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Heading North - Rig and Tuning

26 April 2016 Sam Haines

Tango at the VIC States

"Tango at the VIC States"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

In recent weeks, I have taken on the role as North Sails Australia One Design Manager, which works in nicely with our Etchells sailing. All of this has been keeping me busy as the Southern season comes to a close, and we all start to set our sites on heading North and beyond.

On team Tango, with Chris Hampton and Barney Walker, we have started our ramp up towards the Worlds in Cowes, with sail testing and boat preparation. Included in the latter is putting a new Whale Spar rig in the boat and getting used to the differences. At this stage with a small amount of hours, we have noticed a big increase in forestay control.

The real key to our program is using the same sails and working out the best ways to extend the range of these sails by adapting them to different conditions. The new batten system in the LM range of jibs has allowed greater versatility for each of the sails.

We have also changed a few of the systems in the boat to suit the three of us, and the way we sail the boat. This has mostly come about with the implementation of the mast ram.

When the mast rams were first introduced I thought that the chocks were just fine, but this was not the case. We now find ourselves trimming the ram more than any other control on the boat, with adjusting it in conjunction with the backstay to keep the grunt in the bottom of the mainsail and also controlling the forestay.

We have also been sailing at different locations, so as to achieve quick adaptation to different conditions, for both the gear and our mindset. The next step towards Cowes will be the Brisbane Fleet Championship at the end of the month, and then the big hit out at the Midwinters in Mooloolaba.

Please don’t be a stranger and get in contact if you would like to talk about your gear, including sails, controls and anything Etchells.

Look forward to seeing you all up North.

Good Sailing,

Sam Haines

North Sails

One Design Australia


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