Here's the gear list for the event: http://www.fw-australia.com/2008/wp-...ist-fw2008.pdf
...and for interest, we've put up the courses, prize list and a few extras you can find on the mainpage (www.fw-australia.com/2008/
Lots of interesting things on the fins again, but at the same time it was still possible for guys to do well on the standard fins from 5 years ago.
Steve Allen used a Hurricane fin most of the week (which REALLY threw me, because it had a lot of torsional twist - generally speaking, most of the fins that are fast now are super soft in flex with rock-solid torsional stiffness to get the speed, this was the exact opposite, so I really don't know how it was working).
Jesper Vesterstrom used his usual Kashy's from this season. There were a number of NSW sailors using the new VMG Blades being developed in Sydney. They are pretty new on the scene and I'm not sure if there's plans for production of them at this point. However, I have tested a few in the last few months (only the F models, not the new K which everyone is using) and I was super impressed with them. They are again following the trend of the super soft fins with absolutely no twist which I think seems to be the way to go with fins these days but have a different looking foil which is really cool and seems to be very fast downwind.
I used a proto R16 70 S-- from Steve most of the week (payment for me lending him my new Vapor board). A little annoying that this fin was really sweet because I've tried R16's before and they DO NOT work in the Starboard boards so I wouldn't suggest anyone buying one for these boards, they work far better in the F2's. This proto is obviously so far different to anything a "mere human" can order from Deboichet (I'm really hoping with the new fins on the market this year, the "fin gap" will hopefully subside and everyone can finally have comparitive gear).
I used an R13 70 S from 5 years ago in a few races also (light and heavy winds). Such a great fin. Its still on par with the best and I recommend everyone to have a good R13 in their kitty if you are sailing a Starboard of any model.
Jesper Orth punished me all week on an even older R13 70 M, so they've still got the goods. I felt my R13 struggled a little on the lightwind day on friday compared to the other sailors on Kashy/Blades/Hurricanes etc, however it was fast downwind so I still liked it.
I actually felt all week I wasn't really the fastest around the course (even inside the top 7) because these Kashy/Blades/Hurricane softer fins appear to be better all-round fins than my R16/R13 which were a little specific in the breezes they were working. But this was a lot of fun as you really had to switch on and make sure your starts/laylines/tactics were perfect as there's still a lot of ground to be made up around the course through just "sailing" rather than your gear.
Its hard to know whether to tell people to buy new fins all the time as yes, they do make a big difference, but you really have to package it with your sailing ability and knowledge and there's so much speed to gained around the course with simply your starts. Believe it or not, as soon as Jesper Orth beat Steve Allen and Jesper Vesterstrom off the start in the first race he won by a streak. Once you are in front you have clean air the whole way... Jesper Orth probably wasn't as fast around the course as Steve/Jesper all week, just better at starting in that first race. He didn't spend any money on super fins compared to others...
Thanks for checking out the event.