Downwind technique 20kt

Thread starter #1
So after slogging uphill towards the topmark in 20kts, I let off vang, cunningham, outhaul and pull up daggerboard halfway - let out main as fast as I can while I bear away keeping the boat as flat as possible. Up she pops onto the plane, heading downwind - then splash - big deathroll that I cannot control by sheeting in and bearing away.

Should I keep on more vang? Should I broad reach down the course like a skiff?

Ideas?
 
#2
20 isnt that bad, but here a few steps

1. Let off the vang about half way BEFORE you get to the weather mark
2. In REALLY heavy air, i leave the cunningham and outhaul on. I might even not take the board up
3. Squat in your cockpit. Try not to sit on the rail much
4. keep a tight coarse.
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#3
dh and oh on, and keep some vang on, head up so your not going directly ddw, you want to be riding the waves, if you go ddw your asking for a death roll
 
#5
Set the vang so the top batten's about parallel to the boom, not twisted off past it.

If the boat starts to roll to windward, yank in some mainsheet and steer more to leeward.
 
#6
Going by the lee is also much more stable than ddw. Make your transitions fast so you spend as little time as possible going ddw. Also, hook your back leg around the hiking strap to lock in and have your front foot against the front of the cockpit so you can slide back quickly when you get on a wave. If the boat feels unstable, work even harder to get on a wave so your apparent wind decreases and you can regain control.
 
#7
It is never worth lifting the C/B up in anything above 10Knot and almost ddw. It isn't the best designed in the world so you need all the forward drive possible! Even on a reach.
 
#8
- let out main as fast as I can while I bear away keeping the boat as flat as possible. Up she pops onto the plane, heading downwind - then splash - big deathroll that I cannot control by sheeting in and bearing away.
Perhaps it bears mentioning that you don't want to turn downwind too quickly. You need to fall off to a reach first to pick up speed. The reason is that if you simply spin your boat downwind in 20 knots, with virtually no speed, your sail will feel all 20 knots of breeze-- hence tend to be difficult to control. On the other hand, if you build speed on a deep reach first-- say, 10 knots-- then when you turn downwind, the rig will only feel 10 knots, and so therefore be much easier to control. It's paradoxical until you've done it for a while, but while going downwind, you want to be going as fast as possible to keep the speed of the apparent wind (what you feel) as low as possible.

Hope that helps,

sean
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#9
It is never worth lifting the C/B up in anything above 10Knot and almost ddw. It isn't the best designed in the world so you need all the forward drive possible! Even on a reach.
Thats so not true, it's not even funny. You have to bring your board up, orthe boat will "trip" over itself. I can't explain it too well, but all my coaches have told that to me, you have to experience it for yourself to truly understand it. I still raise my board in 35 knots.
 
#11
Thats so not true, it's not even funny. You have to bring your board up, orthe boat will "trip" over itself. I can't explain it too well, but all my coaches have told that to me, you have to experience it for yourself to truly understand it. I still raise my board in 35 knots.
I agree 100% with you! You have to play the centre board to regain some control on a run otherwise it can trip you up if its too far down, ie: if its up and you start rolling, try putting it down briefly as well as sheeting in to regain some control. Works for me! I do agree on reaching down the run to gain boat speed too, in other words sail the angles, its faster. Also, read the Ben ainslie book, its £20 well spent! :) R.
 
#13
I do agree on reaching down the run to gain boat speed too, in other words sail the angles, its faster. :) R.
Jings! There's one I sort of got right by guesswork and playing! :) Maybe I should have put it in to practice last Wednesday on the runs to the rednwhite, broad reach pointing at The Perch, an early gybe then a broad reach to rednwhite, hardening up on to the leg back to the clubhouse.

If the same wind this Wed coming, I'll give it a bash!

Al.
 
#14
Jings! There's one I sort of got right by guesswork and playing! :) Maybe I should have put it in to practice last Wednesday on the runs to the rednwhite, broad reach pointing at The Perch, an early gybe then a broad reach to rednwhite, hardening up on to the leg back to the clubhouse.

If the same wind this Wed coming, I'll give it a bash!

Al.
Damn it! Have i just given away my secrets? Thats it... Protest!! :p R.
 
#15
You can still go DDW in heavy air...why the hell not? You just better make sure you are surfing a wave to unload that rig as much as possible. Still let off your cunningham for sure. Maybe not to the point of wrinkles in the sleeve of your sail at the mast joint, as in light air, but for sure let it off. Also, having your centreboard raised is necessary. Along with the stuff everyone else has said, it will also make turning much easier.
 
#16
One of the things that works well for me in conditions that prevent "aggressive" downwind sailing is to cleat the main at around 80-85 degrees, board up about 8-10", and sail the boat by the lee by pressure felt. I'll usually have my back hand near the tiller extention swivel and my forward hand in front of my chest. Yes, keeping cuningham and outhaul on is good when overpowered. Vang on about halfway.
It is not quite as fast as pumping and big S-turns, but when the boat is more powerful than you can control, this technique works very well. You can control the pressure by sailing down in the puff and up in the lulls or when you are going fast on a wave. Gybe when you are unloaded, and gybe often since your course is deeper than normal. Sounds funny, but try it, I know it will work.
 
#17
You can still go DDW in heavy air...why the hell not?
The problem with going ddw is that the wind never comes from the same direction all the time. The wind always moves slightly. This means that when going ddw you end up being by the lee, then broad reaching ..... This is not good as the boat starts behaving differently making it hard to control.
 
#18
The problem with going ddw is that the wind never comes from the same direction all the time. The wind always moves slightly. This means that when going ddw you end up being by the lee, then broad reaching ..... This is not good as the boat starts behaving differently making it hard to control.
The wind would most likely not shift in such a large fashion that would not allow you to easily compensate for it. And, actually, by the lee is very stable in big breeze, just make sure you're sheet is not going out past 90 degrees, maybe a tad further if you need to be hard by the lee.
 
#19
Thats so not true, it's not even funny. You have to bring your board up, orthe boat will "trip" over itself. I can't explain it too well, but all my coaches have told that to me, you have to experience it for yourself to truly understand it. I still raise my board in 35 knots.
It's quite simple really, the boat moves a bit sideways when you turn wile planing and if you have the board down it will trip over it if the boat turns just a little =P
 
#20
One of the things that works well for me in conditions that prevent "aggressive" downwind sailing is to cleat the main at around 80-85 degrees, board up about 8-10", and sail the boat by the lee by pressure felt. I'll usually have my back hand near the tiller extention swivel and my forward hand in front of my chest. Yes, keeping cuningham and outhaul on is good when overpowered. Vang on about halfway.
It is not quite as fast as pumping and big S-turns, but when the boat is more powerful than you can control, this technique works very well. You can control the pressure by sailing down in the puff and up in the lulls or when you are going fast on a wave. Gybe when you are unloaded, and gybe often since your course is deeper than normal. Sounds funny, but try it, I know it will work.
I could not disagree more with every point you have made.

-Cleating the main iany wind strength defies logic to me, it's not hard to hold the sheet downwind and it is much safer than having to dive forward to uncleat the mainsheet.
-Cunningham on downwind - having the cunningham on downwind pushes the draft of the sail towards the mast, increasing the tendency for the boat to want to lean to windward i.e. deathroll
-Gybe often? - Why? by the lee sailing means there is no need... just complicates the exercise and increases the risk of capsize
- I agree with the tiller steering position, except the forward hand really needs a mainsheet in it.

When I first read your post I thought you were only joking, but obviously not
 
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