I have been back for a while but needed a break from the blog. Anyway, I am back now and we have things to consider. The PWA Sotavento event was held last month and Finian won the slalom racing. This is good news given his recent spate of bad luck with injuries and equipment breakages. He says that the design of the Avanti sails helped him in the rough, gusty conditions, allowing him to maintain control. He adds that the softness of the new sails gave him an advantage. That is what I keep hammering on about - even superstars need comfort to maximize performance!
The top 6 guys were Finian, Ben, Antoine, Bjorn, Cyril and Julien Quentel. These guys were all on either RRD X-Fires or Starboard iSonics. Food for thought. Ben vd Steen is, as I have said before a force to be reckoned with and on his new equipment combo of Loft and Starboard, is becoming "quite a handful" (to use Johnny's understated turn of phrase). Cyril is definitely getting to grips with the Reflex3's. He has been near the top in the last two meetings. Interesting times.
Here is Ben kicking ass. Note the Loft sail's dual shaping in action. The bottom section delivers power while the top section spills wind. The sections are divided by that black tendon and the use of different materials - nice!
On the new equipment front, some of the brands have their 2013 wave and freeride sails out. Severne, North and Maui Sails are all showing new lines and there are some nice things. Severne's Blade looks really cool and is going to perform I'm sure. North's ID is lighter than equivalent sails from Severne and from Maui Sails (Blade and Ghost xt). I usually berate North for the heaviness of their sails but not in this case. Well done guys.
RRD have a new mast which they bill as the lightest rdm on the market. This has been out for a while but is worth a mention. They don't give weights on the site unfortunately.
It is called the CDM C100 and they claim a new manufacturing technique incorporating "nano carbon fibres". I'm sure that this is not quite as exciting as it sounds but one thing I have learned about RRD is that they generally do things better than other companies so if you are looking for something special in an rdm mast, give this one some thought.
Our sailing season here is rapidly approaching and most of us are looking at our sail and board quivers and deciding what to replace. As I have mentioned, I am replacing my beloved North Ram 7.8m with a camless sail. I am almost decided that this will be a Gaastra Savage and will probably go this way if I can get a good price. Jeremy, one of my sailing partners has been agonizing over a replacement for his Gaastra GTX 7.5 and is also leaning towards something camless. In the next post I will let you know what he decided upon and list some of the other options you could consider if you are in a similar position.
Talk to you soon