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Kit Guide

Something Different

By Ian Baillie 30th September 2020

I had a chance to sail in a 707 just lately in a local regatta. I don't often sail keel boats but the 707 is described as a big dinghy and it is fun to sail and gives very close racing. Things do happen a bit slower than dinghies but the extra thinking time it gives is quite novel at first and there were 3 other people to discuss it with. The racing though was very tight and a bit disconcerting at first as there is a lot of energy in a moving a keel boat, even a small one. They were fun downwind and you do need to know your boat whisperer stuff to keep them in balance. I sometimes struggled to remember I was part of a team, mostly OK but it was too easy to revert to automatic and forget to say what was happening. And I never got used to them healing and every time we rolled to windward downwind I just could not stop myself from moving into the middle of the boat, much to the amusement of everyone else.
Meanwhile, the RS300 class has voted to allow the mainsheet ratchet block to be attached to the boom, to allow permanent off the boom sheeting, like a lot of the skiffs do. Several sailors were already doing this, with no ratchet, so this should help. It is great how the 300 class can evolve like this to move with the changing techniques of the sailors. Having said that, I've tried it and found it very awkward, so I'm sticking with my floor mounted ratchet but it's a nice option to have.

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