In fact. In the end, many many things matter. I am sure a top notch sailor can be fast on almost any proper race sail. BUT. Still there are differences. Sails can be easy to sail, or not; can drain your energy out just to keep them in control, while on others your sailing sessions are just bliss 100% of the time; it can be easy to rig them properly, or it can be a nightmare that takes the fun out of the first few sessions in the season (and this can mean a lot for a recreational sailor!). Rig components may be well assorted, or not: think about the mast issue, there are people using NP sails that would never buy a NP mast for the obvious reasons we all know, and devote lots of time to find the "right" alternative mast.
In the end: if one can rely on large resources both in time and money, like a pro sailor or a very wealthy individual, I am sure he will be able to make the best of just any sail brand he picks. But if one is a recreational sailor, or even a competitive racer on a budget, I think he should better choose totally dependable stuff in order to get the most fun out of his TOW and the most performance out of his budget. This to me means quite a few sail makes are not an option, because of different reasons. In the end, my "reasoned" personal short list is very very short.
Last edited by geo; 28th April 2008 at 07:42 PM.