RE: Stop Formula XXL Sails!
I only just came across this post so I'm probably replying to more so the earlier posts than the latter... but just a thought from someone who is racing Formula internationally and involved in organising events on a national level...
I wonder whether making the limit 11.0m will breed a new type of discontent from the sailors who aren't full-time racers? ... I'm referring to the guys who race on a national/local level only and only sail on weekend usually - as they're the backbone of the class, not the full-time pros and top national sailors.
In Australia (where formula is VERY healthy), we are seeing that there's not as many new people coming into the class. The main reason isn't the costs, its because the fleet (who have been racing for 5 years) have got so good that newbie's are sooooo far behind in the races its embarrassing. Then they quit.
I race with 10.7m as biggest and am currently sitting in 5th at the Dutch FW Championships using an 9.5m RSX sail (racing against people on 12.0's). I'm getting up there because I'm happy to pump the entire downwinds and maybe 10-20% of the upwind. Think you're body is ready for that?? I don't think the average sailor wants to take fitness to that extreme level and do the sorts of damage an RSX sailor does to his body on a daily basis. Its not really that fun.
By having 12.0m sails, the older guys who don't like to pump can get on the plane with minimal effort. If you gave them a 11.0 they can plane in the same wind but they need to pump. I'm not sure if this would be the case in Europe but in Australia I think you'd find a lot of the older guys would quit because they don't have the fitness to pump off the startline for 200m and wouldn't ever get planing.
I’m all for keeping the class fixed at 12.5m. Why change. Its just a thought... I don't know what the answer is to make a discipline popular. It just seems everything in windsurfing these days is just a "fad"... just thought I'd bring it up though.
Interesting post so far...