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Asymmetric sail trim in light airs

Published on May 16th, 2023

by Andy Rice, Yachting World
Francesca Clapcich has enjoyed a hugely diverse and successful racing career. Her years racing the Laser Radial at Olympic level honed her wave-riding skills where sailors steer huge arcs – either luffing up or bearing away to run by the lee – in order to find the best path downwind.

Her subsequent switch to the 49erFX skiff introduced her to the very different techniques of sailing to the much fussier demands of the gennaker. While bowsprit-driven headsails may be fast and efficient, they’re not very adaptable to different steering angles, nothing like a Laser or a symmetric spinnakered boat. A gennaker demands that you steer to the sail’s optimum trim most of the time.

Clapcich’s subsequent switch to offshore racing in boats like the VO65, Figaro 3, and IMOCA has given her a breadth of asymmetric trimming experience that makes her the perfect coach for this subject. Here are Francesca’s five best tips for good asymmetric boatspeed in light to moderate conditions. – Full report

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