Bjorn popped in for a visit on his way back from Namibia this weekend. It is always nice to see the top guys in the flesh and on our sailing patch. He had a short sail to clear his head after the long trip. Unfortunately I had already left when he arrived and so did not see him but he borrowed one of Grant's boards and went out with his own Reflex 6.2. Some of the locals had the opportunity to talk with him and report that he is a really nice guy.
I've been sailing my 2012 Falcon 113 quite regularly and finally have it tuned for the 2 sails I use it with. This board is a total performance machine - quite harsh and clattery over chop but easy to control. It needs wind to get going but if you are powered up, things become easy and everything seems to fall into place. If you are not powered up (ie if you keep falling off the plane) the ride is miserable. Under-powered the board feels sticky on the water and is exhausting. Also notable with the Falcon is its propensity to dive if you let your weight bear too far forward in transitions. I started to be conscious of this trait after Eric Kaminga mentioned it to me in an e-mail. It is not serious for me but I can understand how it could be really annoying if you tack your board often and are not quite quick enough through the move.
Andy was able to sail Lorch's Glider 105 and was really impressed. I am grateful for Andy because of the way he sails and evaluates windsurfing equipment. When he sails he usually blasts against Harry and some other really good sailors, all on optimized kit. This blasting is at top speed over real world conditions and the sole aim of these guys is to maximize speed in the prevailing conditions. Each sailor is keenly aware of how fast they should be going and if they are on a new piece of equipment they can tell immediately whether it is better or worse than their normal stuff, based on how far ahead or behind their main competitor they end up after each run. Any piece of equipment, therefore, is put through the fire when being evaluated. Speed over the entire course is the main criterion – concepts such as easy cruising, ability in waves, happiness generated or brand loyalty, are all irrelevant.
This all means that if a piece of equipment gets the nod from Andy, I know that it is something special as far as flat out blasting and controlled gybing goes. If he is excited by a particular board, I pay close attention. Well the Lorch got him excited so rest assured - this is one awesome board. He recons that the standard fin is totally acceptable. You would buy a really good fin with this board but the standard one would make a fine spare.
We don't know much about the Lorch brand here and only see one of their boards when a visiting sailor from Europe happens to bring his own equipment and happens to have one in his bag. What I like (in addition to the performance potential discovered by Andy) is the fact that they can build most of their designs in a super light construction if you are interested. Look at the Platinum SL weights on this chart! A Glider 105 weighing under 5kg! Awesome (but probably awesomely expensive as well)
|Platinum Line||Platinum Line SL|
They have introduced their new Offroad model for 2013 (a rival for Tabou's 3S) and I would give anything to test one of these in view of the results achieved with Andy's 3S 96.
Three notable slalom sails to have broken cover recently are Avanti's Condor, Severne's Overdrive and Gaastra's Phantom. Each one of these sails is going to be fantastic for the advanced blaster who wants to blow everything else off the water.
That is all for now. Talk to you soon