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Author Topic: Wing handling after gusts and in lowwind  (Read 105 times)

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totowing

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Wing handling after gusts and in lowwind
« on: June 03, 2020, 04:30:23 pm »
Hello Experts,

Im learning in low wind conditions and wonder what would be the most efficient way to hold the wing after a gust passed, to stay on the foil when the wind drops. Here are some questions:

1) How to prevent oversheeting. After the gust I continue using aparent wind but fear to sheet in to much which would slow me down. Should I open the wing even if it starts fluttering or is oversheeting no issue with wings. Any tipps on how to find the sweet spot ?
2) Should the middle strut remain straight (paralell to the water) to ensure forward push or point a little upwards to make me lighter on the foil or even down to press harder on the foil when pumping the foil.
3) What is more efficient when on foil and the wind goes down: a)  pump the foil and keep the wing steady, b) pump the foil and carry the wing behind, c) pump only with the wing or d) try to pump both wing and foil at the same time? Obviuosly d).. but that requieres some skills from my side which are not there yet ::)
4) When the wind drops, is "upwind" the best course to stay on the foil (in case there are no waves) ?

Thank you


 

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Dommo

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Re: Wing handling after gusts and in lowwind
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 08:46:57 am »
Hello Experts,

Im learning in low wind conditions and wonder what would be the most efficient way to hold the wing after a gust passed, to stay on the foil when the wind drops. Here are some questions:

1) How to prevent oversheeting. After the gust I continue using aparent wind but fear to sheet in to much which would slow me down. Should I open the wing even if it starts fluttering or is oversheeting no issue with wings. Any tipps on how to find the sweet spot ?
2) Should the middle strut remain straight (paralell to the water) to ensure forward push or point a little upwards to make me lighter on the foil or even down to press harder on the foil when pumping the foil.
3) What is more efficient when on foil and the wind goes down: a)  pump the foil and keep the wing steady, b) pump the foil and carry the wing behind, c) pump only with the wing or d) try to pump both wing and foil at the same time? Obviuosly d).. but that requieres some skills from my side which are not there yet ::)
4) When the wind drops, is "upwind" the best course to stay on the foil (in case there are no waves) ?

Thank you

Hi totowing
Cool questions. I love getting all analytical as I find it really helps me. I'm envious of those who can just jump into this and get it without even thinking about what they are doing.
First off please be aware that I'm no expert (I still consider myself to be at the beginner end of the ability spectrum), but for what it's worth here are my thoughts:
1 & 2: To maintain as much power from the wing after a gust (I'm taking it that you mean when you become underpowered) I find it best to keep the center strut fairly parallel to the water, fairly close to the board, and as still as possible. The angle you hold the leading edge depends on how far upwind you are sailing at the time, but as a rule of thumb if your wing starts to flutter this is a sure sign that you need to change the angle. Change the angle by moving either your front or back arm (or both) until your wing canopy has the fullest/most stable profile, this will ensure you have the max power. Having said all that a lot depends on which wing your are using. The Naish s25 is amazing at generating apparent wind so you can sail through lulls with ease. Other wings (especially the 'grunty' ones will not be able to cope with lulls as well.
3. There will always be times when pumping the wing alone or pumping the foil alone will feel like the right option, but I'm sorry to say that pumping both at the same time will always be best to keep flying in lulls, UNLESS there is so little wind that your wing canopy is pushing air with both forwards and backwards movement, in which case it will stall your speed.
Pumping the board alone is very useful when heading upwind or coming out of a maneuver when underpowered - it gives you that extra forward speed you sometimes need.
I wouldn't have thought it's a good idea to luff the wing (holding it behind you) when underpowered - your only source of forward momentum will be from pumping, and there's a definite limit to how much of that you can do unless you have power from swell or a wave to help.
The good news is that pumping the wing AND foil at the same time becomes natural very quickly as the 2 movements are synchronised in a rhythm.
4. When the wind drops the last thing you want to do is head upwind - that will kill your speed really quickly. Bearing off slightly downwind is your best bet to stay on foil in the lulls in the hope that you can maintain speed and stay on foil until the wind picks up or the next gust hits. This is why you drift downwind when underpowered, which leads to the inevitable 'walk of shame'!!!!!!
Hope this helps, but please don't take everything I've said as gospel - I may be wrong. If I am wrong hopefully someone out there will correct me!

totowing

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Re: Wing handling after gusts and in lowwind
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 11:34:06 am »
Dear Dommo,

thanks so much for understanding my question  ;) and of course your replay. Let me get staight to your answers and hopefully more "Experts" jump in... as it is a new sport I think we are all experts even having less then a year experience.

to 1)
Oversheeting, as a sail teacher most students always struggle with the right angle and easing the sail to gain more speed. The sence that the tighter you pull the faster you go is not always correct, it depends on your course relative to the wind. With the wing beeing quite rigit I think it is easy to oversheet, so that you are feeling power but it is not automaticaly proper propulsion... I was thinking of adding some telltales to the wing and see if it helps to get the right angle:

 
Pic:
Fist situation is oversheeted, second wing to open, thrid is correct windflow.
As for the location on the wing, I would put it on the the window so you can see what both sides are doing. The idea is to find out if what you feel also coresponds to the way the telltales react so when it feels right telltales should fly parallel.

to 2)
I agree that having the middle strut parrallel to the water is the best way to hold the wing as the main pull is forward in your traveling direction. Other angles of the middle strutt to the water will only give you a % of the forward pull.

to 3)
After a gust: I agree pumping both is best...if done in good coordination... then pumping either wing or board depends on situation: maybe if you have high speed then it is good to use that aparent wind with the wing while if you are already going a bit slow it would be better to concentrate on pumping with the foil. I also agree that the drag from carrying the wing behind you while pumping the foil would be the worst option.

to 4)
Here I completly disagree with you. So conditions are that you are on the foil (reach, 90 to the wind ) and the wind drops to lets say 5 knots. Bearing downwind will decrease your aparent wind to a point that you travel same speed or faster then the wind... so  you will feel no power at all in the wing and cant use it for pumping. With a Laser (sailboat) for example you do the opposit, when the wind goes down you head slowly upwind to increase the aparent wind and keep your speed while with a gust you bear downwind using the extra wind to accelerate.
In theory it should be the same with the wing...that you gradualy point upwind up to 45 trying to keep your speed.
Anyhow it would be intresting to see what other people think especially about the last point.


 

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