skiff / 29er speed in light wind

morcsekovszky

New member
29
6
Hungary
Hey, having some problem going in light wind.

We are 130kg which is ideal for 29er, its OK in small wind, could be smaller but its ok. 

Lightweight teams easily go around us while on of the Italian team going the fastest with 140kg.. what could be the magic? Sailing 29er for 2-3 years, lightwind works at 30-40% of the time, at the 60-70% its bad.

 

TeamFugu

Super Anarchist
5,049
33
SLC, UT
Are you dragging the transom? moving forward will lift the transom out of the water and allow the water to leave the hull cleaner. Maybe have someone take pictures of you next to one of the other boats doing better and compare your position, heel, sail shape, etc. Also not how quiet(lack of pitching and rocking) other boats are. Maybe check difference in mast rake. Sometimes making the mast more upright helps. I'm at about 104kg by myself and I can often stay with guys smaller than me, until they can get out on the wire and plane sooner than I do. I move as far forward as I can. sail with a looser rig and vang, Use a light hand on the tiller and move it as little as possible. 

Mostly, watch very closely what the faster guys are doing and copy it.

 

skslr

Member
217
42
Germany
Some ideas that might or might not be correct and useful…

  •  Minimum Mast rake as already stated  (if that can be changed on a 29er at all???)
  • Try to get yourself into a relaxed mood before launching – e.g. pick a slow/soft piece of music to listen to…
  • Accept your situation: You will never be as fast as a lighter crew with the same skill level in straight line, but maybe you can catch a wind shift or avoid a windless patch they don’t if you can maintain your focus/attention





Waves:

  • Crew and helm need to have the exact same distance from the bow to help the bow go up and down over the waves (i.e. crew needs to move back compared to flat water, minimize rotational inertia and all that)





Extremely light airs:

  • Foils: Only small, slow rudder movements. Make sure you pick up sufficient speed  for flow over both foils before you head up to close-hauled.
  • Sails: Airflow should be able to “follow the shape easily” in little wind (outhaul slightly tensioned, sheets rather loose, gnav off….)
  • Allow some leeward heel so sails “fall into shape” and boom does not swing back and forth.
  • Do not work the sheets and move around as little as possible, sometimes it is better to temporarily allow some extra heel instead of “shaking the wind out of the sails” by an abrupt body movement.
  • Flat water: Move forward as much as you can without water breaking over the bow. Try to not only lift the transom out of the water but as much of the underside of the hull as possible as well.
  • Try to “listen to the boat” instead of “forcing the boat” as in more wind





Light airs

  • Sheet in, build aft leach tension with mainsheet rather than gnav
  • Do not move the sheets at all (much easier on dinghies with mainsheet jammer ), maintain heel by gently moving around crew weight
  • As a crew do NOT permanently adjust the trapeze wire length…
  • Move back somewhat to take advantage of full waterline length without immersing the transom.
 

skslr

Member
217
42
Germany
Everything in your post seems straight forward, I did not understand this item as I figured the crew would not be on the trap in light air?
Sorry...

With "light air" I meant a situation where you already have some pressure in the rigg so the crew can come up from the middle of the boat  towards the sidedeck. At some point the crew has the choice to transfer her/his weight from the deck to the wire even without moving further outwards.

A long time ago I had the opportunity to try out a 29er as a helm together with its regular crew. Even though the wind was way to light for her to fully extend her body while trapezing (especially with a way too heavy for a 29er helm like me) she was playing with the adjuster all the time. Maybe some leftover from formal training in international 420s, whatever. Unfortunately she was not able to properly play the kite at the same time and was upsetting the boat as well as subsequently the helm quite a bit :)

 

morcsekovszky

New member
29
6
Hungary
Thanks for all 3 of you guys! We tried some of the things but we also need to get the chemistry, on practice everything goes OK in light wind, on races we having a difficult time. Might be that on stressing on, by the way you can change the rake (445-460mm, its not the whole length just by how you measure it) we might to minimum, to 445 and try these. 

Maybe the most important ones is flat boat, rudder absolutely 0 movement, straight 0 and also weight movement.

Also, you guys have any experience about wedges or SIM as how we call it under the mast ? The 1mm and the 2mm one. Its working just fine in 10-15 knots straightening the mast while it would flex, giving away power but in small wind it would be logical to use like at least 2mm or even 3mm, tho we didnt test that really much. Any experiences?

 

skslr

Member
217
42
Germany
You are welcome!

Please note I am not very good at sticking to my own advice, so the best I can do is letting my wife helm in light airs  - this not only shifts a lot of crew weight forward...

Again at some point letting the boat heel to leeward slightly helps sometimes even by further reducing wetted area.

I have no idea what those wedges are, is that instead of lowers??? (I am afraid the last time I sailed a 29er was at least 15 years ago, sorry)

Straightening the mast sounds right, however. For the same reason you try to build aft leach tension in the main with the main sheet instead of the gnav.

Sometimes Julian Bethwaite will post himself here - I guess there is no better source on 29er specifics.

 

morcsekovszky

New member
29
6
Hungary
Yes, i have been seeing JB here a lot of times at 29er post, but recently there are a few 29er post sadly. He linked 2 site, bethwaite.com and some 9ersailing page, i been searching there a lot but hard to find the infos since he wrote about it at like 2018 :D
 

Slightly leeward heeling is also really great, yes i forgot to mention in the recent comment! We been using that, will have a race this weekend, but after we will be testing 1000% so world, euros and everything would be great, or I hope so.

We r sometimes fast, sometimes slow, first year in 29er i was pretty fast, at Barcelona, december, i was hella fast.. now, April, Koper, i was pretty slow.. so yea :D
 

 
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martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,174
1,050
Miami
You are welcome!

Please note I am not very good at sticking to my own advice, so the best I can do is letting my wife helm in light airs  - this not only shifts a lot of crew weight forward...

Again at some point letting the boat heel to leeward slightly helps sometimes even by further reducing wetted area.

I have no idea what those wedges are, is that instead of lowers??? (I am afraid the last time I sailed a 29er was at least 15 years ago, sorry)

Straightening the mast sounds right, however. For the same reason you try to build aft leach tension in the main with the main sheet instead of the gnav.

Sometimes Julian Bethwaite will post himself here - I guess there is no better source on 29er specifics.
When you are just a bit off the pace, it's tricky to know what it is. Contact a local coach with broad/international experience. Or contact a top coach who'd agree to coach you remotely: videoconf when you rig the boat, etc, and then mount action cameras (some are super cheap) on the boat and have the coach review and comment.

More expensive, but better, is to contact one of the teams (and/or their coaches) you think have good pace, and either travel to train with them, or plan to spend a day or two pre/post an upcoming event. You'd essentially have to offer to pay their coach. It'd work with a team that was already planning to spend a prep/practice day at the competition site, or a team that's local.

We are at a similar spot with our sailing on the Nacra 15 - we're competitive in some conditions, but off the pace in others – particularly lighter air. We have no local fleet to train against. So I'm planning to drive to where a top team sails and spend a weekend training with them – thankfully it's not too far away.

 

morcsekovszky

New member
29
6
Hungary
When you are just a bit off the pace, it's tricky to know what it is. Contact a local coach with broad/international experience. Or contact a top coach who'd agree to coach you remotely: videoconf when you rig the boat, etc, and then mount action cameras (some are super cheap) on the boat and have the coach review and comment.

More expensive, but better, is to contact one of the teams (and/or their coaches) you think have good pace, and either travel to train with them, or plan to spend a day or two pre/post an upcoming event. You'd essentially have to offer to pay their coach. It'd work with a team that was already planning to spend a prep/practice day at the competition site, or a team that's local.

We are at a similar spot with our sailing on the Nacra 15 - we're competitive in some conditions, but off the pace in others – particularly lighter air. We have no local fleet to train against. So I'm planning to drive to where a top team sails and spend a weekend training with them – thankfully it's not too far away.
Thanks for the tips ! :)

We usually train in a group, in the practices, the speed is fine, sometimes off but its ok, on the race it could be horrible.. this can depend on mindset i guess.

We are now losing our head in the settings sometimes, we know what would be great but we always go "what if.. test that-test this" and so on.. need to find that golden middle with some settings, but not too much.. thats why im reading about 29er for days.

Im just very curious about how is the mast working against brand new masts. Ours is like 5-6 years old, just as the boat. The boat i wouldnt say that there could be a big difference, we polish, we keep the hull even with repairs really cool, but i dont know if there is changes in the mast over the years which can lead to some changes in some type of way. But this require a lot of time in the class, tests, experience so its a loophole for me yet :)

 
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martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,174
1,050
Miami
We usually train in a group, in the practices, the speed is fine, sometimes off but its ok, on the race it could be horrible.. this can depend on mindset i guess.
If you're already in a fleet and you are roughly on the pace, and then find yourself off the pace in the actual race... it's probably nerves yes. Happens to us all.

Maybe ramp up the stress during training - pretend it's a high stakes race. And then in the actual race tell yourself it's just a training workshop, we're here to have fun; do things to goof off in between races, come up with nicknames for your competitors, play with toy water guns ("squirt guns") ... anything to distract away from the pressure.

 
In flat water, I found I could keep the main significantly tighter than I would otherwise think to do. It looked bad. It felt bad. But we went fast. Or high. OR high and fast. Anyway, I was shocked how tight I could keep it in those crouched-on-the-rail or off the mast sort of conditions. It really sucked because the ratchet was using providing minimal friction on the mainsheet while I was flexing the mast back. 

 

JulianB

Super Anarchist
1,168
1,561
Sydney mostly
Morcsekovszky, only just seen this, I assume your now sorted. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I was at the Europeans, but can make the Worlds.
If you did/doing either of those enjoy.
jB
 
are you talking about chocks? If you put more the further the bend will go up the mast, (also the more rake you have the more chock you need)

Thanks for all 3 of you guys! We tried some of the things but we also need to get the chemistry, on practice everything goes OK in light wind, on races we having a difficult time. Might be that on stressing on, by the way you can change the rake (445-460mm, its not the whole length just by how you measure it) we might to minimum, to 445 and try these.

Maybe the most important ones is flat boat, rudder absolutely 0 movement, straight 0 and also weight movement.

Also, you guys have any experience about wedges or SIM as how we call it under the mast ? The 1mm and the 2mm one. Its working just fine in 10-15 knots straightening the mast while it would flex, giving away power but in small wind it would be logical to use like at least 2mm or even 3mm, tho we didnt test that really much. Any experiences?
 

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