Ulsan PWA World Cup
The early morning gamble at first light didn’t pay off first thing this morning with little to no wind greeting the crew and sailors. However, as the day progressed the offshore winds slowly swung round to the southwest and by mid-afternoon things started to look quite promising with the local sea breeze trying to kick in.
Shortly after 4pm the wind did briefly pick up to 10-18 knots and the first attempt to run the opening heat of the year was made, but unfortunately after the first buoy it had to be cancelled. From here the conditions continued to deteriorate so the waiting game goes on in South Korea.
Earlier in the day we asked Kurosh Kiani (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins) to take you through the basics of setting up a slalom sail:
- I’m a fairly standard height - not massively tall anyway - and compared to many guys I use a relatively low boom height. I like to use a lower boom mostly because it helps with gybing. It’s also the point where I feel most comfortable with my sail.
- I have my boom set on the lowest point I can before the board feels really stuck to the water otherwise.
- What you’ll find is if you use a really high boom then you really have to rake the rig back, but boom height is also a matter of personal preference - so experiment until you find what you feel comfortable with.
- Most of the modern slalom sails require a moderate amount of downhaul even as a minimum setting. My Point-7 sail in question here actually has less downhaul than usual, but that again comes down to personal preference as I like them with a bit less.
- The less downhaul you put on the more backhanded your sail will feel.
- The more downhaul you put the more streamlined profile you will have and you’ll find the nose of your board will lift up more.
- The downside of more downhaul is that you’ll lose a bit going upwind - so I like to try and find a compromise in the middle.
- I like to set my sails with a decent amount of outhaul too so the sail is nice and tight.
- Most of the guys tend to set the outhaul with zero or negative outhaul, which means the sail is generally touching the boom all the way along, but that is also conditions dependent.
- I prefer to have a tighter leech and outhaul so that I can point higher and have more power.
How about adjustable outhauls?
- The adjustable outhaul is a must have. I use it constantly - sometimes even during the race. It’s an essential piece of equipment to have if you are slalom racing.
- It’s important that you play around and experiment until you find the settings that fit you the best as settings that work for one sailor will not necessarily work for another. There isn’t a magic formula you just have to try and find what is working the best for you, your stance and your body size.
Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) on today’s close call and tomorrow’s forecast: “Today was a little bit more exciting because I would say for 10 minutes it was suitable. We actually came quite close with the fleets being called to the committee boat, but I’m kind of lucky as I’m in Heat 11 so I wasn’t stressing too much.
At one point it was actually windy and I was out for 30-45 minutes cruising around on my 9.0m and big board trying to make time go faster.”
On tomorrow… “Yesterday we were planing, today it was suitable for 10 minutes, so I have high hopes for tomorrow.”
Heading into the penultimate day of the event - the forecast looks the most promising day of the week so far with 15-29 knots of wind from the west-south-west being predicted by 1pm. Today saw the conditions right on the edge, so hopefully tomorrow proves to be the day when the 2017 title races can officially begin. The sailors will meet again at 9am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 9:30am (GMT+9) - if conditions allow.
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