April 1, 2009
The first batch of "winning ideas" was not overwealming, but hit on some very basic, very important ways to win races.

First was the importance of having a clean bottom:

"Sailing in the Chesapeake, I find that the J-27 is an outstanding light air boat. Because we see so much light air, and I sail in a mixed, competitive, handicap fleet, I am also very aware of the condition of my bottom. We use a wet-sanded Baltoplate bottom, and then have a diver under the boat to wipe the bottom off at least twice a month during the season. Since the diver has the regular work on my boat (as well as a number of the other boats at the club) and knows that the boats will only require a wipe to remove a light-medium silt/algae slime, the cost is not outrageous."Mike DaleJuggernaut, #166

His comments were repeated:
"We are mostly sailing in light to med winds, so for years I have been
fanatical about a clean bottom.By mid summer we have weeds and some
grass floating in the bay, so one crew member is constantly looking
out for these speed bumbs. Made a collabsible stick 7ft long from an
old tent pole( collapsed 2 ft long), put a y at the end to slide down
the front of the rudder.Works great.I go at least twice
a year under the boat to clean the slime off."
Peter Broecker
99 "messing about"

And again:

"You should be diving your boat a minimum of once every fortnight otherwise you will be S L O W !"
Trygve Roberts

And Trygve was corrected by David Cattle:

"Before every race ! No exceptions. Also its worth checking how the work was done by heeling the boat before going out. I remember one race where the bottom was "cleaned' the day before but all the diver did was the waterline, the keel was wearing a fur coat !"

Trygve also commented on where to find speed in the S. A. summer, when growth on the bottom isn't as crucial:
"In the summer months it is much more about boat handling skills."Any favorite skills to point to, Trygve?
David Cattle also reminded us of another important area of concern:
"Can't remember what was talked about on the site, but one thing that is very important in starting is never to stray too far from the line, 3 boat lengths and less in light air. How many guys have been over early as much as they have been late for the star?. Also vary your starting approach, go for the pin on port one race, hang back behind the fleet and nail the committee boat on another as the fleet edge down the line."

And another crucial area that many of us try to forget (because of the cost), but we can rarely win without:
"The biggest "trick" I have found is to have good sails. I never believed that they would make as big a difference as they did. I went from 10+ year old Dacron sails, which the surveyor that appraised my boat before I bought it described as in excellent condition, to a new North 3Dr #1 and North Nordac Race Main and went from consistent middle of the fleet finishes to consistent first place finishes. I will never race with old sails again ... at least not if I expect to win."PeteTaz #19

Many of you reading this can think of other important or unimportant basics or tricks to help win races. How about sharing your wealth of knowledge and adding on to this list. Remember. The one thing that makes this website different from all the other J27 sites is that it is the sailors who write it, the ones who have the experiences helping those who are just getting started. Share your knowledge!!