Sail SELECTION and INVENTORY FOR a race

FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO HAWAII

(maximizing performance, safety and enjoyment to Hawaii)

What's Your Program?
  Three levels of Competitive Programs:
        Family Boat – review and refurbish existing sails, add spinnaker if you don’t have one.
        Budget Race - add one or two new sails – blast reacher, spinnakers
        Open-wallet Race - full inventory of composite sails (consult your sailmaker)
Basic considerations (remember, it’s a downwind race)
  Family Boat - MUST have at least one spinnaker - cruising, asymmetric, or full-size
        BRING POLE - even if family boat with cruising asymmetric only
        It is a LONG RACE if you have no way to set the spinnaker tack to weather -
                A whisker pole is not strong enough; you need a strong pole sized for your boat.
Budget Race – At least three good spinnakers: light, all-purpose, and heavy/shy
        ULDB = .6 oz, 3/4 oz all purpose, 1.5 oz shy
        Displacement = .6/.75 oz, 1.5 oz all-purpose, 1.5 oz shy
Full-Off Race - 6 spinnakers including polyester and 1/2 oz
Recommended Sails:
  Four sections of the race: Beat, Heavy Air Reach, Light Run, and Trades:
Short Beat - only from Start to Seal Rocks area, but important for psyche
        Family - use your present upwind sail(s)
        Budget - Make sure your present upwind sails are in good condition
                     Check weather the morning of race to pick upwind sail (bring one only)
        Full Race - May start with #3 and change up to #1 outside the Gate.
Heavy Air Reach - first couple of days
        Family - DO NOT rely on partially furled headsail for this leg. It may destroy the sail.
                If you have no blast reacher: cut down old 150% to 130% - full forward, high-clew
                High clew on reaching headsails is necessary to keep the foot clear of waves.
        Budget Race - Jib Topsail (155% high-cut, full-forward)
                130 % Blast Reacher - high cut, full forward
        Full Race - 4 headsails and 3 staysails - use as in Bay of Farallones
Light Run - from the "ridge" to the Trades
        Family - hoist whatever you have as soon as you can carry it.
        Budget - Set reacher/shy kite if you have one, then switch to full-size all-purpose
        Full-Race - Asymmetric/Reacher.  Polyester for close reaching when seas are flat.
                Switch to 1/2 or 3/4 as wind pulls aft.
Trades - all the way to the finish  
        Family - carry spinnaker into evening until you are uncomfortable.
                Wing out your trusty high-clewed blast reacher from the Reach.
                Set pole to weather independently of jib sheet: lift, foreguy, and afterguy.
        Budget - Full-size spinnaker in day and evening, change early to heavy air kite.
                Choke down your heavy air kite to stabilize it with out-grabber, net, sock
        Full-race - go for it! Carry your lighter sails as long as you dare.
                Beware - Polyester kites may explode with sudden filling in big waves.
                Do NOT run out of big kites.
Typical Day in the Trades:
           
Morning light air, ounce kite
           
Afternoon building, ounce kite
           
Evening check spinnaker set before dark, consider choking down
           
Night heavy air kite until you have more excitement than you really want in squalls;
                     then wing out jib high-clewed blast reacher on strong pole with 3 control lines.
           
Squall sail trim: out-grabber, spinnaker net, spinnaker sock, chicken stays

Finish
- If you're racing the Pacific Cup, whatever you have up, make sure you can douse
                     quickly - the reefs come up fast after the finish line.
PRIORITIZE:
  Add sails as you can, but in this order. Spinnakers are top priority.  Remember, it is a downwind race with 75 % of the course running. It will be Very slow without one.
        1- Two spinnakers minimum - light all-purpose, heavy all-purpose.
        2- Blast reacher - good for Heavy Reach and Too-Heavy-For-Kite conditions.
        3- Two more spinnakers - .6 ounce and heavy shy kite.
        4- Jib top (155%) for lighter moments of Heavy Reach.
RACE REQUIREMENTS:
  Check with your sailmaker for recommended storm sails.  They may be smaller than those required by the ORC Special Regulations Governing Offshore Racing (www.orc.org), which must be followed at a minimum for this race.  Sailing Instructions will specify changes            

Main - a separate trysail is often required equipment.  If you do not have a separate trysail track, make sure you can attach the sail to the mast and sheet it without the boom.  Maximum size = 17.5% of main luff X main foot.  No headboard or battens.
           
Sail Numbers - must be size specified by RRS Appendix G
BOTH a Heavy Weather jib AND a Storm Jib
per current ORC regulations are often required.  Check the Sailing Instructions.  If used with a head foil, they MUST have an alternative method of attachment to the stay and have no high modulus fibers.

CHECK Existing Sails
  Spread out on floor, check over with your sailmaker:
        Worn stitching, batten pockets, chafe spots (pulpit, spreaders, shrouds)
        Cloth worn out at leech from flogging - hollow, re-cut.
        Hardware: worn/corroded cringles, notched jib hanks, mainsail slug/slide
        Mark corners of sails with sail type and corner (head, tack, clew), mark bags to identify
GENERAL
  BEWARE of CHAFE: Check boat for sharp spots that contact sails:
        Pulpits, spreaders, shrouds (jibs and mains) – add protective patches
        Sheets, guys, and halyards: move twice a day to different place. Check every watch.
        Boom topping lifts on main leech - replace with centerline vang.
Sail Handling Helps:
  Spinnaker Sock ATN - great for short-handed sets, jibes, dowses
                Must have separate sleeve for control lines; stripe and bell are nice.
Spinnaker Net -
Keeps spin from being eaten by forestay, eliminates wraps.
                Insure fasteners do not bite or chafe spinnaker.
Sail Repair Kit -
Basics: needles, palm, thread, adhesive-backed cloth, and hardware.