I promised to discuss these two sails a while ago but I had decided to do this only after discussing the new Gaastra Phantom. Kevin Do kindly offered to send me some pictures from the 2014 Gaastra catalog but has not managed to do so yet so I will proceed with this discussion. I will also try to get some pictures of the Phantom on my own so look out for this post. The new Phantom promises to be something special for the likes of Gareth and me - fast recreational sailors looking for a light, easy sail, capable of rocket ship performance but not necessarily a pure race design.
Here we go with the Addict/Hucker discussion. I will use two Vandals to illustrate some points.
Above are the two performance sails from Vandal. Each is a camless, 6 batten sail but they perform in very different ways.
The Stitch on the left has a nicely spaced batten configuration with the second batten passing through the boom. This gives an easy handling sail, delivering smooth power to a high top speed. This is my type of sail - easy but fast.
The Addict on the right you will note, has only one batten below the boom. All the rest are tightly spaced above. This gives the sail a nice full belly which delivers huge power and instant acceleration. It also ensures that the top of the sail is tightly controlled and stable. In the right hands this sail is capable of stunning performance but the sailor needs high levels of strength and skill to master the beast. It is very easy to be overpowered by this sail and to feel uncomfortable at speed.
Now let us look at the Hucker.
Here you see the same configuration - one batten below the boom and all the others bringing order to the top. The beauty of sails with this configuration is that they are made to be controllable for those able to master them. Not everyone can do this properly but if you learn to do it, you have an awesome weapon which can hold its own against anything.
This is Dale Cook flying his Hucker in the Gorge. Imagine the explosive acceleration required to propel him to these heights. Imagine also, the control required from the sail to enable one to maintain one's trim while flying in heavy air.
Dale Cook is able to take a break from these jumps, sail round the corner to what they call a speed strip (but is actually just a flattish piece of river interspersed with river traffic and reed beds) and hit speeds of over 40knots in his baggies, his waist harness and this equipment! Absolute magic and a testament to what this type of sail is capable of.
Please have a look at the video section on the Sailworks site. Dale's Hucker speed run (as well as some great jumps and other footage) can be found there.
That's all for now
Talk to you soon