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AlexWind 26th April 2007 01:10 AM

Stop Formula XXL Sails!
What a title huh? B)

Well I've been reading the Svein Rasmussen article on Uk Windsurf magazine and I've been wandering about his opinion on formula windsurfing "over 11 meters" sails.

No normal human being would even like to pull it out of the water he sais.

That's true! And I've read several times about team testers and sailors exausted for having sailed too long in FW equipement.

Are these way too big sails really necessary? Why for instance work in light and powerfull gears like i.e. Severne Glide?
It seams they've done a good work with that sail.

FW is not only a racing machine: many peolpe uses it to sail in marginal conditions (and the Apollo project is working even better in this way..). Many people buy formula for this intent..
So, as soon as the sails size is moved back to "normal being" size, they could be more and more people who can say: "Hey, why not even try a regatta?"
It'd be nice..

What do you think about that? (Directed to team starboard and normal recreational windsurfer :) )

Ken 26th April 2007 04:14 AM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I can't speak for the Team, but I have formula gear with an 11.0 as my largest sail. I may race formula 3 or 4 times a year, but I spend 80% of my recreational sailing time on the Formula board and race sails.

On a 8-12 knot day, I want to go as fast as possible, upwind and downwind, and the only thing that makes that happen is the formula gear.

With a little experience, you almost never drop the sail in these conditions. If the wind picks up to 15-18 knots, I have a tough time with the 11. However, I have an "Easy Up Haul" for both my 11.0 and my 9.5 in case I drop the sail.

Most of those out on 7.5's and 8.5's in 8 to 12 knots aren't planing, unless they are lightweights or on a wide, high volume board. If they are planing, they can't keep up with the formula board and 11.0


o2bnme 26th April 2007 05:41 AM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I figure let the people who want 11's and 12.5's have them. I'm happy with my 9.8 for now. I figure people bigger than me will want a larger sail to plane as early as I do with the 9.8. I guess that means I should be able to plane even earlier with the 10+ sail sizes, but I'm happy as it is.

I never read the article you are referring to, so it is hard to discuss the points he brings up.

I do recall trying a friends 12.5 once. I was on it for less than 15 minutes. He wanted to see me plane in next to no wind. I was able to get his gear up on a plane and going as he hoped. The next day, my back was sore from uphauling that monster sail. That's when I decided I wasn't going that route for now.

barks 26th April 2007 02:09 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I really don't see the problem. It's not like you're forced to use a big sail if you don't want to. Besides, some lighter sailors have proved very competitive without the largest sails. Jesper V (arguably the best FW sailor right now) seldom used more than 10.7 even in light winds last year, and did pretty well...

However, I regularly sail with a Vapor 12 in light winds and do not find it a hassle at all. True, I might be able to plane as early with a very soft/grunty 10.5 or so (if there was such a sail?) but I doubt it'd have the range of my 12. The 12 gets me going in like 9 knots (I'm no master pumper) but in the other end I'm still relatively comfortable untill the wind gets above 18ish knots. At that point I've felt overpowered on smaller softer freerace sails with less stiff foils.

Also, planing is one thing, getting upwind is something else. I get going at close to the same point with my 11 (that feels easier to pump) but once going the 12 goes way higher in low winds.

As for uphauling I have no idea why not everyone uses an Easy-Uphaul or similar. Heck, it's not like you have to buy the original (I don't) but a little piece of downhaul line tied onto your regular uphaul does the job. No hassle and it saves a load of energy. I'm 95 kg and can easily uphaul my 12 by hand, but I don't see why I should. I'd way rather spend my energy actually sailing.

AlexWind 26th April 2007 04:11 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
For those who hasn't read the article yet:

Despite the "strong" title, I'd like to discuss about this point. I'm agree with Mr. Rasmussen but many othere could have different opinions ;)

According to 12.5 meters, since I've read about many sore backs even in team riders I argue it's more or less a necessity to have souch big sails in one's equipement, maybe I'm wrong.
I know many competitors are smaller sails though..
Come on, replies replies replies ;)

Guest 26th April 2007 05:07 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
If you wanna sail for recreational purpose don't buy a Formula,go for a big freerace/ride board with a big no cam sail . You'll get on plane a bit later than a formula and,maybe,you'll have a smaller optimal wind range but everything else will be usefull .
I compete in formula and want go as highest and deepest as possible regardless of sail size.I'm faster on 10,7 and when in bigger sail I spend a lot of energy but it's the game!
Formula CAN'T be used if not well trained and skilled.People should know this!

Remi 26th April 2007 05:59 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
Hi All,

The manufacture like Severne & Neil Pryde don't produce anymore 12 or 12,5 sails. They found that it's not necessary to have so big sails on a formula board, the extra weight kill the performances.
So their bigger size are right now 11,6 and 11,8 and they are faster in light wind than the old 12,5.
Let's see in a near future if they can do a 11m who is beter than the current 11,6 and 11,8 in light winds.

All the best

AlexWind 26th April 2007 06:18 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
Well the formula is a racing machine but I also see formulas used by recreational sailors. Maybe not the last model but they've been used even in this situations.
It's not a matter of skill or training: team riders are of course skilled and trained but they also suffer of sore backs and so on, so there must be a "problem" somewhere..

Thanks Remi for your post.
Now we have the technology in order to make a sail fast. It's no more question about "how square meters" the sail is but it's a matter of profile, cut, "deepness" and so on..
I'm glad to see the market is moving this way.

If one thing is accessible to more people, than more people would even start competing, maybe only in little events..
Why not making then Formula accessible for more "normal human being"?
And don't forget the women!

Would a "non bigger than X square meter sail" rule help? I don't know for sure, maybe it would..

mark h 26th April 2007 09:56 PM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I'd love to have a 10m that was as powerfull as my NS 11m & 11.9m Warps, I would get one straight away. But at 105kg, until they develope a super powerfull 10m I'll have to stick with super size sails.

ThierryP 27th April 2007 06:27 AM

RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I read the article. Svein is spot on. The idea is (of course) not to prevent manufacturers from making 12m sails for guys who are 100 kgs, have the backs and shoulders to take this type of pressure on their bodies, or the lack of foresight to anticipate serious problems once they are over 40 (or are not planning to live to that age). The idea is to have a maximum sail size for RACING in the Formula class, to oblige sails designers to focus on making 10 m sails (or whatever size) that will be just as efficient as 12 m sails are today. Then Mark h, and all of us, can have our cake and eat it too! It is by limiting the number of tyres a racer can use, or prohibiting slick tyres in Formula 1, that we consumers get better tyres. Turbos were truly developed (the technology had existed for decades) when engine capacities were restricted for certain types of racing. By limiting the maximum size to 10m in racing, the sails designers woud only need to spend time designing a couple of sails sizes for Formula racing, which would result in outstanding sails, more manageable for everyone. Some brands would not offer to consumers anything bigger, and others would, just like today some brands have slalom racing sails down to 4.2 m, while others stop at 5.0.
AlexWind, congratulations on your choice of title, you got the attention that the subject deserves.

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