Forestay

Adjustable forestay - I'm mostly against. The rig is generally set up to be 'floppy' and comes back anyway upwind and vice versa. The main benefit of an adjustable rake would seem to be that the lowers are slackened even more by the mast coming back further allowing it to bend more - if its that windy why not simply loosen the lowers and avoid all the complications of extra blocks, cleats, wet lines etc ? If you come from a class where adjustable rake was 'standard' of course you may have a different view. If you are new to the Blaze I'd leave alone for a while and make your own mind up later. An adjustable forestay whilst racing is not permitted

Forestay Mast Fittings

Paul said "That's why you have floppy shrouds...so the rig can move forwards offwind....."

You got it in one - sloppy rigs = a pre-set and repeating level of rake upwind and one where the whole rig 'sits up' again offwind. You hardly have to 'pull it' forwards for it to go downwind. It's much simpler, one less thing not to have to get right and means less rope, blocks, windage, cost and weight. Sure if you can adjust everything in theory it may be faster ... if you get it exactly right all of the time but all the rest of the time its as likely to be wrong. My view is keep everything very simple but as efficient as possible with good fly-aways etc and get your head OUT of the boat. Much bigger gains to be had there most of the time - its not just boat speed that's important its also about getting a reasonable start, getting clear air, getting any shifts right, boat on boat tactics and minimising handling mistakes. Not the whole picture but perhaps 75% of it ..... The most important bit is the nut on the end of the tiller extension.

Adjustable Rigs

 Mainsheet tension does the same thing especially if you have the mainsheet system sorted. Then you do not have to let it off when overpowered in say a sustained gust - just ease the mainsheet which will also reduce rig tension. I'm in favour of allowing adjustable forestays but will not fit one myself until fully proven in a wide range of conditions as essential. I do like the idea of simplifying the outhaul as suggested by Paul Taylor so that it cleats to a single position on the underside of the boom though - we hardly adjust it anyway. (if you have a carbon boom though you may have to trim it a bit to bring the line back along the underside) - I'm going the other way and removing these as now being redundant. It's too easy to add more and more gear on the boat as our rules allow you to refine all systems - but equally you are allowed to remove any that you do not think you need. If not needed or seldom used - take it off and get the benefit of a lighter boat ALL around the course and without having to play with anything. However we do encourage a variety of views and experimentation and with it we get progression for the whole class over time. All food for thought though.........

Mike Lyons