Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
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Re: pointing, pinching, VMG
I am racing my boat in a double handed series. This is simple, casual, non-spinnaker racing (for me). I am sailing with my daughter and we're having lots of fun.
Last night we sailed in just about perfect conditions: Wind 7-10 true, flat seas. On the upwind leg I had the sails trimmed in hard. Halyard and outhaul set properly (IMHO). I had the upwind mark programmed into my plotter (B&G Vulcan), I was displaying SOG and VMG to the mark.
I noticed that VMG was highest when it felt like I was pinching. SOG would decrease but VMG would increase. The inner tell tails on the headsail were fluttering. The heasail was in all the way, the cars were set right too (even break of the tell tails from top to bottom.
I definitely felt like I was pinching and if I headed down a little the SOG would increase and the telltails looked better but the VMG decreased.
So, am I best off trying to maximize VMG or steering to the tell tails?
If the VMG number is better, then that is what you should do, barring any other factors. You were probably able to get away with pinching because of the flat water. Had there been bigger seas you likely would have been forced to foot off a bit for power through the waves.
When you say you were "pinching" how close to the wind were you sailing?
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2011 Jeanneau 39i Azura