News - Etchells Jaguar Series
Posted by on 7th Feb 2015
Skip Dieball recaps the third segment of the 2015 Jaguar Series.
February. Biscayne Bay, Miami. A sailors paradise. I’ve often said that Biscayne Bay is my favorite spot to sail. Yes, it has it’s moments, like most venues. By and large, however, it is a perfect sailboat racing venue. From the shoreside activities, that are within a walk to the lovely sail to and from the racecourse, it is a great spot!
The 3rd event in the 2015 Jag Series was held this past weekend, Feb 7-8. My team on Aretas (Jon McClean and Jeff Eiber) showed up a day early for some practice, but fell into the trap of just working on the boat and getting it ready for action. Not that we didn’t want to go for a sail, it just seemed logical at the time to spend some time taking care of some loose ends on the boat and casually get it ready for the weekend. Besides, we were confident that we were going fast and the 20+ knot forecast had us not wanting to add to our already concise list of things to work on!
The forecast for the weekend had upper teens on Saturday and lower teens on Sunday. Both days blew slightly under the forecast, but it still made for some great sailing!
We had great starts all weekend, which is very important in all racing, but especially in the Etchells. We managed to get to the top mark in reasonably good shape in all three Saturday races, which is equally important. Slight mishaps around the course had us give away some valuable points, but we were very happy to have 3 solid races. Consistency is our goal and it is tough in such a good fleet.
Saturday night we dissected Saturday’s racing and developed a game plan for Sunday, which continued with the theme of being consistent.
Again, we had two great starts in the two Sunday races. We led the 1st race, gave away some spots, but finished strong downwind for a 2nd. The last race, we were in the hunt all the way around the course, bouncing between 2nd-6th and sailing a strong last beat to finish 3rd. Sunday’s racing was gratifying because we worked hard on all parts of the race (starts, corners, management, etc). We were please with another top 5.
Our sails are the same as the rest of the Jag Series. We used the same main throughout the series. It sets up really well with standard tuning numbers. With our new lever/pusher, we can get finite low bend while managing forestay sag. It is a nice addition to the boat and one that we are becoming more comfortable with. Saturday, we used the MHD jib (medium/heavy) and Sunday we used the LMD jib (light/medium). Both set up really nice with our tuning numbers and show gears that we haven’t had with either of the other brands we’ve used over the past three years. More to learn and, as alway, happy to share!
Team Aretas was looking to capitalize on the first Jag event by expanding their notes and knowledge of the new rig and sails. The first event produced a 10th, which in the Etchells Class and for the Jag Series, is a good finish against so many top teams. We felt good, but knew we left points out on the [...]