From Terry Flynn:
I would like to start by thanking everyone that helped to make this years J/22 Midwinters such a great success. I heard nothing but great things about the regatta.
One of the key factors in doing well in this regatta (and really all regattas) is your rig settings. With the ever-changing velocity we were getting you needed to keep up with the current condition. This starts at the dock each morning, resetting the rig to your base setting before going out. We always left the dock with our shrouds set at 29/21 on the gray Loos gauge (20/11 on the black Loos gauge). Remember to keep your backstay adjusted so it is just slack, and the blocks hang down about 12 inches. Always be at the lightest setting you think you are going to see and when in doubt keep it loose.
The other important thing is to shift gears as the wind comes up and dies. True, you can’t adjust your rig settings but no one else can either. As the conditions change make sure you adjust your control lines. Mainsheet, vang, traveler (in light conditions), backstay, and jib sheets are all important, and as you change one control line there is probably another one that needs changing too.
Tactically we didn’t do anything special. The line was pretty even so starting in a clean lane helped get us in the top group quickly. From there we watched the compass and velocity. Communication among the crew is very important.
The 2018 Worlds are in Annapolis this fall, and I know there is a lot of interest from the locals to attend. This will be a great regatta and I would think it would attract 60 to 70 boats. That being said if this Midwinters was a good tune up regatta, what did we learn and what do we need to work on to improve our results at the Worlds? Here are a few things you may want to try over the summer to improve your chances at the bigger regattas. The usual disclaimer is attached that these are just my thoughts.
- Put together a few practice days for the fleet. Pick a topic or a few maneuvers that you want to improve upon and do it until it becomes second nature to you. Remember, good enough is never good enough.
- Sail more in the bay. We have gotten used to doing the lake sailing and I think the local’s results suffered from lack of time with the bay chop.
- Plan ahead. This will keep things more organized and cheaper in the long run.
- Be prepared. If you do go to the Worlds be prepared to show, measure and weigh everything on the optional equipment list.
- Don’t forget to have fun. Set your goals accordingly and sail with people you enjoy.