Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Select fins, Lighter Point-7 Sails and some Observations from our Beach

Select have leaked some details of the new 2015 range.  The VMax-3 is out, looking very similar to the VMax-2.  They have replaced the S1 Eliptical with quite an interesting blade called the S1 HiWind.  This is a G10, pointed fin which could be the ticket for speed-merchants on hectic, bumpy days.

What they are also bringing out, is a new slalom design called the Rhino.  This fin will slot in above the VMax and promises to be quite special.  Sizes will be 29 - 45 for the Rhino Slam and 47 - 53 for the Rhino Lightwind.

I am really looking forward to getting a look at the Rhinos.  I'm expecting great things and hope that the price will not be prohibitive.

Point 7 is finally doing something about the excessive weight of their cambered sails.  I gather that some of the sizes are to be cropped by up to 1kg in the 2015 range.  Nice work guys.  Not enough of a reduction but a good start.

Another new and interesting sail seen at the center, is RRD's Evolution.  The sail on the grass was the 6.4 and the guys had it rigged on their Vogue RDM mast.  It looks like a really good blasting machine. It is light to lift, feels springy and balanced and sets beautifully.  Something to consider if you are looking for a high performance, camless sail from around 5.5 to 6.5m.  Nicely built, small batten overhang at the back, strong reinforcements etc.

I am taking a break from sailing today - we have sailed a lot lately, the body is crying and the wind is near gale force.  The forecast for tomorrow looks much better with lighter wind.  I want to try the new Manta 81 and if I do, will report back.

Good winds  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Severne Turbo 2015 - 6.5 and 7.5. Some General Feedback.

I have had the opportunity to try both of Joos's new Turbos.  Here are my impressions:

I rode the 6.5m Turbo first.  The wind was quite fresh and I attached it to the slalom board I was using.  It is difficult to put into words how good this sail is.  It is light to carry and extremely light in the hands once you get it onto the water.  It has good power and pops the board onto  the plane effortlessly.  Once you are fully powered up, it handles the gusts with ease.  Gybing is easy because the rotation just happens (easier than some camless sails I have sailed).

I rode the 7.5m Turbo today in extremely difficult conditions.  The wind was very gusty, one second really strong, the next - nothing.  Despite these extremes, the sail behaved beautifully and I was able to complete the runs easily despite being overpowered in the gusts.  You can actually de-power this machine by sheeting out very slightly.  Compare this to a pure race sail which will have you tail walking in a second if you dare to sheet out under full power.  An awesome sail then which I need to ride in better conditions to allow for some tuning and easy runs.

My feeling about the Turbos is that they are the perfect sail for the non-racing, performance biased sailor.  You may not beat the serious racers on this machine but you will surprise a few.  You will also probably sail faster than you would on a pure race design,.  You will also be able to sail longer, in greater comfort and with less fatigue.  For sizes 7.0m and up I recommend this sail with no reservations!

A guy on the beach has been sailing a Severne Convert.  I think that it is a 6m sail and he uses it on a Fanatic Freewave (smallish).  This sail has great performance for what is billed an entry level sail. He screams up and down, throwing the rig about and having the most fun out of everyone out there. Astonishing.  The Convert is such a light sail and because of the speeds this guy is getting, I was wondering why one would buy a Gator for more money.  Studying the action shots of these two sails I can see a difference however.  The Convert tends to distort under full power whereas the Gator holds its shape perfectly in the gusts.  Assuming two sailors were out - one on a Convert, the other on a Gator and the wind picked up.  I could see the Convert guy changing down and continuing to have fun while the Gator guy could increase the downhaul a bit and just go a lot faster.        
Convert Loaded Up

Gator - Smooth
Hennie is back from Luderitz and says that he learned a lot.  He sails one of Anders's speed boards with Gasoil speed fins.  He recons that the Mistral is one fantastic design for any speed between 45 and 49 knots.  Easy to ride and really comfortable.  When the speeds get closer to 50knots however, the Patrik speed board is the machine to be on.  It just keeps planted on the water.

Speaking of Patrik boards, quite a few of the serious racing guys here have changed to Patrik slalom boards.  They recon that the comfort provided by these boards makes for faster sailing over rough water.  The main brand up to now has been Starboard.  No-one denies that these are potentially the fastest shapes but they can be hard on the feet, back, neck etc.  The Patriks, because of the softer bottom structure, are just so much more comfortable and easier at full flight.

OK, that is all for now.
Good winds