I have the Apollo too, and in superlight wind with it’s monster fin it is Amazing!
But,,,,I read the hype and fell for it. I wanted to believe that it would be far superior than a regular formula in light wind, and offer better all-round performance for heavier sailors than the F161. And it does,,,,,,,,, And it doesn’t,,,,,,, I was so convinced of it’s revolutionary concept that I raced out and ordered it before it was even released.
“The Apollo concept consists of a board with lower rocker, a wider nose and a wider tail combined with a softer, earlier planing rig concept. A new, powerful 75cm R13 Race fin with a reduced rake angle is included with the board to take full advantage of the efficient design.”
“The Apollo will be class legal in the Formula Windsurfing Class and inspire the currently most popular windsurfing class in the world to go for Olympic participation. It will probably provide better all-round performance than the F161 in light wind and for heavy sailors”.
“Remember what the Formula did for the Racing class and then imagine what the Apollo can do for the Formula class!.”
With it’s magic 75cm fin it does what it say’s on the box. But with race legal fins, It doesn’t even come close to regular formula boards. Given that we often race in over 10 to 12 knots.
Over a period of six months testing, my tuning partner and I found that with race legal 70cm fins fitted, the light wind performance advantage of the Apollo (it' main selling point) shrunk to almost nil (comparative tuning and testing was carried out with F159 and F161 models). At wind ranges above 12knots, it was totally outclassed. So, for an almost negligible advantage in wind under 12 knots (with 70cm fins), the price is,,,,, compromised performance over 12knots. If I want to be competitive in my formula class, I must now buy a board for when it blows over 12knots.
If the 35+ guys in our formula fleet all sailed in a series where the class was ”Apollo”, then my purchase would be relevant. However, not one other sailor I know is, has, or would race an Apollo in a “formula regatta” unless they had the luxury of having different boards for different wind strengths. And being the only one able to plane in 6 to 8 knots in a regatta with 35 other guys gets me nowhere. I can’t see our race officials allowing the fleet to start because that one guy with the Apollo was planing.. (albeit without his 75cm fin)
I applaud starboard for constantly pushing the innovation envelope. I am a dedicated Formula fan myself, and one day hope to see the best in the world racing formula in the Olympics.
But please may I remind you all that I am the fool here. I purchased before I knew enough. The mistake is totally mine. Next time I will wait for more testing and feedback before I rush out and hand over my money.
At least if the IOC accept Apollo class, I’ll be ready. Hee hee hee.
Still sailing, and still loving it.