Join the C34 Association Today!
[C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [Join!]
Please login or register.
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Downwind Racing  (Read 3445 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Albreen

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Downwind Racing
« on: June 18, 2013, 08:53:26 AM »

I thought to ask the question of our forum for experience and advice when sailing downwind in a race. If in a typical windward/leeward course, what is your preferred course angle when running to the leeward mark in say 10 knots of true wind? And, do you change the course angle as the wind increases or decreases to maximize VMG to the mark? Does running a C34 wing and wing produce good race results? I realize there are many other factors at play here and am looking for a general impression. Thanks in advance for any replies.
Logged
Paul Leible
1987 C34 "ALBREEN", SR/FK, M25XP
Sailing Lake Champlain

Footloose

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 2
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 10:34:35 AM »

Paul

I have been asking myself this same question for a couple of years.  The polar diagrams show that downwind is the C34s Achilles heel.  That said, I have found that I do best when running directly downwind wing and wing with the jib out on a whisker pole.  I have tried going on a broad reach/jibing course downwind and it has not been pretty.  The slight increase in speed doesn't seem to make up for the added distance.  It might work better if you have a asymmetric spinnaker.  I find that I am at least competitive upwind but get spanked going downwind.  My best strategy is to pray for a wind shift during the first upwind leg so that it turns into a reaching race downwind.  The boat, OK maybe it is me, fairs much better then.

If there is any other insights I am all ears.  Glad to be talking sailing.

Paul, you are welcome to the MBBC Thursday night races.  We could co-miserate.  There is a BBQ every other week and I can get you a guest mooring at the club for ten bucks, just let me know in advance
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 12:34:32 PM by Footloose »
Logged
Dave G.
"Footloose"
Hull# 608  1988 Tall Rig/Fin Keel
Malletts Bay, VT- Lake Champlain

Ted Pounds

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 8
  • Posts: 823
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 11:18:26 AM »

I second what Dave said.  I won a couple of PHRF Wednesday night series running wing and wing with the jib poled out.  (It was jib & main only.)  Works best with a 155, of course.
Logged
Ted Pounds
"Molly Rose"
1987 #447

Jim Hardesty

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer
  • *******
  • Karma: 10
  • Posts: 1112
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 05:24:32 PM »

Here is some info not specific to C34s.  Still good reading.

http://www.sailtrimproducts.com/downwind_sailing_techniques.html

If you like it.  I recommend his book on sail trim.
Luck with that racing.
Jim

« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 05:50:44 PM by Jim Hardesty »
Logged
Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Albreen

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 05:33:53 AM »

Jim - Great recommendation. I use Don's quick reference guide on board for the downwind sail trim and have found it invaluable in increasing boat speed. Dave - sailing in similar conditions, we share the same question. Thanks for the offer to the MBBC - I've raced on other boats there a few years ago. Great program. I'm racing the Saturday series only this year with the LCYC closer to home. I'll continue running wing and wing with the poled out genny as you and Ted recommend. Seems most of the JaM class do the same. I have a dacron cruising 150% headsail, 2 seasons old, which powers the boat very well and we appear to stay up with the fleet unless the air is very light - but it always has me thinking there may be a better angle to run to improve performance to the leeward mark. :D
Logged
Paul Leible
1987 C34 "ALBREEN", SR/FK, M25XP
Sailing Lake Champlain

Footloose

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 2
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 06:06:06 AM »

Paul

I agree with your statement that you are always trying to find a better way.  Racing has forced me to learn more about sail trim than I ever thought I would want or need to know.  I does transfer over to cruising in that I have learned to keep the boat upright with maximum sail for the wind conditions.  It seems that no matter what sport I take up competing makes me better.  I guess it takes your concentration to a higher level.  FWIW I put a backstay adjuster on this year (finally) and I believer it is allowing me to point higher as I can move the draft of the head sail forward.  I also installed a rigid boom vang to do the same with the main.
Logged
Dave G.
"Footloose"
Hull# 608  1988 Tall Rig/Fin Keel
Malletts Bay, VT- Lake Champlain

Albreen

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2013, 07:15:19 AM »

Using the Google search feature mentioned in today's post by Stuart and Mick, I typed 'site:c34.org Downwind Racing' and found there were many good links to the C34 site for my original post question - one is the link below. This is a great search capability I didn't realize existed. The information, once again, is already on the C34 site.   :D

http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq-polar-diagram.html
Logged
Paul Leible
1987 C34 "ALBREEN", SR/FK, M25XP
Sailing Lake Champlain

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 68
  • Posts: 7528
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 09:30:32 AM »

While it is true that going straight downwind w-on-w is, based on the polars, the slowest way to sail a C34, that is true of almost any recreational cruiser that is not designed specifically for downwind racing/sailing.

However, our experience has been that using a pole and sailing downwind is the method employed by most C34 racers here on San Francisco Bay.  FYI, Fleet 1 has the most active one-design C34 racing fleet in the country, and has for over 20 years.

Part of the reason is simply time & distance, and matching what the competitors (and the "better" racers! :D) are doing.  That said, there have been many times when gybing downwind is preferred.  In our case, here on the Bay, that's because of the currents.  Relief can be found either "on the beach" along the Cityfront or further out in the Bay, depending on the ebb or flood, and can make a big difference in SOG.

Also the method used going downwind depends a lot on the wind direction.  In our case, "standard summer winds" are usually from the general direction of west, and usually at 242 magnetic.  However, they can vary from further south of west or from northwest.

This means that for the same course, conditions vary.  Those of you in different parts of the country experience more variable conditions than we do here in the summertime.  We do get those variations during winter sailing.  But because our races tend to most usually use the same fixed buoys in the Bay, that's why "the courses are the same," rather than having the race committee set marks in different positions for different races, which, for example, would be true of lake sailing or places where fixed navigational and permanent racing buoys are not used for marks.

Also, in many cases, we have sailed w-o-w but significantly "by the lee" so that the mainsail is NOT let all the way out, but is used to capture the wind and "slide" it into the jib, rather than having the wind directly from behind (180).

Either tactic is based solely on the conditions, the wind direction, the wind strength, the position of the next mark to the wind, the currents, and the boats' required course.

Short answer, like most things in life, is that "there is no 'best'" answer.

And, when cruising, I find that many times I choose to either w-o-w or gybe depending simply on how I feel.  One of the nicest things I enjoy is screaming back from the ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge and across the Bay w-o-w for two hours standing behind the wheel with this big grin on my face for those two hours, keeping the boat balanced and watching for the subtle wind shifts to avoid a gybe.  Other times I'll some in under the Bridge from the south on a port tack and gybe once we get into the Bay.

It all depends... :abd:
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:33:02 AM by Stu Jackson »
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Gary Brockman

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 05:26:54 PM »

It seems that everyone has been talking about running down wind without a spinnaker, because I think the 34 does very well under spinnaker. I normally race our boat in point to point random leg races rather than windward leeward races around the cans as I find we do not point very well and can't compete with the boats that do point well. In off the wind races we are very competitive have done very well. Although we have symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers, I have completely switched over to asymmetrical spinnakers as they seem to be have more sail area and are easier to handle. Unless it is really blowing, we normally sail from 140 to 160 degrees to the true wind depending on the wind strength.

Two weeks ago, we were in a 30 mile race from the west end of Catalina to Marina del Rey in primarily 7 to 9 knots of wind and in a fleet that included two well sailed Catalina 42's and a Swan 44. We sailed at angles of 140 to 150 degrees to the wind, gybing back and forth while one of the 42's took a rhumb line of approximately 170 degrees to the wind and the other 42 and the Swan sailed an angle like us but sailed one long leg and gybed for a long leg to the finish. We were first to finish and corrected out over the fleet. The 42 that sailed the rhumb line was second to finish and corrected out to second and would have beat us if we hadn't sailed at a hotter angle and continued to gybe back and forth across the rhumb line.

Gary
Logged
Squall
1986 Hull #231
Tall Rig/Fin Keel - Elliptical Rudder
Marina del Rey, California

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 68
  • Posts: 7528
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 08:10:11 PM »

Gary,

It's probably because Paul's OP asked:

Does running a C34 wing and wing produce good race results?

so folks answered about w-o-w, not with spinnakers, although your ideas are great input.
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Albreen

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Downwind Racing
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 07:07:24 AM »

I could have been more helpful with my OP by adding I was racing in JaM and not spin class.  :D Thanks for the lenghty replies. Definitely helps with the upcoming race strategy. The polar has the C34 with 150% running at higher angles as the wind picks up. I'll try to pay more attention to boat speed and course angle for the upcoming races. Someday soon, that asymetrical I keep eyeing will surface.
Logged
Paul Leible
1987 C34 "ALBREEN", SR/FK, M25XP
Sailing Lake Champlain
Pages: [1]   Go Up