Wednesday, December 24, 2014

New Avanti Sails and some Manta Pics


I apologize for the long break - the silly season can throw one's routines out sometimes.  We have had some good sailing recently with three fast upcountry sailors (Karel, Andy and Rob) keeping the locals on their toes and one super-fast Arthur hanging with our best.  The bodies are recuperating now however over some quiet days.  Our next wind is expected on Friday and Saturday.

Avanti sails always impress me and their new race sail looks stunning.  These guys came up with carbon fiber load path reinforcing a while ago and although Severne's recent moves in this direction are impressive, Avanti was at the forefront:

Just look at the shape under tension in the top two pictures.  What a beautiful thing!

The bottom picture shows the side-on view and I am heartened to note no protruding batten at the clew.  This approach tempts me to shorten the overhangs on two of my existing sails.  I have wanted to do this for some time but feared that the new shape would somehow not work.  Dan however, knows what he is doing so I am now feeling a lot more confident about cutting two perfectly fine sails.  One would need to do the mod in conjunction with one's sail repair person to ensure that the new margin is properly strengthened and that all the reinforcing is properly stitched back onto the clew area.  I haven't decided yet.

15 Manta Pics
The Manta pictures below came from but I think that the original photos came from a guy called Ken Kitahara at Maneuverline.

Bottom of the new 61

The new 71

The new 81


The 71 and 81 boards show slight differences in the cut-outs compared to the 2014 boards.  Both designs are hugely impressive and I have no doubt that they are going to work perfectly.

The 61 bottom is really interesting - much simpler than the bigger boards but I have an idea that it will be something special on the water.  Simple need not mean ineffective and there is a certain elegance of design here.

That is all for now.  Talk to you soon.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Select Fin Update and a Suggestion for Financing New Equipment


I note that Select are now listing the new VMax 3.0 on their site.  I gather that the larger sizes have more grip than the 2.0.  Unfortunately no updates on the new Rhino race fin.  I am looking forward to seeing (and hopefully trying) this fin.

Speaking to the local windsurfers on our beach, an overriding topic of conversation is the increasing costs of new windsurfing equipment.  If you are a young guy with the skill and passion to enter slalom racing seriously - how on earth do you afford a quiver of new race sails, boards, rigs and fins? This is actually quite serious for the sport and I'm sure that more than a few potential windsurfers are opting for kiting instead.  Not good.

Anyway, this line of thought prompted me to mention my commercial website to the readers of this blog.  One of the sections of this website is devoted to methods of earning money online and if you are interested, I provide the link below.  Please understand that my website is for the general public and so I'm sure that sections of it will be of no interest to you but establishing an online business is something we should all be doing (especially if we wish to continue buying tasty equipment).  Anyway, here is the link to the site.  Please go to the root page of each topic and read this before going on to its subsidiary pages.  Knowing windsurfers as I do, I think that the material on affiliate marketing and the stuff about commodities and Forex trading will be of interest.  The other stuff - not so sure.

Anyway, please have a look.  All the approaches suggested actually work!

Here is the link:

[Phil's Website]      

Mast Specifications by Sail Brand


A while ago I received an e-mail from Giuseppe, a reader from the north of Italy.  He is keen on buying a 2014 GA Vapor and asked whether he should opt for the outgoing GA gold mast or the new blue model.

The easy answer is to say that since the sail would have been designed on the gold mast, this is going to be the best thing to buy.  What I also try to do however, is to think about what is going to happen down the line.  What happens when you replace the sail?  Will the gold mast still be useful?  My advice to Giuseppe was that although the gold mast may (?) be better on the 2014 Vapor, he should opt for the new blue model if possible.  GA tell us that the new masts will work on their older Vapors so he should not have compatibility problems.  He will also have a mast which, in the future, will work with a number of different sail brands and this is the purpose of this post - to give you some mast stats by sail brand.

I wrote a post about mast bend statistics a few years ago.  For those of you who did not read it, here is the short version.  Windsurfing mast bend characteristics are measured as follows:

Suspend the mast from two points (one 5cm from the base, one 5cm from the tip).  Hang a 30kg weight from the point exactly mid way between the two suspension points.  Measure the mast deflection at the mid point when the weight is applied.  For this example assume the deflection is 10cm.
Now mark a point half way between the base suspension point and the mid point and another point half way between the tip suspension point and the mid point.  Measure the deflection at each of these points when the weight is applied.  The tip quarter will deflect more that the base quarter of course. For this example, assume that the tip quarter has deflected 7.8cm and that the base quarter shows a deflection of 6.4cm.  These three figures give us the measures we require.  We take each of the quarter measures (7.8 and 6.4) as a percentage of the mid section deflection (10.0).  So here we have the position of 78% tip deflection and 64% base deflection.  From these two percentages we calculate the curve delta of the mast.  Simply deduct the base deflection from the tip deflection.  In this case the curve delta is 14.  The higher the delta, the softer the mast top.

Here are some deltas you may find interesting:
        GA      Point-7      KA      Maui      North      Severne        Loft          Pryde
460   14        14            14         14           13             13            13              17

490   14        14            14         14           13             13            13              17

These are all stats for SDM race masts.

The above measures show a huge change in some of the brands.  Maui used to have really hard top masts with deltas of 9 or 10.  Gaastra was not far behind them with deltas of between 10 and 12.  Now GA masts are actually softer than both North and Severne.  They are now also compatible with a range of other sails.  Nice!

Pryde and Tushingham are the two brands who persist with very soft top masts.  Antoine certainly gets results out of this approach but I have a feeling he would win on any of the other brands as well.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

PWA Final Results


Antoine has ended up on top of the PWA slalom log for 2014.  Another great year for a great windsurfer. Cyril was second, Pierre Mortfon third, Ben vd Steen fourth and Pascal Toselli fifth. The positions of Pierre and Ben show that both the North/Fanatic and the Tabou/GA combinations are working properly.  I can't help feeling that Pascal was slightly unlucky to be fifth.  Some of his performances were stratospheric and with a little more consistency he could have been challenging the top two guys easily.

Bjorn announced his retirement from competitive windsurfing.  It is easy to forget just what a phenomenon this guy was for his many years at the top.  One of the all time greats who casts a long shadow for anyone wishing to follow in his footsteps.  Good luck champ and thanks for the inspiration over so many years.

The top ten PWA placings give the following results by board/sail maker:

Pryde                                         3
GA                                            2
North                                         2
Severne                                      1
Pt-7                                           1
Maui                                          1  

RRD                                         3
Starboard                                   3
Fanatic                                      2
Tabou                                       2

I have not had an opportunity to ride the Manta 81 yet.  The wind has been either too light or way too strong.  I am also nursing an injury so not sure when I'll be back in action.

Talk to you soon