Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LASERS SAIL BY THE LEE

After the races last weekend, David and Sam were talking about what things our fleet should do better and one of them is the downwind by-the-lee sail trim. Several have been letting the sail way forward and that really works to let you go way left on starboard tack, to keep the sail out and steady when the wind is light and you are adding the weight of the boon to keep the sail out. The down side is that if you don’t continue hard left by-the-lee air flow across the sail will be stalled out and sail lose power. You would like the air to be flowing fast from the leach to the luff and to maximize that: 1) Have a little twist in the sail so the top of the sail will resist a gybe when leading edge (now the leach) is almost back winded. 2) Trim in the sail till you get a little flutter in the bottom of the leach. Then ease the sail out just a little. This is just like the flutter in the luff when going up wind. 3) You need to keep the sail adjusted to wind direction changes or steering changes. If the wind is very light you may need to sit way forward and hold the boom out with your hand if the wind and heading require it. 4) Yes, when the wind is light you need to keep the boat rolled hard away from the sail so the sail is up high where the wind is stronger, etc.

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