Primera ley de Newton para jugar a tenis en la Luna
Hace 3 semanas
Vela / Ala rígida: Esta construida con fibra de carbono y kevlar. Posee ocho alerones a diferentes alturas para imitar la torsión natural de las velas tradicionales. Su altura es de casi 58 metros (57,893). De ancho mide entre 4 y 14 metros. Pesa 3.500 kilos. Costó 3,5 millones de euros. Nueve personas intervinieron en su diseño y se tardó 40.000 horas en crearla.
Trimarán: De 27 metros de eslora. Los dos cascos laterales miden 34,5 metros. La altura es de 2,3 metros en el casco principal y de 1,77 en los laterales. Y la manga de 2,11 y 1,32 metros. Ha costado en total unos 68 millones de euros. Se le han dedicado unas 110.000 horas para su diseño y unas 130.000 para su construcción.
Construcción: Se emplearon 4 toneladas de fibra de carbono en Core Enterprises, Anacortes, WA, EE.UU. Arquitectos: Van Peterghem y Lauriot Prévost (VPLP). El equipo de diseño es de Mike Drummond.
Diseño: Ha intervenido Manuel Ruiz de Elvira, un ingeniero naval español de 45 años, nacido en Punta Umbría (Huelva) y madrileño de adopción. Considerado como uno de los mejores diseñadores del mundo. Formó parte de los sindicatos españoles España Quinto Centenario (1992), Rioja de España (1995), Bravo España (2000) y a partir de ahí pasó a formar parte del equipo del Alinghi suizo. Parece que fue el navegante neozelandés Russell Coutts, tricampeón de la Copa del América quien le convenció para irse al Alinghi y ahora, actual director general del sindicato estadounidense, fichó a Ruiz de Elvira en agosto para el BMW Oracle. (Cfr. Fuente)
Las velas las diseñan ingenieros aeronáuticos. Una vela es un ala vertical sobre la que se ejercen los mismos principios físicos que en un avión. En algunas competiciones entre catamaranes clase C, -Little America´s Cup- , narran que compitieron cuatro portando la mayor rígida. Uno de los diseños tenía tres partes partes móviles, semejantes a la estructura de un ala moderna. Era 2004.
By Andrew Campbell (More articles by this author)
The clew tie-down
The clew tie-down is all about keeping the clew as tight to the boom as possible, which keeps the leech tension tight. In the past you'd do this by wrapping a line several times around the boom, passing it through the grommet, and tying it. The problem was the wraps created friction and inhibited the outhaul from being eased quickly and easily. Reliability of the knot was also an issue, as was the type of line you used (stretchy line equals poor leech tension). The legalization of a Velcro strap (like a watchband) eliminated the need for tying knots at the clew and lessened the friction. Last December the class approved a metal sleeve-and-hook system, which may indeed become the standard. The versatility of the Velcro band, however, outweighs the possibility of having hang-ups involved with a hook at the end of the boom, so I've stuck with it.
The class rules now allow six turning points in the outhaul system. The best systems on the circuit today maximize the blocks and amount of purchases to reduce friction and the amount of line that needs to be trimmed in order to get to a desired setting. My system uses five turning points, including one block on the clew of the sail, which can be attached with a small shackle or piece of Spectra tied tightly to the grommet, two single blocks tied to the mast with a looped piece of Spectra (about 1.5 feet in length), and a single becket block. The outhaul's primary line is a piece of Spectra, cut to desired length. This length should put the becket block within your line of sight, and there should be reference points marked on the boom. The primary line can be spliced with a thimble at the becket block to extend the life of the line. For the outhaul secondary, which runs forward, down the mast and to the deck-mounted cam cleat, I prefer to use Maffioli Swiftcord, which runs smoothly through the blocks, is easy to cleat, and does not stretch under load.
The allowance of shock cord to retract the outhaul when it's eased and effectively loosening the foot of the mainsail is something everyone should take advantage of. The extra seconds spent trying to get the foot to slacken downwind can be turned into boatlengths very quickly. Tie a properly adjusted piece of bungee between the clew grommet and the unused boom outhaul cleat.
The new rules also allow up to five turning points in the cunningham. Even in breezy conditions, however, it's not necessary to use all five to get sufficient purchase. In fact, having less purchase reduces the amount of line in the cockpit significantly, and enables you to ease the cunningham faster. The setup I use is common and similar to the pre-upgrade era when thimbles were used instead of blocks. There are three turning points using two becket blocks tied together with a piece of Spectra, which can be spliced with a thimble if you want to reduce wear on the line from the hard edges of the blocks. The secondary line is Maffioli Swiftcord of a different color than the outhaul to reduce confusion between the two.
The boom vang
The new boom vang hardware is the single best improvement of the entire
upgrade kit because it allows for the proper setup of the sail and mast from the hiking position instead of having to jump off the rail, push the boom down, and snug the vang. With a single pull on the new vang you should be able to get more than you need.
Using 3mm Spectra for the boom vang primary (the portion running through the cascade) should ensure smooth running, and zero stretch through the most important blocks of the system. Keeping this primary line out of the sheave is an important part of the equation as well. Using a new Harken sheave at the top, or the old Laser vang's Holt block are best. The secondary line must be small enough to run smoothly through the new vang key and double blocks, and it needs to be rough enough on the cover to cleat easily and handle. Using 1/8 inch or 5mm line is fine and should run in and out easily through the system.
The entire 15-to-1 system is useful for the less experienced sailor, but eliminating one purchase out of the secondary system, by tying it off at the last turning point, instead of returning to the becket on the double block, drastically decreases the amount of pulls required to trim the vang from the rail, and will absolutely make the system ease better. Any time spent playing out the vang as you sail around the top mark is time better spent sailing full speed downwind.
Odds and ends
There are few tricks of the trade in Laser sailing, and most options within the context of the one-design rules are relatively inexpensive and accessible. That said, having as many smooth running systems and parts makes the difference when it comes to having consistently good finishes.
Research and heavy use has shown that yarn telltale are significantly better than any other sailcloth-type telltale on the market, especially in wet conditions. An application of McLube on the telltale and the surrounding sail keeps the yarns flying in all types of conditions.
Finding a comfortable and efficient medium in your hiking strap and footwear combination can be an incredible boost to your efficiency. U.S.-built Lasers come stock with padded Seitech hiking straps. They are cut to the appropriate length and are much improved in design since their first introduction. Sailing with boots that have a ribbed, padded pattern on the top of the boot can make any hiking strap feel sticky and easy to grip upwind or reaching in heavy winds. Another point of consideration in hiking straps is how the bottom of the strap feels on the back of your leg after heeling the boat downwind for an extended length of time. If your strap is so coated with sticky substance to keep you from falling out of the boat upwind that it tears up the backs of your legs downwind, then you may want to re-invest because keeping your strap simple, clean, and comfortable goes a long way.
The mainsheet block is also a point of preference for many sailors. Lasers built by Vanguard in the United States come stock with Harken ratchet blocks. There are few, if any, that are better. If you decide to go with a different brand, make sure you can easily turn the ratchet on and off. In moderate air, the ratchet can be switched off at the windward mark to ensure better trimming downwind. Having a spring at the base of this block is critical. A half of a tennis ball could also suffice in the absence of the standard spring. Some sailors use sleeves intended to keep the sheet running cleanly through the block, but I don't think they're necessary.
Having a low profile and lightweight tiller that can take a beating is a must for Laser sailing. The allowance of carbon has opened the field to many good options. In my opinion, Black Diamond tillers are the superior tiller for the Laser. Two great attributes are the low profile and the steel plate, which protects the carbon tiller and the Spectra used in the traveler system. Your tiller extension should be an item of personal preference. Carbon fiber is certainly the way to go, and there are a number of options out there depending on what sort of grip you want. The Acme Fatso Jr. (www.acmecarbon.com) is a good option—it's very light, easy to grip anywhere on the entire length of the tiller, and rotates on the universal, making it more mobile than some other comparable tillers. Length is personal preference as well. Shorter than 48 inches will make boathandling easier, but you sacrifice easier steering while hiking upwind in a breeze. Extensions that are 50 inches or longer can make upwind sailing easier and keep your arms further outboard.
Using the new contols
The new systems make it easier to adjust your sail trim across the entire wind range, which has the benefit of making adjustments more often and really getting the most from the sail, but the basic sail-trim settings of the Laser has changed very little. Here's a breakdown of my typical settings.
Light Air (Up to 10 knots)
Medium Air (10 to 18 knots):
Heavy Air (18 to 30 knots)
Big Sailor in Light Air
Small Sailor in Heavy Air