Bill Brangiforte has put together some “words of wisdom” – his thoughts on how things went at the Sunfish Worlds 2012 at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. the full version is posted at the New England Sunfish Class Facebook page, and I’ve chosen a few quotes from it to include here:
With light winds and sometimes strong current, the 2012 Sunfish Worlds was not the most exciting series I have ever been in, but it was one of the most interesting! Never have I seen so many penalties, flags, and people walking around reading rule books. However, the yacht club and city were quite nice, and after the regatta, there was much to talk about. The most important thing to take away from an event like this is that it should be used as a learning experience.
photo of Bill (from Sunfishworlds.org Flickr photos)
The main tasks for the next day’s race didn’t change- We still needed to focus on the basics- getting a good start, playing shifts and going fast! Actually, anytime things are not going well, or you are having a bad series, stop and think about the important basic things necessary to sail well. When doing this, I find it helpful to think about things that have worked well in the past and try to do the same things again.
and here is a little information on a new variation of the Jens rig:
…there is a new rig that the Southern group is using. It is basically a Forrester Jens rig that is used in light air. It allows the rig to sit farther aft. This moves the center of effort back and allows for tighter sheeting, without bending the boom. I used it the first day and had good results (I don’t think it had anything to do with the rig) and felt slow the second day, so I took it out and did not think about for the rest of the week. I just don’t think a World Championship is a good place to test a new rig.
and here is some strategy for sailing in a large fleet:
There was definitely a good strategy for sailing the first beat in this regatta. It is basically the same strategy used anytime the fleet is large and the wind is light. The trick is to analyze which side looks better before the start, then start and initially work toward that side. Once you are out towards your chosen side, start watching the fleet! Once boats to windward, on the same tack as you, start falling bow down to you, tack back towards the center to consolidate your gain. You want to play a side (there is less breeze in the middle of the course), but you need to keep using your gains to work back towards the middle. Now here is the tricky part – once you start working back in, if boats to leeward (on the same Tack) are also heading in- go with them. Don’t tack until they do! This requires patience. There is no reason to tack out, if the leeward boats are more towards the middle, since you will still get the puffs first, but are not risking being hung out to dry if the breeze goes hard the other way. While heading back to the middle, if you have a good lane, it is a great time to put the bow and foot.
for the rest of Bill’s “words of wisdom”, check out the full post at the New England Sunfish Class Facebook page. and don’t forget to check out SunfishWorlds.org for a ton of additional coverage of the 2012 and many past Sunfish Worlds events.