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Old 17th August 2012, 03:41 AM   #1
Bluefinz
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Default FORUMLA : Upwind / Downwind angle

What is the best angle we can achieve into and off the wind ?
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Old 17th August 2012, 06:34 PM   #2
Ken
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By "best" angle, I assume that you mean "optimum" angle. Optimum meaning the fastest way to get to an upwind mark or downwind mark while racing/free sailing. This is the combination of speed and angle and it will vary somewhat between sailors with different sails, boards, fins, wind and water state.

Maybe someone will jump in here that has tracked his optimum angle with a GPS and can be exact. In the mean time, I will make a guess assuming 0 degrees is dead into the wind:

Upwind = 45-50 degrees
Downwind = 150-160 degrees

This is a guess and may not be correct, since it's based on my recollection of sailing (some racing) formula boards for about 9 years.

Two sailors sailing upwind, one at 45 degrees and one at 50 degrees could arrive at the mark at the same time because the 50 degree sailor will have better board speed to compensate for the poorer angle. I guess my point is that optimum angle will have a range based on the many variables mentioned above.
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Old 17th August 2012, 09:09 PM   #3
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It depends on a lot of things, such as skill and how well powered up you are. Here is one plot from a session with a severne reflex 11.0 sail on a F162 in a wind strength of about 12-14 knots. Looking at the obtained VMG there are very few other ways of sailing that can match it.
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Old 18th August 2012, 09:00 AM   #4
Macka Packa
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Hi Krister. Can you please tell me which app produces that plot.

Thanks, P
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Old 19th August 2012, 08:48 AM   #5
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The plot is from GPSactionreplay, the forum will not let be post the direct link so just google it.
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Old 19th August 2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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I have some old tracks from Jesper Vesterstrom and Steve Allen racing in Australia about 5 years ago where both of them are able to do 49 degrees upwind at 16 knots and holding that angle for quite some time... will have to dig them up and find the downwind angles they were doing.
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Old 19th August 2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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Yes, Jesper would certainly better the graph show above. It also shows the maximum values (one can get averages from the software too though) and a rock steady wind direction is assumed by the software. Both these aspects means that the graph is somewhat "optimistic".

In open and rough sea there are other factors to consider too. I was passed once on a downwind leg by Jesper. I was fully powered on my 10m2 sail and in the chicken-strap going very deep with the waves, when Jesper and Anders "Löcken" came blasting/jumping past me at a less deep angle but with a much higher speed and VMG.

As a side note, I was in Brisbane a few weeks ago and rented some Formula gear from Paddy, there are some very nice places for Formula sailing there!

/Krister (SWE32)
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