Sep 28, 2019 Regatta:
Came across this article which offers a good explanation of FJ Tuning. There is not much we can do about mast position and location of jib sheet blocks, but pay attention to the discussion of sail trim. A common problem I saw yesterday is that jibs were too tight and mains too loose. Drivers upwind need to trim hard on the mainsheet the boom should intersect the leeward corner of the cockpit. Make sure the ratchet on the mainsheet is set, especially in any wind. Its purpose is to make it less difficult for the driver to keep the main in. Crew should not try to balance by using the jib sheet as a handhold. Hang onto a shroud so you can adjust the jib. Ease jib in puffs and trim after the puff passes, but do not over trim. A well trimmed jib will match the curve of the mainsail.
Use the telltales. Upwind, both the inside telltales and outside telltales on the jib should stream. Upwind, once the jib is set, drivers should sail by the telltales on the jib, if the inside telltale is lifting or fluttering you are too high (pinching the boat into the wind, so come down until the both telltales are streaming. If the outside telltale is lifting or fluttering, you are too low, stalling the sail, so come up until both telltales are streaming. A rule of thumb is to turn the bow away from the telltale that is struggling. Try to anticipate puffs coming toward you as darker shadows moving toward you. Look at the angle of the shadow. You should be sailing at about a 45 degree angle to the ripples on the water. If the puff coming toward you is at a broader angle, then it will be a lift (i.e. you can come up when it gets to you). If it is at a sharper angle, it is a header and you will have to come down to keep speed. If the header stays with you for more than a few minutes, tack, and you will be closer to the mark. If the angle is about the same, hold your course but be prepared for a bit of a header as boat speed increases. Do not let the puff control the boat and cause you to come up too much. Steer off a bit as the puff gets to you to keep the boat under the sail. A frequent cause of capsize is when the main forces the bow up, the boat slows a lot and flattens out, but crew is still hiking. Bang!! capsize to windward.
Crews, use the telltales, too. Driver might be looking around for a clear lane (I hope), so tell them if they are sailing too low or too high.
Downwind, on anything from a close to broad reach, you can use the telltales also, but since you are steering to a point, you need to adjust the sail angle to the wind. Basic rule of thumb is to let the sail out until you see it go soft, then trim it back in a bit until it softness disappears. Don't trim all the way back in to close hauled.
Downwind on a really broad reach, when you are sailing wing and wing, crew should be holding the main out against the spreaders, and driver should be handling the jib on the opposite side. Driver should steer to keep the wind coming over the windward aft corner of the boat. Driver lets jib out until it flutters, than trims back in a few inches. While driving downwind, driver should keep teasing the boat upwind until jib starts to stall, then comes down a few inches. This should keep both sails pulling. Downwind capsize often happens when driver comes too far up, the jib is no longer pulling, and the main takes over. Then Bang !!! capsize to leeward. Very important on this point of sail to drive off in the puffs and again, keep the boat under the sail. If you find that by teasing up as you steer you can no longer fetch the leeward mark, then it is time to jibe. Do a controlled jibe. Driver switches back to mainsheet, crew has the jib. Driver grabs all parts of the mainsheet, makes a controlled turn to the new course, and controls the mainsheet while ducking the boom.
Remember, when I am talking about coming up a bit and coming down a bit, "up" means upwind, and "down" means downwind. and tiller movement is a matter of inches, not feet. Also the word "ease" means to let out an inch or two, not to let go of, likewise "trim" means to bring in an inch or two.
That's enough observations for now, we will practice some of this Monday. Wednesday is team racing at YSV, and Friday is a free practice at YSV.