Recently the Hunter Class did a survey amongst some of it’s more recent National Championship winners on what they considered the most important tuning control.

They were posed with the following question:

“You are presented with a Hunter 19. Hull, complete with keel, rudder with tiller, tiller extension, standing rigging, main sail, genoa and the necessary sheets (including main track & genoa track).

What’s the first control that you add and why?”

Here’s the answers:

Paul Changuion

I think it would have to be the adjustable backstay

This is the first gear we change in and out of pressure.

Off – Lighter Breeze, higher pointing and more power.  This does also increase your leech tensions.

Medium – , better speed and more balance but watch your pointing and jib sheeting angle

Hard – 12 plus knots, depower sail, drive off the jib

Some people will also argue that in very light breeze better to have the backstay on hard to help create leech twist and better flow over the sail.

Luke Wagner

I have thought about this quite a lot.

I would add a good backstay control

…..allowing the forestay to be “eased” when the breeze drops. I initially thought that I would add a headsail cunningham, and came to the conclusion that the backstay control will have similar effect with the added bonus of allowing forestay sag.

So yes, a good backstay adjustment.

Herbert Karolius

  1. Back Stay tensioner.
  2. Vang
  3. Genoa Cunningham.

Without them you are going nowhere.

John Bruckmann

A drinks holder at the stern

On a serious note a Genoa Cunningham I would think

Tony Cockerill

I am not sure you would call it a control but I would check mast position

……as this appears to be critical in making your boat go .Especially Europa’s as the early rules had mast position measured from the forestay which in the Europa’s left the mast too far back and plenty of weather helm..

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