Number 131 / March 2002

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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of their sails to some 13.5 feet, thus increasing the aspect ratio to just over 4.0 and, to judge from their performances, it has paid off. Neither do they report any particular difficulty in holding the boat up. One slight fly in the ointment is that they have also changed the section of their leeboard, so it is difficult to know whether it's the leeboard or rig that has boosted their race results.

Our own study suggests that increasing the aspect ratio to 5.1 would reduce the induced drag, the principal loss factor on a sail, by >60% while only increasing the overturning moment by some 12%, probably not much different to the new Solway Dory rigs.

The sail would have a soft leading edge that can be over-rotated to maximise the airflow but at the same time it remains reefable. Solway Dory have built one of these sails for me and we hope to have some idea of its performance next spring. The principal objection to it to my mind is that it is of high aspect ratio, thus

will be more sensitive to its angle of attack, but against that we have the Solway Dory rigs.

All these ploys are really an attempt to reduce the losses from our small sail area, with recognition of the conditions we sail in. Some are obviously more complicated than others but at this stage it would perhaps be wrong to rule them out on that basis.


Membership Details (HowardJ)

Having not been to a winter meet for many years (the first, when was that?) it was great to meet up with familiar faces and catch up with all of the news. An extra bonus was the beautiful weather on the Saturday. During the weekend a number of people discussed the issue of whether we should include members' qualification in the membership details booklet. Some people felt very strongly against this idea. Others were open, some keen. I think we should go further!

The Commodore's speech on the Saturday evening spoke about attracting younger members (probably under 40). Without doubt we do need to work hard in this area, and how we do it I am not sure. But what we do have is a huge wealth of experience and skills within our membership that we do NOT use to its full advantage. Some members have exceptional skills in woodworking, engineering etc. Others in organisation, medical, mathematics (something I am useless at!), photography and I am sure much more. Surely at our age we are not too stubborn, selfish or stupid not to share this information with others who share the same interest?

For example, I am a BCU level 5 Coach (Sea) and have numerous other canoeing qualifications. I hold the Mountaineering Instructors Certificate and various qualifications in other activities. I have been involved in the outdoors for many years. I am more than happy to give advice or a more formal talk on any aspect of the outdoors that I know about. I have run a fibreglass company and have designed or developed a number of kayaks or canoes. I would be happy to run a session on using these materials if members wanted or perhaps give advice on epoxy resin, vacuum bag processing or specialist materials like Kevlar or carbon fibre. I am now a Sports Safety Officer at Oxford University and give advice on all manner of "safety" issues to student clubs.

I am well aware that the group and organisers of meets have concerns about liability issues. I have some knowledge in this area, but I bet we have some form of legal guru amongst our ranks who I am sure would help. I use the services of a member who has excellent engineering skills. I pay for these services. Perhaps the person would be willing to undertake work for other members. It would not be for me to say.

If members think this is a good idea then we need to explore it more. A simplified form would help in collating the data. The important point regarding this issue is, if you do not want to divulge personal details, individual skills or abilities then you do not have to! It's your choice.

No, this is not an attempt to outdo 'Harpers & Queen' with photos of a High Society dinner, more a sort of 'Spot the Sailing Canoeist'. We have RodL to thank (?) for these scenes from the annual OCSG dinner.

End Of Year Ranking (EddieP)

Following a recent Committee meeting at my sailing club in Montrose, I was struck by our conversation there on how to encourage more members into racing. I feel our current OCSG set-up means reward (i.e. end-of-year ranking places) to those who can spend the most on petrol. Why

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