Tech Talk: Race Tuning Tips

Bruce Peterson:

"Rig big so that you're sufficiently powered in the lulls. Everything else about tuning the gear is for the top end. Use enough downhaul, batten tension and boom length so you can flatten the sail with adjustable outhaul."

"Give race sails a lot of batten tension, especially the bottom battens. As you work your way up the sail you can taper off tension. Loose battens make the surface less aerodynamic, and it flattens the profile of the sail reducing power. On top of that it looks bad and makes your sail designer grumpy."

"Take the time to dial in your harness line positions. Use a narrower spread on your harness lines for a finer balance."

"Learn how to start fast, a lot of races are over before they begin. The goal is to be at full speed, and on the line, right when the gun goes off."
Dale Cook:

"Play around with your mast base position. I'm conscious of my front foot. If I feel like it wants to lift out of the front strap I move the base forward. If I feel flat footed I move the base back." 

"I like to make sure my cams are properly tensioned. I also use SailKote Teflon Spray on my mast so that the sail rotates very smoothly and rigs easily. DON'T apply SailKote to the boom opening."

"I feel that people don't take advantage of fins. Getting yourself a few good carbon fins to match your board and rig will take both your comfort and speed to the next level."
Phil Soltysiak

"I always write down my key settings; mast base position, downhaul and boom height. This helps me have a good starting point for every slalom session or race, and allows me to start my day where I left off."

"I never crank the outhaul. A flat sail loses power and stability. Power and stability equal speed."

"I never downhaul less than the recommended cog setting. In fact I'm often a couple inches past it."