is what you need on the DNA downwind. Both Chris and Stevie are showing us the way. They beat F18's around the course by matching the speed of these gennaker boats downwind, wich is quite remarkably.
You will only beat gennaker boats if you can survive the lulls. In the old days (last year....) we couldn't because when the wind decreased you woud loose the wild thing or had to steer up too much.
Both Stevie and Chris are using soft fore-aft mast which are sideways stiffer. This gives them the flexibility in shape they need to excell downwind. Not only by hiking out but als by trapezing in the wildthing.
Chris as the heavier of the two likes a relative full sail in the bottom, which even helps him upwind.
he prefers to speed up the DNA first and then go for height (upwind) or depth (downwind),
Stevie uses a wider head and slight flatter bottom which works for him.
Glenn used a very full sail in Cesenatico too, which would have not worked over 10 knots, but he got away with it. With the new breed of masts you can have same amount of power but can still handle it upwind in the better breeze.
There will be quite some interesting developments in sail & rigdesign coming season.
I have a few predictions:
We will see some people go back to somewhat less ultra bigheads, while at the same time others will stay succesful with it.
The soft foreaft mast will be the new standard
We will see different sail& rig philosophies for light and heavy guys.
We will see more sails with a smaller foot on the DNA's.
We will go to straight foots (rectangular on the mast)
Alle developments will be aimed at getting more power from the sail and getting the center of effort up.