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E-Scow Tuning

Main Sail Trim
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E-Scow's are faster upwind if you  aren't pushing the nose into the wind to point higher (assuming you are on a good upwind angle to start with). The real answer isn't probably one or the other but a balance between to two. A slight easy allows the boat to accelerate or maintain speed without healing in the puff and when you have achieved that then point a little and trim back in. 

I have a question in response to your number 2 suggestion. Why would you want to ease and accelerate in the puff instead of allowing the boat to point higher on the course?
Leave it to me to be eavesdropping on a couple of E-Scow expert sailors talking about the boats racing at the Geneva Spring Regatta. Here is what I overheard:
1.  60-70% of the boats were over trimmed going upwind on the first day of racing.
2.  When the puff hits you have to easy the sheet to keep the boat from rolling up or heading up. Easing the sheet allows the boat to accelerate and then  trim back in as needed to maintain the new speed. The adjustment doesn't need to be much to make a difference
3. Keep the boat steady on its lines by moving the main sheet! Never leave is cleated.
4. General rule of thumb is to have the top batten parallel to the boom. A slight easy opens the top of the sail and a slight trim will hook the top batten in.
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