Friday, May 4, 2018

2018 Elvstrom/Zellerbach Regatta Report - Parker Shinn

Mike Martin and Adam Lowry put on another clinic last weekend with a clean sweep at the Elvstrom/Zellerbach regatta hosted by StFYC.  Saturday was a mix of moderate to fairly windy conditions. Nick Adamson and Justin Shaffer were showing great speed and tactical prowess on the upwinds where they played the shoreline better than the rest of us to stay out of the flood tide. It was on the ultra fickle downwinds however, that Mike/Adam pulled away from the pack by finding puffs no one else could find. In the last race, Eric Anderson and I (Parker Shinn) decided to follow him despite the fact he was jibing into the shore when we didn’t want to go that way and big surprise… a mystery puff materialized and we managed to put 200 hundred yards between us and Jeff Miller in third.  By the end of the day, it was Mike/Adam with straight bullets, Eric and I with all seconds and Jeff/Pat with all thirds.  

On Sunday the breeze was up and Mike/Adam had an extra gear upwind. The strong flood tide in the first half of the day made the shoreline favored upwind and 15-degree shifts offered plenty of passing opportunities.  Generally, Mike had first place locked down by the windward mark. Nick/Justin would usually round in 2nd, but Eric and I managed to sail a bit lower on the downwind so we could pull an Andy Zinn and jibe on them at the lay line.

All in all, it was fantastic sailing. Unfortunately, some of the usual competitors couldn’t make it out so there were only 6 boats, but word on the street is that the turnout should be great for Santa Barbara in the upcoming weeks. Eric and I will have a new mast in the boat so hopefully, we can make Mike work a little harder for it next time ;) 

Some tuning notes which I think might be helpful for some people… 

Mast Bend
Eric and I are using a different mast from when we sailed the Fall Dingy because we noticed a crack developing beneath the spin halyard sheave. Our upwind speed hasn’t been as good since and this weekend we were scratching our heads trying to figure out why.  The spare mast we’ve been using the past few months doesn’t have a main halyard lock and I think the extra compression is causing quite a bit more mast bend.  We tested this by tying the main to the top of the mast at practice on Tuesday and we seemed to be going much better. We’ll need a day where it’s not blowing 25+ to really find out though. 

The reason I bring this up is that we’ve noticed during our previous training sessions just how important it is for the mast/main/spreader combo to be right. At one point last year we were using a soft M2 with a Radial main and this was very slow. When we swapped the M2 with a stiffer Alto all of a sudden we were on the pace. So if you’re having some upwind speed woes, it might be worth taking a close look at how stiff your mast is. There is more variability in the M2’s than the Altos with them generally being a little softer. If your main halyard locks at the bottom, the compression from the downhaul is doubled and induces quite a bit more bend. Consider tying the main to the top of the mast and seeing if you go any better at the next regatta. 

Generally, we’ve found that the Radial main works much better on an Alto and the cross cut is better for the M2. If you have a really stiff M2 then it’s better to use the Radial. The speed differences have been very significant. 

Hope that’s helpful/interesting to everyone. See you all again soon.


No comments:

Post a Comment