International J/24 Class Association > Home
Go to the 'tricks and tips' area, enter a phrase in the search window, and you come up with great info like this:
Every sailmaker probably has a j24 tuning guide... here's one for example:
North Sails One Design
Are you racing one design or phrf? If there's a local J24 one design group, talk to the other skippers/owners about rig tune, etc... There are so many j24's out there that there's no lack of information. The class website listed above is a good start. If you have a good boat with good sails (very important... if your sails are old and blown out, you'll have a tough time) Don't worry, you won't need a radar. I doubt that one's ever been mounted to a J-24... I'm guessing you're talking about wednesday evening
Sail trim is mostly science and a little voodoo that one could talk volumes about. If you're inexperienced, the quickest way to get up to speed is to find and ask a fast J24 skipper/trimmer (or generally good sailor/trimmer from another type of boat... local dingy champs are the best) to come out with you and give you a primer lesson. North sails also puts out a nice sail trim guide, and North, as well as most other sail makers, will often have annual sail trim workshops offered for a fairly reasonable fee. Once boat speed is in order, then there are knowledge of rules and tactics... Stewart Walker's tactic books are a good supplement to doing as much racing as you can. Nothing beats actual experience. Again, see if you can get an experienced racer to act as 'tactician'... do a pre-race brief talking about wind, tide, favored end of the line, general tactical considerations, conditions on the coarse, practice tacks, and sail a bit of the windward leg to get your trim dialed in. Go race, and when you finish, a post race debrief is really critical. Talk about what went right and wrong including trim issues. Keep a log and write it down, particularly if your new to the locale. Draw diagrams of the race including the coarse of the boat that wins or beat you regularly. If you don't know why they went to a particular place and you find yourself following all the time, it's important to just ask them. Beer is a great informational lubricant.
In the end, racing very much like chess. Be thorough, be well prepared, study, and sail, sail, sail... on your boat and on others'. Hopping a ride once and awhile on another well sailed boat... it'll keep you fresh, and you'll learn new tricks.