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 Post subject: IC downwind speed
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 18
Hi everyone,

hopefully someone can help here-

I sail IC GBR219, an early kevlar/carbon/foam boat, down to weight, fair hull, good sails, good carbon foils. Standard rig, ie NO kite. Local racing is in a handicap fleet, with a mixture of other dinghies including phantoms, rs400, merlin rocket, lasers etc etc.

I have never had a problem with sailing the boat fast enough to make up the handicap as long as I am out on the seat. but as soon as I bear away for the downwind legs, I get reeled in by supposedly slower boats, particularly the well sailed phantoms. This happens whenever the apparent wind drops off, so dead running and very broad reaching, particularly in light winds. I've tried sailing gentle angles, but found that the extra speed gained by sailing higher and powering the boat up a little more doesn't make up for the extra distance sailed. Also tried sailing in a straight line to the next mark, and found that to be quite slow as well.

I don't think I can be doing anything that seriously wrong, as i normally have a lead of minutes rather than seconds over another IC which regularly races, but I need to go exponentially faster off the wind to get anywhere on handicap.

Does this sound like a common problem with these boats, or is there something I could do help downwind light weather speed?

thanks in advance,

simon.


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 Post subject: Re: IC downwind speed
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 7:28 pm
Posts: 228
Location: United Kingdom
Hi
This is quite normal, down wind speed is difficult, sometimes it pays to go dead down wind, sometimes playing angles works better. Letting off the leeward shroud to let the boom out more, letting off the kicker and sometimes pulling on the Cunningham (so the top of the main does not hook) works well. The handicap system is a bit uneven as the speed a canoe goes relative to other boats is greatly affected by the wind speed, in light airs you may struggle to beat a laser around a course, but as you say when you can get on the seat, especially off the end the boat really takes off. Also around a tight course slower boats often do well, I raced against some well sailed RS400's at lee and lowton (smallish lake) for a season or two a few years back and struggled to beat them on the water. The lack of down wind speed is the reason that a lot of boats have gone for the spinny. If you post where you are located I am sure that someone can help locally.

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 Post subject: Re: IC downwind speed
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:24 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK
I let both shrouds off, raise the board and ease the kicker until the boat starts to feel unstable. When you get to this point put board down a bit and pull a little bit of kicker back on. Sail as low as you can whilst keeping the jib pulling. You will prob never get downhill faster than a phantom in light airs.
The best thing to do is to make sure your club submits its results to the RYA and hopefully the PY numbers will change. I personally think the IC PY should be around the 912 mark.

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Chris Hampe
GBR 340 Monkey's Uncle


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 Post subject: Re: IC downwind speed
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:45 pm
Posts: 757
Location: United Kingdom
If you're inland there's also the gust problem... An IC is just fast enough to sail out of the front of a gust, a Laser or a Phantom isn't. So You go round the windward mark in a gust, you sail out of the front and stop. Meanwhile Laser and Phantom stay in the gust and hurtle up to you. Alternatively you go round the windward mark in a lull, and the gust never quite reaches you, because as the first bits get to you you speed up and sail out of it again, but Laser and Phantom will get fully enveloped in the gust and still sail at the same speed as you.

I'm trying to teach myself to be better at spotting exactly where the centre of the gust is, because in theory you want always to be on the gybe that's going towards the gust centre where the wind angle will be more helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: IC downwind speed
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:46 pm
Posts: 238
Location: United Kingdom
Simon,

I realised the other day I have now been sailing IC for twenty two years and apart from IC events (where recently I have booked 6th place every year at the Nationals) I entirely race on handicap. It sounds like your experience is exactly the same as mine. I have trouble beating Merlin Rockets,RS300s and Phantoms on the water in light winds when the sliding seat cannot be much used. Runs and broad reaches are slow relative to other boats. The boat can hold its handicap only when the wind is about a force 4 and above. Part of the problem is that race officers rarely set legs of the course at what is the ICs fastest point of sailing, a beam reach just too tight for spinnaker boats to fly their kites and when in Lasers and the like hiking is jolly hard work! I win races on handicap when it is reasonably windy and there is a big wind shift the OOD did not plan for, making the reaches tighter than intended! For once we then get a Canoe friendly course. It sounds like others are doing the same as me letting the rig forward downwind etc. Short legs also do not favour the IC as it takes longer to tack an IC than a Laser or Phantom, the IC handicap comes into its own on big courses at sea.

Adding a spinnaker to an IC really only helps if you have a big race track and preferably windward/leeward courses. I found at Draycote water where I sail I could get round a club 'round the cans' course faster in an IC than in an AC where half the time I could not fly the kite as the leg was too tight.

Cheers Colin


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