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Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 RG-65 Region 5; Final Impressions

Now that I've had a chance to digest the lessons of the first RG-65 regatta, and because Andrew and I plan to join the class with new boats this summer, here are my observations based on the recent regatta...

  1. Because there is no weight limit in these boats, construction drives them ever lighter, however when sailing in a windy venue, or one with waves, builders need to carefully weigh the advantages of light weight versus solid construction. Some of the boats at the White Rock Cup (RG-65 Region 5 Championship) were likely good on the home ponds, but a bit overtaxed on the heavier wind & water of White Rock. Class Secretary Earl Boebert mentioned next year, he would bring a stouter boat, for example.
  2. A general reminder from my Victoria days; the shorter the boat, the more important to keep moving! These boats are light and relatively short (though fast and maneuverable!); it is almost always better to foot off than try to pinch up, they just don't have the weight and length to keep their momentum.
  3. A full set of rigs is a must. Several skippers were bounced out, or suffered, because they didn't have the right rig for the conditions, which ran the gamut from A to D over the course of the regatta. Further, C and D rigs should have relatively low aspect sail plans. The idea of the C and D rigs is heavy weather sailing, to have a high aspect rig seems to counteract the premise of a small rig to bleed off over-powering. For example, Chuck LeMahieu's low aspect C rig gave him much better controllability in the heavy air, than Eric Rosenbaum's equivalent high-aspect rig, as Eric widely noted.
  4. Fractional rig boats are competitive, obviously, one won the regatta. My own view is, like the Marbleheads, the Swing rig is best in A and B conditions, it might be worth the engineering issues to create a boat with high aspect A & B swing rigs, and low aspect  C and D fractional rigs.
These boats were fun to watch, and most handled the conditions surprising well, Roo and I can't wait to get some of our own going!

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