Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
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Yes, it should... depends though, if he was close reaching, not close hauled, it could power him up a bit. They say dump the traveler when the wind pipes up rather than easing the mainsheet. The reasoning is, the main keeps it's shape, wind rolls off evenly off the main, if you dump the mainsheet, it allows the boom to raise, pocketing the main, and it effectively ruins shape. It will also actually cause the boat to heel more than necessary as you sheet back in once the puff is gone.
Newport has a masthead rig, so his main has less to do with the performance of his boat than his jib/genny. He may not get as much ease in heel from dumping the traveler as someone like me who is fractional (difference between masthead and fractional is how high up the mast the headstay attaches). On my boat if I ease the main as it pipes up, the boat slows to a crawl, and slow means tough to steer, sliding sideways. If I dump the traveler close hauled as it pipes up, the boat only slows a bit, heel flattens some, and cranking the traveler back up causes it to resume prior operation quickly.
I suspect Newport was off the wind a bit, and found the dumping the traveler gave him some speed. Also, depends on, where his traveler was (ie: above centerline toward windward).
I know I run my traveler car above the centerline to windward on light days, to ease tension on the boom and pocket the main some. This requires easing the mainsheet to keep the boom leward of the backstay (so it does not stall) while beating. As things pipe up, the mainsheet gets tightened, and the car goes towards centerline.
When things get really dicy (white caps staring - I have a light boat)... I have pressure on my cunningham tanking out the crinkle, vang on snug, outhaul tight, and flattening reef cranked on. You can't miss it, because my main looks like a different animal (flat, very little pocket). In light air it looks like a grocery bag, but it has enough pocket to lay a small dog on it to sleep. In heavy air, you'd be lucky to get a pencil to lay on it. This is when my mainsheet is cranked on, and the traveler is centered.
If I start to dip the rail (stantions hit water) in that setup with a puff, I will reef.
Hope all this helps. Also, anyone correct me if I misspeak.