I senaste numret av Sailing World fanns en bra artikel (winners debrief) med Dave Ullman, som ju vann ett blåsigt VM i Melges.
What’s the key to keeping the boat moving upwind in that heavy stuff?
Bill makes the crew hike extraordinarily hard. He’s right there in the middle of it pushing himself. They wear the Hutchinson Hiking pads and straps that are nice and thick. They ignore the pain and hike hard. They know that’s what it takes to win.
I’m a huge believer in sailing by the speedo and following my target numbers. Without the speedo you’re going to sail around three- or four-tenths too slow all the time. Our target range is 5.8 to 6.0, so let’s say I’m sailing along and my target at the moment is 5.8. If I’m sailing at 5.4, all I do is let the sheet out 2 inches and within 10 seconds I’ll be sailing at 5.8 again. You couldn’t possibly do that without a speedo.
The key is you want to go as high as you can while keeping to that target range. The goal is to steer the least amount possible. Just make the boat go absolutely straight until you see a wave you can’t get through. If you have to go around a wave, look for the flattest place in the area and sail through that.
How much of the main is alive?
In 15 to 20 knots you should be able to keep the whole thing alive. In 20 to 25 you should be able to keep the bottom half alive, and anything above 25 you stop worrying about it. Make it as flat as you can, let it flog, and just sail on the jib.