Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Random Thoughts About Sailors and Brands in the PWA

Gaastra has lost Kevin Pritchard and Finian from their slalom team - 2 big losses in my view.  They are left with Arnon, Cedric, Ross and Alberto Menegatti for the men's fleet.  I'm not sure that this group are going to win any significant victories in 2011 (fine sailors though they all are).  This has to be a concern for Gaastra.  They did pick up Valerie Arrighetti for their ladies team however, and this can only be a good thing (not good for Loft Sails but Loft has got Ben vd Steen this year to even things out)  Ben is someone who really is capable of winning races.  

In 2009 Josh Angulo was a force on the tour.  He was always at or near the front and I'm sure that this resulted in sales of Angulo slalom boards and of Maui Sails.  In 2010 he signed up with Gun sails and came precisely nowhere in the 2010 slalom racing.  A no win situation for all as far as I can see.  Maui Sails loses a great ambassador, Gun Sails shows that its slalom sail can turn a good sailor into a bad one,  people tuning in to the racing for the first time get the impression that Angulo boards are slow.....  Nobody wins.

As mentioned above, Finian has left Gaastra and I don't see him on any of the other team lists.  He is an important sailor being one of the two or three guys capable of giving Antoine a run so it will be interesting to see where he ends up (back with Pryde maybe??).

Gonzalo has left Maui Sails and gone to North/Fanatic.  Really good for North and Fanatic, very bad for Exocet and Maui Sails.  Maui Sails has only Peter Volwater as a top sailor.  They have Phil Mcgain of course but he doesn't compete on the world tour.  Maui Sails can end up slipping out of view.  Not good for their brand.

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, Naish Sails hasn't launched its Stealth sail or its SP Slalom board yet and I'm wondering if they have eliminated these models from their line-up.  A pity if they have.  If they have opted out of slalom then where will Sarah Herbert end up this year?


  1. S+B Moussilmani are now with Tabou - Gaastra doesnt seem far from there.

    I think there wont be new racing equipment from Naish this season, lets hope they change their mind for next.
    Also, where is Simmers new racing sail?

  2. Thanks for the update spacesh1p. I'm surprised that S+B have left Starboard. Anyway both are fine sailors and are going to be really good for Gaastra if they join (pretty likely as you say). Benoit sailed with us early last year I think it was. An awesome sailor - he was out on a 7.0 while we were struggling with our 5s.
    I hope Simmer don't quit slalom. I've always had a soft spot for the brand and imported some of their sails to South Africa in 2003. Thomas Persson is a good guy and one of the masters of windsurfing sail design.