Do you know how to sail to the carriers in strong winds?


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photo-wild-oatsLet us also play with images, as Filippo Ceccarelli used to do in his legendary “Visual Clues” column in il Venerdì di Repubblica.

The photo we show you of Wild Rose (the overall winning boat of the Sydney Hobart a few years ago) is from the … sailing handbook. Wild Rose is a Farr 43 that Australian wine magnate Bob Oatley (patron of the Wild Oats series of boats) commissioned in 1983 in preparation for the 1987 Admiral’s Cup and which took to the water in 1985, purchased in 1991 by Roger Hickman.

With hulls with somewhat older lines, at the bearers, you sail like this to get the most out of them (crucial in a regatta like this, where you have to factor in grinding a lot of miles with the wind at your back):

1. STATIC STERN WEIGHT. Static weight (raft, outfitting…) is carried as far aft as possible: IOR boats such as Wild Rose have pronounced stern slips, and the best way to make the most of dynamic speed is to set the weight back as far as possible, increasing the waterline length of the hull. But not only that. the point of maximum beam is also tacked and make the boat “lean” at that point by reducing roll as much as possible.

2. BACK CREW. See how tacked up the crew is as well, with even three members behind the helmsman. In addition to the reasons listed above, this makes it as easy as possible to glide and get the bow out of the wave line, decreasing the risk of gagging.

3. GENOA TROLLEY FORWARD. The foresail sheet point is far forward so as to “make sack” and stabilize the sail, which is essential when you are sailing in strong winds and formed waves.

4. VANG HEADED. The vang is tensioned just right to flatten the mainsail and stabilize the boat: the sail in this case is much easier to handle.

5. DOLPHIN USE. In the bow, we find a fixed dolphin rail, a solution that allows the tack point of the gennaker and asymmetrics to be advanced. Heavier but more solid than the bowsprit, it is also an ideal attachment point for a Code Zero type furling sail, or as in this case, a large headsail (which must have a 130% overlap to be considered by the IRC system: the heavy jib would instead result in a reduction in the rating rebate).


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