For a long downwind race where I may need the same sail for extended periods, how do I make sure I have redundancy in the sweet spot of my asymmetric inventory?
For Transpac, and many other coastal and offshore races, the A2 spinnaker is your workhorse. But the A2 you use for inshore buoy races to sail at low angles may not be the best sail for offshore racing, when surfing waves and dealing with shorthanded sail changes. For the Reichel/Pugh 45 Criminal Mischief, we developed an A2.5, which is essentially the same size as an A2, but is much more durable. It has more reinforcement, a flatter luff, a twisted leech profile, and an oversized tack patch. This kite bridges that important gap between the A2 for flatter seas and lower angles and the smaller A4 for higher winds. This allows us to drive the boat harder in those crossover conditions, when we need to be able to put the bow up to track waves and not risk a wipeout due to the size and fullness of the inshore A2. This also allows us to sail with two A2s (A2 & A2.5) that are each efficient in a given wind range. If we break one, we still have one with which to finish the race.