A big part of getting your boat dialed in for racing or cruising around is getting the wand and the two foils set up properly for yourself and the conditions. Person to person there will be some variation in the set up, but these settings should get you in the general area.
The rudder foil is not the primary source of lift, but has a large impact on how the boat sails in a straight line. As you spin your tiller extension to move the rudder pin forward, you will increase the lift on the foil, raising the stern, and lowering the bow. As you move the pin back, you decrease the lift on the foil, lowering the stern, and raising the bow. The more rudder lift you have, you will see a marginal increases in boat speed, and incremental increases in instability and rooster tailing. This is a sign that your rudder is ventilating, and sucking down air. This will happen more frequently as water temperature increases, and if you are sailing upwind.
As you move your pin backwards, the bow will come up, and the boat will sail with more stability. Also, raising the bow, increases the angle of attack on the main foil, increasing the boat's ability to lift and point while sailing upwind.
The extent of your range in either direction is determined by the amount of spins out you have on your gantry. Most of the gantry's I have seen are wound too far in, with only 8 - 12 grooves showing on your gantry piece. This limits the range on your rudder pin, and will force you to keep the pin at the rear of the rudder box all the time (which may not be far back enough). Increase the grooves showing to 14-17. Play with it until you find the range that is best for you!
Gantry: 16 grooves
Rudder pin position
8-12: All the way back
13-18: All the way back
19+: All the way back
8-12: 2-4 rotations from back
13-18: 2 rotations from back
19+: All the way back
Main Foil Pin Position
Main Foil Pin Position
When you put your main foil down and go to pin it in place, you will notice three positions you have to choose from. The vast majority of the time, and any time you are unsure, you should put the main foil in the center position. There is a little bit of play in the setup that can make your experience much more enjoyable.
As you move to the back pin, you will increase the amount of lift and drag you have on the foil. This would theoretically serve you better in lighter air, and aid in getting up in the air, and maintaining that through lulls and maneuvers. As a disclosure, I do not ever use the back pin. I have tried it many times, and have not noticed any major benefits in the marginal conditions. It is still worth trying, if you have not already, Some other sailors in the class note that it helps them in the lulls and through the maneuvers.
The forward pin can be a useful adjustment as wind and waves increase. Moving to the forward pin reduces your base lift on the foil, and thus your angle of attack. In perfectly flat water, there is not much reason to move to the forward pin, unless you start to hit the early to mid 20's. Once the wind starts hitting such high speeds, you won't need the benefit of the increased base lift of the middle pin. However, as waves increase as well, the boat will be much more susceptible to pitch poling. Moving to the forward pin will reduce this likelihood, and make the boat much more manageable to sail downwind.
8-20 knots: Middle Pin
21+ knots: Forward Pin
8-15 knots: Middle Pin
16+ knots: Forward Pin
Sail Setup - Batten Tension
“If the boat is difficult to sail, then something is set up wrong” - keeping this idea in mind has helped me understand the mechanics of the waszp and spend more time sailing (and less time fatigued). In applying this mentality, it is crucial that you spend the extra 10 – 15 minutes when rigging to ensure the boat is set up properly. The first thing I always start with is sail set up. I like having my sail set up for maximum power before launching, and tweaking once I see what the conditions are like.
The sail is extraordinarily overpowered by design. This helps the boat get up on the foils, but once up, it is a limiting factor to speed and control. If you have too much power in the sail once on the foils you will struggle to control the boat upwind or reaching, and you will tire yourself out in minutes. When I go out for a sail, I spend the first 10 – 20 minutes dialing in my sail settings for this reason. The controls we can play with are the boom height, Cunningham, outvang, batten tension, and bridal. I begin every sail with the sail fully powered up, while trying to keep the sail as close to centerline as possible (clew blocks about 2 inches apart) going upwind, and my body fully hiking. If I find myself dumping the sail too much going upwind (more than 12 inches consistently), I start depowering the sail by tightening the Cunningham and outvang. If I find myself still dumping the sail too much, I start loosening the batten tension. The only battens I touch are the top 3. Here is a good starting point for understanding how I loosen given the wind range:
Whenever I loosen the battens, I always double check my bridal height. Contrary to most boats, the bridal on the waszp should be loosened to depower the sail. This has to do with the way apparent wind works on the boat. Tight bridal tension increases the leech tension, effectively adding power to the boat. Remember, once you are on the foils too much power can turn into an increased drag factor. When you are up on the foils and the sail is centerlined, the apparent wind is forward, but if you put on unnecessary leech tension with the sail centerlined, you will need to dump the sail to relieve the power and maintain your heel. When you do this, the apparent wind pushes over the leeward side of the sail, the boat slows down, and then the apparent wind comes swinging backwards. In order to maintain your heel now, you have to trim the sail back in. If the sail has too much power in it, you will continue to dump and trim over and over again, as the apparent wind continues to flip flop. Not only is this extremely exhausting, it is also slow.
1. - Apparent wind centerline
2. - Apparent wind eased -boat slows down
3. - Apparent wind pulls back
If I feel like I am fighting the boat in this way, I will loosen my batten tension and bridal until the blocks are 2 – 8 inches apart consistently and the boat is under control upwind. It is important to note that the aft bridal should never be pulling the blocks back. If this is the case, you will end up fighting the rudder.
Conversely, if you are going 2 block too much, or struggling to get on the foils, you need to tighten the bridal and battens to add power back into the sail.
Keep in mind that if you are fighting the boat, something is likely off with your settings. Take the extra time to set up the boat properly before launching and don’t be afraid to get wet to tweak your settings. You will improve and find the sailing even more enjoyable.
Q&A from the 2019 WASZP Games
US WASZP Forum - July 2020
There are three major pieces to mastering a good foil gybe in the Waszp. The first is the setup. Before you go into the gybe, it is important to be going as fast as possible. This will keep the apparent wind on the nose of the boat and give the boat enough speed to make it through the turn smoothly. In lighter wind, heating the boat up a few degrees to get max speed before the turn can make your gybe. Once you are at max speed, you will want to simultaneously tuck your front leg under your body, steer down, and move your back foot down firmly in the center of the boat. This will give you a good balancing position to enter the turn and cross. It's important to trim the mainsheet in a lot, especially as it gets breezier. This will help to maintain stability. [Look at the picture of Sam gybing above. Notice how tight his mainsheet is.]
Once you are set up, you enter into the most challenging part of the gybe, the turn and cross. The most important thing with the gybe (very different from the tack), is to take your time. Unless you are dealing with super light air, or big chop and waves, there is little hurry in your rate of turn. Try to keep your boat very flat throughout the maneuver too. Get low, sweep the tiller extension under the sail, lead with your head and shoulders, and follow with your legs. Spread your body wide and low to maintain balance on the foils as you turn. The most common discomfort is that you will actually cross before the sail switches sides. Because you are going so fast, the wind has switched sides of the boat, but the apparent wind holds the sail in place a little longer than in non-foiling dinghies. Sync your body’s movement across the boat with the speed of your turn, and most importantly, DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE! Get out to the other rail smoothly, and use the turn to keep yourself from falling in the water. At this point, your new front leg should be tucked underneath your body, your new back leg should be slightly bent with your foot pressed firmly on the noodle in the middle of the boat. Your hands should still be un-switched. Now you are ready for the big finish!
If you have done the first two parts well, the finish should be easy! Give the mainsail one to two smooth and long pumps. This will get the battens to pop, and will give the boat a quick, and sometimes much needed, power boost. If you need more power, don't be afraid to head up onto a tighter reaching angle. This will keep the boat in the air, even in the toughest light air conditions. Once you have done that, you should have time to switch hands, and continue flying freely on the next gybe!