How to Trim the Main in Super Light Air

Here’s an excerpt from the 2020 Thistle Nationals Roundtable Series led by Greg Fisher. Hear from Mike Ingham and Greg Griffin on how to trim your Thistle mainsail in very light air.

Transcript:

Greg Fisher (00:03): We talked a little bit about light air here, we’ve talked about where we trim the main upwind in medium breeze. In that really ugly light stuff – and you guys pointed out how you only heel the boat for the gravity to shake the sails for you – how far out are you easing the main from the tiller hole? How far off to leeward are you easing it? A lot of us sail in light air, and I think sometimes we over-ease the main maybe and maybe heel a little bit too much, so this is good stuff.

Mike Ingham (00:36): We like to talk about how much flow the top leech telltale has, and and as long as I can ease it enough in light air to get that flowing some I’m happy. I do think there’s a limit to that. Sometimes when it’s just crazy light if you ease it and you still see the top leech telltale stalled and you ease a little more and the top of the main starts to luff a little bit, essentially it’s so twisted that the front of the main starts to luff, then I’m not going to get flow. It’s just not worth easing at that point. That’s a great question. Greg, what do you do for that?

Greg Griffin (01:17): We might even pull the traveler to weather in that super twisty stuff we’re trying to achieve so we can get the bottom to give us our height, but then you’ve got such wind shear in those real light wind conditions it’s such a different angle up high you do want that twist so that might be something we might try in that.