Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More J/24 Australia Tidbits

The Bob Ross 1982 Bethwaite Interview
(Sydney, Australia)- Some really interesting tidbits of sailing information came from Bob Ross's interviews and discussions with Australian J/24 sailors at the time. In particular, certain Bethwaite family members..."In winning the J/24 worlds, Mark Bethwaite and his Soling crew Ian MacDiarmid and Glen Read brought a fresh approach to tuning and equipment detailing that cut across much of the conventional wisdom in the class.The Australian champion Soling crew, plus John Diacopolous who worked forward and owner Bunker Snyder, put together in BANDIT a successful cam­paign that was largely outside the mainstream of competition in the Sydney fleet.Bethwaite lives in Melbourne, has a demanding job, and used some of the weekends he commuted to Sydney earlier in the season to put in some time on the Soling. They were unable to sail regularly in J/24 races before the series.Much of the tuning load fell on MacDiarmid, who is a sailmaker – production manager at North’s Sydney loft. He sailed in the all important trimming spot on the boat, working mainsheet as well as tailing and trimming genoa sheets through tacks.At a time when extremely high shroud tensions were becoming fashionable in the class, BANDIT went the other way with caps just firm and lowers quite loose. MacDiarmid explained: “We sailed with not a lot of shroud tension but were using the vang to flatten the mainsail and not much backstay. Sailing to windward, the leeward cap was slack and the lower very slack.”  Read more about Bethwaites'/ MacDiarmid's radical J/24 tuning in the J/24 Stone Ages.