We were late to the start and somme last minute stress with the backstay and other things made us end up with a bad start. Well it was really blowing from the north (10 to 12 s/m or 20 - 24 knots) We were one crew short so the three of us had to do the work of four. Defne still a newbi on FLAX did the sheeting and cockpit work.
So we started out holding back a bit at the wrong end of the start line and waited to hoist the spin until we knew more of the conditions. after the hoist we did well and cought up on a few boats. The spinn take down was a disaster, trying to do what we never do a take down to the cockpit, to avoid having people on the foredeck. We just didnt manage to get it down before we were way past the bouy. Then there was an incident with the jib not fastened properly. These things costed us actually four minutes which seems an eternity.
But there were good things also, the sailing upwind went great after we managed to settle down and we cought up on somme of the losses. we dropped any more spinnakker experiments because the wind was building. In the end we calculated that without the blunders we wouls have ended on a quite nice result.
After the instructions on tuesday i experimented with a more closed mainsail (the sheet traveller to lee and the sheet pulled more) as i usually do. This caused some discussion on board after Preben had read the quick guide. I went back home to read the bible. there was nothing wrong in doing this as long as the boat performed. Twisting the main open spills power.
I will continue to experiment with the twist of the main. The lesson from tuesday indicates that i had developed a tendency to sail with a too twisted main. But it might be rigth that this is for middle wind, but we need to experiment.
Preben played the genua frentically on the genua up and down ropes (this equalls the sheet car on normal boats) to meet the puffs. I thought this was not really helping and that the little gained was lost in the periods when the genua was not tightened due to the trimming and the work resulting in not enough hiking out the boat ( the crew leaning to windward to reduce heel). In these windy and a little choppy and puffy conditions with also very unstable winds oscilating we need a tight genua leech, this means to tighten the genua up and down thingies quite hard. This induces a rounder front of the genua resulting in more power and a much more forgiving steering groove. This means i can steer the boat less straight and the wind angel of attack to the genua can vary more without the sail loosing its power. This is important in these conditions.
What does the bible (North books) say about playing the genua versus the main? Well on one hand it says that one needs to oversee the trim of the genua constantly on the other it says the genua is trimmed to an average and the main is played. I think both is right. Trim the genua constantly or often to meet the average and the playing is done with the main. This is how its done. The main system is set up for playing the puffs quickly, the genua is far less playable.
The learning experience this day was that we are maybe soon able to gear the trim according to the different conditions. But its still a problem that the knowledge of these gears is not owned by the crew, this causing the skipper to instruct instead of concentrating on stearing.
We need to learn and memorize the basics, for that the quick guide is ok but far from sufficient. The gears are quite nicely described in the Dedekam book. Everybody should have this by now.
Then we need to arrange a day with theory and training. I will use the wite board to go through it :)