With a sail plan that hasn't evolved in 12 years, it is frustrating at times when the N20 have to give the F18 so much time on handicap.
Iīm the guy who raced against baltic with a ī98 Inter 20. Buying new and modern shaped sails last year was a huge step forward for sailing performance. The most important differences compared to my 12 years old sails are:
1. The head of the mainsail has twice the width of the old sail (100cm / 50 cm). That gives a better control of twist and pressure.
2. Pentex cloth ist about 2 to 2 1/2 times stiffer than mylar cloth. That helps to keep the sailshape stable under wind load.
3. Extreme flat shape. With tight mast rotation it is possible to reduce the separation bubble behind the mast on the windward side almost to zero. Due to the flat sail shape drag and side forces are reduced. Where we were used to sail double trapezing in 12 knots upwind (crew weight about 185 kg) we now need maybe 15-17 knots to go really high upwind with both of us in trapeze with the new sails. I needed a long time to understand that fact. Our poor upwind performance against baltic was a result of pointing lower and lower (~55°) to gain pressure and keep one hull out of the water while double trapezing. The correct trim in the wind conditions we raced in is to have only the crew out on the wire. The helmsman has to sit on the hull, lean out in gusts an steer high upwind (~45°) without losing too much speed.
In light to medium wind conditions we did a good job on a long distance regatta this summer. Only three boats were faster (2 Tornado (YS 94), 1 Exploder 20 Carbon (YS 93)). After corrected time (Texel Yardstick 2010) we (YS 96) finished 7th out of 84 boats with 3 F18 teams (YS 100) in front of us (2 Wildcat, 1 Capricorn) and 19 behind us (8 Tiger, 1 Infusion, 3 Capricorn, 2 Hawk, 5 ?). For me it is the 3rd season of catamaran sailing overall and the first season of racing. The teams in front of us are very experienced teams with actual or former World/European/German Champions among them. This result shows that an Inter 20 with modern sails is not that bad against up to date F18 ships. Under strong wind conditions and/or up and down racing I think we hadnīt achieved such a nice result, but thatīs a matter of teamwork an experience an not a matter of lack of boat speed of an Inter 20.