Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflex2 7.8 Maiden Flight

The wind started off quite light yesterday and I was on the water at about 10:00 with my Ram 7.8 and Fanatic 104 with 37cm SL7.  A bit small for the conditions but because the whole rig is so balanced it gets planing pretty quickly.  Andy rigged the Reflex2 and initially put it onto his Manta 125l.  The results were mixed and he didn't seem that comfortable.  We learned that the small v shaped crease we saw in the luff sleeve of the 7.0 the other day was also in the 7.8 confirming that it is part of the design.  Relief.  We also learned that it is very easy to over tighten the battens with the reflex batten tensioners and had to back off a bit on two of them.
Anyway Andy continued making small adjustments and eventually changed to his 110l Manta with Select Evo Lightning fin.  These are the fins we rate for rough water but they don't have the bite or power of the SL7's.  This set up was good but wasn't getting away from me.  The winds were still light and the water flat.

What happened next was bad news for everyone not riding a Reflex.  The wind started building and Andy started hauling away from everyone (2 Code Reds, a 2010 Vapor and my Ram).  He changed his fin to an SL7 and as the wind picked up even more so did his lead on the long runs.  The last run for me was a long 4 leg race incorporating a deep downwind blast with some fairly stiff upwind tacks.  I had become totally overpowered and crashed out at the downwind bouy.  Andy hit the beach about 1km ahead of me.  The wind increased and Gareth my sailing partner turned up at about 14:00, rigged his 5.3 wave sail with 90l board and was soon blasting.  Andy just kept going with the 7.8 getting faster and faster.  I'm not sure I've seen a 7.8 being held so comfortably in such strong winds.

One recurring problem he did find was a tendency for the back of the sail to hit the water occasionally - especially on upwind legs.  This could be due to his sailing stance, mast foot position or simply an aspect of the sail one needs to adjust for.  My own feeling (as I mentioned earlier) is that the extended batten above the boom results in increased sail area above the boom and to balance this you need to increase the foot area some how.  The foot of the sail then ends up a little fuller than one is used to.  This is just a thought.

Anyway a fantastic day's sailing and a revelation about the capabilities of the Reflex2 in the hands of a proper sailor.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I have adapted to this sail by moving towards the set up that Uncle Phil and Antony would have for the harness lies which has all but eliminated the problem of the sail touching the water. I am enjoying this sail[7.8 Reflex2] more and more.