Steven Van Broeckhoven was here the other day performing some of his unbelievable moves. I think I mentioned once before how difficult it is to understand what he is doing. The moves just keep coming - one into the other - each more puzzling than the last. Joos tells me that even if you film Steven doing these things and then slow the film down it is still difficult to understand what is going on. Fantastic talent and ability! I note that he always sails in the same spot when he comes here. I suppose the wind/water conditions are optimal for him on that particular stretch of water.
We hosted some national slalom racing here this weekend. Dan Aeberli (the F2 board designer) joined in and did really well against an extremely hot field. He was sailing a prototype Silberpfeil (I estimate about 69/70 cm wide, volume 110-114 litres). I inspected the underside of the board and it was a mass of inked marks with measurements. His Choko fin was similarly marked with lines and measurements so I assume they are doing quite a bit of product development here. For much of the racing Dan used a 7.9m Ka race sail - an awesome machine in bright green. Distinctive and so very fast. I am always encouraged when a board shaper sails his boards at a really high level and kicks ass on the boards he has designed. This somehow gives me massive confidence in the products. Patrik Diethelm is another example of this - sailing his own boards in the PWA and doing really well.
Following Daniel's showing at the racing, I took some time to look at the Choko website. We tend to look down on G10 fins here for real slalom performance but Dan was on what looked like a standard Fireblade proto and smoked a whole lot of sailors on Deboichet, Hurricane and Select Vmax fins to name a few. Looking at their site, the Choco fins which could be of interest to us are the Fireblade and Black Pearl for normal slalom and the Spirit Pro for the wild stuff (if Select's Edge doesn't pan out).
Andy rigged his soft stuff and as I was leaving I watched him smoking the entire slalom racing field on one of their legs. I will discuss this in my next post which will continue on the theme of soft equipment for high winds, I will attempt to get into some of the physics at play.
Here are the Choco fins we need to be aware of. Talk to you soon