Generous with his time and advice, Andreas Josenhans improves sailors

Andreas Josenhans again delivers advice to help sailors move from the back of the pack to the front - Chester Race Week 2012
Katie Nicoll
Andreas Josenhans was again most generous of his time with competitors that want to improve their results on the scoreboard. His opening question was, 'Do you like spending money on sail repair?' This really caught everyone by surprise!

Film sails, like Kevlar and Mylar, don’t handle the back and forth rattling and like a quiet leach. When the leach rattles it wears the film, then the fibre, and then they crack… so keep that leach quiet!

He then went on to talk about the best way to bring down a spinnaker. If you have a boat where all the controls and stoppers come back to the pit, everything works well until the spinnaker comes down into the back hatch and no one, including the skipper, can see a thing! He suggested, in his matter of fact manner, 'Bring down the spinnaker into the forward hatch. The person who usually does this is a ‘squirrel’. Then don’t take down your spinnaker until your jib is up, as it creates a vacuum between the sails and the spinnaker is easier to get down.'

Downwind speed is just as important as upwind, to do well in a race. He noted that doing well with asymmetrical spinnakers is, 'All about wing span. The more span the better. Downwind don’t let your rig go forward. Make sure the sail is all the way up and all the way down. When it’s not, the sail doesn’t sail well and it is an unhappy sail.'

Then Andreas addressed the symmetrical spinnaker boats. 'Pole height is critical and you must play it all the time. The tack should be about one foot lower than the clue. Always project maximum sail area. To do this, rock the boat a little bit to weather. It you have swept back spreaders, you can only let the main out to the shrouds. So ease the vang to open the top batten, square to the wind.'

Finally, Andreas had his final bit of advice, 'Don’t move the boat with the rudder, move the crew weight to do it. Let go of the tiller or wheel, and the boat should go where you want it to go without moving the rudder.'