Match Racing

While fleets build, what about match racing series - head to head competitions between two boats, as in the America’s Cup.

Looking at the Frappr map suggests thate there are a number of possible competitors, not too far apart in the USA (although I always get confused over American distances).

If anyone can arrange anything like this, please keep te rest of us informed.

Is there a preferred way to score match races?

best of 3 races,best of 5,best of 7,best of 9 are common ways.
Thats with only the 2 boats racing.
If holding a match racing reggatta with multiple boats the the normal way is one or two round robins(everyone races each other once) then semi finals(normally best of 3 matches) then the final(again can be best of 3 or 5)

Johnny Oufnac and I fun-raced our Footys this afternoon at New Orleans’ Lafreniere Park, on a course we’d been using for Victorias and even bigger boats. The course was about 200 yards (meters) long, with the upwind mark about 70 yards (meters) away. Wind was maybe 5 kts, with only light chop - ideal conditions for my Footy.

Johnny’s Footy is from a kit - I forget which - and is the white-hulled boat. My Footy is my own design. This was Johnny’s first outing with his Footy whereas I’ve had time to get mine mostly working most of the time. Johnny’s boat probably prefers a little more wind, as his sails are smaller.

That 70 yards to the upwind mark was tough, as at that distance, we were having difficulty telling when our boats were really on the wind. Tacking angles were similarly difficult to judge.

I made the main shown in the pictures a couple of weeks ago, trying for something like a gaff rig. The idea was to have increased sail area without getting too high, in hopes of decreasing the heeling. I did not intend to have a main in which the upper triangle would open up excessively, although that is what I wound up with. I’m intending to keep it a while longer, though, because there may be some serendipity at work. Off the wind the full area of the main comes into play, but on the wind, that upper triangle opens up, dumping wind at the top and reducing the heeling moment. I’m not recommending it to anyone, and may not stick with it myself, but I think it bears further investigation on my boat.

Mike Biggs

Nice pics. Thanks for letting us see them.

Are you saying that courses should be shorter/closer to hand? If so, by how much?

You can stop the head of the sail sagging off by so much by extending the mast upwards (very thin carbon tube, which should be bendy) and taking a snotter from the gaff end to the mast head. This will help maintain the tension in the leech. The amount by which the leech opens depends on the tension in the snotter, which in turn is a function of its length/angle and the stiffness of the topmast.

Hope that helps

Thanks for the suggestion about the snotter, Angus. In my case, rather than extending the mast, I may try just removing the uppermost “gaff” and tying a snotter to the lower “gaff.” If that isn’t effective, then I can either add to the height of the mast or to the length of the masthead crane, to tie on a snotter to tighten the leech. In the meantime, as I said, there may be some benefits to having that part of the main open up.

(Later edit - Oops. Sometimes the mental imaging thingy doesn’t quite get the complete picture. Tying the snotter anywhere away from the mast, or extension thereof, won’t work unless the sail is to remain sheeted in all the time. I think I have a good line tied on now, though, and if not, well, I still see some possible advantages to a main that opens a lot at the top when hard on the wind. For my Footy, that is. Of course, my Footy is named “Confusion.”)

Don’t know with any precision how far away the upwind mark can be. Some of us have problems at a distance of 70 yards with boats twice the size of a Footy. I’d say the Footys weren’t a problem for us until we got past halfway, though, so we can say we would generally be okay up to 30 - 35 yards away.

Mike Biggs

Further thoughts on snotters. If you make the topmast of wood, whose bend characteristics youcan adjust by sanding and can adjust the height at which the snotter hits the mast, you can get the leech to open up at almost any rate in relation to wind speed/angle.

It would be difficult to whittle, but a non-circular section topmast with different fore-and-aft and athwartships bend characeristics might be interesting.