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TIPS FROM DRAGON WORLD CHAMPION

2017 World Champion Andy Beadsworth shares tips from his World Championship winning experience

© Jean-Louis Chaix

 

Andy Beadsworth is the reigning Dragon World Champion, and a well known name among the International Dragon Class fleet, he has multiple national and international titles under his belt. We spoke to Andy about his top tips for going around the race course and how he sets up his boat for a day on the water.

What are you looking for whilst setting up your mast on a race day?
The most important thing is to make sure the sail plan looks the same on both tacks. Although that sounds fairly obvious, it takes a massive amount of effort and work to achieve that and is one of the big things. We put a lot of time and effort into is making sure the rig is symmetrical on port and starboard tacks and basically every race day we go through the rig and check our base settings that we record. We are quite diligent in checking a length as well as a tension so that we have got a good record (of our settings) and that also something that we can check on the water.

What do you use to tune your boat on a race day?
On a daily basis we would look at the rig and the sails and adjust what we felt is necessary in order to achieve what we want on the day and to achieve the characteristic of the boat that we are experiencing. We constantly make the adjustments to achieve what we are looking for.

As you round the windward mark, what’s the most important adjustment to make?
The most important thing is to get the spinnaker up and set and the jib furled and then making sure all the sails are working as efficiently as possible, then getting the rig forward and remembering to let the ram off before the runners. Spinnaker up, sails set and pulling efficiently before all the small stuff. Generally we let the ram off down the offset leg to make sure it isn’t forgotten and make sure the mainsail tack go down the run.

And the same question for a leeward mark rounding, what are the important adjustments you make?
Make sure mainsail tack is on, the rig goes back and ram comes on preferably before rounding, so that for the exit of the mark you are sailing the boat as well as possible, especially as most people aren’t so there are big gains to be made. This is especially important when not doing as well as you should be, the leeward mark rounding is one are where you can make big gains just by being set-up precisely with the boat going as well as it can go.

With 2 more events left in the Cascais winter series, what advice can you give to the Dragon sailors competing at the event?
Set-up for waves, it’s a wavy venue! Have a set up that gives a powerful, twisted sail . It’s generally a windy, bumpy venue unlike some of the venues that we sail at in the Med so expect waves.

With a successful year last year under your belt, what are your goals for the team for the rest of 2018?
Personally, I would like to try and consolidate on the year and try and maintain our performance prior to speaking again at the worlds in 2019.

Thank you Andy for your time, we wish you the best of luck for 2018!

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