*** FEATURE CLASS *** 29er
by Oliver Burnell
The 29er is strict one design international class aimed primarily at youth sailors and is the smaller sister to the Olympic 49er Class.
Tasmania will have up to 8 29er crews racing in the Australian Youth Championships in early January in Adelaide.
It is targeted at youth, especially those training to sail the larger 49er. It has a single trapeze and a fractional asymmetric spinnaker. The Class is one of the two-handed classes sailed at the Youth Sailing World Championships. A self-tacking jib decreases the work load of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches. The spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.
The hull construction is of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout. The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon. The mast is in three parts - an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a carbon-fibre composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weight, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate.
The 29er is able to reach high speeds fairly quickly by having a sleek and hydrodynamic hull and will often exceed the wind speed when planing both up and downwind.
Where can I see them in action?:
Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania
Sandy Bay Sailing Club