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    I am now about the last racing wayfarer at Brancaster. The race fleet has gone to mostly handicap racing asymmetrics (RS400, Laser2000, RS200) with some lasers and Sharpies, and Hawks.

    What I need is an asymmetric wayfarer with its own PY number (preferably with option to also race as a conventional Wayfarer)

    Has anyone raced or sailed the World with an Asymmetric spinnaker?
    Does it work OK? Any problems?

    Of course what I really want is a Hartley with asymmetric option …

    W9800 Tanj2


    We also sail in a mixed handicap fleet (mostly against RS200s) and one of our members have a W World that used to race with an asymmetric rig. They soon changed this to a normal symmetric spinnaker as they found that it was faster. Wayfarers are really too heavy to gain any particular speed advantage from reaching with a gennaker, rather than in a straight line down wind. We race on a level handicap with the RS200 and it rather depends on the course for us to beat them. Straight runs against the tide= we win; reaches with the tide = they win.


    Thanks John. I agree that on a run a conventional spinnaker does best.

    The problem is that when racing against Asymmetrics the outcome is much too dependent on the course that has been set.
    Frequently we get fine reaches where they can fly spinnakers and I can’t, or courses without a run – hopeless. Or if we do get a long beat and a long run then I win and they lose – nice but also hopeless.

    I would like to be racing the asymmetrics on equal terms, rather than have it all dependent on the course.


    I raced an asymetric Wayfarer World at my club for about 5 years and it was great fun. The spinnaker tends to pull the front of the boat up as well as forward and makes it very stable. When I compared my performance with the asymetric against boats I had sailed against with a conventional spinnaker I found I was loosing out! I also race an RS500 which is designed to sail with the asymetric spinnaker. Modern boats like the RS500 start to plane in a good force 2 and can get the speed on the downwind gybing course that the Wayfarer cann’t. The other problem I noticed was that if you set the spinnaker for a starboard launch you have to recover on starboard as well. Trying to recover on port with the sail being dragged round the forestay did the spinnaker no good at all. Failing to release the wing-wang also resulted in a difficult recovery. I think these problems stem from the length of the foot of the sail which is very long.
    ps. I will be at Brancaster on the Wayfarer tidal training event on the 20/21 September. I think I will be in Matt Sharmans boat W773. So if you see me going round in ever decreasing circles, it will be on purpose.


    Thanks, Asymmetric Wayfarer does not sound like an answer.

    Maybe a finer-cut spinnaker would help?

    Unfortunately it does not look like we will be at Brancaster weekend 20/21.


    Originally, I was quite puzzled with this thread suggesting that the boat with 17 sq m asymmetric goes slower then with a 13 sq m traditional spinnaker. But recently, searching for info on something completely different (strong wind techniques) I came upon something which perhaps sheds some light on this subject. It is a short explanation on the importance of different use of the centerboard with different spinnakers, posted by match race expert Tome Bašić. I translated it into English as well as I could and you can read it at:

    From this, perhaps it could follow that actually there is nothing wrong with the asymmetric on a Wayfarer. But the performance can be diminshed by:

    – using techiniques appropriate for traditional spinnaker on a boat with asymmetric
    – sailing asymmetrics against traditional spinnakers in winds which are not strong enough to get the boat on a plane, particulary if a racing course is “stick” shaped (straight downwind/upwind).

    I apologize for messing in the racer’s playground, having no experience in it, and having very limited experience with spinnakers. But I wanted to mention this because I wasn’t previously aware of the importance of having centerboard down with the asymmetric, and I am sure some other Wayfarer World sailors might have missed this idea – I know of at least one popular and comprehensive DVD sailing tutorial which is in all other respects excellent but misses to point out this particular idea.

    Either way, the asymmetric is an excellent and simple sail for cruising and I am happy to hear that the production of World isn’t killed yet.

    Best wishes,


    P.S. By the way, to further back the idea of not disposing with the asymmetric, I’d like to mention our Commodore telling me that he has never sailed anything faster then on one occasion with some Danish helm, himself on a trapeze and the asymmetric up in his World…

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