Our main sailing season draws to a close so the winds can be shifty and difficult to predict. We do however, still get fantastic days now and again and Sunday was such a day. The wind had quite a bit of east and was constant. In these conditions, the water is reasonably flat and you can sail long legs at high speed – a perfect opportunity to tune my Falcon 113 and my Vandal Stitch 7.0m. I am embarrassed to tell you how anal this process is. The mast foot is moved in increments of about 1mm at a time and when the sweet spot has been found the outhaul settings are similarly adjusted. This is something to be done away from others. I’m happy with the results however, and feel that I have achieved a nicely balanced set-up.
This is a picture of my Vandal. It comes from their site and was taken when the guys were here doing a photo shoot of the 2013 sails. I subsequently purchased this very sail.
Vandal has closed its doors now I suppose, with Dan Kaseler’s move to Avanti so I’m glad I was able to get it. Dan is one of the sail designers in our sport with an exceptional talent for designing stable, fast, camless sails. His experience as a top yachting race sail designer has given him special insights which enable him to create something special. The Stich is way special. I don’t like the Vandal masts however. A softer top, constant curve mast is better I find, so I use a North Platinum 460 SDM. The result is a feather light, lightning fast, joyful thing.
Everyone had a fantastic sail on Sunday. I recall Volker, a visiting Swiss sailor, emerging from the water – his face shining with joy. “Fantastic” was his only comment and I think this summed it up for all of us. On days like this I am reminded of a line in one of Van Morrison’s songs – you come away “…feeling wondrous and lit up inside with a sense of everlasting life”.
Surely this is what our sport is really about – not obsessing over mast track and outhaul settings. Will any of us stop fiddling and faffing with our equipment though?
Not on your life!
Talk to you soon