View Full Version : Web site versus reality Sail Sizes ???

29th December 2008, 06:40 PM
Seems to be a large anomoly in sail sizes choice between web sites and reality.

I spend a lot of time around Leucate (which is a fairly strong wind venue;wind often in excess of 25 knots).Most people there dont even own sails bigger than around 6 metre.In 30 knots sailors are on 4 metre sails.(On sea; perhaps 5`s on lake) Sailors on website here change down to 6.7`s at 30 knots ???
Whats going on ???
Think there`s a lot of virtual sailing going on.

And whilst I`m moaning (Christmas is over !)
How many sponsored sailors are there nowadays. I remember days when there was Robby and Bjorn. There`s hundreds now. (Not many by F2 now though !)

29th December 2008, 08:51 PM
i agree. When the wind here in Holland goes over 25 knots most people are on 5.5ish sails. Very few still sail 6.5 sails in those conditions and the freestyle guys are on 4.5ers. When we hit the rare 30+ knots everyone is down to 4.2 or 4.7 at maximum. When i hear of sailors pulling 7's at 26 knots of wind i tend not to believe them. I've sailed my 6.2 in a rising 25 knots and i could barely controle it for 100 meters. I was in plane right away but it was no fun sailing and i made some seriously painfull catapults so no way i'm ever doing that again ...

ps floyd why does it bothere you that there are so many sponsored sailors? See it as a good thing ;-) if you get good results you're now more then ever able to get yourself a little contract ;-)

29th December 2008, 08:54 PM
Sailors on website here change down to 6.7`s at 30 knots ???
Whats going on ???
Think there`s a lot of virtual sailing going on.

Can you link to some example of virtual sailing?

Cant it be that this guys use bigger boards or?
I don't know Iam pretty new to the sport.

My main question for you is:
Why do I get the felling that you don't like sponsor sailors?

Isn't that good that pros help the the development of new boards and as test riders.
I guess that they don't just give them a bunch of boards and say.
-Here you are and of you go have some fun.
They for sure committed to do a lot of work for the company's that sponsor them.

Ps.Yes, thank god Christmas is over.

29th December 2008, 10:14 PM
Obviously don`t dislike sponsored sailors and if I`d had chance/ability etc etc I would have taken up opportunity myself.
I wonder exactly who pays ?
Ultimately us.
There`s a balance between sponsoring sailors for progress / getting your product known/offering opportunity on the one hand and achieving domination through a sophisticated sponsorship programme on other.Wonder where windsurfing is ???

I do think there is a fair bit of the latter going on .

New sailors do look at race results and take notice of some of the "claims" on this site .Neither of which have anything to to do with 99% of the sailing going on. Go to any popular coastal sailing venue.
a) What size sails will be used in 20 knots ? (6 ish? and less if poss)
b) How many Formula/Speed/Outright slalom boards will you see ?(Probably none !)

I spend lots of time on East Coast UK. Never ever see Formula.Most common board 105 litre all round.Biggest sail anybody tries to use; 8 ish.(Sails carried tend to be 4 to 7 ) Exactly same Leucate. More so Feurteventura/Lanzarote/Greece.
Lots of sailors around Leucate have biggest sails of under 6 !

This is not the picture picked up on here !


29th December 2008, 11:03 PM
New sailors do look at race results and take notice of some of the "claims" on this site .Neither of which have anything to to do with 99% of the sailing going on. Go to any popular coastal sailing venue.
a) What size sails will be used in 20 knots ? (6 ish? and less if poss)
b) How many Formula/Speed/Outright slalom boards will you see ?(Probably none !)

I spend lots of time on East Coast UK. Never ever see Formula.Most common board 105 litre all round.Biggest sail anybody tries to use; 8 ish.(Sails carried tend to be 4 to 7 ) Exactly same Leucate. More so Feurteventura/Lanzarote/Greece.
Lots of sailors around Leucate have biggest sails of under 6 !

I fully agree to the upper part. Very few sailors will be using sails over 6.5 in 20 knots. Maybe the heavier guys like me but even I with my 94 K give up on my 7.6 when i'm hanging on by a thread so to speak in 20 knots. I've had it in 22 knots once and i was glad i could trimm it to accomodate that wind but it was exhausting, scary as ***** and dangerous.
However, floyd, you are forgetting that not everyone has the luxary of a spot near the sea or on the sea. Furthermore not everyone wants to wave/freestyle. The people that have so sail more inland are nothing with a 105 L unless they weigh like 60 kilo. So when they consider this and want to maximise their sailing they would choose to buy formula and/or slalomgear.
Though i none the less find it odd when i hear of people sailing 7.5 in 30 knots ... dude, you're nuts ...

30th December 2008, 01:40 AM
Fair point Crazychemical.

Would be good to see overall sales of equipment so we could get a picture of the "typical" windsurfer and her/his equipment.

Reading on here you sometimes build a picture of this "typical" sailor sailing Isonics and/or Formula with 10 metre+ sails. ?? Not seen an Isonic in regular use yet !!! (A sponsored sailor had one in Fuerte !!!)

Anyhow back to my gripes .

A) Too many sponsored sailors.
b) Exagerated claims about sail sizes and windstrength. (Why bother making sub 5 metre sails.Nobody needs them anymore !!!)

Warming up soon ! Need to go sailing !!!

30th December 2008, 02:46 AM
on the second hand market here in holland there are two main selling boardtypes: Slalom/speed(mainly the Sb (I/hyper)sonics and the fanatic falcons) and wave boards. After those there are the freeride boards. Very few formula boards.
Personally i'd buy and IS if i had the money :p but i don't so i stick with freeride and wave boards. You should really come to inland lakes here in holland, loads of isonics on the water here. But then again, loads of sponsored sailors (board shop sponsors, partial board/sail sponsoring etc, very few real deal sponsored sailors)

Hope you enjoyed the session ... i'm waiting for wind here ... and for these bloody exams to be over :p

we should get more detailed wave sailor stories online! The reason why we're seeing all these ridiculous sail sizes is because when a slalom sailor gets a win, immediatly we get to hear what sizes he was sailing, what boards etc. when a wave sailor wins, we get to hear about his moves and his board/sail, not really the size he was sailing in what conditions.

30th December 2008, 03:10 AM
I guess it depends a lot on your local conditions. In the year passed I've used Formula + 10.3 sail about 70% of the time, S-type 126 or Aero 127 with 8.5 20% of the time. The last 10% was on a 5.75 or maybe maxed 6.5. My 4.7 didn't leave the bag and I don't own a board smaller than 126 litres. The reason: I sail mostly on quite inland waters and I weigh around 100 kgs dressed up.
Anyway I feel comfortably with a 6.5 sail in 10 knots and maxed on my 8.5 in the same conditions. To me a 6.5 is quite small (as I use a 10.3 most of the time). I guess a lot depends on your weight. I often wonder if the "5.3 sail 102 litre board in 16 knots" guys aren't quite lightweight. I need a steady 25 knots and a 6.0 sail to get such a board working.

30th December 2008, 03:23 AM
Hi guys,

Was reading this thread and thought to myself that this sounds like a case of people overestimating the wind strength. Quite a number of times down at my local beach people claim is X knots. Then you pull the wind meter out and its vastly different. Estimating wind strength by the water state depends on too many variables, wind direction, temperature, open water vs inland, tides etc..

I'm 65kgs and sail Formula, Wave and Slalom boards. In 15 knots wind I can use both Formula with 9.8m sail, Slalom 90ltrs with a 6.7m sail and a Wave board with a 5.4m sail.

The size of sail that you can hold depends largely on the board size and width.


30th December 2008, 03:24 AM
You need 25 knots for 102 litres/6 metre at 94k !
Think you need a new board or a better anonometer !!

My Evo (92) works in 25 knots with a 5 and I`m 98 k !!

30th December 2008, 03:34 AM
Sorry Per,mis read your weight!

My Evo still works in 25 knots with a 5 though. (well a 5.4 anyway !) I reckon people always overestimate wind . 25 knots steady is blowing !!!
I`ve witnessed 40knots completely flattening everyone at our venue.Some still insisted they`d sailed (which they hadn`t;they`d survived) in 50 knots. (which it wasn`t)

Good point about sponsored sailors aswell.

Look on here.There`s literally hundreds.Stopped counting at 400 !!!

30th December 2008, 03:57 AM
Of course it depends a lot of which kind of board you choose. An EVO 92 has a tail width very close to that of my S-type 126 (only 1 cm difference) whereas a more traditional and narrower design will be very small at 92 litres.
I guess it depends a lot of the "quality" of the wind too. Do we talk average or steady? In my spot we don't have such a thing as 25 knots steady - it's inland. It means that where I launch maybe there's gusting 10 to 15 knots, further out it may be 20 - 25, falling to 15 rising to 28.. Quite shitty actually. On an open coast I guess you're right I could probably get a quite small board going with a small sail in 25 knots - if it's steady. In reality it means that where I surf now, if the average wind is 25 knots it could be anything from 18 to 32 knots so I would rig big (and hang on) to avoid swimming a lot through the lulls. Quite a bad but necessary habit. I once tried a 87 litre board with a 4.7 wave sail in around 25 - 28 knots. I spend about 5% planing on the thing, no where near fun.. It was a complete sinker to me.

30th December 2008, 04:08 AM
And yes you're quite right about people exaggerating about the wind. I do a lot of sail boat sailing in the Baltic sea and I often hear people talking about the stormy conditions they were out in (storm is 50 knots steady) when reality was 25 to 30 knots of wind. I once tried a steady 52 knots storm gusting 70 to 80 (!!!! official report not my exaggerations) in a 28 foot sailboat and it was complete way out survival for a three man crew. Actually I think very few recreational windsurfers are doing anything but surviving in 35 - 40 knots of wind (40 knots is a hell lot more than 30)..

30th December 2008, 06:11 PM
I tend to agree with Per. Helsinki is for sure at the coast, and winds can be relativly stable, but the windsurfing is very different from "sailing off the California coast". It is mostly small chop, and thus you see a fair share of Formula, Slalom and fast freeride boards. Quite a number of freestyle boards, and the waveboards come out to play when it is more than 22 knots (but it usually isn't :-( ).

At one of my home spots (Lauttasaari, http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=60.146461,24.870987&spn=0.020423,0.054073&z=14) I measure the wind (SW) on a rock at the beach, and by experience I feel that the gusts on the rock are about equal to the average wind some 30 meters out.

For me, at 100-105 kg naked:
- If the wind is 13 knots I will take a 9.0 (at 75 kg 7.0 is about equivalent)
- If the wind is 20 knots I will take a 7.0 (at 75 kg = 5.7)
- If the wind is 24 knots I will take a 6.2 (at 75 kg = 4.7)
- If the wind is 28 knots I will take a 5.3 (at 75 kg = 4.2)
- If the wind is 32 knots I will take a 4.7 (at 75 kg = 4.0)
- If the wind is 38 knots I will take a 4.2 (at 75 kg = 3.7 or smaller)
- If the wind is more than 46 knots it is more or less survival.

By the way, in the the gulf of Finland area we have quite a number of sensors to choose from, many with interesting offsets due to shelter (wind at sea same as top gusts) or height (reduce up to 8 knots).

30th December 2008, 07:59 PM
There are many issues that make us overestimate the wind we are sailing in.
First and most obvious is that many (if not most) stations measure windspeed at some height. (10m?) There is always loads more wind at 10m than at sea level.
Other problem is ground effect . Standing on a rock will not give accurate windspeed.Wind will bounce up; go around and always effect accuracy.
Our local Coast Guard station is worse than useless whenever wind has any easterly in it. (The station stands atop a 70ft east facing cliff)

We can sail in 40 knot winds (recorded by CG) in easterlies ! (If we can cope with sea state) Because they aren`t 40 knot winds !!!

I`m 103k. In 20 knots I`d use under a 6 metre on 105 litres.(Goya FXR) 20 knots is top of a F5 !!! Think there is loads of BS about sail sizes and windstrength. Not sailors I`ve met need or use bigger than I do. My biggest is a 7 which gets me going in 13 knots.
I could hang onto 7 in upto I`d guess 25mph but wouldn`t. I`d rig smaller ASAP.
We always look at holding onto big sails as long as poss. We should come at it other way.When can I get my smaller sails going !!!

30th December 2008, 09:16 PM
I once decided not to have bigger than a 7.5 and my S-type 115. I lost 60% of my time on the water from doing this. I always prefare to go as small as possible, but in 13 knots average I'd be on 10.3 or maybe 8.5 sails.... Maybe it's because I got bad habits from using too big sails most of the time, but as I mentioned earlier the quality of the wind matters a lot too.

31st December 2008, 12:15 PM
OK, but the rock (well, biggest boulder) in Lauttasaari where I make my wind speed measurements is just 0.50 m over the water surface (like standing on a floating dock). Meaning the measurements are taken at just above 2 m. And it is just 7 m upwind of where we beach/water start for the launch. In that sense it is about as accurate as hand measurements gets.

The only problem really is that there are trees close by (but not behind!) and this reduces the wind speed at the measurement point, and close to the beach. When I measure 24 knots (and then pick a 6.2) I record "sustained gusts". The gusts further out from the beach where we sail are a lot stronger, and the beach gusts ought to be close to the actual average wind.

But translating measurements to actual wind is always an estimate :-)

31st December 2008, 09:52 PM
Going back to sponsorship question
Wonder what Starboard`s budget is for sponsorship.
Must be half a million pounds or so ?
Must be 500 boards "given" away each year looking at numbers on here sponsored.

5th January 2009, 06:12 AM
I'm wondering if you guys are simply arguing at cross-purposes.
In different disciplines of our sport we sail in a different way.
Freestylers for example use the smallest sails – being on early-planing, easily-driven boards. And they rig their sails 'baggy' with slackened downhaul or less outhaul for increased power per sail size. Their concern is acceleration, not top speed.
Whereas slalom and Formula racers hang on to the biggest sails they have, downhauled fully for top end speed.
In 20knots I'm on a 5.2m sail, hopefully on a wave board. 25knots of wind and it's the 4.7m sail.
But I might also sail my iSonic with a 7.8m sail in similar winds.

Sail sizes used will depend on your weight too of course, plus the water conditions and board chosen.

6th January 2009, 06:14 AM
if you use the "sail calculator" on the web from James Douglass
then 25 knots for 100 kg person ideally uses a sail of 5.3
5.0, 5.3 or 6.0
significant ????

6th January 2009, 02:48 PM
Then how come everybody(well nearly) who posts on here uses 9`s (or 10`s and 11`s) in 30 knots. (read recent posts !)
There is a lot of BS about sail sizes and especially claims about windstrength sailed in.

7th January 2009, 01:30 AM
Well sail size isn't really that interesting. Some of the 9.0 or 10.0 racesails for formula sailing in high winds have an extremely loose leech and are seriousely downhauled to work as they are designed for: pointing like h... in heavy winds on a big wide board. They may compare with ordinary 6.5 rigs in power and planing. Again the guys who go on 9.0 sails in 30 knots do it because they need it - to win a race where the last few degrees on pointing are crucial -. Nobody else need to, and everybody else will probably have a better ride on their far smaller gear.

7th January 2009, 04:11 AM
And Per
How many of us could really use 6.5`s in 30 knots of wind.
I cant; mates cant.Antoine possibly .
But loads on here can !!!
I`d be on 4.2 in 30 knots.(easily)

7th January 2009, 06:09 AM
maybe people are mixing up apples n oranges :)

30 knots = 34 mph = 55 kph !!!!

you would not catch me near the water with anything more than 4.x
and even @ that - you better be damn good
one small swell and all the stuff practically blows away

how could anyone waterstart never mind hold something large > 6 in winds like that $%^&*(

7th January 2009, 04:23 PM
At last some reality on Forum.
Last 2 posters stick your nams on !!!

7th January 2009, 05:17 PM
No one,s mentioned the water state. In flat water you can hold down a much larger sail than in open water. 6.6 in 30kts is quite possible. For me (78kg) a 5.8 on a small board is a lot of fun in 30-40kts flat water

7th January 2009, 08:15 PM
In steady 30 knots (I translate that to 15 metres per second which is what we use in Denmark, or short - a gale) I (97 kgs) would prefare a 4.7sail. I've never had a smaller sail. Anyway I know lots of slalom sailors for whom a 6.5 is the smallest they have. I don't say it makes sense to me to use a 6.5 in 30 knots but in some disciplines (serious racing) some guys seem to carry very (unrealistic) big rigs. I have a mate who is a former national champion (junior) in formula sailing. His prefared rig for 25 - 30 knots is a Severne code red 10.0. When he comes blasting on this monster I may be struggling with my 6.5 or comfortably on my 5.75. He doesn't have fun but he wins races... A lot depends on the saildesign. If you made a 10.0 with the same shape as a freestyle sail, nobody would be ably to carry it in 20 knots.

7th January 2009, 11:12 PM
Per makes good points.

I have raced formula in 25-30 knots on a 6.6 (pros were on 9 & 10 meter sails). Since I am an amature, I would never choose to play or practice on my formula board in 25 to 30knots. In that wind, I would normally be on 4.0 or 4.5 on my 80 L board.

Body weight, skill and water conditions and type of board determine which sail to choose. I weigh 79 kg, but if I weighed 90 kg, I probably could have handled an 8.5 in the 25-30 knots on my formula board and 5.0 or 5.7 on my short board.

I also have adjustable outhauls on all my sails from 6.6 - 11.0. This clearly helps with the range of winds that I can manage on one sail. Throw in more or less downhaul and you have even greater sail range.

8th January 2009, 01:45 AM
In theory.Like the Tiatanic was unsinkable !

8th January 2009, 02:21 AM
In the latest UK "Windsurf" magazine there's an article about Guy Cribb (very pro - medium weight) and Antoine Albeau (seriousely pro and heavy) who cross the English channel on slalom gear.
Windspeed is 25 knots. Waterstate is very rough. Albeau consider this 7.2 weather and Cribb 5.0 weather. They agree on a compromise on 6.7 and 5.8 sails for the crossing not to seperate too much. The crossing takes six hours on the same tack (not for kids). They use 110 and 111 litre boards with 30 and 40 cm fins...
I guess that in 30 knots over a short distance their sails could have been like 6.5 and 5.2. Just guessing, and these guys aren't ordinary.

8th January 2009, 02:49 AM
Yes but dont forget thats a UK 25 knots. Not one of Ken`s !!!

8th January 2009, 02:50 AM
Sorry Ken.

8th January 2009, 05:21 PM
Are we talking the same language at all?
1 knot = one nautical mile = 1.852 km... ? 20 knots wind = 10.28 metres per second..


8th January 2009, 07:43 PM
Just a minor correction ..... knot is not = one nautical mile, because it is a velocity unit. It is one n.m. PER HOUR (or roughly half a metre per second).

Back to this thread topic, when I first saw the title, I thought it's about sail ranges quoted by the manufacturers (almost without exception, boards can comfortably carry a bit less than quoted). Then I realised it's about good old "man, it was at least force eight out there" exaggeration ;-)
Yes windsurfers are sometimes prone to skew wind strengths a bit. But there is also abundance of real, verified examples of sailing in stupidly strong, near suicidal conditions (red bull storm chase, etc.). While we're at it, approximately 2 monts ago, I went out with a few mates in the strongest wind we've ever sailed. Force 8 with frequent gusts of 45+ knots. Sails 4.0-4.5 and 80+ lit boards were way too big, and (none of us being an expert) we took a real good hammering: spectacular wipeouts, sails literally ripped out of hands, boards blown away whilst waterstarting, etc. For the next five weeks my ribcage kept reminding me of a particularly nasty splat landing ;-)
It was a long-awaited baptism of fire for my acid74 (btw, I'm 86kg freshwater sailor), and I've learned that such gales aren't out of reach for ordinary sailors. What I want to say is, with tiny equipment, good physical shape and, most importantly, right attitude, wind limits can be higher than expected.

Of course this doesn't mean I believe everyone behind a computer bragging around on the web ;-)

A few pics here:

8th January 2009, 10:39 PM
Thats true enough Screamer but conditions you talk of are not tackled with sails of 6.5 and above as some on here seem to think.(Its plain dangerous some of claims made)
And I still think we encounter survival conditions at a lot lower wind strengths than we actually think.
On one of these such days coast guard near us was recording gusts of 55 mph (approaching 50 knots) On beach where we were sailing highest we got was 35 knots (tide well out away from all obstacles etc and held as high as we could) And that was highest gust. Nobody had over 4 metre sails and at any one time out of perhaps 25 on water only a handfull were actually op and sailing.
IMO a true 45 knots (on water) forget it !

8th January 2009, 10:43 PM
By the way,

The wind speeds that I quote are not guesses or estimates. They are actual readings taken on the regatta committee boat and or iwindsurf.com stations at near the race site.

8th January 2009, 11:59 PM
An interesting topic. But what I've found over the years is that some folks like to focus on the peak gusts rather than the average, most likely resulting in some of the exaggerated claims.

Like Ken, I get much of my information about wind speeds from iWindsurf.com, so one can get a fair accurate picture of the lull, average and peak wind speeds by studying the graphs over the day. As is often the case, at many spots the spread from lull to peak can be quite sizable. So, it's my thought that the average wind speed can be skewed a bit in identifying it. Still though, I like to focus on the average a my gauge.

In my experience, sailing in the 25-30 mph averages is some serious wind, as the gusts can often range in the 40-45 mph range. If the fetch is huge in this type of wind, the rolling wind swells can easily stack up to 10-12 feet well off shore. When it gets like that I'm on my smallest gear (a 4.2 and a 65 liter board).

9th January 2009, 12:29 AM
Thats probably where problem lies.Its been my experiene that archive records from web weather sites are worse than useless.
Even got in touch with Windfinder about problem. I had a fortnght in Feurte and sailed once. According to archive should have sailed easily everyday got in touch to report discrepency; at first they insisted the records were accurate and but taken from different site.Fact was there was no wind on island anywhere. They then said their archives were simply a record of Forecast !!!
We had same with Coast Guard.Sat on beach and phoned him to ask wind.Reported back 20 knots. There wasn`t 10 !!! Even XC is at best inaccurate.It often reports good winds when there is little.
If you aren`t at beach with an anonometer dont believe it !!!

(Reni-Egli is pretty good;only one I know thats anything like anygood.)

Its always windy when you aren`t there !!!!

9th January 2009, 04:29 AM
Unregistered #35

I don't remember the whole thread here, so I don't know what claims have been made about 6.5, etc.
You can forget 45 knots if you wish, but to think that world is coming to an end at 35 knots is plain wrong IMHO. Actually we've measured MORE wind from a boat then meteo stations were reporting, on numerous occasions. I know I'm far from expert and I barely survived in one piece, but after that day 35 knots (peak) didn't look that scary.

On the contrary ;-)

Edit: Yes I know the difference between average main wind strength and peak gusts. But don't tell me you always rig for the average. Because where I sail that would most certainly disintegrate you along with your gear ;-)
Also when I say "peak gusts", it doesn't mean 2 seconds rare spikes. It usually means a few continious minutes of liquid smoke, while you pray it will end soon ;-)

Take care and fair winds

9th January 2009, 04:32 AM
Good points,

I have to admit that the top wind speeds that I mentioned were peak gusts. When I said 25 to 30 knots, the average speed was probably in the 24 - 26 knot range with gusts to 30 and lulls to 22. Regardless, for anyone to be able to handle a 10 m sail in 30 knot gusts is pretty amazing.

Clearly, wave action impacts this whole issue. In the shallow Corpus Christi bay in 25 to 30 knot winds, I said the chop was 1 m+. That's probably conservative. I don't know if any of the waves were head high, but the "period" distance between waves was very short. Running downwind & hitting the back of a wave with 25 knots of board speed can send you through the air until you land on the back of the next wave (maybe 3 m apart). That's the tricky part. On larger waves (open deep water) or small chop (protected water), it would be a whole lot easier.

The wind and waves in the bay do not match up. On a starboard run, you sail through the troughs and hit the backs of the waves at about 30 degrees. On the port run, you run directly over the back of the waves at 90 degrees.

Upwind is the same deal, so a starbord tack is tricky because you are heading directly into the face of the waves, trying to keep the board in the water. Coming off a 1m white cap with 10-15knots of board speed upwind can send the nose of your board vertical if you aren't focused.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of formula sailors that are better than me. All I am trying to do is share my experiences regarding what some sailors are capable of doing in some pretty challenging conditions. Unless you have been there with them, there is no way to completely understand what it is like.

I am sure that for those few that have sailed or surfed down the face of a 10-15m wave, it would be pretty hard for them to communicate to the public what it was like without the supporting videos that we have all seen. To bad we don't have any good aerial videos of formula racing in 30 knot conditions.

9th January 2009, 05:07 AM
Wrt Ken's comments:

Here is a clip of some Formula sailors in (what looks like to me) about 20-25 knots, and lumpy sea. Take note of the out-of-control moments at 1:36 and 1:49


Not my idea of fun, but these guys have my respect.

9th January 2009, 05:49 AM
I`d agree with your estimate of wind in clip and sailors are doing way better than I would but
a) They are on limit and beyond it at times.
B)They are at least 10 knots off claims made on here !(ie there`s no way its 35 knots on clip)
And yes I agree Screamer 35 knots is manageable.But for me its with 3.7 Ezzy(or 4.0 combat) /Evo 92 and 23cm fin.(I,m 102k at moment)At 45 knots you cant carry kit to and from water.(I know cos I`ve tried,a while ago was caught out in a Tromantane off Leucate.Just managed to make beach.Couldn`t carry kit up beach on my own.Nobody sailing.(Including current french Wave champion,who was last years French Formula champ .We all sat it out.Gusts to 43 knots) Perhaps there was a Frmula out I missed !

BTW Ken thanks for sharing your experiences of being there.I`ve spent last 40 years or so not being there !

9th January 2009, 07:01 AM
you are right the attitude is very important. I was on Corsica by the end of 2008 and there was a day like that. Minimum wind speed measured was 24knots, maximum of may be 20 measurements 55 knots, most of the time the wind was between 32 and 44 knots...and that on the beach of course. From the normall days up to 30 knots I know that further on the see the wind got a bit stronger.

I was ready to go with a 4.3 (95kg dry). In this case this was a bit too much, I could hardly waterstart, did one run to try it before I will go for a long run, and I went back on the beach not to kill myself.

"Tight your balls and go for it" usually works pretty well, sometimes is just better try some manuevers close to the beach first...:D

To the windspeed:

It all depends on how you measure the wind and which value you write down:
I do it like that, letīs say one minute measurement, the number shining the most of the time on my anemo (function average not available) ist the bottom limit and the maximum measured is the top limit...you see, it could be just one second maximum.

Ciao Michal.

9th January 2009, 07:13 AM
I could tend to agree with Floyd, the wind depicted is certainly strong for the sail sizes, but the fetch appears relatively short given the size of the chop. The relative sea condition is fairly flat for averages in the 20-25 knot range, yet the control factor exhibited in the video is certainly notable. You could see that liftoff wasn't necessarily that far away in the larger gusts.

Also, Ken brought up an interesting point earlier. The depth of the water when contrasted with the wind speeds, creates a different animal altogether. I don't tend to see the influence of the shallowness factor where I sail, but there's one spot where I sail where the fetch is fairly short with downslope wind that tend to be more offshore in nature, and the period between the immediate wind chop (separate from the longer distance wind swell) is very short. The wind can be averaging in the 25 knot range. That definitely affects your angle of attack on starboard and port to work the short period wind chop, to include the different direction longer distance wind swell too.

9th January 2009, 08:19 PM
Some more:

Never mind what's written here, I think the average is around 40, peaks higher.

This is even higher, look at the constant smoke over the water

Never mind the lunatic Dale Cook (overriged and overpowered on purpose), there are plenty of other sailors on the water. One of them commented on rec.ws about that day the video was taken. Normal people were on 3.5 sails, and the wind averaged 35-40.

Those helicopter shots near the end of a trailer give me shivers every time (I recommend watching the whole dvd).

Now can we please agree that people regularly sail in WAY more than 35? I know these guys on videos are experts, but in places like Tarifa, Columbia Gorge (and many others) a lot of regulars go out in these conditions.

Fair winds

9th January 2009, 09:29 PM
Screamer has it right - It's no fun sailing a formula board in high wind conditions. I only did it because I was committed to racing in the US Open (every one for the last 20 years). As I mentioned, I used a 6.5, which is unheard of in Formula, but my goal was to finish the races without crashing, and I was successful. Frankly, for me it was scary as Hell.

In the Corpus Christi bay, the fetch is 10 miles at the race site. The venue is at the north end of the bay with prevailing south or southeasterly winds. I don't know the depth of the bay for sure, but I am guessing that it is more or less 2 to 4 meters. This creates the nasty big chop. Also, at the finish line, there is back wash from a nearby seawall, which makes it even more challenging with the chop bouncing back a 100 degree angle.

9th January 2009, 11:10 PM
This is Leucate area

Have a look
I was taking piks both days honest(???)

Max gust I recorded was 38knots (2nd clip)

12th January 2009, 07:33 PM
Second clip looks more than 38knots !!!
First looks around 30 ish ??

16th January 2009, 08:40 PM
What sail size you can control is very dependant on the water state, the board speed and you angle to the wind. I sailed a 7,3 and an IS101 this summer in 20-25 knots of wind and flat water, when I was sailing on a broad reach @ 32knots the sail was very light in my hands almost weight less. When I sailed last Sunday in approximately the same wind speed and choppy water I was massively overpowered because I could not sail as fast due to chop and my slow board speed. Had I been wave riding I would need a much smaller sail so that I can sail slower in control without being overpowered.

Erik Loots
18th January 2009, 12:01 AM
I also doubt sometimes about quoted windspeeds.

However I know that (have seen it myself) pro-riders can handle for example:
-6.5-6.7m2 in 40kn @ that moment other windsurfers couldn't surf normal, even a few 4.2 widesleef were out. That was on the European Speed Meeting a few years ago, when I was a beginner. I couldn't believe my eyes...

The highest windspeed that will be 30kn for me to use my 6.7 RS Racing, the windspeeds are measured and freestylers are on small wavesails 4.0-4.5

It is sometimes giving a slalom/speedboard more control by using a big racesail, because a big sail is lifting the board higher out of the water. This is simply resulting in less bouncing. Pro-riders use this very often, not to impress, but for more speed.

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/SpeedsurfingBlog.1.gif (http://feeds2.feedburner.com/~r/SpeedsurfingBlog/~6/1)

20th January 2009, 08:50 AM
i think that the biggest point that people seem to be missing is the point of the main three disiplines....freestyle=high volume boards that take next to nothing to get going, so they use small sails to aid their manuvers....wave is all about control and turning ability, plus the factor that many people dont seem to notice when you see the pros on 60-70l boards and their 3-4m sails sailing jaws, you gota remember that as long as you can get up on the board after a fall, thats all you need after that when you catch your wave, aparant wind goes crazy and you are now able to use your uber small wave sail... i have personal experiance with flat water sailing (as i live in land) and we get the odd 35-40knt day in which the gusts are 35-40 knots. if you can hang on during the gusts or even sheet out a litle lay back in your harnais and reduce sail area, you can easily use a sail 6.0 on a 100l+ board, because you are rigging for the average wind speed which is about 20-25knts, easily doable with a bit of experiance (forget pro) on flat water. since there are no waves or obsticles, as long as you can hold the sail down, wile very scary and deffinately fast it is doable, and then you get to go on forums like this and say "i sail with a 6.5 in 40 knts!!!" personaly, with my limited experiance (2 very short summers) i can handle about 35knts with a 4.7 maxed out and a 88l board and thorowly enjoy myself at my current weight of about 70kgs dressed, but again, with very small onshore waves, maybe 2-3 feet max, and i meen MAX, so no problem obsticles wise ;p
happy sailing!
ps. a good reason why pros can use such sails in such winds is that they spend their entire day sailing instead of posting replys on forums like this like the average jo..;p
fair winds to all!

20th January 2009, 11:17 PM
Some more:

Never mind what's written here, I think the average is around 40, peaks higher.

This is even higher, look at the constant smoke over the water

This is BS all the way. This must be something like 70 km/h wind at best, not 70 knots. Come on guys, 70 knots is 12 Beaufort, 130+ km/h winds. You can't even stand up still on your own and measure wind with your anemometer on a beach. Get real. This is plain silly. As silly as standing upright on the roof of your car while driving on the highway at 130 km/h. Ludicrous.

It's about time to get real life figures here...

Cheers !