2.4mr 2019 US Nationals diary-Shan McAdoo

2.4 Meter US Nationals Diary
Text Shan McAdoo
Images Fran Burstein

The 2020 International 2.4 Meter worlds are being held in Tampa, FL in November. This combined with the ongoing CanAm Winter Series offered me an opportunity to really dig into this cool little boat, learn lots with an eye towards a big event. The US Nationals were held in Port Charlotte on Dec 13-15, 2019. Weather and tide conditions varied providing challenging racing conditions.

This group of sailors is well practiced and good

My goals for this event were pretty simple, stay put of peoples way, continue getting used to the unique sailing challenges provided by this little boat, have fun and try to learn how to sail the boat consistently.

Day 1 – Pig on Roller Skates
We got three races in. They wind conditions swung through 120 deg and ranged from 3 knots to 10 knots. As I had not sailed the 2.4 competitively in almost a year, I spent the first race just getting used to being in the 2.4. The first race was simply a disaster, the second turned into a light air crap shoot, the third was a solid race.

Highlight of the Day
In race two when the wind died I remembered what my college coach told (yelled at) me. When the wind dies and there is current, get upstream of the competition. In this case it worked dandy, I went from second to seventh to second by tacking and drifting upstream.

Lowlight of the Day
Remember how to sail this boat. Put the bow down and power up. In the 2.4 is a displacement meter boat it grows waterline when listing and sails faster as a result.

Day 2 – Don’t be that guy
Four races today. The breeze again rotated over 100 deg. Tide conditions were very much in play again today.

Highlight of the Day
Finally getting closer with upwind speed. In 10 knots, I can start to hold onto to some of the better programs, keep a lane and get up to the top in good shape.

Lowlight of the Day
When the RC puts up the black flag after a general recall, and there is a 3/4 knot tide pushing you to the line. Don’t be that guy. Why do you think they are all hanging back? Being paranoid about boat speed makes you do stupid things. Try to resist the urge. The only good news is this happened on the first race of the day and takes the pressure off.

If you are that far ahead of the pack, you might be the problem.

Day 3 – Light at the end of the tunnel
The final day of racing got us back out on the water with wind out of yet another quadrant. A bit lighter to start. Reduce the maine sheet to 1:1, set the jib halyard a little higher so we can close the leach.

These things need a rear view camera!!

Highlight of the Day
Finally put a whole race together. Good start, good upwind speed, finally turn corners. I was able to foot through a good sailor and eventually pinch him off. Upwind is starting to feel alright, changing gears feels pretty good.

Lowlight of the Day
How do I sail this boat downwind? I can’t see behind me, and I am losing 10-15 boat lengths against the good programs. Am I sailing in wind shadows? Am I on the wrong board? The tell tales look right and guys around me seem to agree with my choice of gybe. Still need to work on this.

I learned the following items at this event:

• How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!
• The 2.4 sailors racing in Port Charlotte include a diverse group with lots of talent. They will not hand you anything.
• The 2.4 is a small keelboat and needs to be sailed like one. Powering and de-powering are important at the right times.

I am excited about all of the great sailing opportunities in the 2.4 in 2020 leading up to the World Championship in Tampa (Nov, 2020).