Saturday, June 8, 2013

Some Equipment News

I have some varied equipment related stuff which may be of interest.  Let me see if I can include everything in one go.  If not, I will spread the material over two posts.

Sails first:
You will recall me mentioning the variable profile soft sail being developed by Heru and Challenger Sails.  Here is one of the latest proto's:
They have kept the mast sleeve off which allows us to see more of the structure of the sail.  They seem to use spacers between the two panels to create shape.  I suppose that this is symmetrical as opposed to most current sails which are asymmetrical.  All in all a nice, clean design and if you look at the clips on YouTube, capable of exceptional performance.  I watched one clip showing the tester on a 6m example of this sail sailing with another sailor on a 9m race sail and doing really well in shifty lake conditions.  Interesting stuff.

Avanti have finally added some model pictures on the gallery sections of their site.  Here is the Condor - my idea of a proper 3 cam slalom sail for slalom racing:

 Look at all the high tech laminated material and the balance of the sail in flight.  Awesome!

Here is the Poweride which would be my personal choice in sizes 7.4m and 8.2m.  Not for racing but for fast cruising:

A sailmaker who may be unfamiliar to some of you is Hansen Sails.  This is the company of one Bill Hansen, a design guru who I have admired for a long time.  Many years ago he was with Windwing Sails and was responsible for some fine designs there.  Now he operates as Hansen Sails and continues to produce at the cutting edge.  Here is what I think is his latest formula race sail.  Unfortunately these guys are horrible at updating and maintaining their website so images and specs are really difficult to find.
Note the balance and elegance of this sail on the water - the use of the strong black reinforcing to tie everything together, the clear power section and the beautifully shaped outer wing.  The design incorporates a patented system which constantly alters the profile of the sail under load to optimize performance.  Those black spokes are elasticated, allowing the leech respond to gusts as a living wing might.  Cool stuff.  
I am interested in seeing the other models - slalom and fast freerace, but I haven't found any details out there.

Here are two pics of the 2014 Gaastra Vapor.  They don't show much but I get the impression that they are moving towards a lighter, simpler, flatter construction.
As you can see, these photos come from ABC News and LAWIIN06, two sites with heaps of interesting windsurfing material.

OK, I will close this post now.  I will discuss fins and boards in the next post.  Christiaan from Stellenbosch is coming to sail here today with a bunch of Kona sailors.  There is rain and cold outside but I think they may actually get some wind as well.  Christiaan wants to discuss some of his equipment choices with me so I will go down and have some coffee with him and may even sail with the guys.

Talk to you soon


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