A Special Note From Bill Wiggins About The 2007 ILYA Melges 17 Championship

A Special Note From Bill Wiggins About The 2007 ILYA Melges 17 Championship

25 July 2007

25 JULY 2007 ? No doubt that everyone had fun at this past weekend's Melges 17 ILYA Championship at the Pewaukee Yacht Club in Pewaukee, Wisconsin! It looks like a lot was learned too. Bill Wiggins has this to share.


I just wanted to write a quick note discussing Pewaukee and a few related topics. I for one was very impressed with the club and the involvement by their members in hosting our Inland Championships. Tammy and Dex did a great job! Kudos!

I am still learning the Ins-and-Outs of the whole IYLA thing. However, I do know that they are ALL ABOUT promoting the sport of sailing! VERY COOL! Anyway, I was very fortunate to arrive in P-Ville a couple of days early to do some speed testing and extra tuning with Mark Unicume. I can tell you that we learned a ton about the boat while we were there. Shall I share?

Downwind: I have learned that North Spinnakers seem to like the tack to be a bit higher than originally thought. =I have actually replaced my tack line and added about 3?. This allows the tack to fly about 2.5 ? 3? up off the end of the pole. Why, you ask? When you ease the tack up, it allows the draft (Center of Effort) to move aft in the sail while closing the leach which allows the trimmer to ease the sheet further without losing power. This, in turn, allows the driver to steer a slightly lower course with the same power as before. Short term: you will feel like you are doing something wrong when the majority of the fleet is sailing higher. Big Picture: you will be going just as fast and end up sailing less distance resulting in better VMG.

The downside to this is when you need to reach higher you will get over-powered much sooner.

Upwind: The best thing we learned about upwind was that you cannot pinch this boat. Don?t sail FAT, but most importantly don?t pinch. Keep the luff tales flowing (windward tale up 45% in breeze). Keep the leach tale flying too. This may mean moving the jib lead. Also, look at the front of the main. If you see that it is back-winding, Pull the jib lead aft to open the leach. Then trim the jib slightly more than you think. The tales on the upper leach of the mainsail should be flowing ALL the time. If they stall, EASE! Remember, the jib only controls the wind on the backside of the main on the bottom third. The top of the main has to be twisted to allow full flow over the upper third.

Boat Prep: The thing that stands out the most from last week is where we pull the kite in over the splash rail. That rail is very hard on the sail. Buy some Teflon tape and apply it to the leading/port edge of the rail. You will see and feel a different.

Party Procedures: To many Mai Tai?s lead to a headache in the morning!

See you in Michigan!

Bill Wiggins

JOIN THE MELGES 17 YAHOO GROUPS today! The Yahoo Groups is a great way to share ideas, learn from fellow competitors and discuss upcoming events! Melges 17 tips and tricks are welcomed. Larry Brand was the one that got this started, in his honor let's keep it going!
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