It’s been too long – regatta report #det2011


The Nepean One Design Regatta went very well in terms of the race committee perspective. One of my responsibilities is to be the J/24 fleet rep. We did get 8 boats which could’ve been 10 if it wasn’t for an accident aboard one of the local J and one out of town boat had a significant injury prior to the NOD. We had three boats from the Montreal area. It was a success in my books!
The racing was very tight but Navtech.ca walked away with total domination over the two days. Local favourite, Jalapeno finished second followed by Tequila. From our perspective, we didn’t perform to expectations but we had a great time. It was a great team building event where we learned that sailing instructions are to be read and re-read… long story. On the second day, we just didn’t have any speed. The wind was building prior to the first race and it was over 12 knots if I remember correctly. I decided to tighten the rig according to North Sails tuning guide, 24-21. I was happy as Pura Vida seems to have an extra gear once we are over 10 knots. But unfortunately, the wind never committed to a certain wind speed and it was dying, building and dying. I just didn’t understand why we were slow throughout the upwind legs. Needless to say, my hope was to finish 3rd in the regatta but we finished almost at the back of the fleet after 2 RFAs and a few bad legs without wind luck on Sunday. A few days later, while having a drink at the club’s bar, one of the top racers told me that many j24 sailors were wondering what was wrong with our upwind boat speed. This really bothered me and I went to the boat and took the loose gauge and measured the shroud tensions. Oh my… they were extremely tight, enough for 20 knots on one side of the rig and the other side of the rig was looser, but still good enough for upper teens in wind strength. Now, the wind was maybe 5 knots, could this be the source of our inability to keep up with the fleet? Sure, we were using our club racing sails and we didn’t have our regular crew, but that doesn’t affect pure speed as much as shroud tension. This will be something I will focus on at our upcoming regatta at the Canadian Nationals next weekend. We will be using new sails, the new 3DL, Newport Fat Head Main and FR-2 Spinnaker from North Sails. Last weekend was also a good test for the new sheets and halyards that are made by Gottifredi Maffioli with Dyneema® Fibre. We are pleased with the spinnaker sheets but unfortunately, we had to revert to our old trusty jib sheets Paraloc Piranha due to excessive knotting with the Silvertech. I’ll be writing a more comprehensive review after next weekend’s regatta. Stay tuned!


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