Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gaastra's New Branding and Some Sailing Session Feedback


You may have seen the new branding introduced by Gaastra a while ago.
The logo on the right is the new one which they claim is more in keeping with the times than the old one.  I will miss the depiction of the castle but I'm sure that they know what they are doing.  The only important thing of course, is the performance of the sails.

Here is Ross on the re-branded Vapor.  Not bad I suppose.

Session Feedback
Christiaan, a German speed sailor was with us for a few weeks and I had the opportunity to sail with him in a variety of conditions.  He is a Patrik team member so his boards are all Patrik slalom models and his sails are mostly Loft Race Blades. His fins comprise some old Deboichets and new Sonntags. All in all - great slalom stuff.

We had some really strong winds and I rigged a Cross 6.0 on the 3S116.  I screwed in my high wind fin and set out.  Christian rigged his Race Blade 6.2 on his small slalom board - a fast combination but not anything I would want to sail over wild water.  Christaan did surprisingly well but staying ahead of him was easy.  Occasionally I found myself alone at the end of a run to find that he had catapulted and was in the water extricating himself from his equipment.  A definite win for the freeride stuff.

The following day brought wind which was strong in some stretches but weak and gusty in others.  I rigged my 6.4 Cross on the Falcon 113 (39cm VMax fin) and Christiaan rigged his Blade 7.8 on Patrik's excellent 115 slalom.  I think that he had a 40cm Sonntag fin but I'm not sure.  In extended gusts I had no problem running with him but as soon as we hit a lull, the race stuff came into its own.  He held it easily through the gusts and just powered through the lulls.  This is what race stuff does of course.  It powers through the gybes and accelerates away while you are left wobbling with your small flat sail which refuses to get you going.  The race stuff ruled in those conditions!

I have to say that the Loft Blades are fantastic sails.  They are light and breathe beautifully when powered.  I noticed that the second to top batten on Christiaan's 7.8 was very tight and commented to him that he should loosen it.  I also noticed that the batten above the bottom two (third batten from the bottom) was also too tight.  Christiaan looked very sceptical.  I could see him thinking "who is the sponsored sailor here - me or you?" I get the point but (regardless of Christiaan's scepticism) I am right about this. The batten at the top needs to be loosened a bit to effect a smooth exhaust in the gusts.  The lower batten in question needs careful attention.  If it is too tight the power zone of the sail can be distorted leading to control difficulties and a reduction in speed.  The bottom two battens are really cranked of course to create power and Christiaan had done this perfectly.

Talk to you soon         


  1. Hi Phil, great post as always. One observation to the report from the session. I have no knowledge of Christian's weight, size of small slalom board nor the condition you sailed.
    However, with you with 6,0 freeride Christian's 6,2 fully cambered seems small. The 6,4 vs 7,8 seems more correct.
    When I am on my slalom board I usually find myself with a sail 2-2,5 SQM larger than the freeriders.
    Best regards,

  2. Hi Lars
    Thanks for the comment. The reason that the 6.0/6.2 seems strange is that I tend to sail my 6.0 Cross way, way overpowered. Others were blasting on 5.0m wave sails on that day. I have found that by really pulling the 6.0 down and also by using a sneaky mast, this sail is stellar in wild conditions.
    Your comments about riding bigger race stuff is important. It demonstrates the fantastic engineering that goes into race sails allowing them the huge wind range you can extract when you set them up properly.