Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Allan Terhune on the 2009 Jaguar Cup...

Allan Terhune his wife Kate and Todd and Kristine Wake. Photo by John Payne
This past weekend the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club hosted the 2nd regatta of the 2009 Jaguar Cup, the Sid Doren Memorial Regatta. Miami and Biscayne Bay blessed the fleet with amazing weather, and the 63 teams fully enjoyed it, especially those from the cold Northern States.

Sailkarma had a chance to catch up with Allan Terhune to ask a few questions about his win, boat setup and racing in the Etchells Class.

Is this first time in Etchells racing in Miami?

No, I sailed the last two Jaguar events last year. I also sail Lightning’s in Miami frequently. Miami is a very unique venue and is definitely a place that requires some time to get used to. Also, sailing the Jaguar events last year really helped us to know what to expect this year. Miami is by far one of the best sailing venues in the US.

Is there much difference in the racing Etchells to the Lightning?

The Etchells and the Lightning are quite different. The main difference is the weight and lack of maneuverability of the Etchells. There are also much smaller differences in speed in Etchells which really puts a premium on boat handling, strategy and tactics. Both boats are fun to sail and I really enjoy both of them. The things that are common is that both boats require a great team to sail them well and that it is hard, very hard actually, to win in either fleet.

What was your teams approach?

Our team had a very good approach to the event. Our goal was to be as consistent as possible. We knew that winning races were nice, but that we just wanted to be in the top group all the time and keep grinding. We worked very hard to get good starts and to go from there. We also make sure that we never give up no matter what, no matter where in the fleet or where in the race, we always keep pushing, as every point counts. 1 point is 1 point and you can’t afford to give any away in this fleet. It is too tough. The other thing we do is have as much fun with it as possible and try to learn from every situation.

How did you tune your rig and set up the sails for the conditions in Miami?

We followed the North Tuning guide pretty close. Every boat is different, but the goals are the same. We set our boat up so it had very little to no helm and had as much power as possible. Our headstay was at 47 ½” and we sailed with the mast butt at 12’ 6” measured according to the North guide. I also had one chock behind the mast and set the lowers with ¾ mast sag. We found it really to be key to have the jib halyard and cloth set right, many people sail with it too tight. Our focus was really to make sure the boat went fast through the water, and we knew that the pointing would take care of itself.

What are you upcoming plans for 2009?

For 2009, we will sail the remainder of the Jaguar. After that, I have a full campaign in the Lightning and Flying Scot going as well. The Lightning Worlds this year are in the US, so there will be a big push for that. We will hit the road and do some Etchells events, including the Annapolis NOOD and hopefully some other big regattas as well. Unfortunately we will not be able to attend the NA’s as they are during the Lightning Worlds, which is a real bummer.

Give us a quick wrap up about the regatta.

The regatta was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect and the RC did a great job. The Etchells fleet is as competitive as ever. There are tons of pros and Olympians sailing in the fleet. The racing is very tight, and every leg there are huge gains and losses to be made if you work at it. It is amazing how many positions change on the downwind legs, it is as active and hard fought as the beats, almost more so. The regatta definitely has a different feel than last year, I think it is due to the fact that the Worlds were last year. The teams now seem a little bit less stressed and focused more on fun and trying to learn as much as possible. The Etchells class to me, seems as healthy as ever. -

For more of Allan notes on tuning click here.