Thursday, 3 July 2014

Flying DNA

Mischa flying at Garda with the new Z-boards Glenn also used at the Europeans. The boards use an asymmetric profile supplied by D3 Technologies. Due to the profile the boards no longer ventilate, which leads to long and stable flights.
Rudders are the short Exploder ones with the small asymmetric wingle/elevator.
The shape of the board is the result of lots of testing since Oktober 2012.

I can make the boat fly in 7-8 kts of breeze. I did it too in 22 kts of breeze. Control is great, the only hairy moment is if you have to wind  up to change course. You have to keep the boat flat, step forward, steer-up 90 degrees and regain control at a higher angle with less speed.  Boat will easiliy jump out of the water but that is OK. Good news is that you can make the boat fly while sitting on the side, you will sail very deep and simply pass the C-board boats.

It is possible to sail with the windward hull lower than the leeward hull, though the best way is to sail the boat flat. You can keep it flat by steering and sheeting for balance as you see Mischa is doing in the video.

Upwind you can use the same settings as downwind, though some sailors reduce the rake of the weather board. The weather board is only raised while floating downwind or in very marginal circumstance upwind.
Upwind the performance is similar to the latest J-boards, perhaps you gain a little bit of height too.
Upwind in a strong breeze you can make the boat fly too, I did see Glenn do it in race 9 when he overshooted the mark. Angle is not too good yet, but the sailors will find ways to improve that.

In the beginning it feels scary as it goes so fast and you simply do not know where it ends. When I started with it I could only see a big explosion of carbon pieces, but when that did not happen, my confidence was boosted and I started to enjoy it. Now all foiling brings a big smile on my face.

You have to work hard and the concentration you need makes it sometimes exhausting. To my suprise it was easier on my legs than trapezing downwind on the C-boards. On the C-board boat I often suffered from overheated thighs but that did not happen while foiling.

You have to anticipate more as you need more space to avoid contact with other boats. The steering for balance makes your riding lane wide, but once you are aware of that and starts to change course in time life is simply great. Nothing better than flying with some other boats to the gate.

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