Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Some 2019 Equipment


Just a quick note on some new stuff.

Everything of the best for the new year to all of you

I mentioned in the last post that I would be discussing foiling and Guiseppe Scullino's findings regarding light wind options.  I am not going to do this right now but will include these topics in an upcoming post.


Ellie and I recently acquired two 2017 Severne Gators (6.5 and 7.0) and our first few rides on them have revealed how astonishingly good these sails are.  They are fast light and versatile.  
I knew that they were going to be good but they have surpassed all expectations.
I do not have Severne masts yet so I rigged the 7.0 on an old Fiberspar 460 mast.  This was totally wrong for the sail so I had to modify the mast using an old left over 490 Powerex top, cut down for improved stiffness.  

If any of you are interested to find out more about this Frankenstein mast, the process and logic behind it - please e-mail me.  I’ll explain the whole thing.  The altered mast allows the sail to set beautifully and work properly on the water.

Severne Mach2

Severne have refined elements from their Mach 1 race sail to produce the Mach 2, and what a sail:
  • At last they have cut the batten count to 7 across all sizes. 
  • The sail now appears to be the lightest race offering out there
  • Sizes 5.0, 5.5, 6.2 all rig on rdm masts
  • The thing looks so right

 Well done Severne - you may very well have created the best race winning sail on the planet.  I can’t wait to watch the 2019 race vids to compare its behaviour and performance on the water with the awesome blades of Pryde and Duotone.  
A new contender is here!

What a thing!

RRD Race

Speaking of new contenders, RRD have developed a pure race sail which looks really interesting
(correct number of carbon tube battens, wide sleeve etc).

Cyril has left Severne and will be racing this new sail (X-Wing Mk 1) on the RRD slalom boards in the new racing season.


Avanti M-7 

Avanti have also unveiled their new race sail which exhibits the usual Avanti strengths (beautifully executed load path architecture, faultless integrity of design and bomb proof construction).  

Very,very cool

Gun Bow

Gun Sails are offering a Bow sail/bowflex mast.  This is one of Pieter Bijl’s projects and resurrects a concept introduced by Gaastra in the mid 90’s.  Here is how it works:

The sail sets on a special mast which has an extremely bendable, whippy top portion
This ensures that the sail is not a loose leech design – it bends off on the mast tip and bends off a lot more than a conventional design is able to, even when properly down-hauled.
This means that the release area (that band which adds area to the sail in low wind and disappears as the sail twists in gusts) is so much bigger on the Bow sail.

The result is a sail which constantly adjusts to wind strength, adding power in lulls and reducing it in gusts.  As you spool up under power, the release area is minimised.  When your speed is equal to the wind, the sail closes, bringing ever more power and speed - an organic thing constantly adjusting to conditions to optimise speed over distance.

This is an interesting concept which unfortunately comes with marketing challenges.   The proprietary mast can only be used with this sail.  Say you buy a Bow sail and bowflex mast but the sail does not succeed in the market.  You are potentially stuck if Gun discontinues the model.  When your sail wears out you are left with an unusable mast.  Not good.

I really hope that this concept works and becomes main-stream for certain applications.  It is reportedly perfect for foiling in addition to being a really fast, free-race design. 

That’s a whole lot of ugly on the water but if ugly works it can be kinda cool.  

I’m not sure what Pieter is shouting at but I’ll bet it’s a kiter jumping in front of him, oblivious of other water users.  I recognise the attitude and body language from similar scenes on our local beach.

2020 Fanatic Falcon 100

Craig and Jordy from Fanatic were here recently, testing a proto 100 litre Falcon for the 2020 line-up.  They had it on a 2019 Warp 7.0 and from what I could tell, a Z fin of 36cm.  I don’t think I’ve seen such easy speed from a fast slalom board.  The thing is like a turbo charged hover craft.  All I can say is that if you are in the market for a new small slalom board in 2020, please include this Falcon on your short list.  Fingers crossed your list will also include a slalom offering from Severne (?).

Zulu Foil

Zulu have developed their new foil and like all Zulu products it is a properly resolved and fastidiously developed piece of equipment.

The main comment I hear from everyone who has tried it is how easy it is to sail.  This is a really nice product at a very good price.  Give Robbie a shout if you are interested.

OK, that’s all for now.
All the best and good winds


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