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post #11 of 14 Old 07-19-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Racing a Spirit 23

I am not sure what you mean by "backstay tension is also a 'lack' of tension". If you have a backstay tension adjuster you can tighten it up during the upwind legs. This makes the forestay tighter and gets rid of any potential sag. It will allow the boat to point higher as it is capturing the wind more efficiently. On the downwind leg you want to ease the backstay tensioner off to create a more powerful surface for the wind to push against. Simple (relatively) physics. Upwind your sails foil, downwind they dam.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-19-2017
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Re: Racing a Spirit 23

If your backstay is off (eased), you can create "lack of tension." Sometimes a huge help when you can't buy a knot of wind.
Don't take my word for it.
Optimize for light air

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post #13 of 14 Old 07-20-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Racing a Spirit 23

Ah yes, makes sense now. There was a word missing .

In the pacific northwest there are a lot of light wind drifter races in the summer. Personally I prefer using the halyard in those cases to move the belly of the sail. That keeps the leading edge pretty straight for pointing still and provides more draft to power up. I will have to experiment some with forestay sag and see if I can get the same performance. I like VMG, and often even if my boat is moving slower I still get there first simply due to having much less ground to cover. Light winds are like a chess match though, every one of them is different. That is part of what makes racing so exciting!
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-20-2017
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Re: Racing a Spirit 23

FWIW -especially in light air sailing - but applies to all wind velocities - setting up the correct slot-open distance (the distance between the leech of the jib to mainsail) is critical for optimum output performance. For small boats especially, using 'athwartship' jib fairlead travellers, are the best way to optimize the 'slot open distance', but in/out barberhaulers on the jib clew, etc. can be used in their place.
How to set-up: After adjusting and optimizing the flow across the sails by observing the telltales and the speedo (get the max speed and/or VMG), bring the jib clew in or out (vs. the slot open distance) while watching the speedo (or VMG) for maximum values .... and while ignoring any so-called developing 'backwinding' at the luff of the mainsail.

Also Explained on p.3 of
.... also look for 'bootstrapping' in this article and the adjacent 09- & 11- articles at Index of /Publications/Arvel Gentry Articles.
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Last edited by RichH; 07-20-2017 at 02:16 PM.
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racing , rig , spirit 23 , upgrades

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