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Old 20th October 2006, 02:25 PM   #1
windsurfer
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Default How to know when you are overpowered?

Hi

I have just started planing this summer. I want to know how mutch power you are supposed to have in rig to be planing at full power.

For example: The other day I was out sailing in 18 knots wind (gusts up to 21-22 knots) with 6,6 north crossride and my stock fin 52 cm. My board is a GO 155 and my weight is 220 lbs and I am 6 feet 3 inches tall. To be plaining, and commit my weight most of my weight into the harness, I couldt have both feet all the way out on the rail and into the footstraps. My backfoot had to be placed close to the center of the rockerline, and the front foot was in the footstrap.

Then I riged up my 7.5 Gaastra matrix, and stil had the stock fin. Then I could go all the way out in both footstraps, and commit all of my weight into the harness (waist harness). But I had to push hard across the top of the fin with my backfoot to get the board to stay slightly in upwind direction. If I eased of then my board started to head downwind, because of the great fin forces. Was I overpowered with the biggest sail, or is it supposed to be like this when you have full power in your rig?

I do have a smaller freeride fin from g-sport (44cm) but I didn't have the chance to try this, was to tired. Had been sailing for two and a half hour.
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Old 20th October 2006, 09:57 PM   #2
Roger
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

Hi Windsurfer,
At 220 lbs. (99.8 Kg.) I think you really weren't as "powered up" as you think on the 6.6 m2 Crossfire. The Crossfire is a very nice sail, but unless you rig if for max. power, it's going to be a little lacking in power compared to some other 6.6 m2 rigs.
The Gaasta Matrix has a bit mor power designed in, and I think your experience showed you that you can certainly handle (at your weight) the larger sail in 18 knots.
Next time you get these conditions, try a couple of things:
First, try to lift slightly (I know this is hard for big guys, but try it anyway) with your front foot and get your board riding more "on the fin". The stock 52 cm should not be too large for someone your size on the GO 155 in 18 knots.
Where are you running your mast foot?
There could be some mast foot tuning that can help your board to go faster and ride more smoothly.
It sounds to me like you are right on the verge of having the all the way back in the straps, sailing on the fin, techniques working for you, but you feel you need a bit more rig to support your weight.
This is pretty normal, and additional TOW (Time on the Water) will get you more comfortable and build the strength in your legs so you don't get leg fatique from pushing across the top of the fin.
Maybe "curl" your foot a little more "around the rail" so you are pushing more on the side of the board, not just across the top under the footstrap.
Also try moving your heel (loosen the footstraps slightly if necessary) along the rail a little forward and aft of straight in the footstrap. You may find a much more comfortable position that gives you even better upwind angle and speed.
I'd suggest looking for a fin that's similar in design to your stock fin, but in about 46-48 cm as this will be a better "step down"" in fin size than the 44 cm freeride fin.
When the wind gets to around 20 knots+, then try your 6.6 m2 and the 44 cm GSport fin.
Hope this helps,
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Old 21st October 2006, 05:41 AM   #3
windsurfer
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

Quote:
Where are you running your mast foot?
There could be some mast foot tuning that can help your board to go faster and ride more smoothly.
I had my mastfoot in a forward position, the outer diameter of the mast foot was just touching the vent screw. I have done this on this sail after I started to get into the footstraps. Because when plaining in less wind, the nose got to high and the board stalled, and I wasn't able to plane. But I guess if this is what it is sopposed to feel like when you are fully powered up, I could try to move the mastfoot slightly backwards to get less wet surface.

But sometimes I get a bit frightened when the gust hit the rig and I go real fast, because I am afraid of loosing control. But I think that more TOW will give me more confidence, to just use my weight and hang in there. It is fun to go very fast as well as a bit scarey
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Old 21st October 2006, 06:13 AM   #4
windsurfer
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

By the way, my North sail is a 6.6 crossride (2006 mod) not the crossfire (2004 mod).

Will less wet surface reduce some of the fin force that I feel on my backfoot. Because I feel it a bit uncomfortable to use this much power on by backfoot to stay on a reach, in stead of heading downwind.

Where I sail, I am absolutely nessesary to get back to the point where I started from to get home. There is a lot of small bays and islets in the skerries in south of Norway.
So one of the challenges is to get back home, without having to carry your gear for hours, because you are too tired to fight your way back upwind
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Old 21st October 2006, 11:02 AM   #5
Roger
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

Hi Windsurfer,
It almost sounds like you are so concerned with staying upwind, that you aren't heading off enough to get your board fully planing.
Is this sort of the case?
In 18 knots, on the GO 155, unless you are dealing with some pretty major currents that want to take you downwind, you should have no problems at all staying upwind.
My guess is that you have some board tuning issues.
Since you GO 155 is not a formula board, the formula racer's axiom that all the way forward gets you upwind does not really apply.
Which rail are you using to go upwind? Do you "tip" your board so that the upwind rail is down, or do you tip the board a slight bit lee rail (the downwind rail) down to get the fin to give you the most upwind lift.
You may also have some "stance" issues here that make the back foot pressure somewhat unbearable over a long session.
TOW will strenghten you back leg so you can sail upwind with 90%+ of the pressure on your back leg for several hours.
Less wetted surface probably will not reduce the back leg pressure, but it will give you much better speed, and allow your board to skim over the water much more freely than what you are experiencing now by having the mast foot pressure push the entire front of the board down toward the water. The sort of makes your board "plow" and often this results in a very hard bound/rebound cycle that makes control a rather big issue. Get the mast foot back, and the nose up a little, so your board planes more freely and you should be able to "rail" your board slightly to leeward bu pullling up slightly with your front foot while pushing across the top of the fin with your rear foot.
Once you get this mastered, you will never go upwind on the upwind rail unless you aren't planing.
Much better speed and a much better angle to windward with fin lift working for you.
If you are "compensating" for something you experieinced when you had less skills (the nose riding too high when you weren't planing fast)
you may have developed some bad habits.
The nose attitude is controlled in 2 ways.
When you are sub planing, where you put your weight controls the fore and aft (pitch) attitude of your board.
As you get closer to fully planing, you need to move your weight back on the board, at a rate that promotes constant acceleration. Move back too slowly and the board never gets up and over it's bow wave and the rocker transition.
Move back too quickly and the nose pops up too high and your acceleration dies off.
Get it right and your GO 155 will simply "slide" up onto a plane if you have enough power in your sail.
As far as getting the mast foot too far back, yes, you can do that, and your board will begin to tailwalk (dance up out of the water on the fin).
So, move the mast foot back until your board tends to "tailwalk" and then move the mast foot back forward a couple centimeters at a time until you just get things under control.
This is where the board will go the fastest and speed= better/easier sailing upwind.
looked at the North 2006 Crossride, and while it's a bit more free race oriented than I originally thought it's still more a free ride, supercorss sail and this may not give it the best upwind characteristics.
Perhaps you will need (due to your wieght) to get a sligthly larger fin on your GO 155. I'd think something in the 56-58 cm range would make quite a difference in upwind sailing.
We've all done "the walk of shame" at one time or another, so don't feel bad. TOW and better tuning and stance will soon have you zipping back upwind without even thinking about not getting back to where you started. Also, try to at all times determine what the "favored tack" is (to get you back to where you launched) and concentrate on spending more time on that tack.
Do you have any photos of you sailing your GO?
Send me an email (sailquik@mindsprig.com) with a couple of photos of you sailing (upwind if possible) and we may be able to see some issues you have and help you to get beyond them.
Hope this helps,
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Old 21st October 2006, 11:47 PM   #6
windsurfer
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

Quote:
It almost sounds like you are so concerned with staying upwind, that you aren't heading off enough to get your board fully planing.
Is this sort of the case?
No, because I always go a bit downwind to get a smooth an quick transition to get fully on plane.

Quote:
Which rail are you using to go upwind? Do you "tip" your board so that the upwind rail is down, or do you tip the board a slight bit lee rail (the downwind rail) down to get the fin to give you the most upwind lift.
I have already noticed that tipping the upwind rail is not so effective as riding on the fin, because if you tip the upwind rail you loose more speed. This is somtimes critical if the conditions are marginal (my biggest sail is the 7.5).

Quote:
The nose attitude is controlled in 2 ways.
When you are sub planing, where you put your weight controls the fore and aft (pitch) attitude of your board.
As you get closer to fully planing, you need to move your weight back on the board, at a rate that promotes constant acceleration. Move back too slowly and the board never gets up and over it's bow wave and the rocker transition.
Move back too quickly and the nose pops up too high and your acceleration dies off.
Get it right and your GO 155 will simply "slide" up onto a plane if you have enough power in your sail.
As far as getting the mast foot too far back, yes, you can do that, and your board will begin to tailwalk (dance up out of the water on the fin).
In marginal conditions it feels like it is easier to stay in the foostraps( at lower speeds), when just bearly plaining. If I move the mastfoot forward, and it feels like it is it easier to get the board plaining. So yes it could be that I need to move the mastfoot backwards when I have fully powered conditions. I haven't experimented so mutch with mastfoot positions. So when I talked of stalling, (nose high) was when I got into lulls in marginal condition, and didn't move out of the footstaps and move forward on the board, like you is supposed to.

In other words to mutch weight on the back of the board when speed drop so mutch that you are close to the point where you can't obtain plaining speed any more. But it felt like I was able to ride trough the lulls, if I had the mastfoot foreward, still standing in the footstraps.

Quote:
Do you have any photos of you sailing your GO?
Send me an email (sailquik@mindsprig.com) with a couple of photos of you sailing (upwind if possible) and we may be able to see some issues you have and help you to get beyond them.
Hope this helps,
Sorry no pictures. If TOW, and mastfoot tuning, will not solve this issue, I will have someone to take a picture. But thank you for spending time helping us all.

Great forum

I am just waiting for some strong wind to hit me soon
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Old 22nd October 2006, 12:12 AM   #7
Roger
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Default RE: How to know when you are overpowered?

Hi again Windsurfer,
I think you said you have your footstraps all the way back and outboard, but if you don't, you might want to try this as well.
It's knda hard for me, at 170 lbs. to relate to some of the problems you bigger guys have to deal with.
The GO 155 sounds about right for your conditions, but the GO 170 would give you a bit earlier planing, and maybe better upwind.
If you were to ask, I would have recomended the GO 170 for a fellow your size. I usually suggest the GO 155 for smaller lighter sailors.
No reason you can't have a great time on this board, but it's going to require a larger rig and a bit more wind for a big guy, but on the other end of the spectrum, you should be able to sail the GO 155 in well over 20 knots with no problems so anything you'velost with the smaller GO 155 will be more than made up in a higher wind range on the top end.
Hope this helps,
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