The work-up continues


 
Video and the latest from SailRocket and her new solid sail rig
Finally a weather window remained open long enough for us to utilise it. On Wednesday we got our third sail in with the wing. We should have been on the water a lot sooner but the process of adjusting the rigging so the loads are shared turned rather complicated. You have to remember that the rig has to be raised and lowered during sailing activities and this requires the forestay and backstay to be withdrawn into the boat in a controlled manner. All the turn blocks and purchase systems are set up in such a way that by the time they reach the cramped confines of the cockpit they are simplified down to one 6mm Marlow rope fed through a Harken cam cleat. This system also makes it impossible simply to put the rig up and adjust the shroud tension from down below. It has to be done at the top of the mast. Yesterday we raised and lowered the wing seven times in the gusty car park and once on the water. As it was quite windy in the car park we had Sailrocket lashed down. Handling our wing is nothing like handling a soft sail. It hunts around and turns on and off with the slightest adjustment in angle. It makes us all nervous and reminds me of handling wild animals. If you lose control of a situation then all hell can break loose in an instant. We had to get these settings right before sailing in any breeze. I wouldn't have gone out otherwise. Our previous two outings showed the settings to be way out so we did our own stretch tests and set the rig according to our own data. With so much wind about the Sth Coast in the last 10 days we haven't had the chance

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