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carlosgp5
13th December 2008, 12:04 AM
Hello,
I have been sailing formula windsurfing now for almost 2 years... starting to get confortable up and down wind, racing my mates, very good fun.
My problem, and also most of my mates, starts when the wind picks up, and above 20 knots we all, each one at a level, starts to get overpowered. That can be because of the wind (somedays we are over 30 knots downhere in south of brazil) and sometimes because of the seas (we get often south swells over 2 meters out of the bay).
Well, I am 70kgs, sailing a FW 147 with gaastra vapor 10, R13 70cm fin, and most of people have the FE rigs... and no matter what, we often get overpowered.
I would like to know if you could give us some tunning tips for the high winds... we know some already, before windsurfing Im still a sail boat guy... Its just too much fun to windsurf, and for sure I want to hold my sail upright with high winds...
With smaller sails I get the board impossible to control and untrimmed... I play with the mast foot... I play with the outhaul... I play even with the downhaul... Is that a matter of time in the water or would you guys have a sort of "Comprehensive Guide for Modern Formula Boards"???
Thanks in advance
cheers

CG

mark h
13th December 2008, 01:38 AM
Hi Carlos
I'm pretty sure you will already tried this, but do have a high wind fin? Your R13 is pretty powerfull for 20knots + at your weight. The narrower tailed FW147 could go down to a 58cm when its nucular, and a 64cm fin for when you start to feel overpowered on the 70cm. Do you use a chicken strap for over powered down wind? And do you use adjustable outhaul?

kernron
13th December 2008, 02:34 AM
Hi,

Try dropping your boom height 3cm at a time. If the board is flying nose too high or getting blown out of the water, move the mast foot forward 1cm at a time. Try a 9m sail as well in combination with the smaller, <64cm fin. In ocean conditions, it's hard to sail in 25+ mph wind. It takes practice, plenty of it.

Good luck,

Ron

carlosgp5
13th December 2008, 05:22 PM
Thank you guys for the tips...
I'll try the smaller fins... I actually only changed to a smaller fin once (65cm), and it was 15 knots. I felt so unconfortable and so deep in the water that every time I look at that fin I get dizzy...
I guess it was not used on the proper way.
About the mast foot, I actually, when over 15k, go to maximum set to the nose. I don't know its just a feelling that I perform much better upwind and I it's easier to mantain the trim of the board. When in high winds with my 10sqm sail I fell like could go over 5cm from the mast track!!!!
What do you think about that? Is it to weard for the 147 to use the mast foot so much to the nose?
cheers

sb
13th December 2008, 06:39 PM
Good suggestions above- also try to bring the rig over your head to windward. This depowers the sail and makes it easier to sail in high winds and bigger sea states.
To achieve this you need to really sit down in the harness.
To make visualization clearer, think about how you sail in light winds- you want to stand the rig up right to give it more power- well sailing in op'ed conditions, its just the opposite.
In addition, try adding more downhaul and more outhaaul to depower to sail as well in addition to lowering the boom and moving hte mast foot forward.
Good luck

BRA999 Schurmann
14th December 2008, 08:52 PM
I think that lowering the boom, putting in a smaller fin and making your harness lines a bit longer will improve your control a lot in strong winds. Also, when you are sailing, and you see a chopp coming, antecipate your move and sort of twist your body forward, this way you will keep the nose of the board down and maintain speed. Also, there are a lot of people that think that when the wind is stronger you should downhall your sail a lot more, that is not always true, and sometimes when you do that, the nose of your board will rise more. So never overdownhall your sail.
Valeu e abracos,
Wilhelm

carlosgp5
16th December 2008, 01:36 AM
Thanks for the valuable information... that one that Wilhelm got about overdownhauling I wouldnt figure by myself as I see a lot of people doing it...
This last weekend weve had a race in Floripa, it was 18-20k on the NE gusts. Well my upwind leg was actually very good, sometimes better then my only opponent (I reckon our fleet got was all sleeping) wich is much more experienced them me. But then, on the dowwind, I was sailing like a frightened horse. I lost even for a kiteboarder...
Well i played with all your tunning tips, with the outhaul, the boom height, the mast foot. Of course I could not change the fin, but later a figured out with Neves (the only oponent) that Ive done a basic mistake.
Well, while feeling overpowered on the downwind, I was opening the sail quite a bit, wich of course made me much more overpowered and almost catapulting all the time...
Im just posting this to try to give you guys some feedback as you tried to help, but I think I need some more time out in the water.. ehheh
Cheers

Unregistered
23rd December 2008, 04:53 AM
Hi Carlos,

I do not know your level, experience etc. but you wrote that you sail Formula for two years only, it is not a very long time...

To be able to control a 10+ meter sail in over 20kts - the right sail trim is a must. If it is under-downhauled then to control the sail is impossible - the moment you sheet in, it wants to catapult you, and when you sheet out, it wants to either shake you off or push down to the water...
So with a under-downhauled sail you might end out sailing slow, sheeted out and with the the nose of the board trying to fly up and the board's tail walking...

I think you should first experiment with the downhaul, make marks on the downhaul rope to keep the settings. Myself I use one 'regular' downhaul setting for an average wind ( for the sail size ) then maybe 2-3 cm more downhaul rope out for higher wind and a 'emergency low wind setting' with 2-3 cm less downhaul. I measure the downhaul on the rope, not on the hook. I have to use a winch ( crank ) - as at these forces I can barely pull it by hand and that with a big risk of back injury. With the right downhaul the sail stays neutral when let free and increases the pull gradually, as I sheet-in ( so no rapid on-off ). I also want to see the top to release a lot of air. The trimming videos on Neil Pryde site are quite useful - I am usually doing a first dry check of a newly rigged sail, laid down on the ground - by supporting the boom on a piece of wood/whatever at hand, around 15-20 cm above the ground, then asking a heavy person to stand on the mastfoot and then I push the mast top to the ground - I want to see the sail not tightening the leech before the top touches the ground. If I downhaul "by eye" then that test usually shows it's not enough and the leech closes too early. I do that with medium outhaul ( only a few cm outhauled from neutral ).

With a good downhaul, when sailing in strong wind, you should be able to gradually sheet-in and apply the right amount of mastfoot pressure to keep the board steady at speed. On downwind I need to keep pulling the nose up and I lean back a bit more. I also try to keep the body lower, bent knees, to be able to lean out or move in when needed - to counterbalance the gusts/lulls without much change in sail trim and fin load. For me all that starts with the right downhaul - without it there is no way I can control the sail...

Cheers,

Smok

steveC
23rd December 2008, 07:41 AM
Well said Smok.

Unregistered
23rd December 2008, 05:44 PM
Formula in 20 knots +

Why ????

Unregistered
23rd December 2008, 07:49 PM
Because you con only use one board racing in FW. Bit sailing a FW board in 20's is fun too, maybe not confortable, but fun.

mark h
23rd December 2008, 08:01 PM
because FW races could be in 7k or 30k winds, so knowing how to handle/set/trim in all conditions is vital.

davide
24th December 2008, 06:11 AM
Formula in 20 knots +

Why ????
I do not know, but I regularly watch Formula riders at Crissy Field (http://cams.exploratorium.edu:8010/1/control.html) and they use their monsters in 20 knots + 4-5 knots of ebb tide. Everybody else is out with 5.0's in the crazy chop.

How they do it is way beyond me but they seem to go fast and (probably) are having a lot of fun

Aco
25th December 2008, 12:43 AM
Formula in 20 knots +
Why ????

Because there is no faster Windsurfer on a Windward/Leeward course, even @ that windspeed.

Actually, in 20+ knots I have a hard time figuring ANY faster WW/LW sailing vessel...

With Kind regards,
Aco

Unregistered
27th December 2008, 03:42 PM
And nobody has said they are most fun in those conditions. Come on sailing Formula in over 20 knots is like going to a brewery and not drinking. Get a wave / allround freeride anything but Formula for high winds.

SeanAUS120
28th December 2008, 06:34 PM
A lot of people really like the challenge of sailing formula in +20 knots. I do. When you jump off your 10.0m in 30 knots onto your 6.7m/85l slalom board it feels like a toy.. sooo easy to gybe ;)

@ Aco - there is no faster sailing boat around a W/L course than an FW board. I've seen top FW sailors beat an 18ft skiff around a course (albeit it was VERY close) and there isn't much faster boats than an 18ft'er in a breeze.

carlosgp5
29th December 2008, 07:49 PM
Formula in 20 knots +

Why ????

Ive got one answer also. While some people like to jump, other to surf, other to not be planning... Well I like to sail, as far in the ocean as possible. If you like that and can follow me with any other vessel than not a formula gear, I dare you to try. It would be a lot of fun.

Floyd
30th December 2008, 03:09 AM
Perhaps you should enter The Defi on your Formula kit !

Aco
30th December 2008, 02:16 PM
Hi all.
And nobody has said they are most fun in those conditions.
This is highly different between sailors:
for some of us (me included) it is a LOT of fun, even in those conditions.
Come on sailing Formula in over 20 knots is like going to a brewery and not drinking. Get a wave / allround freeride anything but Formula for high winds.
For this one Carlos has exactly the point:
Ive got one answer also. While some people like to jump, other to surf, other to not be planning... Well I like to sail, as far in the ocean as possible. If you like that and can follow me with any other vessel than not a formula gear, I dare you to try. It would be a lot of fun.
Simply put - if you would like most % of planing time in variable wind conditions then NO other windsurfer beats a Formula.

For this reason when the forecast is iffy you will find me choosing Formula over wave/allround/freeride/freestyle anyday simply because to me planing is WAAAAAY MORE FUN than slogging.

With Kind Regards,
Acou

Aco
30th December 2008, 02:27 PM
@ Aco - there is no faster sailing boat around a W/L course than an FW board. I've seen top FW sailors beat an 18ft skiff around a course (albeit it was VERY close) and there isn't much faster boats than an 18ft'er in a breeze.
To me 18ft Skiffs look like tough cookies:
maybe we beat them in a breeze, but as soon as the wind drops below approx. 12 kts it is probably game over (not to mention if it falls below the planing threshold...).

The Skiffs are waay more "allround" than Formulas:
they are highly competitive in all conditions, hich is why I have a high respect for them.

Apart form the skiffs, the other "problem" I could imagine are large (30m) multihulls (Cats/Trimarans):
I am not sure we would be able to beat them in ANY windspeed...

All the Best,
Aco

Aco
30th December 2008, 02:34 PM
Hi Floyd!
Perhaps you should enter The Defi on your Formula kit !
Many sailors don't realize that Formulas (when in the right hands) are not slow at all in a breeze:
I am confident that an experienced sailor on a Formula would NOT come last at Le Defi.
And if the wind drops or shifts to create an unplanned upwind leg the story would become even more interesting...

On the other side, try to enter ANY Formula Regatta @ ANY windspeed with ANY other PLANING windsurfing kit:
we probably both agreee that you would be dead last, probably disqualified because out of the time limit.

To sum it up:
I believe that Formula is by far the most "adaptable" PLANING Windsurfer in terms of Sheer speed over a large range of conditions and points of sail.

You could of course say that it is physical/technical at it, but when it comes to have the highest AVERAGE speed (which is the one that wins) in variable conditions - well - I don't think anything comes close.

Of course just my opinion.
With Kind Regards,
Aco

SeanAUS120
30th December 2008, 04:14 PM
@ Aco - ok, yeap you're right. I wasn't including big yachts/tri's/cats etc in my comparison; as 18ft'ers are able to be raced on similar sized courses to FW, a maxi would struggle in a small lake for room probably! haha.

I think its around <14 knots or so where an 18ft'er starts to consistently beat FW boards around the course. We can attain similar straight line upwind speeds of around 14-16 knots in those winds however a FW board can't get the angle an 18ft can in the lighter winds. An 18ft can probably do <49 degrees in ANY wind, whereas an FW board doesn't get that tighter angle until 18-20 knots when its fully powered up on 11m.

I totally agree with you re the Defi on FW kit. We often have guys racing slalom in Aus on FW kit against dedicated slalom racers, and the straightline speed is not as slow as you would think for an FW board. Remember, the GPS speed records for FW are up around 32 knots average and were set on bumpy waters, not on speedstrips. Apart from the top guys, most average slalom sailors probably are only doing 34-37 knots average in a race ... so a FW would definitely keep up :-)

Floyd
30th December 2008, 05:05 PM
Nbody is decrying course speeds/ability in variable winds /VMG etc etc of Formula.Obviously they are fastest course racing board (overall) .

BUT
The original poster asked about sailing Formula in HIGH WINDS. If high winds existed all the time Formula Boards (as we know them) wouldn`t exist.Dont think you`ll even find a Formula board on Feurteventura !! Nobody even goes on water under 13 knots . Thats just how it is.I`m not saying good or bad its just fact.

In 20 knots + Formula are probably not the fastest boards out there ! (yes its debatable ) and they are definitely NOT the most fun in 20 knots +.(If they are why are 99% of sailors sailing freeride/wave etc etc when it does blow !!!)
Having fastest VMG on a board is completely missing point.Its like saying best surfer is fastest. Yes its nice to race but look at numbers involved with racing. It represents a tiny proportion of WS.
My advice to anyone
If you have 20knots + dont use your Formula. Go and enjoy yourself. Jump /gybe /play/Wave ride /forget racing. Life`s too short.!
(Sort of like 99% of sailors)
(Besides I`m too old to carry a Formula down beech)

Unregistered
30th December 2008, 08:51 PM
Why people bother so much about what kind of board someone sail? Sail whatever you want. If you wnat to sail a formula board in 800kts, that's fine. If you like slalon boards in 10kts, that's fine too. If you like wave boards more than other boards, that's ok.
The important thing here is to be on the water and have fun whatever board you sail.
Peace, good winds, happy new year for everyone, wave sailors, formula sailors, slalon sailors, freestyle sailors, all sailors in all kind of sailcrafts all over the world.

Unregistered
31st December 2008, 01:51 AM
Because they asked for advice !!!

Unregistered
31st December 2008, 04:24 PM
They asked for advice on how to sail a formula board in high winds, not what board to sail in high winds.

Unregistered
31st December 2008, 09:43 PM
And probably the best advice is to sail someting else !!! (And enjoy it !)
Afterall 20 knots is arguably best wind possible for WS; if you are on right gear !

Ken
31st December 2008, 11:50 PM
For me, 20 knots is perfect for:

bump an jump on a 105L board and a 5.7
or
slalom on an iS111 and a 6.5
or
formula on a F160 and an 8.5 or 9.2

All are fun & exciting and I do all three in 20 knots, it just depends on how I feel that day.

Chasing keel boats and cats on a formula board, and sailing circles around them upwind and downwind is a kick. You can't do that on a slalom or bump and jump board.

I do what I enjoy, regardless of what others think should or shouldn't be done.

Unregistered
1st January 2009, 12:23 AM
How do you make your mind up ???

Aco
1st January 2009, 12:41 AM
For me, 20 knots is perfect for:

bump an jump on a 105L board and a 5.7
or
slalom on an iS111 and a 6.5
or
formula on a F160 and an 8.5 or 9.2

All are fun & exciting and I do all three in 20 knots, it just depends on how I feel that day.

Chasing keel boats and cats on a formula board, and sailing circles around them upwind and downwind is a kick. You can't do that on a slalom or bump and jump board.
Well said - all of it.
I agree with everything, especially with the last sentence:

I do what I enjoy, regardless of what others think should or shouldn't be done.

I would only add that while in 20 kts all you mentioned is fun, in 10 kts only one is - and we all know which one ;)

This is the main reason I use Formula in variable conditions and smaller board only in stable winds - except during the winter (i.e. right now ;)) when I use Formula all the way to keep dry :D

Fair Winds,
Aco

carlosgp5
1st January 2009, 02:49 AM
And probably the best advice is to sail someting else !!! (And enjoy it !)
Afterall 20 knots is arguably best wind possible for WS; if you are on right gear !

Our unregistered friend should have in mind, that some people (like me), live in a place with below 15 knots 80% of the time. So whats your advice, sail a boat? Im not keen and dont have the cash. I also dont have the cash to buy smaller boards. I am also not keen to travel 200km south every weekend to saill the waves where kauli lives.
Please mate, think about it. Aren't I doing alright wanting to know all about everything about my only gear, and being abble to be out every weekend with my formula gear?
For sure, when a friend that has a 30 foot invites me, I go to travel with him no matter about the wind from 2 to 50 k. But the topic is how to sail formula in high winds, and I actually learned a lot of how to do it in this forum.
Thanks to everybody contributing, happy new years!!!!

Unregistered
1st January 2009, 02:49 AM
If formula is so good (in 20 knots) two questions

a) How come allround boards (Futuras etc) out sell them at least 20 to 1(probably a lot more)

b) Why aren`t there any out when it`s windy ! They just stay on beach when its choppy or windy. The real boards are out then.

All venues I go to Formulas are out on two occasions. Firstly when its not worth going out. Secondly when they are racing.(Normally same as first)

Happy New Year

Aco
1st January 2009, 07:16 PM
Hi Unregistered.
:D you must be joking !
No, we are not at all:
we are having a serious discussion with arguments to each claim, including the ones that follow in this post.

If you read the following please keep in mind that the main purpose of the post that follows is not "just to contrast to your claims" but rather to:
(+) answer your questions,
(+) explain why I believe you are wrong with some statements and
(+) attempt to develop a more constructive attitude in the discussions.
If formula is so good (in 20 knots) two questions
a) How come allround boards (Futuras etc) out sell them at least 20 to 1(probably a lot more)
To me this is similar to asking
"If Formula 1 is so good two questions
a) How come allround cars (Vans etc) out sell them at least 200.000 to 1 (probably a lot more)"

The answer is obvious:
because the allround cars (and boards) are
(+) more practical
(+) less emanding to use and (last but not least)
(+) cheaper.

BUT if someone is looking for THE BEST UNCOMPROMISED VMG PERFORMANCE, Formula is the way to go, which is why the "VMG sailors" (me included) prefer it.

Now of course "VMG sailors" represent a minority of windsurfers, but in this discussion I do not remember anybody saying that Formula is "for everybody" or "widespread", but rather that it is ultimate performance and tons of fun for dedicated sailors.
b) Why aren`t there any out when it`s windy !
The answer is simple:
SOME ARE,
MOST ARE NOT,
because most windsurfers prefer BAFFING over VMG sailing - and nothing is wrong with that when everybody is having fun.
They just stay on beach when its choppy or windy.
Correction:
They just FLY when its choppy or windy when strapped to the feet of skilled sailors.
The real boards are out then.
Correction:
"The real Formulas are out then under the feet of VMG Sailors,
the real other boards are under the feet of Bump-n-Jump Sailors,
the real Keel-Boats, Dinghies, Cats, Skiffs, Moths etc. are under the feet of other sailors."

The best part of it is that EVERYBODY IS HAVING FUN, each one on its own way.
All venues I go to Formulas are out on two occasions. Firstly when its not worth going out.
If your gear does not work in some conditions it does not mean that "it is not worth going out" for everybody.

The conditions you describe are the most fun for Formula sailors, flying around while the "real boards" slog or stay on the beach with their sailors working out their suntan and complaining how it is never windy.

In conclusion it looks to me that you highly dislike Formula and have an extremely, undescrivably, overwhelmingly tough time understanding and accepting the sincere enjoyment of Formula sailors and the higher VMG performance of their gear, which brings me to the following dilemma:

Why do you read and partecipate in discussions about Formulas?
I simply skip threads about gear I am not interested in - perhaps you could do the same?

Happy New Year and fair winds to all fellow sailors.
Wth Kind Regards,
Aco

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 02:55 AM
I might not have been correct in my criticism of Formula but it prompted a fantastic response ! Its good ! Well done.

But in 20kts Formula DOES NOT have best VMG. Slalom will have.

and

by which time they are neither the most fun or fastest. They are a product of rules just like the F1 you mention.

Nice reply though.

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 04:24 AM
Takes a Formula sailor to equate what he does to Formula 1 and what rest of us do to driving vans !

Think thats what probably inspires unregistered comments in first place.

Aco
2nd January 2009, 05:29 AM
Hi Unregistered.
But in 20kts Formula DOES NOT have best VMG. Slalom will have. by which time they are neither the most fun or fastest.
Maybe I did not explain enough into detail:
by VMG I intended "Velocity Made Good" over a broad range of conditions and points of sail.

I sail Formula and Slalom and in 20 kts on a beam reach you are right:
Slalom is a bit faster and much less demanding than Formula, BUT the beam reach is only 1 point of sail (!).

When Upwind/Downwind legs and wind shifts (speed and direction) come into play (and they always do if you are not BAFFING all the time in the same place) Slalom is really badly left behind by Formula, especially upwind - and this holds also @20+ knots.

With Kind Regards,
Aco

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 05:39 AM
Yep I know what VMG means and yep I know what you meant. ( I read your post !)

But in 20 knots Fiormula is not fastest ! Like I said Slalom is !

Gusting 13 to 25 yep I might agree but steady 20 knots Isonics (or similar) would be quicker on probably every point of sail. (Formula would probably sail deeper downwind but I suspect even downwind Isonic would develop faster VMG through better boardspeed.)

Poster asked about 20 knots +.

Aco
2nd January 2009, 05:44 AM
Takes a Formula sailor to equate what he does to Formula 1 and what rest of us do to driving vans!
The intention of my comparison was not to
"raise Formulas by comparing them to Formula 1"
and
"humiliate other boards by comparing them to VANS"
but rather to exaggerate the differences in order to make my point as clear as possible.

If I offended anyone with that comparison I apologze sincerely - this was never even close to my intentions.

Best Wishes,
Aco

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 09:08 AM
I might be stating the obvious here, but obviously you know that people don't sail formula on a 90 degree reach in 20+ knots?

They just sail way upwind or way downwind.

PG
2nd January 2009, 01:52 PM
I may be a crappy slalom board sailor, but I do have a pretty race freeslalom board (Tiga Swift 74) and a decent fin (SR6b 46 cm). Even when it is blowing 20 knots I have no chance whatsoever against Formula boards going upwind, they go almost as fast and their angle is simply unbeatable.

It would of course be interesting to try with a Slalom setup that is so overrigged that it is virtually impossible to sail on a reach :-)

Aco
2nd January 2009, 03:04 PM
I might be stating the obvious here, but obviously you know that people don't sail formula on a 90 degree reach in 20+ knots?
They just sail way upwind or way downwind.
You are mostly right - I would just make a small correction:
"people USUALLY don't sail formula on a 90 degree reach in 20+ knots"

The reasons they do not sail Beam-Reaches is because they are
(+) Over-Rigged for it and
(+) usually not interested in it.

BUT what I would like to emphasize is that while
Formula CAN be sailed on a 90 degree reach in 20+ knots

on the other hand, even @ 20 knots,
Slalom CANNOT be sailed anywhere near the Formula angles, especially upwind.

I Beam Reach Formula all the time to Drag-Race my friends and it is pretty fast, usually @20 kts
(+) a bit faster than Freestyle equipment,
(+) just as fast as Freeride equipment,
(+) a bit slower than Slalom equipment.

Of course when rigged for WW/LW Formula is over-rigged for Beam-Reaching and requires
(+) additional outhaul,
(+) sail out-sheeting and
(+) "flying" the board on the fin by keeping it in balance with the straps to have good speed.

It is thus thus WAAY more physical then either of the others, but this is largely solved by using a smaller sail and shorter fin, which would probably even increase its Beam-Reach speed.

On the other hand, even with larger sails and fins the Slalom upwind angle is nowhere near the Formula angle according to my experience (see lower in the post).
I may be a crappy slalom board sailor, but I do have a pretty race freeslalom board (Tiga Swift 74) and a decent fin (SR6b 46 cm). Even when it is blowing 20 knots I have no chance whatsoever against Formula boards going upwind, they go almost as fast and their angle is simply unbeatable.
Your experience is perfectly in line with mine:
"While in 20 knots Slalom is a BIT faster on a Beam-Reach,
it has so uncomparably lower Upwind Angles
that it is a LOT slower than Formula Upwind"
It would of course be interesting to try with a Slalom setup that is so overrigged that it is virtually impossible to sail on a reach :-)
I have tried this also and it did NOT help me much upwind:
while trying to point extremely high the speed dropped dramatically and spinouts were nasty.

Then I switched for a much larger fin (over the limit for the board) and the spinouts were cured, BUT the board feeling was ugly and while trying to point as high as possible the speed dropped below Formula while still having WAAY lower upwind angles.

Downwind the bigger sail has helped though.
To sum it up I would like to emphasize it one more time:

"Over a wide range of windspeeds and points of sail,
I believe no other windsurfer comes close to Formula in terms of VMG,
even in 20+ knots"

With Best Wishes,
Aco

Floyd
2nd January 2009, 03:10 PM
Thread has mitigated towards Formula versus Slalom; which is never going to be settled.

There is merit on both sides.

Formula (overall) is fastest discipline of sport.No question.Probably fastest sailing machine yet avilable.(Probably) Its also (probably) hardest to use and certainly hardest to master in strong winds.(Which BTW 20knots is)

Therefore in winds mentioned there is an argument for suggesting you are (probably) on the wrong "horse".

Floyd
2nd January 2009, 03:17 PM
PS
I also think upwind good slalom would match/ beat Formula (in 20k).
Lets face it in 20knots a board just does not need to be 1 metre wide ! Extra width is just extra drag. A well sailed Isonic (122/133) would match upwind angle of Formula in winds mentioned. Not sure about downwind though. Formula would stay on plane much deeper ??

Aco
2nd January 2009, 03:58 PM
Hi Floyd and Unregistered.
But in 20 knots Fiormula is not fastest ! Like I said Slalom is !
Gusting 13 to 25 yep I might agree but steady 20 knots Isonics (or similar) would be quicker on probably every point of sail. (Formula would probably sail deeper downwind but I suspect even downwind Isonic would develop faster VMG through better boardspeed.)
Poster asked about 20 knots +.
PS
I also think upwind good slalom would match/ beat Formula (in 20k).
Lets face it in 20knots a board just does not need to be 1 metre wide ! Extra width is just extra drag. A well sailed Isonic (122/133) would match upwind angle of Formula in winds mentioned. Not sure about downwind though. Formula would stay on plane much deeper ??
Sorry, but having made the comparison on the water I cannot agree:
as already written above, me nad PG have tried it and Formula was unbeatably faster than Slalom Upwind, even in 20 kts.

Moreover, I sail both Formula and Slalom and would have no big reason to bias towards Formula apart from it being consistently faster.

Still would be grateful if anybody else has made/seen this comparison and would like to share it with us?

With Best Wishes,
Aco

Floyd
2nd January 2009, 05:43 PM
Cant see any physics that would suggest your case always true.
In 15 knots Formla no doubt at all.
But by 20 knots with boards speeds over 30 knots (with efficient slalom kit) extra width of Formula and depth of fin would be limiting board speed not increasing it.

Would be very difficult to demonstrate because of varying winds/ability etc etc but any races where strong winds are the norm are inevitably won on slalom kit. (Eg Defi as mentioned earlier)

Yes fair enough Defi has little steep upwind legs but upwind ability is often underestimated on slalom kit. At higher speeds attainable on slalom you are by sheer nature sailing closer to wind. (ie aparent wind coming more from front faster you go) VMG of slalom would be better. (IMO)

In 20k slalom/speed kit board capable of at least 30k. Think Formula would max out at 28 ish. (I`ve never got my Formula over 28knots in any wind; Had an FX (and a Carve) over
34.
Doesnt really make sense for a board primarily designed to plane ASAP to beat one exactly designed for 20 knots ?? Something wrong there !

Take care

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 11:00 PM
Floyd, as you probably know very well, the Formulas were not exactly designed with early planning as the main goal, rather it was meant to be the fastest machine when sailing up/downwind in wide range of planing conditions, including over 20kts of wind. Sail tuning and ride technique are the key to having fun on a Formula in these conditions, when going up and downwind at speeds often faster than the BAF crowd out there. In the winter I usually only take the Formula to my spot and use it for fun in up to twenty-something kts of wind, as I do not want to fall to the water at winter temperatures.

Btw. the questions posed in the thread were not IF to ride Formula or not but HOW to do that in these conditions.

IMHO, to be successful, sail and board trim is a must and technique is the next required item, both can be built-up with sailing in different conditions and with some effort made to understand how the sail and sail/fin balance works and what to change and when...

Cheers,

Smok

Unregistered
2nd January 2009, 11:15 PM
Formula was designed with early planing TOTALLY in mind.(Thats why they are 100cm wide )All future efforts have been to combine this quality with semblence of higher wind control.
Its when planing is problemtatic for other boards that Formula excells. They are the ultimate in early planing;not control (or even VMG or speed) in 20knots plus.
Formula boards are incredible pieces of kit but lets not exagerate their abilities.
In 20k plus they would not be my board of choice.

Ken
3rd January 2009, 07:38 AM
I would guess that the vast majority of formula sailors race formula. Not many recreational sailors would buy a formula kit for fun. The average sailor does not want to invest in the big board, big booms, big sails and long masts. However, once committed to formula, why not blast around on an 8-15 knot day blowing everything else off the water.

Formula is not for everyone, but for those that have gone that way, it's clear why we do what we do.

Where I live, I am sure that sailing formula allows me to increase the number of days that I sail by 50%. Why not be on the water when the "short board" sailors are at home wishing for more wind?

Ken
3rd January 2009, 07:50 AM
Floyd,

If you really understand what VMG means, NO slalom board can beat a formula upwind or downwind period.

Back about 9 years ago when formula established itself, I was still racing a course slalom board against the formula boards. Big mistake, I had my ass kicked several times before I bought my first formula board (F175). Before formula the course slalom boards (70 to 85 cm wide) were the fasted course racing boards around (upwind and down course) if there was at least 12-15 knots of wind.

In the right hands and in 20 knots of wind, I don't think there is ANY sailing craft that has a better VMG than a formula board.

Unregistered
3rd January 2009, 05:35 PM
Yachting Encyclopedia Definition

Velocity Made Good (VMG): The speed of a yacht relative to the waypoint it wants to reach.

Its not complicated Ken. Important bit is "wants to reach".

Slalom could quite easily have better VMG !!!

Ken
3rd January 2009, 11:03 PM
Unregistered,

"The speed of a yacht relative to the waypoint it wants to reach".

It it seems to me that if you have a 1500 m upwind leg and it takes a slalom board 10 minutes to reach it and a formula board 8 minutes to reach it, then the formula board has a faster VMG.

On the other hand, it the mark is a beam reach, then the slalom board would have a faster VMG than Formula, but my comments related to upwind and downwind, not beam reaching. Everyone agrees on who's fastest on a beam reach.

A slalom board will not be faster upwind or downwind than a formula board.

Unregistered
3rd January 2009, 11:29 PM
Two things Ken

1) Question never said anything about "upwind" legs.Poster hinted he was finding "formula" difficult in 20knots +. ;hence advice 'Try Slalom kit ???

2) Your interpretation of VMG (saying without doubt Formula has better VMG .period) is utter nonesense.
Velocity Made Good is about where you want to go !
In all races (and even speed,apart from perhaps GPS timed events;where it wouldnt matter where you attained "Velocity") the board with best VMG always wins. Formula does not always win everything; therefore your statement is WRONG.

Formula has best VMG to upwid buoy in "most" conditions.
Formula has best VMG to downwind buoy in "most" conditions.

How on earth can a board with slower VMG win any race ????
Slalom always wis races such as Defi. But not according to some Formula sailors ????

Unregistered
4th January 2009, 02:54 AM
Unregistered, you are arguing for the sake of it. Clearly, VMG is inapplicable to the discussion of sailing on a beam reach because there is almost no measurable leeway angle when sailing a board specifically designed for beam reaching performance. Everyone who knows racing understands that "VMG sailing" means sailing to a mark (high or low) at a speed and angle combination that delivers the board to the mark in the least amount of time. In other words, VMG is "actual boat speed after adjusting for such factors as current and leeway." VMG is the upwind or downwind vector of boat speed.

Again, beam reaching to a mark is included in the literal definition of VMG sailing, but is understood not to be part of the context. You can't simply redefine a term of art in an attempt to make your point that FW boards are slower on a beach reach than a slalom race board in 20 knots. A point which, by the way, nobody cares to dispute.

Moreover, the first poster did seek advice about sailing formula in 20 knots. I assure you that whatever advice may be given that pertains to racing FW gear in 20 knots pertains to sailing FW gear in 20 knots sans racecourse. Additional advice that does not apply to FW racing may be helpful to the non-racing sailor sailing FW gear.

Either offer help that pertains to the question or offer nothing. Your position is akin to suggesting that a driver try a family estate wagon with auto transmission after the driver seeks help with driving a 1991 Porsche 911. Your observations are interesting but not germane.

Unregistered
4th January 2009, 08:18 AM
Speed boards are the fastest, yeah so cool
but
slalom boards are fastest on a slalom course
and formula boards are the fastest on a windward leeward race course.
wave boards are best at wave sailing!!
bet you didn't know that.

Floyd
4th January 2009, 05:23 PM
Actually Unregisterd (both of you) VMG has nothing top do with windward marks.
Its purely and simply the velocity made good taking into account leeway;tide; water flow (or whatever)in the DESIRED direction.

Slalom boards have fantastic VMG; even upwind when everything is taken into account.
It is relative; even a humble low volume waveboard in rough/big wave conditions can easily have the best VMG.ie its only one sailing !!!

Yes Formula in some conditions has best VMG in SOME directions. (never all )
Slalom in 20 knots may well have better OVERALLL VMG even to a winward mark.(Isonic 144 versus Formula in 25 mph ???)I wouldn`t like to decide.Suspect it would be down to sailor.

Speedboards on their day have best VMG to end of speed course.the DESIRED direction. There is a tendency in sailig for disciplines to hijack phrases thinking they are there own.This is one of them. VMG is a generic sailing (and flying;canoeing;walkingetc ) term.

Think we need some wind !!!

Ken
5th January 2009, 03:20 AM
Floyd,

I think we are all still learning what VMG means.

After reading what I copied from a Wakipedia article which I pasted below, it looks like in this author's definition, VMG is only relative to an individual craft trying to get to the windward or leward mark as fast as possible. Comparing VMG between different boards is of no value since each craft has one and only one VMG in a particular situation. Two boards could have very different angles of approach to a windward mark (one higher and slower and one lower and faster), with both reaching the mark at the same time. Which as the best VMG? Neither, but board speeds would have been quite different. One sailed a longer course with greater speed and one a shorter course with slower speed. In other words, VMG does not apply to beam reaching since the angle of approach is a straight course, unless there is a strong current running then VMG would apply.

VMG is not just speed, but a combination of both speed and angle of attack to get to mark that can't be reached on a straight course.

From Wikipedia:

"Velocity made good, or "vmg," is a term in sailing, and specifically yacht racing, that refers to the component of a sailboat's velocity that is in the direction of the next mark. The concept is useful in sailing, because a sailboat often cannot, or should not, sail directly to a mark to reach the mark as quickly as possible. Sailboats cannot sail directly upwind, and it is usually less than optimal, and sometimes dangerous, to sail directly downwind. Instead of sailing toward the mark, the captain wants to choose a point of sail that optimizes velocity made good.

Consider the scenario of a boat trying to sail directly north, with the wind coming also directly from the north. Because the boat cannot sail directly into the wind, the sailor must alternate between northeast and northwest headings, which are commonly called "tacks." On a northeast tack, the sailor will generally point the sailboat as far north as it can go while still keeping the winds blowing through the sails in a manner that provides aerodynamic lift that propels the boat quickly through the water, then they will fall off to a certain degree to create more forward wind pressure on the sails and better balance of the boat, which allows it to move with greater speed through the water, but with a less advantageous angle toward the mark.

A good sailor can intuitively strike the balance between speed and advantageous angle within a certain range of degrees, because the boat will either obviously slow down too much or get too far off course. To find the optimum angle with more precision, though, the sailor will want to determine the velocity made good, which usually requires computation and instrumentation.

Suppose you are on a setting of 60 degrees NE, and the speed of the boat is 5 knots. By falling off to 65 degrees NE, you can speed up the boat to 5.2 knots. Is the extra speed worth the less direct progress toward the mark?

The answer requires basic trigonometry. In both cases you want to know the northward component of the velocity vector, which requires taking the cosine of the angle between north and the sailboat's heading.

cos(60) * 5 = 2.50 knots made north (vmg)
cos(65) * 5.2 = 2.20 knots made north (vmg)
In this case, the more upwind setting clearly makes more velocity made good toward the mark, despite the lesser speed."

For what it's worth.............

Actually I had some wind on Jan. 1 and again yesterday. Sailed both days on an iSonic 111 and a Maui Sails 6.6 TR4. It was 84 degrees in Dallas, TX yesterday.

Unregistered
5th January 2009, 06:33 AM
Yep; Wikipedia says
"VMG is velocity of board in desired direction" but then goes on and on and on.....
Nice one Ken
For what its worth I went out on mountain bike today.Hot and sunny.

Unregistered
5th January 2009, 03:14 PM
most of freeriders have an oppinion that their TOW has more value and quality comparing to Formula. often they fail at first attempt to lift formula sail off the water because of weak back. but they are majority and they enjoy feeling themselves members of majority tribe. they don't enjoy sailing:) they enjoy being not worse than others in their tribe:)
I sail formula or wave depending on water conditions.

Unregistered
7th January 2009, 02:20 AM
Actually Unregisterd (both of you) VMG has nothing top do with windward marks.
Its purely and simply the velocity made good taking into account leeway;tide; water flow (or whatever)in the DESIRED direction.

Slalom boards have fantastic VMG; even upwind when everything is taken into account.
It is relative; even a humble low volume waveboard in rough/big wave conditions can easily have the best VMG.ie its only one sailing !!!

Yes Formula in some conditions has best VMG in SOME directions. (never all )
Slalom in 20 knots may well have better OVERALLL VMG even to a winward mark.(Isonic 144 versus Formula in 25 mph ???)I wouldn`t like to decide.Suspect it would be down to sailor.

Speedboards on their day have best VMG to end of speed course.the DESIRED direction. There is a tendency in sailig for disciplines to hijack phrases thinking they are there own.This is one of them. VMG is a generic sailing (and flying;canoeing;walkingetc ) term.

Think we need some wind !!!

Floyd: Respectfully, umm, no. At least not when people are talking about VMG in a racing situation. For example, when two boats are racing in proximity to each other each may not be sailing in a way that takes them to the mark in the shortest time. Covering a competitor is one example of this, but the time must come when the boat ahead breaks cover. In sailboat racing vernacular, this decision is communicated to the crew with the command "Go VMG."

It's certainly true (as you point out) that VMG by definition applies to every boat/board individually at any time, in any direction. But the point of debate is not whether two types of boards have different VMGs when sailing at divergent angles, but whether one board type has a better VMG when each are sailing at the SAME angle. So the question about whether a slalom board has a better VMG than a FW board can only be answered in a common-sense way. That is, since the slalom board cannot sail as high as a FW board, does the FW board have a better VMG at the angle limits of the slalom board. The answer is a resounding "YES" because the basic speed edge of the slalom board dissolves at the the limits of its tacking angles. FW kit will go faster over time and be able to maintain its sailing angle whereas the slalom board will need to foot in the lulls. Thus, the FW board has better VMG.

-Dan

Unregistered
7th January 2009, 03:14 AM
Except at 90 degrees to wind or in really rough conditions or ... or...
Amazing how racers put their own spin on things to make point.

Point was (and is) VMG is relative to type of sailing.

Unregistered
7th January 2009, 03:15 AM
And what lulls in 20knots + ???

Ken
7th January 2009, 03:28 AM
Unregistered,

Not sure what you mean?

All boats/boards will typically foot off in a lull to maintain speed, then head up again in the gusts if sailing upwind. Just the opposite if running down wind.

Unregistered
7th January 2009, 04:08 AM
Thought you beared away in gusts to stay with it and headed up in lulls to increase apparent wind !
Besides think he meant question was posed assuming 20knots +.Introducing lulls obviously leans towards Formula ;but that wasn`t question.. !!!
Big Isonics;Exocet Slaloms;JP super slaloms are just small Formula anyway so cant see sense in argument .
There must be a point where Slaloms beat Formulas upwind its just a matter of in what wind.At some point width of Forrmula has to work against it.Not sure when though ?

Unregistered
7th January 2009, 06:58 AM
If a planing board is sailing as high as possible, it sails on the very edge of planing. In other words, sail the board higher and the board slows and falls off a plane. In the same way, by sailing into a lull, the apparent wind swings forward for a moment as the speed over the water is at a higher ratio than the wind speed from a moment earlier. This is the very same thing as heading up. So the board must head down to compensate. In the next moment (and this is what most everyone feels) the pressure in the sail drops and the board slows. A slower board means that it cannot point as high, so the sailor foots to keep speed up and pressure in the rig by keeping apparent wind high.

Back to the slalom/FW comparison: A slalom board can sail, say, 40 degrees to the true wind while a FW board can sail 30 degrees to the true wind. When the slalom board is sailing at its highest angle the FW is not even close to its highest angle. The lull, therefore, forces the slalom board down while the FW board keeps trucking at the same angle. Remember, lulls act as headers while gusts act as lifts.

I'm not certain about the question about no lulls at 20 knots. All wind has lulls and their existence has virtually nothing to do with average wind speed. On the other hand, if each board is tuned for 20 knots, the slalom board clearly has less range on the low end than FW kit if for no other reason than the high power of the FW board's tail and fin.

Whether you bear off to keep control or head up really depends on what angle you are sailing. Bearing off is the way to go if you are heading downwind anyway. Certainly on FW kit, heading up increases apparent wind speed and tends to force the board into a wicked round up since FW gear comes with huge "weather helm" by design. If you are heading upwind, bearing off not only points you in the wrong direction but radically increases power in the sail since turning down exposes the sail more directly to the wind. This effect is why beginner FW racers have a hard time bearing off around the windward mark.

The width of a FW board's tail always helps control upwind as long as the fin and sail size matches the wind speed. I've raced both slalom (not the new wide-board slalom racing, though), course-slalom boards and FW. I've never found sailing upwind to be a problem for FW gear -even in totally overpowered conditions. That's not the case for more narrow tailed boards which tend to bog down, spin out or blow up when sailing way overpowered upwind. Again, the harder part in FW sailing is sailing wickedly overpowered across the wind or downwind.

-Dan

Ken
7th January 2009, 08:57 AM
Poster #64 nailed it on the head.

Slalom boards will never beat a formula board upwind, in any conditions (1 knot to 40 knots), assuming both boards had the appropriate sail size. In sub-planing conditions (I have raced formula like this a few time in local club races) formula will slog upwind better than any slalom board (70 cm fin & volume makes the difference).

Formula boards will plane quicker than slalom boards so once there is 6-8 knots of wind, a formula board will plane with a 12.5 m sail and can point a little upwind. A slalom board will still be slogging. At about 10 knots, both could be planing, but the formula will point significantly higher with as much or more speed. As the wind picks up, the slalom board may close the difference a bit, but it will never match the formula board. As poster 64 says -

"I've never found sailing upwind to be a problem for FW gear -even in totally overpowered conditions. That's not the case for more narrow tailed boards which tend to bog down, spin out or blow up when sailing way overpowered upwind."

Top formula sailors can handle 9 & 10 meter sails in 30 knots (upwind and downwind). Put them on a 6.5 or 7.5 and they probably could go up to 35+ knots if the water was somewhat protected without huge chop. Upwind doesn't matter much, but running downwind can be pretty wild in rough water in 30 knots of wind.

steveC
7th January 2009, 09:11 AM
Well Dan, a very insightful and informative post. Although I'm not a FW sailor, I can follow what you're saying, and I tend to agree. In my view, the importance of the complete kit as a whole, and what's designed to do best, is paramount in the performance outcome.