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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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4,328 Posts
Its pretty clear that any race boats, not constrained by class or formula rules to a non-overlapping headsail, use the largest genoas permitted by the wind strength.

In a serious race fleet beating to a windward mark in under 18 MPH wind speed, it is unlikely to be a single boat not flying a 150%, other than those boats whose rating/formula/class choses to exclude more powerful headsails. Maybe the more tender boats actually will drop to a 130%...
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
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4,328 Posts
Thats not the current trend in maxis and other top class boats, especially with frac. rigs with square top mains, etc. The 'trend' is definitely going towards blades instead of large LP overlappers on FRAC rigs.
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Many of the one design fleets and 'development classes' are doing the same ...
I agree the blade has some current popularity as I day above:
"....other than those boats whose rating/formula/class choses to exclude more powerful headsails."

I cant say what the tread is or is not for maxis, but you see plenty of them still flying overlapping headsails:
2010 Photo Galleries
ANd certainly the VOR70s with their large square top mains, all carry large genoas.

So if you buy a new Swan 42 or J109 whose class headsail is a blade...you race with a blade when you race one-design. But we regularly see one design boats like the J105 or J109 coming out for a race, and we judge what fleet/rating they are racing at...if they are flying a blade, they are racing at their slower "one design" rating, if they are flying a 150%, they are racing at their faster non-one-design rating. Maybe the handicappers need to read this tread?

There are a number of benefits to a blade but I dont think that superior low to mid wind performance is one of them.
 
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