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Upwing stance-technique-position for Formula

Posted by Galileo 
Upwing stance-technique-position for Formula
27 October '10 | 3:37pm
what is the prefect way to go upwind in a Formula gear?
Need to know how if front/back leg are straight, how to rake the sails easily w/out getting tired so easy, how to get the maximun upwind angle. Should the body lean back with sail? or front shoulder lean and sail raked to the back to balance?

Sailing formula gear needs slightly different technique than riding a normal funboard.

First of all You need to load the fin with your back foot (back foot is a bit bent), front leg is straight and fingers are positioned towards the nose like here:

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What do I mean by "loading the fin"- You should put as much pressure (with Your back foot) on the fin to lift the windward rail, so that You can dig the leeward rail into the water like here:

(take a look at the stance also)

or here:

Take a look at sail and hands position also as it is quite important, (hands Should be strait as more upright sail will generate more power), remember to keep your hands quite relaxed (seat harness for formula is a must have as it is the only way to get a good position without getting so tired).

When You're sailing the leeward rail You should go really fast as if You want to go fast you need to stick the bottom of Your board of the water. Remember that You need to have a really good control because sailing with good power and on the leeward rail is triocky as You can easily catapult being pushed by a gust. The more You sail the more experience and confidence You get so sail as much as You can.

VERY important thing about fins- formula fins need to be powerfull enough to generate the lift of Your board and the tip of the fin should have a good twistso that You will be able to depower the board when You are overpowered, twist of the fin also affects the upwind and downwind ability, the rake of the fin is also important. The more upright is the fin the better upwind angle it provides but it costs You the downwind speed. The other way round it works the same- If the angle of the fin is bigger You get a better control on downwind courses but the upwind angle is smaller. It's important to get the good setting in the middle.

Next thing about fins is that usually softer fins are better for lighter sailors and stiffer are better for heavier. It will be imposible to sail gfast and comfortably if the fin is too stiff for You because it will generate too much lift and Your board will behave like a hydrofoil lifting You too high, on the other hand if the fin is not powerfull enough You will not be able to lift You board to leeward rail and You will also go slow as the bottom will stick to the water.

Different fins are better for some certain types of conditions (different fins for waves, chop, flat water, very salty water, salty water, fresh water). Usually more powerfull fins are better for fresh water and less powerful for very salty water as salty water generates the lift itself. (sometimes powerful but shorter fins are good).

Fin choice also depends on the board Yopu use as the width of the tail of Your board also affects the performance of the fin so for example a fin that is good for one board for 80kg sailor can not be good with another board for the same sailor.

It is all about testing testing and testing. That is why pros usually have a van full of fins which costs quite as much as the budget of small african country winking smiley

If You want to find the best setting and the fin for Your board try sailing with some pros around Your area and ask them some questions as they can help You a lot much quicker than forum posts.

Have fun!!!

If You like to read I also advice You to check out Shean O'Brien's website www.carbonsugar.com as he is a really good formula pro and You can find many many VERY usefull advices about formula sailing techniques and formula equipment setting.
Remember that You need to have a formula sail with a size not less than 9.8m2 as smaller sails without cambers will never provide You as much power to lift the board (it is also about the sail-boady-board leverage and power transmission) and they will not be stable enough to keep the constant power and comfortable position.

Re: Upwing stance-technique-position for Formula
5 December '10 | 1:48pm

Can we apply these guidelines also to a slalom board?
If it comes to railing the board- of course.
Generalny slalom riding technique is very similar, especially light wind slalom. Slalom is also easier than formula for a begginer racer.

Remember that it's all about having fun, when You have fun progress comes easier smiling smiley
Re: Upwing stance-technique-position for Formula
7 February '11 | 3:43pm
Hi Jan,

What about the position of the h.lines?
shoud the front hand have more pressure than the back hand. How long should the h.lines be so that the sail be straight up for more power. What about the boom height for guy 5'-7" and 70kg?
No hand pressure should be felt when sailing in harness so it's about finding the sweet spot. Of course when You use adjustable outhaul You will feel some handpressure after adjusting as the center of effort moves forward when releasing the outhaul and backwards when adding some but generally when sailing on sweet spot You shouldn't feel any handpressure. The rig should be very stable when sailing with the stance shown on the photos in my earlier posts (on both courses downwind and upwind).
Properly set harness lines should make it easily possible to let Your hands of the boom without any hard feelings and stability losses (it also requires good work of legs).

I'm 6'0" and I use 30 inch dakines (for example neilpryde produces 28 inch lines which are similar in lenght to 30 inch dakines).
The lines shouldn't be as long as in slalom or wave as luff lenghts of formula sails is usually between 540-595cm so it is quite long and when the lines are too long the whole rig will move "outside" and release too much wind with it's top (I don't know how to explain exactly, as I'm not a native english speaker) so excuse my grammar and vocabulary mistakes). Considering Your height I'd recommand 26 inch lines.
I set my boom at the height of my forehead. When in harness lines and fully straped the boom will be in comfortable position (on the height of arms). It is the width of the board that makes the boom feel higher than it should be when not planning however when planning and fully straped and hooked it feels right. Some people say that when it gets windy You should lower Your boom but experience shows that it's usefull only in really and i mean REALLY overpowered condistions (when having serious troubles wuth holding on to a set while sailing). Generally for 99% of conditions it's good to be on the height of Your forehead.
Your weight doesn't really matter if it comes to boom height as the bigger is the leverage while being hooked, strapped and railing the board- the faster You go. However weight can be an issue in both high and low wind conditions as the leverage needs weight for both- speed and control. That is why best performing formula racers racers are usually 6'4"- 6'7" and weigh from 90-100 kg.
Re: Upwing stance-technique-position for Formula
8 February '11 | 5:22am
Hi Jan,

Sorry for too many questions. I don't get tired of learning new stuff.

So there is no rule for the position of the h.lines in the boom. Like the five hand rule for freeride or slalom (not sure) but for a big sail that has aprox boom size of 262 cm, what is the sweet spot for harness lines. I have NS and they have h.lines indicators, however, some of my fellow sailor friends just keep telling me to ignore it and look for the "sweet spot".
Other people keep saying that the front hand should usually have a slight stronger pressure than the back hand.
It is all physics..."horizontal component of keel and hull"... to complicated.
Hi again!

Don't hesitate to ask, it's a pleasure to pass some knowledge to make someone's progress easier. It's all about having fun so why not to let someone have even more of it winking smiley

It depends on the style however when it comes to pressure it is quite difficult to find the position with front hand pressure which is not "overdosed". I prefer to have the sweet spot but when sailing in very gusty conditions when set to front hand pressure it is quite usefull. Why? Because when it starts to be overpowered and the sail becomes to feel backhanded it is easier to control it, also when You apply some iouthaul (if You use adjustable outhaul) it will still be quite comfy. I made a drawing to explain it better.

It is quite different than e.g. wavesails where You keep Your front hand closer to harness lines than the back hand. Sailing formula or slalom kit You usually keep Your back hand closer to the lines than You front hand. This is because the profile of FW/Slalom sail is much much deeper than in wave/freestyle or freeride sail. When a gust comes it should be transformed into instant acceleration and that is because it is usefull to keep Your front further from harness lines (better control minimising the risk of catapulting as formula/slalom sails transform gusts into power more directly and much faster and they are also not as forgiving).

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