I hadn't planned to be in UK waters by then.. but it's quite a tempting idea. I'll mull it over for a while. To be honest I thought my racing days were well and truly behind me, but it would be quite fun to size Mariposa up against other Contessa 26's. Of course I start with the advantage of not having to carry an iron topsail around the course :-)
David’s answer to what rig is best for racing was:
“Sadly, the answer is even more obvious - it's whatever rig that you can persuade the handicappers is slower than it really is.”
I couldn’t agree more. A glaring example is the Contessa 26. That boat is inspired by the Nordic Folkboat, but they replaced the easily handled partial rig of the FB (17 + 7sqm) with a low masthead rig. The result was a slower boat, which with its need for genoas and spinnakers is anything but easily handled. However, the racing handicap given to the Contessa is so favorable that it does better than the FB in races like the Round the Island Race.
Don’t get me wrong - the Contessa 26 is a great boat, but to make it into a good cruising boat, it surely needs a generous junk rig.
The FB, on the other hand; if someone gave one to me, I may well have kept it with the original Bermuda rig, if the sail and rig was in good order.
All my jabbering about JR performance over the years may have misled people to think that I am race oriented. I am not. My goal is to have the optimal cruising machine, not racing machine. An effective, comfortable and quick sailboat is a greener boat than a slower boat which needs more work to handle, simply because it will cover a bigger part of the distance under sail, instead of motoring.
In the interview with Roger Taylor in Yachting Montly (Mars 2014), Roger describes his motives for moving up from Mingming to Mingming 2: The faster Mingming 2 will let him cover longer distances within his 60-days cruising schedule. Very logic.
There is nothing wrong with some performance in a cruising boat. The challenge is to improve performance just enough, without letting the costs run away, and without losing the safe and easy handling.
David Tyler wrote:
Happily, I saw sense a long time ago, and don't want to race, period.
Surely the answer is obvious - it is whatever the rig you have!
Racing is always a good way of getting the best performance out of your rig, and then spurs you on to further development.
(sadly this does not apply to me as I have none at present)
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