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Testing the NSW Association Brewer Big Main


Rick Outhred sent in the following article:

We took the new NSW Association Brewer Big Main out for a spin last Saturday in a 12-14 knot southeaster at Balmoral. It looked and felt great on the boat. The boat felt well balanced upwind and down. We seemed to have so much more power through the sloppy waves, and great acceleration in the gusts and through tacks. On the day, we only had one 505 as competition, but we consistently worked our way out of his wake (we waited for him sometimes), not pointing quite as high, but certainly with a marked speed advantage. Our flexi-topped mast meant the leech feathered off a fair way, which might account for the pointing issue.

The main certainly needs a lot more testing, particularly in different wind conditions and on stiffer masts, to prove a performance difference, and whether it might be a bit over-powering in stronger winds.

We were certainly pleased with the initial trial and how the sail looked on the boat, and now feel reluctant to go back to the "little" standard main. Rob Brewer was given a free reign on the design, with the only constraints being to fit the current luff and foot measurements. I think the next one could be slightly smaller, with the foot 20-30mm shorter to enable more flattening for stronger winds, and thus the girth slightly skinnier all the way up the rest of the sail.

The sail will be made available for testing in NSW/ACT fleets to start with, and maybe sent interstate for trials as well if the interest is there. There is no intention to promote this sail as the only solution to the debate on potential new sail designs. It is intended to be a step towards trialling various designs to find a performance and aesthetic progression towards modernising the class, to enjoy a more competitive edge against other boats, and to promote the class for future generations of young sailors.

Of course, having a bit more fun in light to moderate winds is a major consideration as well. The Sharpie is critically judged for being underpowered for a 3 man crew (well, maybe not in 25 knots!). So let's give it a fair trial and see how she goes!

Happy sailing,

Rick Outhred





The first two photos (above) show an overlay with the standard main. These second two photos (below) show a comparison with the Irwin Big Main (+ the photographers fingers in the way). Hopefully we'll get some on the water shots next.

These are some other photos of the Brewer Big Main.

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