|22nd September 2010 06:25 AM|
sorry to say that the kites do have an advantage in light winds, assuming that there is enough wind to keep the kites flying. If the wind drops to 0-5 and the kite crashes, its game over. A formula board can bob along until the next gust. In solid 15-20, the top kiters can beat a formula board around and upwind/ downwind course. Perhaps I should say that Johnny Heineken, Chip Wasson, and Adam Koch can beat most if not all the formula fleet around the course in 15-20 knots of wind.
|13th September 2010 02:24 PM|
|13th September 2010 11:04 AM|
The formula boards have been racing on the same course with the kites this year in the SF Bay. The kites have made huge improvements in upwind speed with the quad fin, now three fin setups on the new wide style race boards. Downwind the kites are much faster, because they can go nearly dead downwind. They have given up a bit of speed downwind with the new boards.
On a short race course, the transitions make a big difference. Tacking a formula board takes a long time. The kites can tack pretty quick. The formula boards have a slight edge upwind and much slower downwind.
In the typical 18-24 knot breeze the best kiters are beating all the formula boards on a course with a 1 mile upwind leg. The power to weight ratio is higher for the kite.
|10th September 2010 05:27 AM|
There was an update to this theme earlier in the year I misssed at the time
short version; the kites are close but the Formula's upwind advantage is enough to give it an overall edge ....at least until 2011...........
|13th January 2009 05:11 AM|
|Unregistered||Fair point, in the end any planning craft has a greater minimum so lulls are crucial. The kite might actually benefit from the cleaner winds 25m up, but would anyone want to try when a real lull might mean kite in drink and board sunk ? Makes slogging a formula sound fun. The RS700 skiff has a surprising edge over even the musto. If the A cat was allowed a spi then my money would probably bo on that. Of course if we ignore class rules the formula (say Appollo or FX lightwind) would be allowed an 85cm fin. But you've still got to think the raceboard will be closer to the cat by the end of the lap.|
|13th January 2009 03:21 AM|
One point, though, is that all the comparisons that made the boards look unbeatable seem to be made in fairly medium to strong winds and open water. If we sailed in a narrow inlet, inland lake, puffy winds or light winds (like most places in the world where people sail) the dinghies and cats can rule supreme because of their light-wind speed and their ability to climb into lifts upwind and run deep downwind.
When the wind drops and a board or foiler starts slogging and the kite sinks, the cat keeps on hauling knots (and so does the Int Canoe or Musto Skiff, which aren't otherwise in the game).
The boards optimise themselves for medium/strong winds and fairly open water, the dinghies and cats don't do that to the same extent, so it's not really as if they are aiming at the same target. If the boats were optimised for the same conditions as the boards, the gap may shrink - but then the boats would lose their races in light winds, and probably lose sailors.
Some of the Moth sailors 'round here race against FW boards; they reckon the Moth v FW comparison is fairly accurate. As the KA/BR article says, in light winds the foiler is much faster than the Formula board.
|12th January 2009 02:19 PM|
|davide||Interesting how efficient a Moth is ... maybe it is time to get one! By the time the Formula seems to beat the Moth (if the data are accurate) I am on my slalom board ...|
|12th January 2009 06:13 AM|
Fastest around the course... what Ken Winners been up to
Been looking at the high wind formula topic, and speculation on the fastest craft around a short course (rules out maxis of however many hulls). Reminded me of what Ken Winners being doing lately
so for our shootout we now have
KA found the formula overtook the folier around 12-15 knots
Boards beat a top 18 upwind in 15 knots a few years ago, though it pulled some back downwind. Sailing with them I can easily understand that...boy they go deep. (Which figures as they still do well in the Brdige to Bridge downwind dash even if Micah holds the record). And if we restrict to singlehanders the skiff will surely be well beat.
A Cat class used to headline 'fastest singlehander' but don't seem to do that on their website anymore.... but that Glenn Ashby must be an amazing guy. Won the worlds using his own sails six times. And apparently went out W/S when the 25 knot day was called off whilst on the way to winning again with a day to spare. Respect.
That leaves the darkhorse as the .... kites. Actually the only type I haven't sailed in close company with. Now powerkites are fun on land but I've never fancied swimming after one and course racing around the top mark with rigs 25 mteres up sounds like carnage, and form what I've seen on you tube it looks like it too.