Insider Tips from Regatta Winner Eddie Cox

By Eddie Cox

My first time sailing MC Scows in New Jersey did not disappoint! Jersey is home to one of the fastest-growing MC Fleets in the country at Lavallette Yacht Club, and the Eastern Championship is their premier event of the season.

Barnegat Bay gave us the full range of conditions – at times, all in the same race! Local knowledge came into play as the sea breeze started to fill; observing and talking with the locals helped us adapt to the ever-changing conditions. Our key to consistency lay within our ability to shift gears throughout the massive changes in velocity. We saw a 12-knot breeze diminish to 6 knots in a single beat. Transitioning our sail controls, mainsheet, and bodyweight helped us maintain speed through the lulls and lumpy water.

The unstable conditions are where the Quantum Powerzone becomes a real asset. As the wind decreases, we ease the cunningham, vang, and a small amount of outhaul to help add power to the sail. The next step is a slight ease on the mainsheet and moving your body weight into the boat slightly. I’m always focused on maintaining the correct heel angle, just enough so the deck of the boat isn’t wet.

Sailing in Choppy Conditions
The biggest challenge on Barnegat Bay is the chop created by the shallow water. Sailing with the Powerzone gives you the extra punch to get through the waves in light conditions, as well as when the full force sea breeze builds. Our key to sailing fast in the lumpy water was keeping the boat flat (on the correct angle of heel or slightly flatter) and pressed (slightly below a close-hauled course). Pressing is a formidable technique in choppy conditions regardless of the wind speed, and it requires a powerful sail and setup. To press, you head down 1-2 degrees below close haul without changing your mainsheet trim. Be ready to hike a bit harder when bearing away slightly to keep the boat on the correct angle of heel in the waves. Press just enough to get through the waves, release the helm you have built, and then allow the bow to come back up onto a close-hauled course.

I cannot stress the role the Quantum Powerzone played in our MC Easterns win. The powerful lens foot coupled with the flexibility of set up allowed us to easily have optimal sail shape for the conditions. The Powerzone is a massive step forward in sail design for the MC Class. The scow experts at Melges/Quantum sails Zenda would love to help you improve your MC sailing with a new Powerzone.