The European Championships for the 18′ skiff class came up all CST this year with Howard Hamlin steering the CST boat to a dominating lead, winning the regatta with 2 races to spare. Howie attributes the performance not only to his crew of Scott Babbage and Pete Harris, but to the gear he has on the boat.
CST Composites has worked with Howie to develop a new rig layout for his skiff, combined with his wardrobe of Glaser sails, to achieve superiority over the fleet at this international regatta.
Howard explains: “Basically my goal is still the same. Have even mast bend where the vang only affects leech control and cunningham is used to flatten evenly top to bottom.
“The rig and sails look great, it is all about learning how to use them. We still have a lot of untapped potential left. We are at a huge disadvantage without anyone in America to race or tune against. So we only get to work on it when racing 3 times a year (Sydney, Europeans and San Francisco).
“It has been really nice to do this project with CST and Glaser. I now have a much better understanding of how skiff rigs/sails behave and what we need to do.”
Howies new rig layout differed from the fleet through the fore stay and side stay points both moving up the tip, close to a meter higher than the conventional rig layout. This helped achieve the more even and symmetrical bend that skiff-sailors and sail-makers covet. In addition, the higher fore stay means the fore-triangle increases in size, in turn, increasing the size of the jib. This change is important as it closes the gap between the size of the mainsail versus the size of the jib, resulting in a better balance of the two sails and improved dynamics.
Perhaps this will be the catalyst needed to entice more American sailors to participate in the 18′ skiff class. CST Composites continues to support the growth, development and ingenuity of this iconic class.