Boardseeker have teamed up with Si Crowther who is currently on location in Santa Cruz catching up with the pros live at the beach. To kick off our mini event series Si caught up with windsurfing legend Josh Stone to pick his brains about light wind rigging. Read on...
Light Wind Rigging - with Josh Stone
Kai & Josh decided it was on.. (so) I caught up with Josh in the car park whilst he was rigging his Goya Banzai 4.7m sail
We are into our second day here at the Santa Cruz AWT Goya windsurfing festival and the wind is not playing ball. Waddel Creek, the event location, is used to seeing side/side-on starboard tack conditions, but a low pressure system just off the coast is upsetting the balance and imparting a very light port tack breeze over the 3-4ft running south swell. Conditions are just not contestable, so the sailors were released for the day.
Kai Katchadourian, long time California local and die hard Niners fan, quietly suggested he, Josh Stone, Harley Stone and Casey Rehrer head up the coast road to check out a spot where the breeze may funnel through and might, just might give sailable conditions. I tagged along to document the covert operation and to get Josh Stone's insights into light wind sail rigging.
On arrival at Pescaderos, the wind was blowing around 12 to 14 knots side shore, Kai & Josh decided it was on.. I caught up with Josh in the car park whilst he was rigging his Goya Banzai 4.7m sail.
SC "What do you do different when rigging for light wind conditions?"
JS "Its really important to set the sail to create a deep pocket near the luff of the sail, this will push the foil to develop as much power as possible from the rig"
SC "Is it tricky to do? and how do you know when you've got it right?"
JS "It is a balancing act, and you will be pushing the sail shape to its limit, you need to set the shape in the sail without going too far and choking the sails ability to breathe, which would stop the sail exhausting the wind through the leach"
JS "the first step to this tuning style is to start from your standard rigging of the sail, and let a small amount of downhaul off, just 1cm can be enough. This sets a deeper pocket in the front of the sail, putting more shape into the front end. its important to see that the smallest of downhaul release makes a big change in that front end shape, so don't go too far or the sail will get heavy on the back hand"
JS "next you will work on the outhaul, this is the magic bit.. release the outhaul maybe 2cm less than the standard setting to allow the sail to really fill out and create a full powerful pocket"
JS "And that's it.. I call it race day rigging, as this technique is exactly what the race guys use to get the most power out of their sails"
Photos and text supplied courtesy of: www.facebook.com/SiCsurf