Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Impressions of New Sails Seen Recently

Anthony, our supplier, received a new batch of Reflex2's recently and the locals have been snapping them up.  The 7.8m seems to be the Reflex of choice.  One of the lucky locals is Andre and I helped him rig his 7.8 yesterday.  He has a Gaastra Gold mast from his old Vapor which I advised him to try with the sail.  You will note from the Unifiber site (see my previous piece on masts) that Gaastra and Severne have similar mast bend characteristics so theoretically the Gaastra should work.  With high end race sails I would usually only recommend manufacturer's recommended masts because this level of equipment is so detail specific but we will see how the Gold does.  He certainly won't be able to use it on any other sail so if he can save some money and extend the use of the mast at the same time, all the better.  I'll report back when we have had more time on the water with the combination.  I rode the rig in light winds yesterday and it felt fantastic.  Andre had mixed feelings after today's sail so we may need to some more fine tuning.  Hopefully we have similar wind tomorrow.

One of the top racing guys from Cape Town was on the water with his new Gaastra Vapors.  A very pretty very fast sail which rigs beautifully.  I mentioned in an earlier post how much better Ross Williams seems on the tour this year and I'm sure the new Vapor has contributed to this.  Sarah-Quita smoked everyone in the ladies fleet in Vietnam on her Vapors - she seemed to get going so much quicker than the others at the gybes and her board speed is fantastic.  It is going to interesting to watch how things develop over the tour.  At this early stage all I can say is - Good Job Peter Munzlinger!

Betty, a friend from Cape Town arrived with her new Ezzy Panther wave sails and we spent some time rigging her 4.2 (in bright yellow - cool).  You really need to pull the Ezzy's down to the required indicator mark and then use the outhaul strings to get a good setting.  The outhaul tension always seems excessive to me but the sail really works when you haul it out.  The tack strap needs to be pulled until a crease appears in the sail foot so all in all a strange set-up but really stable and light in the hands when you get it right.

On a slightly different tack I have just watched the interview with Bjorn regarding his racing gear.  For those of you who have not seen the vid, his 3 boards are the new Isonic 127, 107 and the 90 for high winds.  The 127 goes with 9.7, 9.2 and 8.6 sails and 50, 48, and 46cm fins.  The 107 goes with 7.8 and 7.0 sails and 44 down to 38cm fins.  The 90 he uses with his 6.2 Reflex and 36 and 37 fins.  His footstraps are in the back holes at the rear and in the middle for the front straps.  He says that the wide stance gives better control over rough water.  Makes sense.

Talk to you soon


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