When we first started to race Odalisque we had trouble not being “DFL”, or dead folking last if we finished at all. We had the old, perhaps original main sail that came with the boat that could be circa 1967 until we got a brand spanking new main sail last summer; loose footed and full battened – woo hoo.
With practice and under the meticulous eye of captain Matt we began to have better finishes, even before we got the new main sail. Now that we have gotten used to our new main we have been finishing races near the front of the pack, regularly.
I am certain that our skill levels have risen over the years but I also do believe that our new main sail has been a major asset in our ascent towards the top of the heap. That and the fact that we have been trying not to miss a single race in a season.
Don’t take my word for it here are some before and after photos of our boat that were kindly provided by the crew of our racecourse nemesis, Aeolus, who sail a beautiful Tartan 30 standard rig. Thanks to Jim and Lee Luce I have photographic evidence of how our boat looked under sail back in 2006:
And this one:
Now some pictures from this year (2012):
Matt adjusting both main and jib on a reach:
You can decide for yourself which main sail looks better.