Before the race on Thursday, Four Hands snapped this shot of our #3 jib in about 18 knots of wind with the rig tight. the backstay near max, and the mainsail reefed. Â Notice how deep the sail is (look at the shape of the blue stripes), and how much it forces the forestay to sag. Â This deep sail generates a lot of power, but doesn’t point as high as we would like. Â Besides, in this wind, we are spilling power from the mainsail to keep the boat from heeling too much and rounding up. This also causes us to not point as high as we would like.
(Do you see the water droplets flying across the frame? Â There was a lot of spray up there — four hands was drenched after taking this shot!)
I’m going to have the sail re-cut to a flatter shape and we’ll take another picture in similar conditions to see what the difference is. Â I expect that we’ll see less depth, less forestay sag, and we’ll be able to get back all the power lost by keeping the mainsail fuller. Â The result should be a much higher pointing ability, no significant reduction in speed, and much less distance sailed to the windward mark. Â And that should help us compete with the J35s on windy nights. Â Let’s see!