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View Full Version : Formula Windsurfing vs Racerboard class: what to do?


Unregistered
15th November 2007, 09:18 AM
Hi, we are looking in our region to add one new class to our race calendar.

We are looking for a class with this characteristics:

- Fun factor
- More 18 - 45 years oriented
- Less price to be competitive much better
- Atractive international events to participate

Would be good if we can try to be the most objective possible on this. All input is welcome.

R.

Unregistered
15th November 2007, 10:24 AM
Formula means big heavy sails, high fitness levels and limited wind range.

Raceboard does not.

Just my take on it

Unregistered
15th November 2007, 11:10 AM
How about the Kona one design class?

Low cost, wide wind range and sail/weight catagories for fair racing.

Unregistered
15th November 2007, 12:25 PM
Hello,

as a coach and race director, I think both classes have a good part. Personally, unless there is a government support as for RSX, is not good to have a class that is one design as the Kona, as it limits people to buy just to one company, better if you have at least a chance to choose.

If you go Raceboard class, then Kona, RSX, Starbaord Hybrids and many others can race and that makes things easier for many people and also interesting.

I think Kona is a nice concept but thats it...its like saying lets compite in Serenity class. Can be good, but its not complete for what you want...say, an international calendar of events.

About fun factor...i vote for formula windsurfing, its the best thing in fun factor. Have not checked the costs between FW an Raceboard class as I am not updated of detailed pricing. Now FW is frozen in boards each two years..thats a good thing. Dont know exactly what raceboard class says about board designs.

Then, you can also have the chance of Formula Experience, is a very good class we would like to have here too. There are two boards racing there Bic and Starboard and lots of sails companies. If you can work in a good 18+ fleet for this class, then all your requirements are completed.

Personal view...from your choices...I will say FW, but again, dont have costs in my hands.


Mike

Unregistered
15th November 2007, 04:39 PM
One of the delights of raceboard is that you can race in light winds.

In the UK racing inland reduces formula sailors to spectators at the majority of events. At coastal events, the raceboards generally do more races than formula class.
Cheap second hand kit is available for both classes, though raceboards are getting harder to find as so few have been made in recent years.

It does appear that the industry is begginning to support raceboard again after a ten year period when they put all their marketing resources behind formula.

Screamer
15th November 2007, 11:54 PM
Post #1

You haven't said where is your region and how windy it is? Apart from a few windy places, I believe a Raceboard will be a better option in a wider variety of conditions. I agree there with poster #5.
I've sailed (and competed a bit) in Div2, Raceboards, IMCO and Formula before I finally gave up and went to enjoy freesailing on my own schedule (but that's another story). I would say that a lot of people have put too much hope in Formula (me included) when they first appeared, with regard to light wind performance. Yes, it can plane in ridiculous winds, but when you have light, shifting, fluky, holey wind (as in most inland places and many coastal), a daggerboard and a long waterline is needed. Also don't forget monster Formula sails, 550cm masts and 300cm booms. How many people (both sexes and all ages) are willing to handle these?
Fun factor? Well I don't know how it's called when you shlog a Formula for miles, on a day when a 5 seconds 10 knots gust is the best thing on offer ;-)

Fair winds

unregistered
16th November 2007, 03:49 AM
I'd like to say few things in formula's defense:
1. if you want to plain and race, formula is it, it will give you largest wind range for
racing and plaining
2. depending on where your location there're great
deals on used formula gear, sometimes 15-20% of original price
3. if you're light, <150lb or so, you can get away with 9 or 10 m2 sail,
don't have to go jumbo >=11m2
4. it is a very technical/physical sailing, so training is the key to fully enjoying
formula sailing and taking advantage of it's potencial
5. in the last year or 2, boads/sails did noticebly improved in performance/range
6. when not racing, it could double as a begginer board, it's soo wide and easy

I can go on and on...

Post #1

You haven't said where is your region and how windy it is? Apart from a few windy places, I believe a Raceboard will be a better option in a wider variety of conditions. I agree there with poster #5.
I've sailed (and competed a bit) in Div2, Raceboards, IMCO and Formula before I finally gave up and went to enjoy freesailing on my own schedule (but that's another story). I would say that a lot of people have put too much hope in Formula (me included) when they first appeared, with regard to light wind performance. Yes, it can plane in ridiculous winds, but when you have light, shifting, fluky, holey wind (as in most inland places and many coastal), a daggerboard and a long waterline is needed. Also don't forget monster Formula sails, 550cm masts and 300cm booms. How many people (both sexes and all ages) are willing to handle these?
Fun factor? Well I don't know how it's called when you shlog a Formula for miles, on a day when a 5 seconds 10 knots gust is the best thing on offer ;-)

Fair winds

Screamer
16th November 2007, 05:02 AM
Post #7

>1. if you want to plain and race, formula is it, it will give you largest wind range for
racing and plaining
-No it won't. What will it give you if it's 2-10 knots day? (happens often on a scheduled race calendar)

>2. depending on where your location there're great
deals on used formula gear, sometimes 15-20% of original price
-This is a joke, right? What you say could be said for any ws gear, and old raceboards could be picked for next to nothing, and still compete within their class.

>3. if you're light, <150lb or so, you can get away with 9 or 10 m2 sail,
don't have to go jumbo >=11m2
-Two things: what if you are heavy? And if you're light, you can sail a raceboard with a 7m (instead of a 9 or 10) in the same conditions.

>4. it is a very technical/physical sailing, so training is the key to fully enjoying
formula sailing and taking advantage of it's potencial
-That's true, I agree. But not everyone wants to train hard to participate in a windsurf race.

>5. in the last year or 2, boads/sails did noticebly improved in performance/range
-True. But none of the drawbacks I talked about have disappeared.

>6. when not racing, it could double as a begginer board, it's soo wide and easy
-It's also very easy to dent, crack and generally ruin. It has footstraps in horrible positions when you're learning to plane, and don't even think about gybing. Apart from sheer size and stability, they are not good beginner boards.

>I can go on and on...
-I believe you. But none of your arguments is very strong. I also believe you like sailing Formula very much, and I've nothing against it. It's just that Formula is not the answer for racing in all conditions, everywhere.

Regards

Unregistered
16th November 2007, 07:10 AM
So poster No. 2 hit the nail on the head then

Unregistered
16th November 2007, 10:12 AM
[QUOTE=Screamer;16549]Post #7

>1. if you want to plain and race, formula is it, it will give you largest wind range for
racing and plaining
-No it won't. What will it give you if it's 2-10 knots day? (happens often on a scheduled race calendar)

Read what I wrote, PLAINING racing, the FW has the largest plaining wind range,
if you don't care if you plain or not , it's a diff story...

>2. depending on where your location there're great
deals on used formula gear, sometimes 15-20% of original price
-This is a joke, right? What you say could be said for any ws gear, and old raceboards could be picked for next to nothing, and still compete within their class.

Just a comment on condition of used equipment market, that didn't exist for FW couple
of years ago

>3. if you're light, <150lb or so, you can get away with 9 or 10 m2 sail,
don't have to go jumbo >=11m2
-Two things: what if you are heavy? And if you're light, you can sail a raceboard with a 7m (instead of a 9 or 10) in the same conditions.

Since there was a comment about heavy equipment

>4. it is a very technical/physical sailing, so training is the key to fully enjoying
formula sailing and taking advantage of it's potencial
-That's true, I agree. But not everyone wants to train hard to participate in a windsurf race.

Yup, it's not best racing gear if you don't push yourself

>5. in the last year or 2, boads/sails did noticebly improved in performance/range
-True. But none of the drawbacks I talked about have disappeared.

Actually, board range increased (lower/upper) + upwind/downwind, etc,
Same for sails, plus whole rigs feels lighter and more fun - what don't you like about that?

>6. when not racing, it could double as a begginer board, it's soo wide and easy
-It's also very easy to dent, crack and generally ruin. It has footstraps in horrible positions when you're learning to plane, and don't even think about gybing. Apart from sheer size and stability, they are not good beginner boards.

If you can pick one up for $200 or so it's preaty good choice, plus I do know
few begginers that learned and really love fw boards, you can glue a pad on the nose to
protect it from cracks, I'm not going even go into jibing, it's too easy on that board



>I can go on and on...
-I believe you. But none of your arguments is very strong. I also believe you like sailing Formula very much, and I've nothing against it. It's just that Formula is not the answer for racing in all conditions, everywhere.

Unregistered
17th November 2007, 03:33 AM
Hi, interesting discussion...We sail mostly in places where you can get planning. Most events have at least 12 knots.

My concern is that people also like planning and know what is going fast. I think that maybe raceboard cannot be so appealing? or I am wrong....

what do you think, if we start racing FW or Raceboard (for people 18+years) what can we expect of a fleet in two years...what can be bigger, and more competitive?
specially considering price factor is important and being competitive international too.
We need to set a goal of a 50 people fleet for 24 months from now...so, in which class can be easier....

R.

Unregistered
17th November 2007, 04:22 AM
FW-that is the POWER!!! and great fun,
don't think so about the RCB

Unregistered
17th November 2007, 05:32 AM
in avg. 12 knots, formula is perfect format, you can even go Formula Experience route
to lower the cost, or have an open formular class, meaning allow any one board/sail
to lift some limitations of the class to attract larger group

here's the link with some ideas you might find interesting : http://www.miamiwindsurfing.com/usaformula.html

Unregistered
17th November 2007, 11:47 AM
Sounds interesting the Miami proposals for Racing...

I still think there should be prizes separated in Formula and slalom and one "overall" as there must be people without one type of baord that can race in one or other.

They say for an event 2 boards 4 sails...for slalom and formula together....
I will say that as for the range of wind with modern sails:

up to 20 knots formula with ONLY ONE sail ONE board is enough. I have been sailing in FE the other day with OVerdrive 11.0 in 28 knots with my 70 kilos...still possible.

over 20 knots with 2 sails is enough...

then the rule, 2 boards 3 sails.

Finally, no custom fins, just the production fins of the board or an alternative production fin. I think customs fins are more expensive than sails...

About raceboard + slalom? same format than the one above...can be something to discuss?

Carlos

PGVirtual
17th November 2007, 09:29 PM
R,
I don't know where you live, but having 12 knots in every event (every day?) certainly sounds like a luxury. And it certainly sounds like if planing windsurfing would be the call.

On the other hand, I wonder if fleets of 50 FW racers exists anywhere, in any single region. My limited understanding says that in FW the difference in performance between the top guys and those that just race for fun easily becomes so big that "it is not fun for the fun guys anymore".

Formula experience sounds like a good idea. But it is not much fun to always see the racers equipped with the latest FW kit disappear in front of you. Every time, even if skills would be equivalent.

I think the relationship between FW and FE is like that between Raceboard and KONA OD. The detuned class should not start together with the full out race equipment, it is just discouraging for those that arn't in the arms race. A very hard problem.

The KONA OD class does have some shortcomings, but I believe it is the only class that realistically can reach larger fleet sizes, like 50 boards.

Screamer
18th November 2007, 01:15 AM
R

If that is the case where you sail, I would vote for Formula, even after I criticized it. I won't comment on your goals (I think nobody could), there are still many ifs and potential problems as PG says.

Carlos wrote:
"up to 20 knots formula with ONLY ONE sail ONE board is enough. I have been sailing in FE the other day with Overdrive 11.0 in 28 knots with my 70 kilos...still possible."
This is the kind of comment that can create a lot of misunderstanding and confusion among less informed sailors (to put it very mildly).
After all the good discussion on these forums related to strong wind board choice (iS, Kombats, etc), I think most people can judge credibility of such claims.

Unregistered
19th November 2007, 12:30 AM
It's been said that the Kona is a problem class because you can only buy from one supplier - but for many people, that is not a problem but a plus. Some of us just don't want to get into a gear race. We don't want to spend our time working out whether a Brand X 2006 model mast works best with a Brand Z 11 or a Brand Y 11.3421......we just want to go out and become better sailors, and to know that when we win, we win because we sail better and not because we have spent more money, or because our sponsor has superior designers. I leave my fastest gear in the rack and race one design because I just cannot see the challenge in beating the fleet because of the stuff I own rather than because of how I sail. I also want to be able to sail when I want to sail, not wait for wind to get a decent day out.

However, of course, lots of people DO like tweaking their gear, and getting the ultimate in course racing planing performance. They don't want to sail something slower.

The problem is that given these very different extremes, any attempt to get 50 people to race windsurfers in an area on just one class may rule out too many possible racers, no matter what you do. There are always plenty of people who love FW and would not sail RB or Kona, and vice versa. The problem is that windsurfing seems to hate the idea of diversity amongst racers - the manufacturers want everyone to race in a small number of classes. That ignores differing tastes and conditions. Sure, numbers breed strength in some ways but not if you are leaving people out by not giving them a class that they find acceptable - maybe not ideal, but acceptable.

It may be more difficult, but a two-pronged approach could be a very good way to go. Maybe something like a Kona class and a FW class, since you have such good winds. People who like to sail in all winds and want cheap new one design off-the-shelf gear can sail the Kona, guys who want the ultimate in performance can sail FW. Actually wouldn't a Slalom class be likely to attract big numbers in 12 knot+ winds??

We have a total fleet of 50+, with 30+ racing on a good day. There are three classes - Raceboard, One Design and the kid's OD. Without the three classes, I don't think we'd get the same numbers overall as too many people would be unable to find a board to suit their tastes. However, we are sailing on a small inlet where FW and Slalom don't really work.

Unregistered
19th November 2007, 04:22 AM
Well, as I understand, there are many classes out there, I have checked in internet and there are many classes out there but just some of the mentioned are on IWA or ISAF.

Chances are simple, FW, FE, Raceboard, RSX as I understand. I dont think Kona because if you are going to work a serious fleet, that class is not ISAF class.

Of the others, as people said, depends on your wind conditions really. FW looks lots of fun, but still needs updating equipment and high costs. Raceboard is a bit simpler on this, but for sure, someone racing FW wont like to race in a Raceboard and RSX. From this side, best thing can be FE but its more young guns oriented. RSX, can be same as Raceboard but Raceboard gives the chance to many people to buy (same as FW) some Used equipment and race for fun.

Luke

James
19th November 2007, 09:35 AM
Raceboard Raceboard Raceboard!

It is the most accessible to a wide range of skill levels and allows for exciting racing even when the wind is too light for formula boards. Raceboard should be the primary class, which forms the base of your fleet. Some of the earlier posters brought up the excellent point that the raceboard class allows many different styles of boards to compete; almost anything with a daggerboard can be used. For example, I sail a Kona ONE, but I compete in the raceboard class because there is no one-design fleet for Kona in my area.

In my area, only the big, strong, experienced, aggressive, wealthy men race formula, whereas the raceboard class is a good mix of different types, including women, kids, and old people.

Having said that, if your fleet grows and you have many aggressive, expert windsurfers, then you could create a second class for formula windsurfing.

tonymatta
19th November 2007, 11:02 AM
Go for raceboard.

They are suitable for triangle racing in all conditions so even if you don't have too many sailboards, you can race in the general boat races.

If you haveto set a special course and organise a special race it is much less likely to happen. Ther are sailing clubs all over the world having races every weekend. Why not just join in.

Most clubs have handicap systems so it doesn't matter what gear you have, you just race against who ever is ahead of you (boat or board), and keep working to improve yourself.

Del Carpenter
20th November 2007, 07:04 AM
In considering which class to add also consider how the existing classes will be affected. Some of the racers in the new class will drop out of previous classes.

I'm convinced the future growth of windsurfing and racing will come from the raceboard class because the boards are so versatile. The next time I have to replace either my longboard or my formula board the new board will be in the raceboard class.

Egor
20th November 2007, 07:14 AM
what about light wind slalom, 12 knots is plenty. I dont know if formula is the way, its been around for a few years now and hasnt really taken off. The problem is the gear is just to big

Unregistered
20th November 2007, 10:51 PM
There's so much misinformation above about formula class, most people I know that
race formula avg. income, fit but not super strong or big (I'm 135 lb, 5'6"),
there was a comment about fins, there's one fin that currently in demand 'Kashy',
the rest are reasonably priced and you can buy many high quility customs used,
it's not the latest fin that's going to win you a race, it's your skill!
also Formula Experience boards would reduce usable wind range of the boards, specially
light wind by couple of knots, so I wouldn't do it just based on that.
We just had a great race in Miami with 2 classes, Formula and Kona, both classes
had a great time, but even in the light winds Formula plained thru most of the races.

check out, www.miamiwindsurfing.com

Unregistered
21st November 2007, 12:13 AM
2 more interesing facts,
at last 'slalom' race at calema, top guys where on the fw gear.

as your racing group gets larger, the avg. price of gear
drops way down, since people with more income tend to buy gear
every year/ or even more often and used stuff treakls down to the
rest of the group, at around ~ 10-15 active racers it very abvious

Unregistered
21st November 2007, 02:38 AM
I agree that there is much misinformation about formula out there. In the USA the formula fleets have the most sailors, and the most serious sailors, so to say that formula never took off is flat out wrong. Also, a good sailor with used gear will always beat a lesser sailor with the best gear. The arms race is way overstated. There is a lot of used formula gear out there to be had, so it isn't all that expensive. You really only need one board, two sails (11.0, 9.0 for small people, 12.0, 10.0 for big people) and one fin. It is true that the best sailors finish way in front of the more novice, but isn't that the way it should be. I don't know about you, but I want to be rewarded for my time on the water, overall fitness, and race tactics. Racing is one thing, but I can't imagine training on a longboard. When it is 10 mph, I can't think of a better set-up than formula and when it is 20-30 it is very intense and hair-raising (going fast is fun!). I wouldn't want to be on my lake in under 7 mph anyways no matter what board, after all "wind" is part of windsurfing. When it rains golf is cancelled, and in my mind when there is no wind, windsurfing is cancelled. I'm okay with that.

P

Unregistered
21st November 2007, 04:23 AM
"after all "wind" is part of windsurfing."

Sure, the sport is "windsurfing" - but 7 knots of wind IS wind. On the other hand, there's no "surf" on flat water.....so by your measure, Formula in 20 knots on SF Bay is not "windsurfing", but just "windflatwatering"....or maybe "galechoping". In the ocean it'd be "breezeswellering". :-)

It'd be easier to just accept that even 1 knot of wind is "wind", and the "surf" part comes from the fact that we stand on something like a surfboard.

And of course, the "Windsurfer" label came from 12 foot boards designed mainly for light winds. The original board is still a Windsurfer, even if it's sailed in 2 knots and flat water, and in the same way other longboards are still windsurfers.

If you don't want to sail in light winds that's great. Whatever floats your boat (or board). But let's allow for the fact that many people in club racing want to be able to go down to sail at a certain time each week, and in most places that means regularly sailing in light winds. The alternative is that people start not turning up unless it's breezy, and then the fleet can gradually fade away as people get out of the habit.

The other thing is that one way windsurfing can easily get the infrastructure it needs (and get visibility in front of kids) is by becoming a part of an established sailing club, and they tend to dislike having to organise racing for a bunch of people who don't turn up unless there's a planing breeze.

James
21st November 2007, 05:45 AM
Post #25, are you sure the formula fleets are bigger in the US? Because in my area the longboard fleets are bigger and have more locals, whereas the formula racers have to come from 100s of miles away just to gather a small fleet for a race.

I wish the best for the formula discipline- I think it is a great form of windsurfing competition. But I don't think that it can exist without a broad base of longboard class racing to develop new sailors and allow fleets to exist in areas with less-than-ideal wind and water access.

It would be interesting to know how most formula racers got into formula racing. I bet the majority started with longboard racing. Or even if they came into formula racing from recreational shortboard sailing, then I bet they usually came into recreational shortboard sailing from a longboard. What do other people think?

Unregistered
21st November 2007, 08:06 AM
You do need min ~10 knots to have a FW course race enviroment, so
if your area avg. below that than raceboards might be a better option

As for background of FW racers, if they started windsurfing 15 years ago or
in some third world country with limited excess to modern gear, than yes
most did race longboards prior

But if you started later and had budget/access to short boards,
than it's short board->FW

For some I know, formula was the first board after couple of begginer lessons
It's so stable, it's easy for begginer to use and you definetly don't outgrow it!

steveC
21st November 2007, 08:33 AM
Let's be frank here. There are sailors that work off of wind, and those that don't. That's really reality here. But, we all have to decide whether it's worth our time.

For me, I'm not a racer, but I don't waste time trying to be windsurfing when the conditions aren't right. Not the ultimate engine for sparking participation, but let's be realitistic. If your want the best focus, the conditions have to be practical. An argument can be presented otherwise, but the conditions are truly paramount.

If you consider a location like SF Bay, do they regularly race during the winter and early spring months? I don't think so. Yet, folks take advantage of conditions to optimize things, even during the "off" months. Really, that's where you can develop strength.

Of course, out in nowhere land, that might not make as much sense. But, in the continental US, and much of the world that might experience a true winter, folks take a break and concentrate on different activities. When a certain amount of reality hits, folks plan accordingly.

While looking at competition and racing in the summer months, it just might be that the event is scheduled during a period of little or no wind. Some might advocate the event nonetheless, but I guess the question can be asked whether that brings strength to the sport.

I know as a surfer (the traditional type on a surfboard), I didn't get foolish or adamant about the scene unless "real surf" existed. Otherwise, the exercise lacked the necessary ingredients to be realistic. Of course shams have been conducted in the past, with true results, but all dedicated folks know the real game. Stuff has to have gravity.

windstock anarchy
21st November 2007, 09:52 AM
Hi, we are looking in our region to add one new class to our race calendar.

I assume this will be the first windsurfing class in your region that you ever had on your calendar of races.

We are looking for a class with this characteristics:

- Fun factor
- More 18 - 45 years oriented
- Less price to be competitive much better
- Atractive international events to participate

- Fun factor
I love racing. The racing can be frustrating. i.e. Travel 500 miles to go to an event and there's not enough wind for the centerboard class to finish a course. Not fun!

It is still worth it for me because it helps me stay connected to the rest of the race and event junkies in our region. It is often the only time to get together and catch up, trade stories, party. Always fun!

- More 18 - 45 years oriented
Last event I attended youngest was 15 oldest 60 in the fw class.

We also had the kona class that Bruce won. I've never asked how old he is, but he has movies from windsurfing events in the 70s. I'm sure he's lurking around the free forum somewhere.

- Less price to be competitive much better

Well if you purchased all new FW stuff, and some that I race with do almost every year. You could invest 6k to 12k US$ on 4 sails, 2mast, 2booms, 3 fins, 2boards.
(One Apollo for those wind min events and one 162 for those events that never drop below 10 knots).
Price will also depend on how well you know your distributer. (Nobody retails racing stuff anymore:rolleyes:)


I have never seen the point of Formula Experience. If you want to experience Formula windsurfing buy some used Formula stuff.
For example, some recent purchases I know about in this region; 2005, F2 formula board $300.00, 2007 10.7 rs6 sail 350.00 , 260cm to 310cm boom 250.00, mast 100% carbon 400.00, Fin Techtonics 68cm 50.00us.

The FE class came and went around here. There's some used to buy, but I can buy good used FW equipment for less, so what's the point.
OK so if I wanted to race FE class I would have to have a 75% carbon, (they still brake too) class approved mast, class approved free race sail, and class approved aluminum boom (this boom wouldn't last me one season).http://http://www.formulawindsurfing.com/FE/class/rule06.html
The FW class has an approved board list thatís it.
http://http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/index.php

INTERNATIONAL
RACEBOARD class

http://http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RAC_2005_CR_050408-[889].pdf

I did start racing on long boards. Never did well and I did not even have 1/4th the fun I have sailing FW. I a heavy, 95kg, and didn't/couldn't afford to sail bigger than the 7.5 limit, They would split into weight classes if possible, but it was a real drag to be the last to cross the finish line every time.
I could see this INTERNATIONAL
RACEBOARD class
turning into a real gear war. It looks as though anything with a centerboard is leagel. There has to be a huge difference in performance between the class boards to chose form.
There are no weight splits rules that I can find. No matter what equipment I have the lighties can have the same. In light wind events i would have no reason to go to the start line.

This last weekends FW event I raced, weight was not a factor. It was leap frog racing, much fun. Races were won by 90kg racers and 70kg racers on new 2008 equipment and older stuff.

We do our best to accommodate all who would like to race
so we had one RSX and one long board in the fleet.
Then there was the Kona class.

A few FW racers have converted to Kona class. When word got out that a decent custom FW fin would set you back 800.00 they got into the Kona class. I'm sure they still have their FW gear though.
Kona is one design so at most events charters will be available.
Kona has weight brakes. >187 you can use 9.0 <187lbs 7.5 no pumping allowed, works out real well.

- Atractive international events to participate

Being down in the South Florida Republic, I can say that all of our events our international.

This is what happens in this region.
FW class makes the event calendar happen, but we know we can't do it without the participation of the one design and long board classes, which started it all in the first place.

Thatís all I have to add to this for now


http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL370/9999562/18085854/289419111.jpg

The best governing body in no governing body at all.

Unregistered
21st November 2007, 01:33 PM
hi last poster. I agree with most of your article except about what you say in FE as you are completely wrong:

"I have never seen the point of Formula Experience. If you want to experience Formula windsurfing buy some used Formula stuff. "

Yes, but you still buy an equipment that is out of date. In FE you buy new equipment that is mostly same than what any other have. No one cant really blame someone that there is a disadvantage because you dont have the "years equipment". I quit FW because of this, and really dont appeals me to get back to it.
Also, FE boards dont loose their resale value as FW what is good for someone having a board or sail. You can still sell your equipment after 2 years and get back at least 50% of your money and renew it. Buying a board at 2500 USD and selling it after 9 months at 800 USD is not good i think.


"OK so if I wanted to race FE class I would have to have a 75% carbon, (they still brake too) class approved mast"

Yes, but brake a lot lot less than 100% masts, and also, cost a lot less. I have not seen almost any Powerex Z-free or Fiberspar R4800 broken in the last year.

"class approved free race sail, and class approved aluminum boom (this boom wouldn't last me one season)"

New freerace sails are very good. Try Overdrives from Severne or MS2 from Maui Sails, or Retro from Sailworks they are very good sails, very fast sails, very soft and easy to use to anyone. Very light as have less battens and cambers and finally more durable as they are not professional sailor oriented. Also, cost less than super expensive FW sails and DONT need a 100% carbon mast to perform good.
Finally, 3 years ago I could have blamed aluminum booms to be weak. But today, seems you have not tried any Nautix Formula Experience board or the new Chinook 285 boom. For 214 Usd you have a boom that lasts a lot. I can buy 4-5 booms of this ones (the best ones in FE)before I can reach the price of a carbon NP boom (the best in FW). Finally if you want a super rigid boom as a carbon one, just tie a rope from one side of the boom to the other side across the sail. And you find it, super stiff boom. Just creative and problem solved. Have you seen some FE sailors in pictures with their aluminum booms? try it...super stiff... a rope solved the problem.

Finally, no custom fins...you can use only the one that comes with the board and that really means 1000 USD less in your budget. Travelling to a continental event and finding that the top 5 guys have 5 custom fins for the board, costing 400 EUR each one is frustrating.

I am sure you can buy a new FE board + rig for about 2400-2700 USD and with 2 rigs for about 3900 USD. All new, and you wont need to buy more, no more fins, and this can last you at least 2 years in the rigs and up to 4 years in the board and still you are in the top of your fleet. Be sure you can still have a decent resale value after selling it.

The reason why FE class do not grow as it deserves is because its cheap and that is not good for all distributors and shops that want to sell the most expensive items. And well, not all people want to pay them. And then, no other companies than Bic and Starboard support the class presenting boards. Would be good to see other classes with boards there. And there is not really an additional cost reason. Its just by producing in ASA their FW board and using same model for 4 years...so not more money in developing boards all years...Be sure you can have lots of people more racing with this boards that what actually are. Or at least cruising in long distance races.

Hope companies invest more in FE next year as its a great chance to all to start racing, for kids, but also for all that 18+ years group that dont want and wont pay FW expenses, but dont like the non planning side of the sport (they prefer to go playing beach volley or soccer), and for sure, this non planning appeals other people in the sport that would prefer to go Raceboarding and forget about not sailing or racing in 9 knots or less.

So having chances for all is the best offer that windsurfing can give to windsurfers. Reducing them just leaves people unhappy as cant find an space for them in the scene.


Ricardo

John from Canada
22nd November 2007, 11:21 AM
Hi, we are looking in our region to add one new class to our race calendar.

We are looking for a class with this characteristics:

- Fun factor
- More 18 - 45 years oriented
- Less price to be competitive much better
- Atractive international events to participate

Would be good if we can try to be the most objective possible on this. All input is welcome.

R.

In my opinion you would be silly to go down the direction of Formula with the above requirements.

There is a good website dedicated to longboards (raceboards) if you need additional info http://www.lbws.com.au

good luck

Ken
25th November 2007, 12:44 AM
As I see it, the prevailing wind conditions pretty much determine which way to go.

In North Texas, our history of regattas have been confronted with light winds about 75%of the time. As a result we typically offer the following classes.

Novice - any equipment - short out and back reaching course.
7.5 Limited - any equipment with 7.5 sail or smaller, typically long boards.
Open - any equipment, typically long boards
Formula -

If the winds are light, we may have a couple of formula racers that will slog around a short course that has an upwind leg, usually the same course as the Open and 7.5 classes. They do this because they don't have a long board.

The majority of the racers will be split between Open and 7.5 classes, almost all on long boards sailing triangle type courses. The 7.5 class accomodates those that haven't moved into the equipment race and BIG sails.

If it is windy, the 7.5 and novice classes usually sail a figure 8 slalom course.

Formula & Open sail a traditional formula or triangle course.

The majority of the local sailors that attend our races have both short and long boards, so if we are stuck with 3-5 knots, we still race. I still have my original 1985 Superlight with the 6.3 regatta sail and race in the 7.5 class if we have light winds.

If there is wind, I race formula.

Before Formula came along, I raced longboards in the open class for almost 20 years. However, I spent very little time free sailing them because they weren't exciting to sail in light winds.

Now that I am hooked on formula, I wait for at least 9-10 knots or I don't go out.

For what it's worth-------------

Unregistered
25th November 2007, 01:11 AM
we hawe alot of new FW exp- sailors,junors,and they are happy with the solid strong boards and easy and steady sailing the board. www.N12racing.no more to come.

Unregistered
11th December 2007, 08:53 PM
Come on everyone it should be a quite simple. Personal preference.
It's like comparing a new Japanese 4 cylinder turbo(Formula) with a classic V8 muscle car.

It depends what your into.

Unregistered
12th December 2007, 03:19 AM
Ricardo,
I would have to desigree with your assesment FE vs. FW

1. it's being proven over and over again at the races that the skill is
what matters, min. you need is 2-4 year old rig/board and even production fin
and if you have the SKILL you will get into at least top 10,
to get to top 5 you might need more current toys, but if you're that good,
you can get the help from manufacture/ or a local shop.
,
2. FE is just a de-tuned version of FW, it will take 2 extra knots of wind
to plane and it's generally slower = not as much fun!

can't run a race if the wind is light

3. race sails also can handle comfortably a large wind range, again more fun
4. alum boom will cost last, but it will fall apart much faster than carbon
5. 75% carbon mast in jumbo rig is just too heavy!
6. as you said yourself, re-sale price on the FW is cheap,
so it's easy to start with used gear and be very, very competative

windstock anarchy
12th December 2007, 10:52 AM
Ricardohi last poster. I agree with most of your article except about what you say in FE as you are completely wrong:


I was going to let this one fade, but someone else brought it back to the top. :p

I don't think the FE class is "completely wrong" as you say. Its just misguided.

FE started because of the olympics. They will not except anything but a one design class. So FE was the attempt made at a one design FW Olympic class. But then they put in the required centerboard and were stuck with the RSX.

So after the large investment in tooling up to make these plastic formula boards and not sailing FE in the Olympics, another spin was placed out here to move the inventory.

RicardoYes, but you still buy an equipment that is out of date

Out of date, thats correct, but I know that out of date FW equipment still wins some races.

RicardoNo one cant really blame someone that there is a disadvantage because you dont have the "years equipment". I quit FW because of this, and really dont appeals me to get back to it.


This is my #1 reason to sail FW. If I don't do well I can blame my old equipment. When I finish in front of the lastest stuff (and I have a few times) Its like I won the world championship.

Ricardoit. Buying a board at 2500 USD and selling it after 9 months at 800 USD is not good i think.


I think its great. You can get a 9 month old FW board for
900, go to a race, borrow a rig and a fin, (there's alot of stuff to borrow and most are willing to help out someone who wants to start race'n,) sail out to the start line. So 900 to start race'n FW with a 9 month old board vs 1250.00 for a two year old one design FE kit.

RicardoYes, but brake a lot lot less than 100% masts, and also, cost a lot less. I have not seen almost any Powerex Z-free or Fiberspar R4800 broken in the last year

At the last race I attended on Sunday Dec 9 only one mast broke was a two week old Powerex Z-free. Broke as he was uphaul'n right after get'n in the water. No 100% mast brakes. FW is developing class and it has made much progress with the 100% mast problems.

RicardoNew freerace sails are very good. Try Overdrives from Severne or MS2 from Maui Sails, or Retro from Sailworks they are very good sails, very fast sails, very soft and easy to use to anyone. Very light as have less battens and cambers and finally more durable as they are not professional sailor oriented. Also, cost less than super expensive FW sails and DONT need a 100% carbon mast to perform good

Yes those are good sails and you can use any of them at an FW race. I know some that do and they sometimes win.
But race sails used or new can't be used at FE events. Its a one design class allmost. Also race sails do just fine with less than 100% masts.

RicardoFinally, 3 years ago I could have blamed aluminum booms to be weak. But today, seems you have not tried any Nautix Formula Experience board or the new Chinook 285 boom. For 214 Usd you have a boom that lasts a lot. I can buy 4-5 booms of this ones (the best ones in FE)before I can reach the price of a carbon NP boom (the best in FW). Finally if you want a super rigid boom as a carbon one, just tie a rope from one side of the boom to the other side across the sail. And you find it, super stiff boom. Just creative and problem solved. Have you seen some FE sailors in pictures with their aluminum booms? try it...super stiff... a rope solved the problem.

Havn't tried any recently, what's a picture worth

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL370/9999562/18441452/292704190.jpg

I have the NP boom and it still seems to be just as good as it was when I purchased it five years ago. Could use some new boom girp though. I also have an epic gear. Bought that for less than 500.00 retail from the store. I like it even better.
I would never trust a two year old aluminum boom, dosn't matter who makes it .
Yes I have seen the rope trick. Saw it done over 15 years ago, before they even had carbon booms and masts.
You need stiffer booms for the larger sails, but the FE just about a one design class won't allow a proper stiff boom, so put a hole in the window of the sail and tie a rope through hole to use the other side of the boom for more stiffness. (sic)

RicardoFinally, no custom fins...you can use only the one that comes with the board and that really means 1000 USD less in your budget. Travelling to a continental event and finding that the top 5 guys have 5 custom fins for the board, costing 400 EUR each one is frustrating

Gotta agree bout the cost of the fins. I don't buy new fins any more, don't have to. Those top 5 guys with those 5 customs will have 5 more new customs soon and the 5 old customs will trickle down the used market to me for 100-200.00$us

Yes one fin for FE. If you brake or loose it you have to replace it with the class legal fin. Can't go borrow one of those customs and race, even though they would fit and work on FE boards.

RicardoIts just by producing in ASA their FW board and using same model for 4 years...so not more money in developing boards all years...Be sure you can have lots of people more racing with this boards that what actually are. Or at least cruising in long distance races.


Producing boards in ASA as they did many many years ago when they could invest the $ in tooling up to make the 10,000 units they were selling per year worked then.
Now for FE, the mold has to run for four years and I'll bet that they still don't sell enough units to make a profit.
Bic windsurfing absorbs the losses. Starboard won't
I forcast that this is the last run of ASA FE boards for Starboard.

FW boards are just about as durable, simple to repair and weigh 10-15lbs less. FW dosn't have the tooling cost so the $ and time are invested into the new models

FE when it was spin off of FW was going good to begin with. Just like FW took off when it started.
I think FW will still be going strong in four years, while all that FE equipment is gathering dust in the sheds.

One more thing from post #1
Would be good if we can try to be the most objective possible on this.
Isn't that your pic at the top of this forum?

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL370/9999562/18441452/292713948.jpg
peace love marry xmas

Unregistered
20th December 2007, 12:16 PM
Hey windstock anarchy. I think you are looking the comparison with FW racer eyes. Yes, none of the ones that race FW look back to go to something slower, they always would prefer FW, faster, lighter, early planner. But if you look for a class where anyone racing wants to be the best and not the "best of the slow old equipment, past years racers" then FW is not the way. FW favores the sponsored guys, as they have the chance to access to special masts, fins, boards. I want to be honest but none of the bests use 100% production equipment, thats not real.

I dont race FE but for me the concept is a lot better. I am a racer that wants to be the best...but dont have the money to race in FW. Actually I am in raceboard, so I look the class with raceboard eyes. I think FE will need a bit more wind to race than FW and more than Raceboard, but If i want to look for a planning based board for racing, I will go for FE for many reasons, starting from concept and then to pricing. And for sure, I have my freerace equipment with big sails and dont consider it heavy, slow and boring. But also, having less chance and money than others to have the top equipment "is boring" for me. Its not fun, despite than people in the second half of the fleet can consider it fun because they dont want to be the best of the real fleet.

So my answer to the first question, is go for raceboard if your wind is light, but for 10+ knots FE can be the solution to your problems.

Jean Pierre

Per
1st December 2009, 11:05 PM
I sail both FW and longboard. (F159 and Equipe). Both are great in each their own way.
In my inland spot the raceboard adds 30% more fun days compared to my formula. It can point high with a speed of +10 knots in winds where my formula struggles to plane.

BUT, and thats important, at 95 kgs I don't have fun in less than 10 knots of wind with a sail smaller than 8.5 m2 (prefareable 10.3 m2) on any of the two boards. To me the ancient 7.4 sails on raceboards are for the 70 kg guys to have fun.

NO FUN in light winds without big sails (1 m2 per 10 kg rider).

The raceboard can do + 25 knots easily with a 8.5 sail in 15 - 18 knots of wind, but the FW will outperform it on a course when both are fully powered. Planing threshold of the raceboard (with + 10m2) is surprisingly close to the FW, but in lower winds the formula shines on planing comfort and overall feeling. Fun factor on both boards is very high, but the formula is a bit more powerful and adrenalin creating when fully powered.
In less than 10 knots of wind the raceboard will kill the FW and it's still really active and challenging.

If I was to choose, I would go for the raceboard. It's fun from 5 - 25 knots of wind. The FW is fun from 10 to 25 knots (and theoretically both are doable in 30 knots but who on earth wouldn't prefare a smaller board in these conditions ;-). The raceboard will always bring you home no matter the wind direction - that's a very high safety factor.

;-)
Per

Unregistered
2nd December 2009, 06:36 AM
Raceboard why?? simple.
Can race in all winds until there is no wind.

shredulato

Darko_Z
3rd December 2009, 06:59 PM
On this forum many people stated that FW is much more expensive and problematic for transportation than race board. I think thatís not logical, for example new STARBOARD Formula Experience costs around 800EU, new STARBOARD Phantom Race 380 costs more than 1600EU. If you are heavier than 90kg you have to use big sail on race board to, so rig is expensive in any case. Transportation of almost 4m long race board is bigger problem than transport of short FW board, it can be no discussion about that.
Fun factor depends on personal preference. For me windsurfing is fun only if Iím planning. Shloging formula or shloging race board is no fun for me.
As for competition, if wind is less than 3kn I would have more fun rowing than windsurfing and I would be probably faster.
Most interesting system for competition would be ďAll you can rideĒ. On the day of competition every competitor could choose the best board for him. Then you could observe duels, race board against RSX, FW against slalom board. Argumentations on this forum would than be resolved live. Some people will say that such competition would be only for reach people, but if you take in account all costs also travel accommodation and others, than you need lots of money anyway.

Unregistered
4th December 2009, 06:13 PM
I have heard that in the midwest US longboard is having a resurgence.

FW people were tired of watching form the sidelines on low wind days, and having their big sails and gear sit idly by.

Now I am NOT saying that this means FW is not good , it is .

I am just stating a fact.

shredulato

Per
5th December 2009, 02:26 AM
Darko Z
I agree. The Phantom 380 is about the most expensive board on the market. And for a +90 kg sailor (I'm 95 kgs) it needs big rigs too. The FW shines in simplicity against the raceboards with their eight straps, daggerboard and adjustable mast track. A lot of things that can and will fall apart.
Regarding storage both my Equipe and FW are about 2.1 m2 in total area. It's a matter then whether you want the board inside or on top of the car. FW does occupy a lot of space too.
Today I checked both my FW and my Equipe in schlogging mode. The Equipe is just superior and way better (and actually fun). This means that it will bring me much faster to an area where there actually is planing winds.
Planing threshold is still surprisingly close as the FW is either on or off whereas the raceboard gradually builds up.
Top speed is equal.
Windsurfing in 3 knots isn't really surfing. The raceboard starts giving action in about 6 to 8 knots. In 10 knots it can be fully planing with some technique og at least pointing fast and high. those 6-8 knots is average in many areas and add A LOT of TOW to me.

I completely agree with Shredulato. Longboards will come back, end they are part of the future, not only the past.

Ken
5th December 2009, 03:11 AM
I am with Dardko and Per,

Planing is essential for recreational sailing for me. When I had an Equipe II XR, I only used it for racing. Racing in sub-planing conditions is fun, but freeriding isn't.

When Formula surfaced, I had transitioned to course slalom (still had the Equipe for light wind racing), but I was getting smoked by the formula boards. I decided to keep up and went the formula route and sold the Equipe. I still had my 25 year old Mistral Superlight for those occasional light wind races. A super efficient board in less than 7 knots even with the original 6.3 regatta sail.

The 380 is a compromise as are all of the hybrid boards. They do everything, but they do nothing really well. Formula smokes them over 10 knots and the long boards (raceboards) smoke them in under 10 knots.

Joe
5th December 2009, 10:30 PM
Ken - you nailed it!
Imagine a grass roots class - Formula 1.2 - 1 sail - two boards.
Formula board + Superlight (new model ) + 10.0 sail.
0-5 knots - paddleboard racing
5-10 knots - longboard
10-25 knots - formula

mcasaldaliga
5th December 2009, 11:08 PM
Hi Joe and all,

this idea of a windsurfing class with 1longboard+1FW to cover total wind range is recurring, as you can find in other threads of similar topic. But in my opinion the best combination would be:

-1 pure displacement hull (Serenity or similar ...)
-1 pure planning hull for course racing -> FW

this way racing could be fun also a little below that 6 knots mentioned below.

In my opinion what's necessary for such a 2 board class to be successful is A WAY FOR CONVENIENT CARRYING and storing these 2 huge boards (that are HUGE IN COMPLEMENTARY DIRECTIONS that is what complicates it: one long and narrow and other ultra wide)

That would be solved by a 2 Part Serenity, the added weight wouldn't be that important for a such displacement hull

The pack to carry would be a huge box anyway but a well designed box for it could be carried on top of a car, I imagine.

Any other agrees with the idea? If that's the case, just let us know and let's STARBOARD hear the request.

Marc

Per
6th December 2009, 02:22 AM
SIMPLICITY...
For all the years I've been windsurfing I've dreamed about having a single board and rig that would give me pleasure in any condition, from 3 - 30 knots; gliding, racing or waveriding. I always end up with at least four boards and five rigs ;-).
Everything is a compromise unless we spend a lot of cash...
The idea of two boards and a single rig isn't simple either. The hybrid boards were just a mix of that - give and take boards.
Anyway I believe that longboards will take over a lot as developement increases. The designers have got a lot of experience from all the FW protos, and an early planing machine with a daggerboard may one day be able to glide efficiently through any lull at great speed and fly upwind in 10 knots of wind. A FW will never be fun in less than planing winds.

Joe
6th December 2009, 07:44 PM
I agree somewhat Per.
2 boards and 1 rig is probably as close to simplicity as we are going to get when performance is factored in. RSX or 380 class (1 board 1 rig) is as simple as you can get with decent performance. Formula (1 board 3 rigs) is not as simple but gives extreme performance in 10-25 knots. But 2 boards, 1 rig excels at the highest level in 5-25 knots.
Cost wise, I would bet the cost of the package could be comparable to RSX.
usd
Formula 10,000 (1 bd , 3 rigs, fins)
380 4,500 (3k board 1.5k rig)
Formula 1.2 4,500 (2.0 f board, 1k longboard, 1.5k rig)
RSX 4,500

Starboard should take their FW One Design proposal and add a simple longboard (superlight clone).

Darko_Z
7th December 2009, 01:42 AM
Perhaps combination FW + Lechner would do best. Lechner board is shorter than Serenity and therefore easier for transportation. I guess that speed in sub planning conditions would be similar.
Hybrid boards like RSX have fin and dagger. FW fin is sometimes bigger than dagger on race boards. Perhaps it would be possible to make hybrid boards only with fin, but position of the fin could be changed to dagger position while sailing. For example Serenity, only one fin in middle of the board.
Did anyone consider the possibility Lechner with retractable hydrofoils?, small Hydroptere.

Farlo
7th December 2009, 06:20 PM
Retractable foils no but small hydroptere yes, although the angle is close to 90į.

Per
7th December 2009, 11:45 PM
Why not a narrow long hull with a flat bottom. In the centre there is a permanent (simplicity) 1 metre dagger. The dagger will be balanced by a very wide deck in the middle or "wings" like on a skiff:

http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/06/1211/1.jpg

I think Tiesda actually had a prototype of such a board some years ago.

The thing will fly upwind with a 10.0 sail in next to no wind, and in heavy air you fly it downwind while standing on the wings....

Well, maybe not that simple but for sure challenging..


;-)

Farlo
8th December 2009, 03:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oyWMusaDTI Such boards are quite difficult to keep stable. Another concept is to balance hydrodynamic lift between a planning hull in the front and two angled fins. There are different design options depending on wind range, but it will not work in low wind.

Jean-Marc
9th December 2009, 05:56 AM
The concept of combining the best gear of its class with 1 FW board in planing wind + 1 Serenity in schlogging wind is gaining more and more acceptance during the 2008 and 2009 german race championship (DWSV or german windsurfing association).

That particular format is known as the Starboard Serenity match race :

http://ftp.dwsv.net/News_2008/STARBOARD_SERENITY_MATCH_RACE.htm

Cheers !

JM

mac33
11th December 2009, 04:03 AM
there is nothing stopping people using a non race sail on a formula board.

a large 5 or 6 battened very light sail could work great in very light winds on a formula board.

i use a 7.7m race sail on my formula as hate the feel + weight of larger race sails.

Unregistered
12th December 2009, 10:43 PM
dont worry....be happy

www.fwa.gr

Unregistered
20th December 2009, 04:50 AM
In my opinion, the most interesting class today is hybrid raceboard, more precisely Starboard Phantom 320, as

- Formulas are the result of a deviance whereby to get planning at all costs, you find yourself with a gear excessive in all its characteristics, ugly, fat, expensive, ridiculous.

- Traditional raceboards are interesting, but too long to be pleasant when the wind goes up.

Starboard Phantom 320 represents a new and very interesting compromise :

- accessible to beginners, still interesting for experienced (I have 30 years of windsurf, 5 Starboards, and the one I find the most interesting to sail is my Phantom 320)

- really pleasant, interesting, performing, technical, from the slightest wind to force 6,

- fun and interesting behaviour in strong winds, notably surprising jibes

- enough volume (230 liters) to suit light or heavy weights

- relatively affordable, compared to alternatives

The only issue is the size of rigs. These boards are fine with around 7.5, which remains a reasonable size. I dont want to use a 9.5 one ton, 12 cambers, oversized rig that needs a crane to come out of water. No, thats another deviance. Back to performance in simplicity and accessibility or we will kill the sport, which is almost already done, competition being already dead due to these mistakes.

The good idea would be to elect gear that can be a link between an accessible practise and the practise of specialists. Beginners and passionate on the same board ? to try and revive windsurf as a large audience sport ? Phantom 320 has this potential. Try it.

Per
20th December 2009, 09:08 PM
Interesting, and I'm also curious about the Phantom 320 (of which there exist zero in Denmark..).
Anyway I don't think there's any chance of getting the full potential without at least a 9.5 m2 rig (I'm close to 100 kgs fully dressed).
On my Equipe there's a significant difference in light wind performance between my 10.3 and 8.5 sail (the 10.3 has plenty of power to rail the board, but the 8.5 is balancing better while planing though).
A 7.5 is a medium to high wind sail to me (16 to 25 knots of wind).

Does anybody have any experience of the 320 vs traditional longboards? In light wind or the heavy stuff.

;-)
Per

ZedZdeD
21st December 2009, 12:45 AM
I have a 320 2009, and am so enthusiastic about it I also ordered the 2010. I use it with 78 RAM F9.

In very light winds, it is very pleasant, as pleasant as my old Lechner (yes!).
In strong winds, it is interesting and technical. Easy to sail, technical to get it at its maximum. Always provides a "raceboard feeling", a board which waits for you to get the maximum out of it.

I had no opportunity yet to compare with a traditional raceboard, my guess would be
- less performance upwind in all conditions
- more performance downwind
- more versatility and fun
- more technicity (more dynamic weight placement)
- less performance in light winds, but not much

besides, you can also use it as a kayak, with the kayak seat sold by Bic for the Jungle, which is very pleasant

finally the right compromise

Unregistered
22nd December 2009, 07:30 AM
I think the raceboard class will be an arms race and currently is an arms race.
In some races that i know of racers have Div 2 boards as well as traditional longboard and whens things get really light, this puts them into a whole different performance category.
But in a way is that any different then formula , like you said when some people are dropping out due to $800 fins?
Going OD rule , thats the way, the kona would be the best.
A heavy weight will always be last even with a 10.0 in 6 knots windspeed all other things being equal.
I like raceboard rule, well I should say I am stuck with it as there are no konas up here.
So I am stuck with the consensus.
My only consolation is the fact that the racers I want to beat are all heavy, 180 to over 200 lbs, so in that regard its a race between us.
And my old f-2 lightning race was only 500 bucks in mint shape.
shredulato

Unregistered
22nd December 2009, 08:27 AM
Yes, but for the Kona one design racing, heavy weights use a 9.0, medium weights a 7.4 and lighter sailors a smaller sail.
Results over the past years show that heavyweights can compete with the lighter sailors in most wind strengths. With no pumping, it's a fair system.

Unregistered
22nd December 2009, 09:53 AM
what are the weight cutoffs??

shredulato

Ken
22nd December 2009, 10:14 PM
What specifically are the no pumping rules for the Kona Class? Is pumping allowed out of jibes and tacks and to catch swells?

There is no such thing as "no pumping". Sailors will find ways to pump and gain an advantage regardless of the rules. The really honest sailors get burned.

The only fair way that gives everyone an equal opportunity is to allow pumping. Yes it can be a lot of work, but we are athletes and we do what has to be done to be competitive. If you are too lazy to pump, don't be unhappy with the results.

I started racing in 1984 and competed in lots of "no pumping" races including the Mistral Worlds in Corpus Christi in the late 80's. Over 200 sailors from around the world and 75%were pumping beyond the rules. If you didn't cheat, you were left in the dust. There were also weight classes.

rod_r
23rd December 2009, 05:38 AM
Hi Ken

This from the Kona site:

C.2 PROPULSION
C.2.1 General; Rule 42 shall apply at all angles of sail. Repeated rig movements (pumping) to increase or maintain speed is prohibited.
C.2.2 Penalties; A competitor performing repeated rig movements shall be warned by the on-water umpires by means of a yellow flag and penalized with a 360 turn with immediate effect. If the offense is repeated within the same race the competitor shall be given a red flag and disqualified.
C.2.3 Exemption; The Race Committee may permit propulsion (pumping) at wind speeds above planning threshold, - or approximately 11 knots - by hoisting the Kona Class flag at the warning signal. Appropriate planning conditions may vary due to wave configurations and currents, and shall be up to the discretion of the RC.....

Everything I have read seems to indicate it is working very well for them

Unregistered
23rd December 2009, 08:52 AM
9.0 from 85.1Kg and above

7.4 from 65-85Kg

5.8 for 64.9Kg and down

There are also smaller sails for kid classes.

One board, all conditions and the the weight/sail class appears to make it pretty even.

SeanAUS120
24th December 2009, 11:03 AM
Hi guys,

Been reading this one with interest.

Why don't you just add BOTH the formula and raceboard class?

Some people like raceboards, some people like formula racing. We have an active race series for formula here in Australia with +40 competitors each event and have now included RS:X, Raceboards and BIC Techno in our series events. It's more about the social gathering than the racing anyhow, so the more the merrier in my mind.

Raceboard/Windsurfer OD are the biggest classes sailed in Australia with formula probably coming in afterwards.

I race formula internationally and (as others have suggested) there are huge misconceptions about gear out there. I am just about to start racing the 2010 season with a 3 year old board. Yeap, no interest in buying a new one; the old shape is fine. I'll race that on the pro tour all year. Sure, I have some new sails... but I only need 3 to race the pro tour. In national racing back in Australia I've raced a few events this summer in Australia with only 1 sail from 6-30 knots no problems and only 1 fin. I've also only ever owned one boom. I can't sail two sails at once, so why need a second boom? Save some money for the bar...

Everybody makes comparisons with the professionals. 90% of formula sailors aren't racing the pro tour so why do you have to buy 4 sails and 5 fins just because Steve Allen did?

And the problems with the top guys beating the guys who trained less/less experienced out on the racecourse? In Australia we made a new division called FE+ (yeap, we ripped the name a bit) whereby new comers can start at the same time as everyone but race 1 lap only. It's almost more competitive in this class than the Open fleet nowadays!

Now, Raceboards rock also. Obviously you can get more racing in with the bigger windrange and the cost are dramatically less than formula kit for obvious reasons.

In Australia we start the raceboard/rsx/bic classes a few mins earlier than the formula fleet so we generally all cross the finish line at the same time. If its light wind in the morning we send the raceboard/rsx/bic classes out to race and when the wind picks up in the afternoon we include formula. Simple.

Now at the end of the day's racing there is 50 guys at the bar, instead of just 30 formula sailors because we've combined the classes.

It gives people an opportunity to see all the different windsurfing classes together and compare and make decisions about which pathway of sailing they want to follow in to.

My 0.02c

CT 249
8th January 2010, 03:44 PM
What specifically are the no pumping rules for the Kona Class? Is pumping allowed out of jibes and tacks and to catch swells?

There is no such thing as "no pumping". Sailors will find ways to pump and gain an advantage regardless of the rules. The really honest sailors get burned.

The only fair way that gives everyone an equal opportunity is to allow pumping. Yes it can be a lot of work, but we are athletes and we do what has to be done to be competitive. If you are too lazy to pump, don't be unhappy with the results.

I started racing in 1984 and competed in lots of "no pumping" races including the Mistral Worlds in Corpus Christi in the late 80's. Over 200 sailors from around the world and 75%were pumping beyond the rules. If you didn't cheat, you were left in the dust. There were also weight classes.

Can't agree with you there, Ken. I race several classes (one board, several dinghy or yacht) that have restrictions on pumping, and even with Olympians (former AND current) racing at the national titles, there is no cheating at the front end of the fleet and very little anywhere else. Yes, downwind pumping in boards can be very hard to police, which is why one board class (Windsurfer One Designs in Oz) allows downwind pumping but bans upwind pumping, which is easy to spot.

Sure, you could possibly pump very subtly upwind, but such subtle pumping has very little effect and it seems like it could well be harmful.

If you want to get more serious, you can just put some good judges on the course to ensure that people follow the rules. It works well in boat classes like Lasers.

And while I understand the 'we are athletes' line, the fact is that allowing unrestricted pumping tears huge holes in the fleet in many classes (probably not FW or among the RSX and slalom pros). Sure, it is a physical sport - but those who want to propel their way along the water by muscle power can go and race canoes or kayaks.

I'm not too lazy to pump; pumping is my strong point and my other sport is cycle racing, which isn't exactly somewhere you go to hide from exercise. But we have to allow those who don't have the tactical skills but not as much time to train to get in among the action too - it's more fun and it adds to the fleet. And women, older sailors and kids who cannot pump as hard tend to drop back a bit in pumping classes - that's not great for the sport.

I respect your experience, but that was at a time when we were not as aware of the problems that pumping brings, and we were not as experienced at stopping it. It can be done.

BelSkorpio
8th January 2010, 06:39 PM
Dont know too much about it, but it seems to me like you have a race car and you are not allowed to push the gas completely till the end.

Unregistered
8th January 2010, 08:42 PM
Dont know too much about it, but it seems to me like you have a race car and you are not allowed to push the gas completely till the end.

Nope, it's more like the way you are not allowed to just grab a soccer ball (football to most people), run down the field and throw it in the goal. Or like the way you're not allowed to move a pawn sideways in chess. Or like the way you can't kick someone in the cobblers in a boxing match. Or like the way there are races for backstroke, breastroke and butterfly when it would be faster if everyone just did freestyle.

Just like any other sport or game, you introduce rules to make sure that the competition tests the things you want it to test, and to ban the things you don't want to do. In this case, some of us want to restrict pumping, because it puts too much emphasis on just one or two aspects (fitness and pumping technique) and too little on 'feel' and tactics.

Oh, and by the way, lots (perhaps all) racing car classes have various restrictions on how much gas you can push through the engine!

Ken
8th January 2010, 11:21 PM
CT 249, Unregistered,

From Rod R:

"C.2.2 Penalties; A competitor performing repeated rig movements shall be warned by the on-water umpires by means of a yellow flag and penalized with a 360 turn with immediate effect. If the offense is repeated within the same race the competitor shall be given a red flag and disqualified."

So one pump is OK, it's just a matter of judging subjectively what "repeated rig movements" means. This is where I have a problem, who's judging and waiving flags and if there is someone on the water, they can't catch all pumping.

There are many sports where coaches teach and encourage techniques to gain an advantage in violation of the rules. Soccer and American football are a couple with water-polo being at the top of the list. That's how the game is played, get caught and you are penalized, don't get caught and you gain an advantage. In some sports, it is almost impossible to cheat, chess being one, but in many others, it is common place.

I would have no problem with "no pumping" regattas, since I am pretty good at tactics and efficiency on the water. I just don't believe that you can have a regatta with "no pumping" or to be able to police it 100% of the time. My opinion comes from my experiences, but that was over 20 years ago.

While I am one for following the rules since I detest cheating, sometimes the situation calls for stretching the rules to keep up with the competition. I would never be the first to break a pumping rule, but if my competition was doing it, I probably would too.

ZedZdeD
9th January 2010, 02:47 AM
same debate occured 25 years ago in Open Division II class, as some may remember

initially pumping was forbidden, later this restriction was abandoned, and a wide consensus existed then the former interdiction was useless and baseless

individual results did not change a bit before and after anyway

pumping is simply part of windsurfing techniques, you have to know when and how to, which is not obvious, therefore interesting

ZedZdeD
9th January 2010, 02:50 AM
same debate occured 25 years ago in Open Division II class, as some may remember

initially pumping was forbidden, later this restriction was abandoned, and a wide consensus existed then the former interdiction was useless and baseless

pumping is simply part of windsurfing techniques, you have to know when and how to, which is not obvious, therefore interesting

such interdiction would be today more inappropriate, as often you need to pump to initiate planning. Who wants to stay in sub planning when he can start or maintain planning with some pumping ?

CT 249
9th January 2010, 05:16 AM
Ken, at world titles in Laser class dinghies, the jury can watch out for repeated rig movements from a long way away. If they see something suspicious, they move closer and closely monitor that boat. There seem to be surprisingly few people who change their pumping behaviour when the jury boat comes close - perhaps they realise that if the rig movement suddenly changes in pattern, the jury will watch them even more closely later on. Getting a non-discardable DSQ or being chucked for the whole regatta is a major issue that sailor take care to avoid!

Sure, we take the rules to the limit - but we stay within them, just like tennis players try to hit to the limit of the court but stay within them. In my experience, at the point end of national titles in Laser Radials and other boat classes and in Windsurfer One Designs, illegal pumping just does not exist as a significant problem.

Maybe a lot of the problem will be cured by the fact that these days, we can just give every rescue boat a camera so that people will know that the PRO will have hard evidence to give to a protest. That wasn't so easy when pumping rules were relaxed.

ZedZed, I may be like you in that I was in Raceboards in the '80s when unrestricted pumping crept in (more because the wind limit was dropped than because of any rule change; pumping was always allowed but not critical in races in 20 knots on old rigs). What I can recall is that even at the Worlds, no one was pumping as hard as they do today. When we allowed unrestricted pumping in, I don't think we visualised the current situation of people pumping non-stop and not even tacking on shifts (according to a recent RSX worlds runner-up), and where people pump so long and hard that we have to limit the number of light-wind races so they don't collapse from heat exhaustion. That just was not on the radar, so decisions made then may not work for all classes today.

I got out of D2 before the pumping rule was relaxed, but a D2 Olympic medalist who went on to win an IMCO worlds says that while unrestricted pumping DID make windsurfing more athletic, it also DID mean that the gaps in the fleets became much larger and tactics much less important, therefore taking away a significant amount of the fun. And I never heard of anyone in the little bit of IMCO racing I did who really enjoyed a light wind pumpfest, whereas a light-wind race in classes with no pumping can be very enjoyable.

Of course, even if the majority of modern Rsceboard/RSX sailors like pumping, that's a slanted sample because many more people may already have left the sport because they hated all the pumping. If continuous pumping was so much fun, why does FW advertise the fact that it favours pumping less?

Surely it's rarely if ever just a matter of either staying off the plane, or pumping to plane. If the conditions are that marginal, you probably won't plane for long, and someone who pumps until they are exhausted will be faster. That's fine for many sports and many classes in windsurfing, but it's not what all of us want all the time.

Having some classes with pumping restrictions just gives us a bit of choice, that's all. And it CAN be done effectively, as proven in other classes.

ZedZdeD
9th January 2010, 07:05 PM
well, if I remember correctly, when the end of pumping restrictions occured in the 80s, people wondered logically if it would change the results or the content of races, favour strenght rather than tactics,

but in practise nothing changed in the results, the guys with best tactics were also those with best techniques, including pumping, and really with or without it did not change much, simply was more technical, more sportive, therefore more interesting with pumping

I also remember a French championship in 84 where we had some races with very light wind and which were done with pumping during all the race, under the heat, but again I did around the same place there as I did in strong winds, and it was substantially the same for everybody

it only gets excessive when really theres no wind, but a limit in wind knots could apply, as it did at the time

Anyway I think the main issue in windsurf competition today is that of gear. Many people do not want to sail Formulas, because they are excessive in all their characteristics. Traditional raceboards are too long to be pleasant in strong winds. Kona is a real good idea but board design is not top performing enough.

I think Starboard has finally achieved the right compromise with the Phantom Race 320, which could be used as monotype with a reasonable size rig (I use it with North Ram F9 7.8) it is really pleasant, interesting, technical, from very light winds, where it reminds me of my old Lechner, to Force 6, where it remains great fun. It can also be used as a kayak, with the Bic Jungle seat, and as a SUP.

Same potential as Kona, but with more advance design, able to convince more seasoned windsurfers, while remaining also perfectly adapted for beginners, casual practise and families. Competition should be for everyone, like in the old days, not for the few survivors of windsurf deviances ...