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Posts Tagged ‘spinnaker’

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Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 3.34.38 PMBig Pimpin’

For generations, families have gone into the woods to dig up time capsules. Relics of the past, to see how things were done way back when. For anyone who dug up an old Club 420, they were able to take it straight to the racecourse and give it the whip.

So many of us wonder why our kids are racing the same boats we buried in the backyard years ago, which is why it’s so encouraging to see some brilliant moves by Class leaders that have allowed the Club 420 to hit a sharp upswing in popularity.  Series scoring, smart championship and event venue choices, and creative work in partnership with builders Sturgis, Zim, and LP continue to add value to one of the foundations of youth sailing in America.

Managing a one-design class is a difficult balance between honoring history and keeping up with the times, and improvements can be painful in the short term even while they make the boat better, newer, and more exciting again. We’ve seen it with the E-Scow, Laser, Sunfish, Thistle, J24, and Melges 24, among others, and over this past winter season, the Club 420 has seen a unique and successful effort by the Builders and the Class, working together, to modernize the gear while adding a bit to the safety and ease of use.

The changes may be minor, but for 420 sailors, they give us some new gear to geek out on. There’s a new spinnaker cut to make the reaches more fun, plus a new rig package from Seldén which offers a lighter boom, plus updates the mast to replace the high-maintenance items with smarter and stronger parts.  Now the kiddos can even fly around the course with the same boom their Team USA heroes Stu and Dave took to Rio in the 470; if you’ve got young ones- the new gear is available from each of the class Builders. (Sturgis, Zim & LP).  Click the photo above or go here for a closer look at the new boom with Club 420 ExecDir John Vandemoer.

It shouldn’t be understated how important the C420 class is for the future of Sailing, and we’re all lucky for the current board of innovators and lifelong class stalwarts, so if you see one of them at the bar or in the boat park, buy ‘em a round and see if there’s an event in your area you can help out with next year! You may leave the weekend with new inspiration from Youth Sailing.

For a discussion about Selden and the growth of youth sailing in the USA, check last month’s Sailing Anarchy Podcast with Tim Fitzgerald, and keep an eye on Selden Mast Facebook page for more innovations over the coming months.


March 24th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 12.04.31 AMProps to the Bill Faude and the US Lightning Class’s A-Sail experimentation; they Class is trying to determine what its future holds ‘while the class is strong…not when we are in crisis and then react to save ourselves.’

Here’s a report from Faude, posting in the thread on Assymetric Lightnings.

We had fun starting this evaluation this weekend. Overall, the objective is very simple:

Try to figure out if adding some area to the kite and looking at a couple of A-symmetrical alternatives would possibly make sailing the Lightning more fun. That’s what we’re in business to do. Have fun.  Keeping the design contemporary is a big part of that.

The boat weighs 700 pounds. It also planes brilliantly on half its bottom with it’s 76-year-old trendy hard chines. At speed it is solid as a rock, powerful and safe. One interesting challenge we face is that we primarily sail sausages and we most often find ourselves displacing. There are people who have been in the class 5+ years who are in positions to win major events, who have not explored this part of the design. And that’s too bad. Most importantly, there are people we would like to have in our tribe who haven’t see the boat blasting over the top of waves at speed.

So we’re experimenting. We’re beginning to evaluate. Can we make a change that significant? Almost certainly not until enough of our members experience the ride and come off the water grinning that they say, “I gotta have that!” We’re an association of equals. There are a lot of us and we all love the boat. So we’re not going to move until there is plenty of information out there.

There is one neat story to tell though that might be fun. After sailing yesterday, one of our teen-aged members came off the water and went home and edited this video. Please keep in mind that this footage was taken in 11 knots. I’m just speculating here but I doubt that there has been a time in our recent history when a 17-year-old raced home to edit a video because he was PSYCHED about sailing the Lightning downwind in 11 knots. Happy to discuss further. Stand by.

To our fellow beloved square boaters: to quote Aaron Rogers…”Relax.”

This is going to be better, or we’re not going to vote for it. 


February 1st, 2015 by admin