We had some reasonable wind a while ago and I witnessed some really good performance from what I had thought was so-so kit. The wind was not up to full strength and was still quite gusty. In these conditions I sometimes take out my Cross 6.4 on a big slalom board (124l). The board is super light and planes easily so the unlikely combo works fine until the wind picks up and I can change the board for our 116 3S and have some real fun. The significant thing about the first combination is that it is unexpectedly fast and has the ability to spank serious equipment if the other rider is not top notch.
Anyway, Julian Field - a good sailor from Cape Town was on the water with his brand new 8.5 Phantom on a 79 Speedster with Z Fin . He seemed to be going really well so I joined him for a few runs thinking that I would be able to run away from him. No such luck! I could almost hang with him but he was faster. Jules is a good sailor as I said but I have never seen him going this fast. The new 2 cam Phantom is absolutely awesome. He had it pulled right down almost collapsing it and the result was some proper performance. I am ambivalent about the 2013 Phantom ( 3 Cam) - it is too hard and racy for me but this new model seems soft, easy and very, very fast. Jules has the old gold 100% mast. The complete rig felt pretty heavy on the beach but we know that these are heavy sails, the masts are heavy too and his Pryde X9 boom is pretty chunky so no lightness anywhere but Jules recons that once on the water the thing is feather light in the hands.
Following on from this, Martin Cross - a reader, e-mailed me about his new Severne Overdrive. Once he managed to rotate the cams he says that the sail was fantastic - light, easy and fast. These two instances give me hope that the manufacturers are finally getting the message and creating some properly soft but properly fast performance sails. Next season is starting to look good on the sail front.
Martin's problem was with the rotation on the new Overdrive and he suggested that I do a post about this problem and discuss some remedies. This is a good idea since the rotation of cammed sails gives so many of you problems. I will discuss Martin's actual problem in the next post, what I suggested and some of my thoughts on his case and the issue in general.
Talk to you soon