"Dusty" Gray's stunning photo:
FT2 in 1996 Milang-Goolwa

Flying Tadpole II in the 1996 Milang-Goolwa sailing a little N of W in a 7 knot SW wind. This is as hard on the wind as she can profitably go.

Things right...

A slight weather helm; the speed about 4 knots; the set of the jib; the sail telltales; the heel; the wake; the skipper (always right..)

Things wrong...

Main boom lower than it should be; foregaff vang tangled in jaws (sack the crew in the fore cockpit) and vanged a little tighter than it should be; mainmast needs a little less rake; foreboom should be held down (mutinous dogs in the fore cockpit); fore topping lift flapping untidily (that fore cockpit crew will be walking the bowsprit shortly).

Things just about there...

Main and fore are backwinding slightly at the luff. This isn't oversheeting but the non-aerodynamic masts. We've learnt to minimise this by loose rope parrels and a bit of space between the luff rope and the mast. It works, don't ask me why...falling off another 2 degrees would help but we were desperate to avoid another tack.

Weight distribution would be perfect if the skipper's wife shuffled forward to the corner of the stern cockpit where she should be rather than exchanging idle chitchat with Robert Ayliffe in a lower handicapped Norwalk Islands Sharpie which has caught and passed us (oh the shame...but only to windward and it took 12 miles and one less tack to do it). As it is, there's a slight tail drag going on. The hefty British Seagull motor is balanced by the equally hefty and statutory 5 gallons of drinking water in the bow.

In no wind at all, 3 years later...

Not much to do as Flying Tadpole brushes to windward, unerringly seeking out the invisible mudbanks of Goolwa prior to becoming totally becalmed.  But Graham Cheer's photo is too good to leave out...

For what it feels like to be the forward hand at speed, see our Schooner Surfing page!

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