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19th June 2012 09:59 PM
Gyurmo hi,

would be nice to have two windsurf, two kite and six sailing classes... but this is absolutly irrealistic, the "sailing" give up another two classes for kite.

the selection of all the olimpic sailing classes show the sailors and the future of the sailing sport is NOT important for the decision makers. only politics, which classes have the best lobby. windsurfing lobby is catastrophy. who let to drop out windsurfing??? someone responsible for that...

rs:x was happy, they did not have to fight with any other windsurf aspirant in 2012 only against kite. (in 2004 11 boards fight for the olimpic class.) i think rs:x class though they dont have to do anything for keep the olimpic status.

16th June 2012 09:18 PM
relating the Olympics to "the average recreational" sailor /kiter.

An interesting read.
it will be interesting to see when the olympics come , the practical aspect of kiting at the games.

More specifically how an olympic incarnation of kiting ie: a four finned mini formula board if that be the choice ( the 2x 40 cm long race fins forward and 2x 36 cm long race fins on the back) will relate to the "all around recreational kiter"

Now specifically I say board versus the kite, as i think the kite technology will trickle down , theres still gains to be made , but I dont think the much if any aspect of the board will.
It could be possible that the olympic kit will be so outside what a regular kiters does it will be almost alien. Will that matter....time will tell, i dunno.

Now one could argue the RSX did not translate to the "all around windsurfer" . But an RSX was aspects of what was already on the market. Big rigs, cambers , high aspect deep fins, high carbon components and wide style boards have a place in many recreational quivers.
An RSX while not ideal or affordable represented aspects of "all around windsurfing" in many peoples kit.

But what is "All around recreational windsurfing". Better yet what conditions does one need to have to do it, and how accesseble is it . Well lets look at an ideal sailing craft.
1. moving in any wind strength. 0 to max wind ( there is an upper limit to any craft)
2. in any wind direction.
3.in any area with water depth , shallow is the limit here.
4. easy to transport, and rig and launch.and can launch anywhere.
5, self rescue at any time.
6 relatively affordable

So how does windsurfing fit in the above criteria? I would say it is the best of any sailing craft i can think of . It fits all the criteria 1,2,
3 fin depth minimum,
Kiters do not satisfy
1, zero wind to ?
2 is very problematic
4 cannot launch or recover in confned area..
5 nope ..very bad..
Windsurfers have one , ONE limit, water depth deeper the fin or semi retracted centreboard but how much of a limit is this?
how many dingies, foilers , catamarans, keelboats or specailty cats can fullfill the criteria and be inexpensive and yet can go relatively fast. Even a starbaord start can hit speeds many olympic craft cannot!!!
. This means a windsurfer is the easiest best simplest sailing craft to execute sailing , almost anywhere ,anyplace, anytime!

and the IOC drops it......

good luck to kiting , I do wish them well ( yes even after my long diatribe ) lets hope the wind blows above 6 knots, it probably will , lets hope its doesnt then die mid race, or worse yet before the a start ...if so mayhem...
and perhaps olympic embarrasment.

but be proud to windsurf!! not everyone agrees thats OK.
but look at the above its the best all around, go anywhere anywind any direction , any water, bang for the buck adrenaline wind powered safe sport going.

15th June 2012 08:00 AM
Jean-Marc An interesting interview of assisting ISAF advisor was Johnny Heineken, who is the current Kite Course Racing World Champion:

"While we were there to test racing formats, on a basic level we needed to prove how high performance we really are.

Most people still think of kiteboarding as a sport that needs 15kts and up just to sail upwind, and many of the ISAF folk and sailors were of this mindset. In our own little world we know that we are some of the fastest craft on the water. If I am close to keeping up with Jimmy Spithill and the boys on their AC45 on San Francisco Bay, I can sure as hell knock the socks off the 49ers and Tornados.

We proved this in all wind conditions, sailing laps around the skiffs and multihulls at the trials in everything from 6kts and up (to give you an idea, we were reaching at over 25kts in 7-9ks of breeze). Higher and faster was the name of the game, and everyone noticed, including the ISAF president who spent much of his single day on the water learning about the gear and tactical side of kite racing."

Source : http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0403/

So, it looks like that racing kites are indeed capable of doing almost 3x the wind speed and can challenge an AC45. Hats off, that's quite impressive I reck'on.

Cheers !


PS: the Swiss won the cup twice but made a wrong choice at the end and lose it. Fair enough. I'm thrilled to see the R&D going on about rigid sails and foils and very pleased to see the action and drama with the AC45 world series. So, I'm sure the AC72 match racing in the San Francisco bay will be fantastic to watch from 5 to 35 knots of wind !
14th June 2012 09:42 PM
Unregistered And the AC45's were going deeper, I don't think the kite had more VMG. Overall you make a strong argument that the ISAF cliam is exaggerated. Still whilst your Lake Geneva exotics may be faster, I guess if the kites prove the fastest Olympic class then they will get some cache from that. If we don't get them thrown out before that happens....heh heh. I think boats like the 49'er are kings of most lakes in light winds though, and the kind of performance target WS have in mind.

ps what a shame Alinghi didn't look so good at the Cup. Looked like they had an amateur at the helm. :-)
13th June 2012 03:04 PM
Jean-Marc AC45 versus kite duel : 2 sides of the same coin ?

1) the "fantastic" kite movie:

2) the full lenght uncut movie:

The kite was trailing behind the AC45 for quite a long time. Only at the very end can the kite overtake the AC45. Please, note that both AC45s did have their gennakers deployed, but were they reaching their top speed that is 3x that of wind speed (similar to that of a D35 by the way) during these moments while exiting the San Diego harbour? I don't think so. Was it blowing less than 10 knots ? Hard to say, but I doubt it... Note the color of water at the end of the movie: darker blue usually means windier.

Fair enough. That video doesn't constitute a proof by itself that a kite is faster than an AC45 and I hope that folks at the ISAF did reach that very same conclusion. Hope to see a match race conducted in proper conditions one day to settle the question once and for all.

Cheers !

13th June 2012 01:57 PM
Jean-Marc Paul,

Thanks for the link to the video. Yes, Tornados are fast, but not the fastest in light wind. Sorry, I've never seen an AC45 nor Extreme 40 cats on our swiss lake as yet but I have the chance to sail against quite a number of fast sailboats in light wind on Geneva lake. One of the fastest so far that I met is a Decision 35 cat : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9cision_35.

In less than 7 knots wind, a D35 is faster than anything else on our lake, including Tornadoes, Ventilos, 49er, or even my Serenity + 11 m2 : no chance to match their speed on a beam reach. Even a foiler such as the exotic LX Mirabaud or the Pi28 Gonet have no chance :


In 7-12 knots wind, a D35 is still faster than anything else. I tried many times just to follow them on a deep reach with a large slalom board + 11 m2 sail. While I was speeding at Vmax 25-26 knots, they are doing 30+ knots easily. In those same conditions, I'm on par with a Bladerider whereas a Hobbie cat 18 is left behind very quickly.

Yesterday was a very interesting match race against the hydroptere.ch cat. In 10-16+ knots winds on a deep reach with iSonic 117 Wide + Reflex III 8.6 m2, I was speeding at Vmax 27-29 knots while they were doing 35 knots easily. Just amazing to see from behind how fast they are going over their 2 leeward foils...!

So again, I'd love to see a kite doing 3-4x the wind speed and beating either a D35, hydroptere.ch or even the defunct Alinghi 5 in less than 10 knots winds :


Cheers !

7th June 2012 09:18 PM
Unregistered Hi again JM. Thanks for your local experience, interesting perspective. As you say that is the offical ISAF trial report on which the decision was based. Now I'm a WS, but in fairness the report states the wind was measured from a drifiting boat. They had the worlds top guys too, and from eye wtiness reports they beat all other craft on the water, including the Tornado, on all pionts of sail, in all winds experienced. Tornados aren't slow, take alook at the Youtube of Xtreme40 v Skiff 18 youtube.com/watch?v=KjQpB-Snyr8. I agree all your points on practicalities, too numerous to list, and the GPS analysis is interesting. Where were the WSer's to point this out? Should have had the lightweight RSX to demo. Should have pointed out the perils of teaching kids kitesurfing on inland venues etc etc

Agree that Formula is actually quite a techncially regulated class, no protos allowed. I based my 12-15 knot guess for parity on the testing that KA did between their Formula & Moth riders: that crossed over around that range, and the Kite v Moth videos. Would love Ross Williams to go out and prove it was lower, but I still doubt under 12 knots Formula would get the angles.

Whatever it's not all about speed and the Div 2 video was nice, now a RS D2 with 9.5 demon VG7 would be perfect for summer...

4th June 2012 03:23 PM
Jean-Marc Here is the link to the report that "unregistered" was kindly talking about :


ISAF Kiteboarding Format Trials Santander, Spain, March 21-25
Technical Report

Page 5 of 33:


Equipment can be launched in app. 3-4 knots of wind, depending on current, wind variety and surf.

Kiteboards can sail and be immediately on the plan from 4-5 knots.

GPS analysis showed the following speeds and angles in 6-9 knots:

Speed on the Beat: 15 knots or 8 1⁄2 minutes /nm
Speed on the Run: 23 knots or 4 minutes /nm
Speed on the Reach: 26 knots or 3 1⁄4 minutes /nm"

On the GPS recording shown as "proof", there is only 1 event with a Vmax peaking at 26 knots and maybe another one at Vmax 24 knots over a period of 2 hrs. Was the wind gusting at more than 9 knots during those 2 Vmax peaks? Where was the wind being measured : on the beach, on the course or at a nearby airport weather station ?

The "proofs" shown in the report are highly questionable to me simply because some of my kitesurf friends are unable to reproduce some of the miraculous claims made in this report on our home lake.

1) "Kiteboards can sail and be immediately on the plan from 4-5 knots". Yes, that is correct but only in true 5 knots winds with a Speed 3 Flysurf 21 m2 kite and a XXL Flydoor board (170cm x 50 cm) or a tube 22 m2 kite and a custom Kite Race board equipped with 2x 40 cm long race fins forward and 2x 36 cm long race fins on the back. Below 5 knots, it's swimming time and rescue boat help on our lake.
With a standard equipment (a basic twintip board), the wind limit is more like 7 knots with an 18 m2 kite or 10 knots with a 12-14 m2 kite. On par with a standard Formula Windsurfing equipment.

2) None of our group of 20+ kiters can reach a board speed that is equal to 3-4x that of the wind speed in winds below 9 knots. Only specifically designed large cats can do that on our lake, as explained below.

Furthermore, to claim that "The class polars show that kiteboarding is one of the most performant of all sailing classes, including the AC 45 and Extreme 40s" is overly measleading and represents a gross oversimplification of what the reality is on the water.

In 7 knots wind, a Decision 35 cat can reach a sustainable speed that is equal to 3x the wind speed on our home lake. In that same wind speed, the defunct Alinghi 5 mega cat was reaching a sustainable speed of 28-30 knots, i.e., 4x that of the wind speed. Sorry, I just don't buy that silly argument that "kiteboarding is one of the most performant of all sailing classes". Not true.

No wonders why windsurfing is out of the olympic games with such a blown-up-on-steroid report. Go figure...!

Cheers !

4th June 2012 11:21 AM
Unregistered but nakaniko Absolutely agree, being the lucky and jealous owner of a Serenity MKII down here in Venice, Italy. Best board I've ever choosen and bought (and I currently own 10 boards of various types, 5 in Venice and 5 outside).
BTW in my home spot SE of Venice airport kites are forbidden, as in many other places.
4th June 2012 07:11 AM
Jean-Marc 26 knots reaching with a kite in only 6-9 knots wind ? 3-4x the wind speed ? That's pure BS all the way.

Reality check is that nobody is kiting in such low wind except 1 guy with a Speed 3 Flysurfer 22 m2 kite and a raceboard with 4 big fins on my home lake. Truth is that he barely exceeds 2x the wind speed, i.e., 12 knots kite speed in 6 knots wind. That's exactly what I do on Serenity + 11 m2 sail BTW...

Should the wind drop below 5 knots, the kite is swimming while I'm still flying full speed as described above. Should the wind drop down to 0, I can still pump the big sail and reach a top speed of 5-6 knots with the Serenity while the kite is still swimming and calling for the rescue boat.

Time to get to real hard facts and stop the kite fantasy...

Cheers !

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