The traveler is easy - just loose enough to not interfere with your steering.
The vang is a compromise - you need it tight enough to keep the end of the boom down and just outside the boat. Most people have it in too far and results in less speed and your centerboard stalling. By footing you can actually end up pointing higher, which happened on the first day of the 2012 Master Midwinters East. The first day at the 1997 Master Worlds also happened to be light and my finishes were a 2, 2. That evening I wrote this in my Worlds journal: Mark Bethwaite made the comment that my sail was different from everyone else in the fleet - more vang, boom way out. The sheeting out was to keep the boat moving but the vang bit really surprised me. I was surprised because it never occurred to me I was the only person sailing this way. You've got to keep the boat moving, especially in lumpy conditions in open water. The reason why this setting is a compromise is because the tight vang really messes up the top of the sail where you would really prefer to have some twist. But keeping the boat moving is more important.
I like to pull the cunningham on until there are no wrinkles and then let it off so that the lowest part of the luff is loose and sensitive enough to read. Other people have a loose cunningham and "speed wrinkles" but these have never worked for me.
For the outhaul, I use a trick from Steve Bourdow (
, 2nd at the Newport Worlds) - put your thumb on the boom near the cleat and then your pinkie should just touch the foot of the sail. You can have it a little tighter for flat water and a little looser for lumpy conditions, but Steve's trick works well most of the time. I also like it because smaller people tend to have smaller hands, so they would tend to have a tighter foot than a larger person who needs more power in their sail. USA
For the mainsheet, some people like Keith Wilkins (GBR, 12 Master World wins) can sail with it tight and even block-to-block. I cannot and prefer to foot to keep the centerboard from stalling.
|2006 Master Words in Korea|
With the correct setup, you now have speed. But speed in light air without being smart will help you go really fast the wrong way. Sailing smart in light conditions will be covered in another post.