We get many questions about the fitting of the new daggerboards. The daggerboards go in through the top and we have a tight fit at the bottom. The cases are wider than the traditional cases but experience learns that the cases do not fill too much with water. In the light stuff till the water line and in the stronger stiff it is sucked dry.
The tip has two functions, it increases the efficiency of the board and it improves grip while flying.
The optimal angle of attack on the winglets depends on which boat you use, your weight and your board configuration. With our 2012 board you will set the winglets AoA for minimum drag while going flat downwind.
With the J-boards you want to increase the AoA if you are flying. We will offer a simple system on our 2013 boats with which you easily adjust the AoA.
The winglets do only work if you have curved boards and not with all designs. Chris Field took them off his Vision and Bimare is also not convinced about it. Mischa, PJ, Landy and myself will never go without them though.
The Team New Zealand foil configuration could make the boat fly, though it is not class legal. A real copy would have had an S board, but we were only interested in its flying capabilities.
The new boards have a new construction with a more rigid stringer, which makes the boards more resistant against compression breakage. We found that we broke more weather boards than the leeward boards and this should solve that. In Garda we broke none, in Islamorada a few.
We are happy to see so much activity in the class with so many boats developed. We do believe in our new set-up and look forward to race it this season.
We are finishing the first six boats with the new boards and cases and are retrofitting the first 2012 boat. Once we have done that we will make kits available. Although we see it its as an improvement we do not expect the new configuration to outsail the 2012 boats completely. Upwind the performance will be quite similar but downwind it is more versatile.
We were worried about some low impact mast breakages we saw last season. Big crashes did not break the mast but some soft crashes did. We have invested in an infinite elements study and found the cause and have found a solution. One tip for the sailors, if you have a soft capsize do not hang on to the boat but let yourself drop in the water. The momentum of the boat with your weight increases the breaking chance of any A-cat mast.
We will see more sail development this season. Most topsailors have switched to the soft mast now and the fuller (huge luffcurve) sails. Stevie and Mischa have opted for the high clew, Landy is offering both (traditional and high clew) and Glenn, and Glaser are somewhere in between.
We will see Membrane sails, Maxx sails and Radial sails (both pentex and aramid). The best way to select a mast and sail is to copy a topsailor with your weight, especially if a topsailor is in your club or surroundings.
Mastbends are getting closer, with the DNA mast slightly softer in the top and the Saarberg slightly softer in the bottom.
We will offer carbon rigging too from February on. Brad Collet has been using it for the last two seasons with great success. Every set will be tested before it is delivered to the sailor.