2014 J/24 Midwinters- Miami, FL- 2nd Place
Source: Travis Odenbach
J-24 MIDWINTERS 2014:
2nd overall with three 1st place finishes
J-70 North Americans - Official Sailmaker Sponsor
Source: Kris Werner
Haarstick is thrilled to announce that we are the "Official" Sailmaker Sponsor for the J-70 North American's at Rochester Yacht Club this Summer. Haarstick will be on site providing many different services and products to all competitors and guests.
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New Stealth Material
from Dimension Polyant
2014 is an exciting year for Haarstick Sailmakers. Between the J70 sails that we have designed and new cloth that we will be using for Racing boats we are once again keeping up with the fast, innovating times that we live in! This upcoming Race Season we will be offering a new Racing Laminate Film called STEALTH. This Laminate is a non-reflective material with a steel/grey look (picture below). Besides the fact that it looks amazing, it does have some better qualities than the traditional clear laminates. STEALTH will be better for UV protection, and the non–reflective film will be better on the eyes on those sunny days that it is hard to see the trim.. We are currently building sails for a Farr 47 and a Beneteau 40.7 out of this new material. As for the future we plan on testing this for the J/24 and any other small boats that accept laminates. STEALTH is now an option on top of our already competitive FLEX and CARBON Sails.
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Source: Kris Werner
As I write this recap, there are currently 99 boats registered for the J-70 NA's in Rochester this July, and I must mention that registration has been open for only 23 hours!!!! I think it is safe to say that the J-70 is unquestionably the hottest boat on the planet!
I am thrilled to be a part of it with Team Haarstick! Since the boat got going last fall/winter, we have been VERY hard at work to design and build the absolute best sails for this boat that we can. Last July, we unveiled our very first designs on my Hull #316 and set off for our first one-design event at the LEVEL regatta. There were 17 boats and we finished 3rd to two pro sailors from Quantum who had far more J-70 experience than our team, and likely 2nd or third generation sail designs. We were right there, and our sails were looking good! After the remainder of the summer of local sailing, tuning and photo analysis, we set our sights on making some improvements to "generation 1" and aimed for our new designs to be at the Winter circuit.
After our changes to design we sold 3 new sets of sails to be used at the Midwinter circuit. So it was time to build them! After many, many meetings we finalized our build process for the sails and they came out great!! Designed and manufactured in-house by our team of Steve, Alex, Doug, Doug and Tony, who together have over 110 years of sailmaking experience! Not many lofts can boast that kind of attention to detail and skill!
Anyway, enough tooting our own horn!
We arrived at Davis Island, Tampa FL, with our sights sets on a good finish. Of course with the team we had I think we could have won the event, but had to set a realistic goal as this was only the second regatta I have ever done or driven with the boat, and it was our first as a team. With the Friday -practice day- having absolutely zero wind, we did not have the opportunity to get any much needed practice in, so we focused on tuning the boat and making upgrades, etc.. Saturday came and the boat was tuned and ready, but we as a team were not exactly...well oiled. Most of the rust was on my end with some terrible starting! For the most part we were able to get better each race and learn from our mistakes. The first three races we were around 10th place, always going fast but making some tactical errors along the way. The highlights came in the last race while doing 14+knots on a screaming run! Tough to be in a bad mood when reaching those speeds!! Things we learned from Day one- Saturday- 12-23kts : -Shroud tension is critical and a few times we were caught w/ too little tension on the lowers and ended up washing out the main due to too much bend. -Double check jib leads.. We found on one beat they had been "bumped" and moved almost all the way fwd, causing the foot to be full and leech to be way too closed for 20 kts,- this also seriously effected the main w/ backwind. -Adjust backstay leg after each adjustment of the rig to be sure there is enough to tighten backstay and conversely that its not too tight. -MARK positions on sheets and vang, vang tension is so critical when sailing downwind especially for powering and depowering in windy conditions. -play the jib "cloth" or halyard fine tune in the puffs and lulls to adjust shape -in big breeze don't be afraid to be more aggressive than you think w/ the tiller/rudder to get into the faster mode or onto a plane downwind.
On Sunday the forecast was for much lighter and flatter conditions, with winds from the North. We were very motivated to take what we had learned and finish strong! With some modifications to our rig tuning, we set off the dock and got a nice early look at the course. I started much better, but a couple bad shifts and errors had us w/ two 12th place finishes. Race 5 was especially frustrating as we had a pretty nice lead for 2/3 of the first leg and allowed several competitors to get further left and leverage was king! Well, as I always say your only as good as your last race! So in the last race we won the start and led around 4 of the 5 marks and won the race by over a minute! The conditions were around 6 knots and we felt very quick, we promptly saved all our rig and sheet settings in our notebook. It was a solid way to end our first true one-design event and the cherry on top was being first to the hoist!! In the end we ended up 8th, but only 5pts from 3rd place. The regatta is part of a series so we are still very much in the hunt, with our worst score being a 14 and no throw outs. I want to thank my crew of Jim Barnash, Travis Odenbach (who drove the boat down and rigged it!!), and Rossi Milev. The guys always stayed patient with me and kept their minds open to learning as much as we could for future improvement! At the next event in February, Jim Barnash will take the helm and I will be crew. I look forward to taking on the rig tune and learning as much as I can from a crewing perspective, it will certainly give me more insight to share with our customers.
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