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Heavey Wind

Boat preparation is vital in order to make sailing possible, let alone racing. It is essential to keep everything in the boat as simple and uncluttered as possible. First the rig, I prefer the stiff cruciform battens as this allows the sail to be flattened and being stiffer the sail the sail will not flog. It also holds the leach tighter which is important for control. I prefer a lot of rig tension especially when the sea is very rough, as this will reduce rig movement. It is important that everything is stiff and positive. The sail should be set up with minimum shape, cunningham pulled out to the black band, kicker pulled on hard and outhaul pulled out so there is minimum shape in the foot (if is tensioned bar tight it can make the foot of the sail flap and cause turbulence over the bottom of the sail). It is usual to put the rig back one notch on the shrouds before tightening the rig as increased rake is preferable. The boat should feel completely balanced without any weather helm or lee helm. Some helms prefer a small amount of weather helm but in my opinion this can only possible act as drag and must be wrong. The dagger board should be raised approximately 9-10" and left there. Check everything in sight to make sure you will not have problems. If it's really breezy don't try to adjust any controls, you will be overpowered anyway, you won't have time and if you are going downwind they will be out of reach. Now having got the boat right you have to sail it, here's how.