Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PWA news and a Development on the Big Board/Medium Sail/Medium Fin front

Here is some PWA commentary and also a development on my big board/medium sail/medium fin initiative.
Matteo Iachino has left Fanatic/North as most of you probably know.  This came as a surprise to me in light of his great form last season.  He has moved to Point-7/Starboard and seems to be doing even better on the new stuff beating everyone else to win the first event in Korea.  The new Point-7 race sails seem to have the right stuff and I have the feeling that this year’s iSonics are also particularly good.  The first lady in Korea was Lena Erdil, also on Point-7/Starboard.

Julien Quentell has made a big move, leaving Pryde/RRD to join Avanti Sails and Patrik Boards.  This too was a surprise since he seems to have been with his previous sponsors for ever and has always performed well.  Go through the videos on the PWA site and you will see Julien dominating one of the heats on his new equipment.  A nice performance but I note that neither Avanti nor Patrik show him as a team member at the time of this post.  Not good.  The could both have posted the heat vid to promote their respective brands.

Big Board/Medium Sail Quest

You will know from recent posts that I am pushing to get more sailors to try bigger boards with slightly smaller sails and fins than they were designed for.  Well here is the latest installment.  

I happened to be glancing through a schedule of sale items on the site of one of our equipment suppliers.  On the boards page was an old F2 T-Rex which immediately drew my attention.  This is a board from 2002 made specifically for Dunkerbeck to win the formula racing that year.  

The whole formula movement was finding its feet and so F2 produced two sizes of T-Rex.  The one in the sale was the smaller of the two (138l, 85cm wide, 262cm long) and since it is also a full carbon board, it seems to fit perfectly into this big board/medium sail category.  I contacted the guys, gave them a silly offer and two days later the board arrived at the door.  

Despite the time of the year and the usual cold and fluky winds it brings, we were given a bonus of good wind shortly after the board arrived.  Ellie and I took the beast out with my 7.8 camless sail and a 45cm fin (both sail and fin much smaller than envisaged for this board).  

The wind picked up to way beyond what I would expect to sail this combo in, but we decided to hold on to see if we could survive.  Well, it performed beyond my wildest dreams.  The board shoots onto the plane and accelerates effortlessly to what feels like a pretty decent top speed.  Chop is handled easily and the board seems to shrink as speed increases.  Due to the leverage over fin and sail, we were both able to hold the rig easily despite being totally overpowered.
Windguru shows some reasonable wind coming in a few days and I will take the board out again, hopefully in calmer wind.  I will report back if I get a good session.

You will note the chamfered rails which help the board shrink as soon as it starts to fly off the fin.  The rails also seem to aid in the turns so you can drive the thing round like a much smaller slalom board.  Note also how the rail hardens and sharpens up towards the back of the board.  All in all, this T-Rex is an impressive piece of design.  Peter Thommen knew what he was doing.

I could not comment on the larger T-Rex which was 170 or 180 litres, a meter wide and over 270cm long (a real monster).  

I urge you to look out for a good second hand 138l T-Rex like ours if you can find one.  Guaranteed you will have fun and will frighten your mates in light to medium winds – all for very little money!  Release your inner raptor if you feel strong and sail it way over-powered as we did.  

You also have the bonus of being able to screw in a long fin and fly with an easy, flat 10m sail in light winds.  Bargain! 


  1. Interesting update Phil! Enjoy!

    In fact that board is very similar to my much beloved (but RIP) Starboard F155. Besides the main dimensions and ouline, also the wide and boxy tail is very typical (and very different from today's lightwind slalom boards), which also gives it a clear advantage upwind. Seems like the TREX was not having any cut-outs in the tail section though, which would make it even more controlable at top speed.

    Good old ventilation flap! Was always a source of discussion and extra care.

    Quite unique to find such a board in great condition. Still looking for something very similar myself.

    1. Hi Wouter
      I expected you to comment on this given what you have said about your old F155. Watch my future posts for T-Rex updates.
      Good winds

  2. See that it is from the "flapper era"
    Imagine flapper was in good shape when u got the board ?
    I was looking at a Roberts 140 liter 270 x 70 cm
    However, the flapper was bent to crap
    Seems it is easy to replace , but ....
    Now have instead a Mistral SLE303 and SB iS 117W
    my skills are NOT ready for the iS and I hope to grow into it :-)
    enjoy the board !!

    1. Thanks Joe
      Nice choice of boards!
      Regarding any old flapper board, the flapper itself will invariably be bent and you need to use this to negotiate the price down. Once you get the board home, 10 minutes with a hair-dryer and wooden rod lets you reform the flap and tease it into its original shape and position. Be careful not to overheat the flapper - just allow it to relax into its original form. Use the rod to shape it as it relaxes (too hot for fingers)

      All the best

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  3. Hi,

    I have Just bought and old 270 T-Rex approx 2002. Looking forward to getting it on the water. The flapper is missing, does anyone know how that will affect the performance? Also can it be replaced?

    Many Thanks,


    1. Hi James
      I assume that this is the massive T-Rex.
      I would try the board without the flapper first. You may find that it performs perfectly with a good fin.
      If you are spinning out, find a reasonably firm sheet of rubber and cut a new flap from this. Scrape all the old rubber from the original flap out and glue the new flap in.
      You may need to experiment with different materials but I'm sure that you will find the right stuff.
      If you do not come right, contact Rob Mulder from Roberts Composites. I think that he still builds flapper boards and he will know exactly what material to use. He may even sell you some of his stock.
      Hope this helps

    2. Hi Phil,
      Yes it is a monster! Should be great for those light wind days. Ah ok will give it a go without first and see how it goes. Any idea of the dimensions? I can't seem to find much out there about that bit of the board. If not don't work I can always contact Rob Mulder.
      Many thanks,

    3. Hi James
      I am not sure about the dimensions on the big board. You should be able to find photos of your model on the Internet and use these to gauge the size of the flap.