Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
Thanked 48 Times in 47 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Merlin, do you know what your job is going to be on the boat? Pit? Mast? Forepeak? Trimmer? A-kites follow the same rule as symmetricals and will be 180% of the “J” unless you have a sprit or have taken a ratings adjustment. Before the hoist, you prefeed the tack just like a guy on a symmetrical. Are you doing bear-away sets? On mast or pit, you really need to get the sail up fast. The trimmers will already be flying the lower portion before you are at full hoist. Use the jib to blanket the kite and lower the jib after the hoist.
Outside gybe is when the clew flies out in front of everything before you grind in the “new” sheet. This is advantageous as you “grind on” the power. Gybing takes coordination between the driver an trimmer as the clew needs to float in front of the boat when the boat is DDW. Inside gybe is when the clew passes between the headstay and the tack. Once the clew is on the new board, you have instantaneous power and if it is very windy, control issues. We inside gybe when the wind is light. The mast man or forepeak may be called to run the clew around for a faster inside gybe.
Generally speaking, the tack goes in on the hotter angles and out when you are going deep. You will not be able to go as deep as a symmetrical kite. Trim the tack line so the tack and clew are even in height. If it is windy, bring the clew down to help control the sail. The magic happens in the sheet trimming, slow or over trimming can lead to round-ups or a broach. Gusty conditions will wear out the trimmer and grinders early so be prepared to step in on the winch if necessary
Take downs are fun – you can do windward’s leeward’s, floaters or Mexicans. Just communicate beforehand so everybody knows what to do. Flying the jib helps control the douse. Blowing the tack line does the same thing as easing the guy forward, by depowering the sail. You can letterbox or drop onto the forepeak. The pitman wants to blow the top portion of the sail just like a floater douse. Because of the hotter angles, the douse has to be quick or you will make Dr. Doom’s calendar. Have fun and I look forward to reading how your race went!