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Jeremy Arnold 431

Notes from Hayling Island SC Tuning Day

Tuning advice from Greg Wells & Ian Pinnell

A well-attended Flying Fifteen Tuning Day was held on 30th July at Hayling Island SC, organised by Mark Nicolson of HISC; It was blowing over 30 knots on the day which curtailed any on-water activity but a very useful session was held onshore with Greg Wells and Ian Pinnell providing some expert advice on setting-up and sailing Flying Fifteens. Reproduced below are notes taken on the day by Sue Bannister, and we are grateful to Sue for making these available, as well as to everyone else involved in organising the event.


The notes from ‘Tuning Day’ below in essence captures nuggets shared by Greg, Ian and others.  Thank you to everyone once again for turning up.  

Greg has found the use of the bridle effective only up to a wind strength of 8/10 knots maximum. (Ie: just upto the point when you start using kicker) 
Get the boat going before pulling on the bridle on a beat                                          
It puts twist into the mainsail                                                        
Main boom slightly past the centre-line
One suggestion that helps the boom be in the right position, tug the spinnaker pole handle, as you pull the bridle on. 
Un-cleat during tacks.  Complete the tack first, get going, remember FF do not accelerate, so pull on the bridle only after you get going

A class rule, no lower then 110mm. This is measured from the bottom of foot/tack to deck level, it is ok to have it up slightly to 115mm, jib will be easier to set in all conditions.  
You can have it higher but not recommended if you wish to get the jib pulling correctly

Refer to sailmakers tuning guides.  Each of them is slightly different numbers. However they all have a common thread, they want you to achieve the best speed out of your boat on the water in different conditions. Things to think of:
Check your rig tension gauge, reads correctly             
The mast should always be in natural position when doing your rig tension checks
Check the mast is sitting central in the mast gate, if their is space on either side, or one side, pack it out so the mast does not move at all
Eye-line shroud checks,  stand back away from the boat, then look from the spreader point.  First get both shroud’s in eye-line (close one eye), just moving eye look downwards down the strouds, if you can only see one shroud all the way down, then they fine.  You might have to adjust your spreaders next if not   
(Refer to each of the guides sheet for the spreader position positions)
Now measure from the top of mast to foot of gooseneck.  20.6  / 6248 
Top of mast to Stern, deck level 24.10
Rig tension refer to sailmakers guide

To assist you with the right position of the jib, It is recommended by Ian to have 2 clew lines.
Never set your jib lower then the bottom line, if it lower move the jib cars forward.  

To check you have the correct length of strop pull your main sheet over the transom so that the triangle splits 3 cm above the transom waterline and make sure its central!
When the main sheet is fully pulled in the strop should, just goes inside the block at the end of boom
Too much line can cause it to twist, or be caught over the transom 

First look at the sails and ensure telltales are not stalled.
Free the sails slightly 
Move jib car back an inch 

On choppy water the leech tall tails should flow straight aft
On flat water the leech tall tails should flow at  up to 30 Degrees

It important to get the start right along with rounding a marks too,  bearing-in-mind:
Flying Fifteens do not accelerate fast
Greg gave a us prime example of how our 3 times world champion keeps the boat moving
To move the boat they will use the body weight, not the tiller 
The sails are adjust first before moving the tiller
Moving the tiller is like putting down an anchor
Rounding a mark go in deep come out close, get the boat moving first

Take the guy off, but hold it in position in your hand just before the gybe (lot of load) 
It is more effective to pull the kit round first; by giving it a good tug, then let go of it
Doesn’t matter if it flaps, that is still far faster having the sail flapping then having it on the wrong side,
Crew brings boom over, then next puts on new guy, the spinnaker pole follows
With guy on, the helm can control the spinnaker before crew back in boat to take the sheet 
A few tips:- Do away with continuous sheets is one suggestion - one stopper knot in right place, can prevent the spinnaker pole flying up

Using an end to end pole:
Light winds conditions helm takes the spinnaker sheets from deck level and controls the spinnaker
Heavier winds helm takes the spinnaker sheets from inside the boat and controls the spinnaker
In this case don’t pull the new twinning line right down otherwise it will cause the guy to cleat by the shroud.
Really heavy conditions cleat the spinnaker so helm has full control of the tiller
Both twinners off    
Crew does boom
Crew aims to keep kite flying when releasing the pole, then puts it on new windward sheet, then mast 
In light conditions, it is absolutely necessary to be nimble with feet and any movement in the boat
Use the sail first and boom,  the tiller will freely follow
In windy conditions, lower the pole slightly. It will make putting the pole on easier 
When using other pole systems, the spinnaker pole maybe be released first.  

Greg went on to talk about a Tacktick compass - Race Master
Setting angles are worked out on 80 degrees when sailing in the bay, 70 degrees when sailing in the harbour or on lakes.

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