A-Cat essential information.  Foiling ace and UK ‘A’ Class National Champion, Chris Rashley, shares some of his setup tips and settings, together with some useful coaching tips to get the best from your boat.

Set up

  • Rig tension 12 on loose gauge  (this is about the equivalent of being able to pull the forestay forward by hand to a vertical position at the attachment point on the hull).
  • Diamond tension 28-30 on loose gauge
  • Spreader deflection 45-60mm
  • Mast rake 5 degrees back from vertical
  • Rudder horizontal angle -0.5 to -1.5
  • Main foil angles for upwind foiling 3 to 4.5 degrees
  • Main foil angle for downwind foiling 1.5 to 2.5 degrees
  • Mast rotation downwind all off
  • Mast rotation upwind, start with the leaver pointing half way between shroud and the rear beam. Move the lever back (in towards the centre line) to rear beam in fully powered conditions. In overpowered conditions and flat water rotate as far back as 50cm inside the rear beam. Use a pair of tell-tells just down for the spreaders about 300mm back from the bolt rope to help with trimming the mast.

Upwind foiling

  • Needs to be between 10-20 knots wind speed and flatish water
  • Get low on the trapeze
  • Keep the boat flat
  • Downhaul on hard or max
  • Rotation set inside rear beam
  • Main foils max lift to start with
  • Mainsheet track down 100-150mm from centre
  • Sail the boat fast just off a normal VMG mode
  • Step back while easing lots of mainsheet.  The bow will lift and the boat will start to foil as well as come over on top of you. Then sheet in quickly and step forwards.
  • Try and stand forward over the main foils to keep weight off the rudder verticals.
  • Walk up and down the hull to balance the boat

Downwind foiling

  • Wind between 7-20 knots
  • Use only as much foil lift as you need to allow the boat to lift from the water on take off as when you start to accelerate, you will need very little lift at all
  • Rotation all off
  • Downhaul off
  • Track down 250-400mm
  • Get low on the trapeze in the foot loop location just in front of the rear beam
  • Head up to pop the windward hull from the water and keep the boat fast
  • Ease the main sheet unloading the leeward foil
  • Sheet on to stop the boat generating excessive windward heel
  • Once up keep the majority of your weight over your front foot and lunge or stamp hard to stop the bow rising before the trough of the wave in front.
  • Sheet in and out to keep the platform level and reduce steering down to the absolute minimum.