I'd like to say few things in formula's defense:
1. if you want to plain and race, formula is it, it will give you largest wind range for
racing and plaining
2. depending on where your location there're great
deals on used formula gear, sometimes 15-20% of original price
3. if you're light, <150lb or so, you can get away with 9 or 10 m2 sail,
don't have to go jumbo >=11m2
4. it is a very technical/physical sailing, so training is the key to fully enjoying
formula sailing and taking advantage of it's potencial
5. in the last year or 2, boads/sails did noticebly improved in performance/range
6. when not racing, it could double as a begginer board, it's soo wide and easy
I can go on and on...
Originally Posted by Screamer
You haven't said where is your region and how windy it is? Apart from a few windy places, I believe a Raceboard will be a better option in a wider variety of conditions. I agree there with poster #5.
I've sailed (and competed a bit) in Div2, Raceboards, IMCO and Formula before I finally gave up and went to enjoy freesailing on my own schedule (but that's another story). I would say that a lot of people have put too much hope in Formula (me included) when they first appeared, with regard to light wind performance. Yes, it can plane in ridiculous winds, but when you have light, shifting, fluky, holey wind (as in most inland places and many coastal), a daggerboard and a long waterline is needed. Also don't forget monster Formula sails, 550cm masts and 300cm booms. How many people (both sexes and all ages) are willing to handle these?
Fun factor? Well I don't know how it's called when you shlog a Formula for miles, on a day when a 5 seconds 10 knots gust is the best thing on offer ;-)