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The Weta is not at its best in 6 knots but it ought to be coming alive by the time it gets up to 12. I am no expert, but my feeling on downwind technique in light winds (refined with reference to a SpeedPuck playback) is that in light winds pointing as deep as you can with the sails drawing is the way to go. Goose-winging can work. Yesterday I was sailing in about 6 kts and getting a dead downwind(DDW) speed of about 2.8. By ‘heating up’ I got up to 3.5kts but the Vmg was the same. I think the maths goes like this – if you head off the ‘rhum line’ (actually, the direct track) by 30 degrees you will have to sail a distance equivalent to half your speed to get back to the mark after you gybe. Simplified, this means that if you head up 30 degrees, you have to double your speed to gain. This can probably work in waves or in stronger winds but in 6 kts (which is 3kts apparent) you probably won’t double your speed by heading off 30 degrees. Yeah, by heading up hard you MAY be able to generate some apparent wind but you must then soak and my guess is that it doesn’t pay except perhaps in the hands of a very experienced asymmetric sailor. Sailing downwind in these conditions is boring and a pain but patience is, I believe, the way. Your catamaran competitors just sitting there and pointing at the mark were probably doing the right thing.


George Morris
Weta 117