoa sheeted to within a couple of inches of the spreaders. They need a slightly fuller shape to generate maximum power. Also, they're likely to backwind the mainsail when sheeted that close.