FIRST PLUS ONE RACE IN THE BOOKS

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A Safer and More Fun Shorthanded Racing Option

By Adam Loory, General Manager, UK Sailmakers International

Those of us at UK Sailmakers have been working with sailors and sailing organizations to grow our sport through the development of new forms of racing that are both fun and accessible. Many people have told me that they don't race more because getting crew is such a problem. Reflecting that statistic, the number of boats competing in doublehanded distance races has been growing over the last decade.

For serval years I have been trying to get a new shorthanded racing series off the ground recognizing that one appeal of shorthanded sailing is that it much easier to pull together a small crew than a large one. Since not every boat is set up to be sailed well with just two people, and because not all sailors want to exert as much energy sailing as doubleheaders, I developed a new handicap crew-size format that straddles doublehanding and fully crewed racing.

I am calling this new series "Plus One" since the crew limit is one more person than the tens digit of the boat's hull length. Therefore, any boat from 20-29.9 feet will race with three crew, any boat in the 30s will sail with four, and any boat in the 40s sails with five.

To test the theory, I convinced The Storm Trysail Club and the Larchmont Yacht Club to run a Plus One race after the last of the fall regattas on Long Island Sound. Those two clubs are as dedicated to growing the sport as UK Sailmakers so it was an easy sell to get them to host the race. That first race was sailed Sunday, October 21 in a howling, cold northerly. While the race was not the best test of the new shorthanded theory, the inaugural Plus One race turned out to be a great test of heavy air seamanship challenging everyone on each crew to perform at the highest level.

With the wind blowing 21-25 and gusting into the 30s, Nick Langone, The Storm Trysail Club's PRO, wasn't sure if he should start the race. Instead of making the call on whether to race, he polled the fleet over the radio and heard a unanimous "we are here to race." Because no one flew spinnakers or changed jibs during the race, it was not the optimal test of shorthanded crews handling sail changes and spinnakers; but the Plus One teams sailed their boats under reduced canvas in conditions that many full crews normally elect to skip.

Josh Burack sailed his J/105 Peregrina well and crossed the finish line second and finished first on corrected time. Justin Scagnelli sailing the J/88 Albondigas finished third and Alex Helfand's Hunter 37 Shadowfox finished fourth. Twelve boats registered for the regatta, seven made it to the starting line and six started the race. Only four finished on a sunny day where the wind chill was in the 30s and the winds gusted to the 30s.

The best comment came from Alex Helfand who said, "We saw 35 knots of wind, yet nothing broke; I am very happy. I like the (Plus One) crew format. While we didn't not get to test flying the spinnaker, a solid crew of four made for a very enjoyable day. There wasn't one point where I recalled raising my voice; everyone worked well together and had plenty to do."

What I wanted to show with this race were the benefits of Plus One over double-handed racing. First, not all boats are set-up for competitive double-handed racing. Further, if one of the two double-handed sailors goes overboard, a single-handed MOB retrieval is not within every sailor's skill set. With Plus One, there are still enough people to manage headsails with luff tapes and spinnakers that are set without a sock. At the same time, because you're not sailing with the full complement of crew, everyone is more involved with racing the boat-there are no purely "rail meat" crewmembers; everyone has multiple jobs to do so they learn different skills, and the owner has fewer bodies to wrangle before leaving the dock.

Here is a link to a video posted by Hamish Young before his Ben. 36.7 Jamala IV had to drop out due to a blown-out jib.

Photos by Igor Annopolsky.

Here is a link to a video shot on Jamala IV during the race.

Results
1. Peregrina, Josh Burack, J/105, 90 PHRF
2. Soulmates, Adam Loory, Custom 40, 21 PHRF
3. Albondigas, Justin Scagnelli, J/88, 81 PHRF
4. Shadowfox, Alex Helfand, Hunter 37, 102 PHRF
DNF: Frequent Flyer, Alistair Duke, Ben First 36.7
DNF: Jamala IV, Hamish Young, Ben. First 36.7
DNS: Reviver, J/112e, Scott Devine
DNC: Thin Man, J/92, Todd Aven
DNC: Sirius, J/33, Charles Taus
DNC: Moonshine, Columbia 32, Allen Fligor
DNC: Abilyn, J/120, Josh Reisberg
DNC: Upsetter, J/80, Jason Viseltear

THE DAMAGE MIGHT BE TO MORE THAN JUST YOUR SAILS

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Never leave your sails exposed to the elements on the boom or furled around the headstay all winter. UK Sailmakers Winter Service is much better for your sails than abandoning them to the icy winter winds that will try to rip them to shreds. And if a shredded furling genoa is not bad enough, a flogging genoa has a good chance of blowing a boat off its jack- stands leading to disastrous results.

If you think stuffing your sails below for the winter is a good plan, think again. Sails attract moisture, which promotes the growth of mildew. That mildew can grow on your sails and on other damp surfaces inside your boat. If you are storing your sails yourself, keep them dry and warm; a dry basement is better than a cold garage. Better yet, bring your sails to our loft or call for a pick up from most local boatyards and yacht clubs.

WINTER SERVICE TIME

  If you are thinking about ordering new sails that will be ready to use on the first day of the 2019 sailing season, now is the time to order. Most new sail delivery dates are delayed because we can’t get the measurements we need because the mast is down or the boat is encased in shrink wrap. So call today before you cover your boat or pull your mast.

If you are thinking about ordering new sails that will be ready to use on the first day of the 2019 sailing season, now is the time to order. Most new sail delivery dates are delayed because we can’t get the measurements we need because the mast is down or the boat is encased in shrink wrap. So call today before you cover your boat or pull your mast.

IT’S been a great summer and unfortunately fall has arrived abruptly. Smooth summer sailing next year depends on proper preventative maintenance this winter. When you put your boat away, don't forget to send your sails and canvas to UK Sailmakers for winter service that includes washing, full inspection, repair and storage in our climate controlled storage facilities.

  An example of chafe found in an inspection. A chafe patch will be applied to keep the sail from getting ripped in the future. If this small damage was not found, the sail could have kept getting damaged to the point of failure.

An example of chafe found in an inspection. A chafe patch will be applied to keep the sail from getting ripped in the future. If this small damage was not found, the sail could have kept getting damaged to the point of failure.

UK Sailmakers Winter Service is designed to look for the wearing effects of UV sunlight, luffing and flogging, tacking and jibing on your sails. We seek out the small problems before they can turn into big headaches next summer.

While you are decommissioning your boat at the end of the season, don't forget to take your sails off the boat. The best place to store them is at our loft in our climate controlled loft after they have been washed and checked over. A frigid boat is no place for a sail you need to depend on next spring. Sails absorb moisture, which promotes the growth of mold and mildew on your sails and to the interior of your boat.

UK Sailmakers Chicago is your full service loft for new sails, sail repairs and sail storage.

We offer:
• Pick up and delivery to local boat yards and yacht clubs.
• Quality Repairs on ALL BRANDS OF SAILS
• Sail De-Rigging and Installation for an extra charge
• Professional Sail and Canvas Cleaning (brighten up your sails and canvas and eliminate mildew growth)
• Storage for sails and canvas
Rolled Sail storage for racing sails
• Careful inspection of all edges, corners, seams, batten pockets, luff tapes and luff hardware, and UV covers. We will call if any major repair is needed.
• New Tell Tales
• On-site storage in dry, heated location

We will help you protect your investment in your boat’s primary source of propulsion.

TREAT YOUR SAILS RIGHT THIS WINTER, CONTACT UK SAILMAKERS

Located at:
2323 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: (312) 326-1053
chicago@uksailmakers.com

WINTER SAIL SERVICE

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While you are decommissioning your boat at the end of the season, don't forget to take your sails off the boat. The best place to store them is at our loft in our climate controlled loft after they have been washed and checked over. A frigid boat is no place for a sail you need to depend on next spring. Sail absorb moisture, which promotes the growth of mildew on your sails and to the interior of your boat.

UK Sailmakers Metro NY is your full service loft for sail repairs, sail storage and sail replacements. We offer:

• Pick up and deliver to most local boat yards and yacht clubs.
• Sail De-Rigging and Installation for an extra charge
• Professional Sail and Canvas Cleaning
• Storage for washed sails and canvas
• Quality Repairs on ALL BRANDS OF SAILS
• Careful inspection of all edges, corners, seams, batten pockets, luff tapes and luff hardware, and UV covers. We will call if we find a major repair is needed.
• New Tell Tales
• On-site storage in dry, heated lockers

We will help you protect your investment in your boat’s primary source of propulsion.
TREAT YOUR SAILS RIGHT THIS WINTER, CONTACT UK SAILMAKERS
Located at:
10 Midland Ave., Suite M-4
Port Chester, NY 10573
914-600-8800
newyork@uksailmakers.com

DISASTER AVERTED WITH ANNUAL INSPECTION AND SERVICE

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UK Sailmakers Winter Service is designed to look for the wearing effects of UV sunlight, luffing and flogging, tacking and jibing on your sails. We seek out the small problems before they can turn into big headaches next summer.

Shown in the photo is of two-year-old dacron genoa that just came into the loft for “storage only.” We suggested that the sail be inspected and found that the leech of the sail by the spreader is showing signs of chafe to the stitching and leech tape. As a result, we will reinforce this area with a chafe patch to prevent a rip from developing. This is just once example of how we can discover small issues before they become big problems that could interrupt sailing season that is way too short.

AVOIDING UNFORCED ERRORS

Many races, both handicap and one-design, are won or lost by a handful of seconds. A good way to insure you're not on the losing side is to avoid "Unforced Errors." These are errors we make on our own...not when there are other boats around to force us into making less than favorable decisions.

  Hitting a mark with no other boats nearby is definitely an unforced error.

Hitting a mark with no other boats nearby is definitely an unforced error.

A couple of weekends ago I was in a handicap race where we needed to beat the second-place boat by a lot of time. Approaching the first windward mark, while many boat lengths in the lead, I tacked on what I thought was the layline. Because of the adverse current, I misjudged the layline and had to tack two more times to get around the mark. That cost us nearly a minute and we lost to that boat on corrected time.

In another race, I tried to carry the spinnaker too close to the leeward mark to gain as much time as we could. Big mistake! As we came around the leeward mark, our jib was only half way up and the spinnaker only half way down. It was not pretty and certainly not fast. That cost us anywhere from 45-90 seconds and that was more than we owed our nearest competitor.

Neither of these mistakes were forced by boats right around us. They were unforced errors due to our not thinking through all the factors at hand (current vis-à-vis the layline) or that we were too aggressive in a leeward rounding (I had some less experienced crewmembers aboard). But these are the types of mental lapses - unforced errors--that you can avoid if you anticipate what's ahead for you on the course.

I did learn from the first mistake; last weekend we were in the lead in a very light air race with no one around us. Before making my final tack to the mark, I overstood by a boat length or more. Yes, it cost us some time, but the extra 15 seconds I left on the table from overstanding was a lot less expensive than two tacks in light wind.

The moral to this story: don't be too greedy, anticipate your maneuvers, and have someone go through a mental check list with you before making a move. The cost of racing on the knife edge of perfection can translate to lost places on the result sheet. So be a little more conservative, think about what's next, and don't make those unforced errors.

HUGE TEST PLATFORM

  The Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY going upwind with her X-Drive main and Tape-Drive No. 2 genoa. A big boat makes a great test platform for sails.

The Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY going upwind with her X-Drive main and Tape-Drive No. 2 genoa. A big boat makes a great test platform for sails.

Stuart and Joy Dahlgren are the owners of UK Sailmakers Northwest as well as the Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY, which they use for testing sail construction, sail design and sail longevity. The latest test they are conducting is involves their massive the carbon X-Drive main — it is the largest X-Drive sail made to date. “What better way to test a new product than on my own boat, “ said Dahlgren. “Problems show up much faster in big sails than they do in small sails.” Dahlgren had such confidence in X-Drive that he built a 1,095 sq. ft. mainsail for his Santa Cruz 70. That same main just nished its second race to Hawaii after many other area races over the past three years. The picture above is WESTERLY on her way to finishing first in PHRF Class 1 and first overall in the 2018 138-mile Swiftsure Lightship Classic race. The photo below is the same X-Drive main at the start of the 2018 Pacific Cup that goes over 2000 miles from San Francisco to Hawaii. “I’ve proven to myself that X-Drive sails are a viable option for racing and cruising sailors on a budget, no matter what size the boat,” reported Dahlgren.

  WESTERLY leaving San Francisco on her way to Hawaii in the 2018 Paciific Cup flying her No. 4 genoa and full X-Drive carbon main.

WESTERLY leaving San Francisco on her way to Hawaii in the 2018 Paciific Cup flying her No. 4 genoa and full X-Drive carbon main.

HUBO WINS DUTCH IRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Congratulations to Erik Van Vurren and his crew on the bright yellow Waarschip 36 HUBO for winning Class 2 of the Dutch IRC Championship and for being crowned the overall Dutch IRC Champion. The regatta was sailed in the end of August at Breskens Sailing Weekend. In the mostly heavy air regatta, HUBO beat the second place finisher, the Archambault 35 AMARIS 2, which also had a full inventory of UK Sailmakers Titanium sails.

  Erik Van Vurren collecting the silver at the Dutch IRC Championship

Erik Van Vurren collecting the silver at the Dutch IRC Championship

HUBO was built and optimized for the Offshore Worlds sailed in July. After that series, her owner, top Dutch sailor Erik Van Vurren wrote, "Our journey with UK Sailmakers has been truly special. Not shying away from innovation, we designed a sustainable racer for the World Championship 2018 requiring an equally bold approach from our sailmaker. Our wishes were their command and in the unbelievably short period between launch and the Worlds, when we were tuning for speed, the designers of UK Sailmakers just knew how to translate those findings into seamlessly designed sails with the right cloth. The team calls the A0 a “secret weapon” for a reason.

Perfect teamwork and we're impressed with the knowledge in-house which we have stretched to the max. The attention to detail shows me, a professional sailmaking craftmanship at its finest."

HUBO off Breskins under spinnaker

  HUBO going upwind in the waves

HUBO going upwind in the waves

Just Because It Has Three Corners Does Not Make It A Sail

J/33 SIRIUS sailing with her new X-Drive Carbon main.

Charles Taus bought an X-Drive genoa for his J/33 SIRIUS in 2017 from UK Sailmakers New York and noticed an immediate jump in performance. But during 2018 he noticed that his boat wasn’t keeping up with other boats that had new X-Drive sails. So he bit the bullet and ordered a new main that got delivered in 10 days for two important regattas in August. The following are his glowing comments.

“With the new main I am certain the boat is less tender above 8 knots.  We now play with halyard tension in half-inch adjustments and see visible changes in the shape.  I did not realize how blown-out my Dacron main was. In comparison, I could never flatten the Dacron sail at all.  Similarly, with the Dacron main, the traveler was out of play as an adjustment – I’d drop it all the way down with no effect — except that the sheet was out of reach.  I had been using sheet tension to relieve helm.  Yesterday I was able to drop the traveler a foot, and kill the weather helm, without dumping main sheet. I didn’t know what I was missing.”

Taus wrote these comments after winning his class in the Governor’s Cup on western Long Island Sound, just outside of New York City.