Transcript of e-mail received immediately after 2011 ARC from Norwegian sailor Ingvar Solem in his Hanse 370 Fri Flyt
We had a fantastic crossing and I want to thank you for convincing me to buy those Yankees! Except for the first night, and the last three days, we had perfect downwind sailing, and we beat a lot of larger boats in to St. Lucia.
Today a Hanse 370 owner from Sydney came to my boat. He was a crew member on a Beneteau 46’ and was really impressed by the speed of my boat (we parked them completely!).
The boat was overloaded so it was pretty tricky to get a real surf, but we managed to reach a speed of 13.4 knots over the ground.
Also in the 2011 ARC was the Skerries/Rush Hallberg-Rassay 48’ Emilija (Noel & Brenda Ruigrok) They sailed most of the way under twin jibs, one of which came with the boat and the other was designed by Watson Sails to be as close to being a “mirror image” as is possible with modern technology.
It all started nine years ago when Philip Watson and three old friends crossed the Atlantic on the Hanse 371 Megawat in the rather rapid time of fifteen and a half days. Most of the “secret” to this speed was a pair of identical Yankee jibs which could also be used as one headsail when the wind went ahead. A couple of years later, the Hallberg Rassy 42’ ketch Safari (Ken & Carmel Kavanagh) had a fast and comfortable crossing with the very same jibs that had proved so successful on Megawat.
Then Pat Donnelly and his expert crew took the Sweden 45’ Aimless to St Lucia in the 2006 ARC using a pair of Watson’s twin jibs. Interestingly, those same jibs were “recycled” for the 2009 ARC on Hugh and Valerie Pilsworth’s Jeanneau 48’.
All the crews reported the twin-jib rig as being very simple and easy to trim. It makes the autopilot’s job easier too. Most people prefer to drop the main when using twin jibs which are hoisted together, one in each groove. A small but important detail to the success of twin-jib sailing is the addition of an extension sheet on each sail. This lowers the attachment point allowing you to change from one (two-ply) jib to two jibs peeled apart and then back again very simply and quickly a moment after rolling them up fully. Their clews would be too high above the deck to reach up to when furled without sheet extensions.