PUFF ON!

HOW TO LEVER­AGE PUFFS FOR BET­TER RAC­ING PER­FOR­MANCE

Sailing World - - From The Experts -

Rac­ing in puffy con­di­tions can be a chal­lenge if you’re not pre­pared to re­spond to the vari­able breeze. Quan­tum’s Ja­son Cur­rie shares his tips for us­ing puffs to your ad­van­tage.

TUNE THE RIG

Con­sult your boat’s tun­ing guide and ad­just the rig ac­cord­ingly. If the rig tune is too loose, the sails will be too full to ben­e­fit from any puffs.

BACK­STAY TEN­SION

Put on a lot of back­stay to tighten the rig and flat­ten the sails up­wind, pre­vent­ing ex­ces­sive heel­ing. After that, con­trol the main­sail leech ten­sion and twist by mak­ing ad­just­ments to keep the boat sail­ing at its best an­gle by eas­ing the trav­eler or main­sheet while at the same time pulling the vang on tight.

CALL IT OUT

Des­ig­nate a per­son to call puffs with a count down. This helps pre­pare the helmsper­son and trim­mers to re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately and main­tain con­sis­tent heel or keep the spin­naker from over­load­ing.

STAY IN CON­TROL

When sail­ing down wind, over­load­ing the helm can cause a broach. The driver and trim­mer must com­mu­ni­cate so the spin­naker sheet can be eased in the puff to un­load the rud­der and en­able the helmsper­son to turn down.

ALL TO­GETHER

Hik­ing is chal­leng­ing in puffs, but a con­sis­tent heel an­gle is vi­tal. Too much heel re­duces the flow over the keel and rud­der and the boat slips side­ways.

EYES ON THE ROAD

When the puff hits, the driver should work on feath­er­ing the boat through the puffs. To main­tain the heel an­gle sail “in­side” the jib with a slight bub­ble in the luff.

LEARN MORE

Read the full ar­ti­cle and more on Quan­tum­sails.com.

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