Different opinion again... at that level (race rigs), and talking from experience, the right mast is way more important and effective than the "best possible" sail. My advise would be to get a top class mast even if this forces you to purchase an used (recent and in good shape) sail. Just think how much direct effect a responsive mast can have on the rig while sailing, compared to the sail that just has to develope its built-in profile and rotate decently through jibes. What makes the whole rig react to the wind by changing and continuously adjusting its shape, is mainly the mast.
Well, this is true for most race rigs out there, but a bit less true for TR-3 sails, that have a peculiar shape and tension distribution that really takes part in the rig self adjusting, but this is another story. And does not change my idea about the importance of mast.
As for the boom, I agree about its importance, with a slightly different point of view. Feeling a rock solid connection to the rig makes sailing much nicer and provides more confidence and easier control. You can achieve this by means of a greater investment in a good boom (sorry to say this, I reckon I might seem a bit obsessed with the brand, but please please please be sure to take a good look at Maui Sails carbon booms before purchasing anything else) that will last more than your sail/mast combo and will pay back over the long time. I think that a (race/slalom) carbon boom is a good choice, considering economy alone, compared to an aluminum or hybrid boom 2 to 3 times cheaper; as for sailing feel, simply there is no comparison.
Last edited by geo; 4th October 2007 at 02:08 PM.