Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Test event on Mar Menor; the pure joy of the curved foils

Ramp at Los Alcazares (southern Spain 2300 kms under Amsterdam)
Micky's blue boot with must to have footstraps.

Last week some Dutch, an Austrian Girl, one Englishmen and two Germans had their test event on the Mar Menor. The same place where the Europeans were hosted a couple of years back. Long drive but great club, sunshine and decent see breeze. Next year we will be back as it was a great opportunity to escape the cold in Northern Europe.
Last weekend the local Spanish sailors joined us for 6 races in 4-5 bft. DNA's (6 present) dominated the fleet and Manolo showed why time on the water matters. He showed superb style downwind trapezing, which will be the norm for the 2011 season.
I takes some guts to throw yourself over the side while already doing 17 knots, but you will be rewarded with 20 knot plus speeds. Once on the side  it is easier than you would expect, though you need the footstrap if the wind picks up.
If you trapeze downwind the leeward bow comes up (see video on the left) and the boat balances completely on the curved boards, a special sensation, remarkably sensistive and light steering. It feels refined, fast and is incredibly fulfilling.
Manolo was using a new Ashby sail, Chris his new Pinkhammer sail, Thilo a Brewin sail and I was using a brand new L&R sail (Brad Collet's choice at the AUS nationals). All these new sails on soft foreaft masts have more power downwind, which results in both more speed and more depth.
Chris and Manol did use the soft Fiberfoam 2011 and I did use our tapered ARCprototype mast.
I was very hapy with my combo and showed good speeds both upwind and downwind, though I felt that the mast was still a little bit too soft. The tapered section which is both smaller and thinner has less drag and I could easily choose to go for either height or for speed upwind and could steer really deep downwind both in flat mode and wildthing mode.
We will start producing the masts in one month and will present it in Cesenatico during the Vele di Pasqua, exactly one year after the baptizing event of the DNA.

A-class is much more physical now, trapezing all the time and agressive bow up tacks (not fast but can happen...). The old men need to get fit before the 2011 season....

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