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Reports & Results


Puget Sound Spring Regatta - Seattle, WA, USA
13/04/2019 - 14/04/2019


Puget Sound Spring Regatta - Seattle, WA, USA, April 13/14th
The new season kicks off in Seattle!
Thanks to Dan Falk for his insights into sailing his RS Aero fast and safe down the run in heavy airs... 
The CYC Seattle Puget Sound Spring Regatta was held on April 13/14th. The forecast was for winds above 20kn for the day, with a stronger front in the afternoon. Nearly all of us hit the water with our RS Aero 7 rigs. Races 1 and 2 were lovely with winds in the upper teens and low twenties. The wind built quickly in race three, and as the fleet was rounding the weather mark, the wind spiked. The nearby weather station at West Point recorded 30kn winds with gusts to 35kn.
I was on the run when it hit, and because it was already blowing in the mid twenties and above, already pretty set up for it. For me, that means my vang was relatively eased, and as the gust hit, it was a matter of sheeting in, moving back, and heading up slightly. From my perspective, downwind sailing in strong breeze requires setting up the boat so that you have maximum control. In keelboats, that means hoisting the chicken kite and taking a reef. In an RS Aero, we have just the one sail, but we can de-power pretty dramatically. Start with a lot of outhaul to flatten the sail. Then ease the vang to raise the boom and add twist to the top of the sail. Sheeting in pulls the centre of effort aft. With all of that twist, we effectively reduce the projected sail - think of a smaller triangle profile roughly perpendicular to the wind. With that lovely carbon rig, when big gusts hit, the rig bends away which further depowers the boat.

Once the rig is set up, avoid sailing dead downwind at any cost. I don’t know the physics but the stall of the sail produces instability and bad things happen. Having flow attached to the sail, either by the lee or broad reaching, is crucial. Flow across the sail is stable and predictable. Dead downwind is chaotic and unstable. Getting very comfortable transitioning between sailing by the lee and reaching is a first step toward heavy air confidence.

As for that race, I had my hands rather full as I passed the committee boat on the run, so I missed their attempts to hail me. Although I finished the course, dragging marks and a bit of carnage on the race course led to that race’s abandonment. We all met up in the clubhouse for a bite to eat and compare war stories!
Photo; Dan Falk at the RS Aero US Champs in 2016 at The Columbia River Gorge - by Sean Tew 


7 races, 1 discard
Place Sai Name Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Score
1st 2233 Dan Falk CYC -3 2 2 2 1 3 1 11
2nd 2081 Doug Stumberger  CYC  2 3 1 3 3 1 (DNC) 13
3rd 1127 Todd Willsie CYC 4 6 -9 5 2 2 2 21
4th 1377 Michael Johnson CYC -8 5 3 4 4 4 3 23
5th 2024 Dalton Bergan CYC 1 1 11 8 9 (DNC) DNC 39
6th 1969 JD Reddaway CYC -11 9 4 10 8 6 5 42
7th 1129     5 4 6 -11 10 11 7 43
8th 2483 Mark Reed   9 12 (DNC) 7 5 7 6 46
9th 1250 David Rogers   -12 8 5 9 7 8 DNC 46
10th 1644 Eric Becker CYC 6 7 (DNC) 13 12 5 4 47
11th 1726 Jacques Garrigues CYC (DNF) 13 8 6 6 9 DNC 51
12th 2436     DNC (DNC) DNC 1 DNC 12 DNC 63
13th 1974 Randy Shuman CYC DNC (DNC) 7 12 11 10 DNC 63
14th 1248 Andy Schmidt CYC 7 11 10 (DNF) DNF DNC DNC 64
15th 1481 Daniel Herron CYC 10 10 DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 70
16th 1380 Derek Bottles CYC,SYC DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 79
16th 0 David/Ashley Kenny SYC DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 79
16th 1973 Glenn Wisegarver CYC DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 79
16th 2020 Craig Horfield CYC DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 79
16th 2228 Jim Barrett CYC DNC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 79

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