Notes from April 22-23, 2021 SSA Spring Soling Regatta
written by Edward Norman Trevelyan on May 28 of 2021 and read by 121
USA 747 - Rod Davis at the bow, Ed Trevelyan the writer and Robbie Haines before winning the OOGG 1984
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I was happy to get back into the hobbles after some initial trepidation about hiking on a Soling after a 37 year hiatus. This was all made immeasurably comfortable by the patience and good humor of my skipper, Karin Olsen Campia and bow partner (also first cousin) Alex Yakutis.
I was also impressed with the professionalism and efficiency of the SSA race committee, as well as the low key kindness and generosity of other Soling teams ... Henry Thomas, Andy Dize, Howard Vickery, Joe Van Gieson and their crews.
A final note on the overall mood and culture would be the contrast I see with other class racing that I've done recently, where serious competitiveness - spun up by overuse of paid crews and high-priced personal coaching - tends to siphon away some of the fun we all ultimately seek. Racing in the SSA Spring Soling Series was a breath of fresh air!
Crew work notes:
Karin is a natural on the helm and a time-distance wizard on the starting line, which frees Alex and me to focus on sail handling and rig adjustments. We were rusty at the mark roundings, but re-learned the basic rule to plan and execute early until the moves become second nature. This is important so we crewmen can get our heads out of the boat to help Karin with course management and wind / wind shift spotting.
Soling tuning setup and gear shifting:
-Rake should be set for main sheet 2-block in 15 knots, accounting for significant mast bend and open twist at top batten.
-In puffy conditions, this means powering up in light spots an/or lumpy sea state by considerable mainsheet and backstay ease. Particularly important to induce headstay sag when needed.
-Jib halyard and tack should also be adjusted frequently to keep luff tension on the verge of puckering in light to moderate conditions. Easing tack to about 2-3 inches off deck allows big ease and round powerful lower section without excessively dumping upper leech. As breeze comes on, put tack down to deck, which allows blading the lower section while maintaining sufficient twist aloft to match main twist.
-Rig twings/barber for ease of use, which I believe should be a skipper responsibility in jibes.
-In light to medium air, be sure to maintain VMG and pressure on sheet, while riding puffs as low as possible. Get jib down and rig forward ASAP.
-Be sure to communicate as a crew and always know where the next mark is. Don't let competitors beat you to the gybe and claim the inside.
-Have FUN and learn from mistakes, without excessive criticism, complaining, or sarcastic back biting. Always work to pick off that next boat, and try hard to be encouraging and supportive of your teammates.
Thanks to Karin, Alex, the Soling fleet, and SSA for making my Soling racing comeback enjoyable and inspiring!!!
The winner of the event Karin Olsen Campia has written her article about the event click hear to read it at
Karin's article on soling.com
Spring series report written by Andy Dize:
Spring series' article on soling.com
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