To me it's always a matter of gains and costs.
Indeed the ability to "automatically" spill out excessive pressure is a desirable gain. Stabilizing the front part of the profile, I am not sure as it seems to me that modern cambered sails already have stability to spare.
Costs: the part of the sail affected by the counter-curvature gets an odd profile, probably non-efficient, as wetted surface is still all there and angle of attack is not reduced. Plus, by the pictures I see, this happens only in a small portion of the sail, and at batten #3 everything seems just as usual; so seems that such "mechanism" is actually working only down low, close to the sailor's body, where pressure can be easily controlled. Plus again, the area below the boom is reduced, and there is where most of the controllable power is usually generated. More, the sails look really ugly.
In the end, in my view: probably the same pressure reduction can be obtained by just sheeting out a tiny bit... so what use?
At this point, one could get the usual idea: change just for change, weird look, make people talk, marketing...
Well I have to admit I have never been a NP fan, so probably this has some influence in my views.On the other hand, my favourite brands are those that (hopefully/probably) would NEVER do anything the like. And this year expecially, looking at the news both in RS:R's and in my "favourite brand" comp sails, I am very very glad to have the views I have.
Last edited by geo; 9th December 2008 at 03:53 PM.