Tuesday, February 12, 2013

J/70 Sailing Expert Debrief- Scuttlebutt

J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing off start- Key West Race Week(Key West, FL)-  Scuttlebutt Newsletter Editor, Craig Leweck, was on-hand in Key West to speak to some of the leading J/70 teams.  As Craig describes, "Since its introduction in March 2012, the J/70 has quickly established itself worldwide with 125+ boats sailing in 15+ countries in 2012, and 350+ boats to be sailing in 2013. With 39 boats competing at Key West Race Week 2013, the J/70 class was the talk of the town. Here is what three of the competitors shared with Scuttlebutt from the week of racing":

J/70 sailing Key West- Dave Ullman- Ullman Sails- photo- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.comA. David Ullman- Ullman Sails- 5th overall...
"I learned the same lessons as always. Do not show up for a major regatta without proper preparation. We sailed at 570 lbs. which was near the class maximum, but the class max was removed before the regatta and it was good to sail at 700 lbs. plus. This meant sailing 4-up instead of 3-up. We learned the wind speed to plane or not plane downwind was 12 knots. Planning is jib out and higher angles (seen here), but when the winds were lighter than 12 knots, we would sail lower displacement angles with the jib rolled. Rig tuning is a work in progress but we got closer as the regatta wore on. Seems like you can sail with the leeward shroud always under tension."

B. Jud Smith- Doyle Sails- 4th overall...
"One of the talking points after the regatta would be crew weight, and it was. We added a fourth to our crew on Sunday once we saw the forecast for the week was going to freshen after Monday. We were the heaviest team at 780 lbs and we were too heavy, for sure, and would not sail that heavy again. In retrospect, we think the right weight is in a range for 660 to 700 lbs with a crew of four for the boat handling. The 3-up teams are at a disadvantage in fresher conditions. Top 3-up team was Dave Ullman (5th) and next 3-up team was not in the top 15 overall. We added the fourth so as not to be disadvantaged upwind but we added too much weight that hurt us downwind." -- Read on here.

J/70 Tim Healy- sailing Key West Race WeekC. Tim Healy- North Sails- 1st overall...
"Like most regattas, the successful teams come in well-prepared and improve during the course of the event. However, this regatta was unique in that nobody had much time in the boat beforehand. Our team trained for a couple days before the regatta, but the winds were mostly light. For us, we found using the time before each race day was when we learned the most.

One of the issues in developing boat speed is the difference between tuning speed and racing speed. Being fast when tuning with a couple boats is not the same as being fast when racing in a 39-boat fleet. Fortunately the work developing the tuning guide got the numbers really close, though we did find an advantage by taking a step up to tighten the rig. This information will be incorporated into the North Sails tuning guide." -- Read on here.  Sailing Photo Credits- Onne Vanderwal and Ultimate Sailing.