sharp end of the fleet

We have always admired Phil Sharp’s adventures. Here is his latest update:
On the performance side we have made some fairly major changes to rigging configuration for this year. We have changed the furling J1 and J2 to hanks, i.e. for both stays. Lots of people think I’m mad, and yes it is going to be a lot more work, but I like the idea of being able to stack the J1 at the back of the boat for a long downwind race like the TJV. Particularly as this season is double-handed so there will be another pair of hands. Also, if you damage the jib, you can actually take it down and repair it. Big plus point for ocean racing! For a hanked J2, there is the advantage of being able to reef it rather than go straight to the storm jib.
Lastly, we changed quite a few of the deck fittings to reduce friction, as putting a reef in was a full-on workout, and took twice as long as it should have. That should mean we can be more adaptable to the wind changes and reef / unreef sooner.
2017 Class 40 Championship races we’ll be entering:
29 April – 2 May 2017 : Grand Prix Guyader
14 – 21 May 2017 : Normandy Channel Race (Caen-Fastnet-Caen)
2 – 24 Juy 2017 : Les Sables – Horta – Les Sables
6 – 11 August 2017 : Rolex Fastnet Race
5 – 30 November 2017 : Transat Jacques Vabre