Slow Racing or Fast Cruising? - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Smack think you may have misperception. Did Newport Bermuda multihull. Cap went thro everyone s kit. Throw out a small paperback.allowed only limited clothes.very weight aware. Oh yeah we won.
Maybe - but you're going to have a hard time convincing me it was the paperback that made the difference.
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post #42 of 79 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Not necessarily. I personally want to be competitive in whatever division I'm in. But I absolutely do not believe that doing so will come down to a few hundred pounds of weight - or even kevlar sails.

That's the beauty of longer off-shore races - it's more about weather, routing, and long-term focus on the boat's performance than ripping out the head to save weight.

When boats in a race are separated by 100ths of a second at the finish, then I might become a believer in the typical BS and think about taking off that extra layer of insulation around the cooler.

Regardless, I'll let my crew know what's up.
Steve,

By and large, you are right that the mistakes you make in routing, or even a sloppy tack or spinnaker raise or jibe, can cost more time than a few pounds of beer, a non-race bottom job, or a kevlar sail. But whether or not you optimize the boat, you are still going to make the same mistakes in routing, a sloppy tack or bad spinnaker raise or jibe.

Over the course of even a distance race, the kevlar sail might mean a few less sail changes or not having to reef or shake out a reef a time or two or three. The cleaned out lockers might mean a few seconds a mile. The smooth bottom might mean 8-10 seconds a mile and pointing higher or maintaining more speed through waves. Collectively over a long course these things add up to some pretty big numbers.

Its kind of like a funny thing that happened a few decades back. I always had a friend who would tell me how much faster my boat was than his, but he would also joke that if we switched boats I would probably still beat him home. We had both single-handed over to the Rhode River so I thought, why not see how that works out. He was basically right that I was able to beat him home but by a very small margin. My lead was basically the result of a tactical decision to sail to where I expected less current and the wind to fill in sooner which took me from way behind to slightly ahead.

On the other hand, and in the interest of fairness and humilty, coming back from the first Sailnet Rondezvous, one of our members with a Sabre 34 cleaned my clock. He did as great a job of putting his boat where there was breeze, as I did finding windless holes. Whenever I'd catch some breeze, I'd have more speed and I'd close the gap even pass him. But inevitably he cleaned my clock.

The temptation is to say, that these prove that a faster boat won't get you there any faster, but the reality is, in the first case, had I been in my boat, I would have beaten him by way more than I did, and vice versa in the second case, since both sailors would have sailed essentially the same course, been able to take better advantages of some of the smaller events along the way, and made essentially the same mistakes and good calls.

Jeff


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post #43 of 79 Old 08-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

I agree with you Jeff. I'm kind of intentionally splitting hairs here because it's another important angle in the debate, I think.

In racing, so much emphasis is put on gear/sails/weight/etc. that I think it gets kind of ridiculous - at least in the context of most all "amateur" racing out there. Granted, I can definitely see where these things can make a real difference in in-shore buoy racing, especially where the boats are pretty evenly matched and finishes are counted in seconds or less. Every item counts. AND, I can totally see your point about small increments adding up to huge numbers over time in an off-shore race. That 10 seconds per mile would add up to 5 hours in the Race to the Border we did.

But, the problem with this idea is exactly what you point out above - these things do matter, BUT good sailing is the key. Always. That's why a "hardcore racer" can look like a real idiot if he goes full bore on all the above, but continually loses because he's not very good at sailing.

I think the AC has been a great example of these kinds of differences. Is it the boat/rudders/foils that have Artemis on the ropes in every single race? Or is it their inability to really sail that boat? I think it's the latter.

So, yes, all this stuff is important. But not nearly as much as most racers think it is at the level they're racing.

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post #44 of 79 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Boat A and boat B are the same. In every way except weight in the rig. Boat B has a slightly lighter rig.

Boat B wins over boat A every single time, all else being equal.

Yes, for most, it doesn't matter at all. People will b!tch about a 3 second hit on their rating and say it's unfair as they sail off to the wrong side of the course. They'll continue to suck every week weather it is OD or PHRF. Weight won't fix the suck.

For people who have paid pro's on board, the VOR (which I know you watch), AC, TP52 super series, or any other class that doesn't have a weight minimum, weight plays a huge role. Take a look at Sanya compared to the rest of the boats. The new boats with new sails did very well, and it was some of the closest offshore racing in history. Sanya was old all around, and it showed.

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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Weight won't fix the suck.
Bingo. This is exactly what I was trying to say.

Well played my good man!

(And I totally agree with you on weight, etc. at the level of the VOR, etc. It absolutely counts there. It's just funny when most am racers try to act pro.)

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post #46 of 79 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Boat A and boat B are the same. In every way except weight in the rig. Boat B has a slightly lighter rig.

Boat B wins over boat A every single time, all else being equal.
The big assumption is that both skippers/crews and equally as good, both tactically and in boat-handling, and that the wind is equally as certain across the course - and in real life (ie. outside of the top eschelon of yacht racing) that is never true at all... it's a marketing gimmick, pushed by sail-makers and boat-builders, the likes of BeneHuntalina and Elan especially in glossy yachting magazines.

This was reinforced to me only a few weeks back when one of the guys who crews in our Classics races (and happens to own an old Bavaria for family cruising) called around a select few of us one day and said "how'd you like to come out in my boat in the Wednesday afternoon races?" because his regular crew couldn't make it. It was a nice day, flat water and steady winds and the four of us who turned up to crew for him all had our own Classics and, I guess, at least 100 years of combined experience in yacht racing of all kinds. Although we had never sailed together before (only against each other in completely different yachts) we all knew each other's capabilities in race tactics and boat-handling and we pushed this old cruiser around the course with a minimum of fuss, and no yelling - just wind-shift calls and faultless team-work. Needless to say, we won that day.

So: Boat B never wins over boat A every single time, because, outside of an environment as controlled as pure Class Racing like the AC or the Olympics, all else isn't equal and never is.

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post #47 of 79 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

For years I have raced with a core group of sailors on various boats. We campaigned a variety of boats over the years and were pretty successful for the most part. I remember once we were asked by another club member if we would do some racing with his crew and help them get up to speed. He had caught the racing bug, and was looking to get his boat to the "next level". It was a reasonably well maintained boat with passable sails, and there was no reason he couldn't win the occasional race in the phrf fleet. One race he agreed to give us free reign to do it our way, so we showed up on the boat early and began a purge. When we were done there was a big heap of stuff piled up on the dock. Everything from canned food and cast iron frying pans to a variety of power tools. We must have taken 200lbs of unnecessary crap off the boat, and we didn't exactly strip the boat. All of a sudden the boat was keeping up with the fleet! The owner was convinced and became much more conscious of what he was keeping on board, and his boat became progressively faster until he was routinely at the front of the pack.

If you want to sail around the race course and drink beer while looking at all the pretty sails in front of you, that's great. If you want to play WITH all the pretty sails then you have to get smart and realize that weight plays a big factor. You don't have to go over the top and be a "weight nazi", just get rid of the junk!

Even where you stow the gear you do have on board makes a difference. When we are racing we are very conscious of where the weight is. All the crew's gear bags are piled up at the base of the mast along with extra sails. We keep as much weight out of the ends of the boat as we can. Yes, even the anchor gets removed from the bow in many cases; from a racing perspective that is the worst place to keep it for a variety of reasons. Weight trim is just as important as weight reduction.

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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
If you want to sail around the race course and drink beer while looking at all the pretty sails in front of you, that's great. If you want to play WITH all the pretty sails then you have to get smart and realize that weight plays a big factor. You don't have to go over the top and be a "weight nazi", just get rid of the junk!

Even where you stow the gear you do have on board makes a difference. When we are racing we are very conscious of where the weight is. All the crew's gear bags are piled up at the base of the mast along with extra sails. We keep as much weight out of the ends of the boat as we can. Yes, even the anchor gets removed from the bow in many cases; from a racing perspective that is the worst place to keep it for a variety of reasons. Weight trim is just as important as weight reduction.
All too true. On the subject of trim: After buying the boat, emptying all the crap out (there was an old rusty dinghy anchor in the bilge - and I don't even have a dinghy!) and wondering why she felt sluggish, I discovered that adding 200kgs of ballast up forward of the mast got the trim right and the boat moving quicker..

..but then there's a big difference between my boat and yours and a lightweight flyer.

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post #49 of 79 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

agree with room to race while cruising which after all is in the spirit of the original thing and those boats are really somethin as racers but did you see handholds or shelter anywhere on deck on that boat? When water starts comin on deck (and it will) you do not want to be trying to work your way forward to make a repair etc. In fact staying at the helm looks damned exposed....these aspects of the new boats trouble my instincts right or wrong.... sorry if this is off thread
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post #50 of 79 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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agree with room to race while cruising which after all is in the spirit of the original thing and those boats are really somethin as racers but did you see handholds or shelter anywhere on deck on that boat? When water starts comin on deck (and it will) you do not want to be trying to work your way forward to make a repair etc. In fact staying at the helm looks damned exposed....these aspects of the new boats trouble my instincts right or wrong.... sorry if this is off thread
Which boats are you referring to?

There is something to be said for the clean open decks of a performance boat. There is nothing worse than cluttered decks covered in tripping hazards. When you are racing you don't want to hide behind a dodger. Yes the helm positions tend to be exposed but they also have good sight lines which are pretty important when you are pushing a boat hard.

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