Newsletter July 2001

Mike Fahle (Mikefahle) on Saturday, July 28, 2001 – 12:46 pm:

Hi everyone, Jamie Diamond has asked that we discuss a mainsail measurement rule this weekend at the OCRA Geneva regatta so that we can all get whatever we want and still be racing “even-up”. Today I have finished modifying my mainsail into a VERY full main (hopefully, too full) and will bring it to the regatta and also the one that Yves sent me earlier which is probably pretty close to what we all want and is definitely faster than the original flat mains. We can all look at these sails and compare on the shore and on the water. Jamie asked if he could sail two races with the VERY full one and I had said “Yes” but I have changed my mind. In the interest of fairness and more exposure, I have decided to offer to exchange boats with any other Mystere 4.3 racers after each race. This will allow Jamie and others to try the mainsail “in action” if they want. I will also allow anyone who wants it to use the other mainsail I am bringing and hopefully they would “round-robin” their boat as well. Recently, Glen Blohm, Dave Sullivan, and I did this in a local regatta to learn if there was a difference in sails and what effect it would have on the racing. It was instructive and certainly was the epitome of one-design racing! I just
hope we can figure out a way to make the scoring work out but that should not be an impossible hurdle. At any rate, we intend to learn as much as we can so that we can discuss the designs and offer a proposal for all the owners to comment and vote on so that everyone knows what to expect from the sail development process.

I chose to double the luff curve of the sail that Yves sent down in the hope that it would prove to be too full so that we know the limit on the other end of the draft spectrum (the original French-dictated shape being at the flat end). After seeing it set this evening next to Yves’s sail and an original flat one (it is handy sometimes to have a fleet outside the door), the study in contrast was reminiscent of Goldilocks’s comments. I am convinced that it is very full but not convinced that it will be slower. It is almost certainly going to be faster on a reach or downwind without a spinnaker so this weekend’s testing will be very useful to our understanding of how much draft is good for different conditions, sail configurations, wind angles, and crew weights. With this knowledge collected and communicated, the intent is to allow the owners to tailor their mainsail modifications or new orders to their weight and/or sailing conditions. This will allow for the racing to be one-design while affording some equalization on the basis of crew weight so that the boat has broader appeal and higher speed potential. The trick is to do this while also affording an easily understood and applied measurement system so that any sail can be
conveniently checked to conform to class limits.

I hope as many of you as possible will come join us this weekend. I have already taken some photos and will take more this weekend and will ask Mike Teets to post them on the website as soon as they are available. I will also try to explain anything about this process that is unclear to anyone needing more information and will try to communicate what we do to all of you and make sure that you all have a chance to provide your input. I am committed to this being an owner-driven class with everyone having a voice and a vote in whatever rules we apply to the boats. It does seem like a good time to start defining what we want regarding the mainsails since we can soon order new ones at a very good price from Mystere and others with bigger budgets can explore the offerings of other sailmakers. With this effort completed we can each get what we want and still have one-design racing. Having all possible sailmakers able to make sails for us only enhances the long-term value of the boats, promotes controlled speed developments, and allows some personalization of our purchases. It also opens up boat marketing and regatta sponsorship opportunities.

Feel free to provide your input to me or post comments on the discussion board on the owners’ website. Stay tuned!


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