RE: Apollo Vs F161
You've brought up some good points here. The Formula is designed to cover the current Formula rules' wind range, but Apollo covers even lighter winds to invite FW to expand towards lower wind limits and thus allow FW to be candidate for London 2012. This applies to an Apollo fitted with either a 75cm fin or a 70cm fin, but of course the deeper fin is preferable.
The Apollo also allows heavier or not so good sailors to get planing when they would otherwise get stuck..
To get planing earlier, the Apollo is longer with a rockerline that glides onto the plane more easily than the shorter, more banana-rockered Formula that tends to push water before rising on top of it. The Apollo's wetted surface is designed to be extremely efficient and powerful too - the tail is very, very wide for a very high aspect ratio planing surface (think a glider's wing) and alot of leverage over the fin (gives you power but control too). All in all, the Apollo gets planing very early, earlier than any other board including the F161 and also keeps planing in the lulls very easily. The entire package of an Apollo board, a 75cm fin and a powerful soft sail like the Severne Glide could really make planing racing viable for Olympics.
Then comes the question of overlap. Below FW wind limits, there is no question, Apollo is the board of choice. At the lower end of FW wind limits, all of us here at Starboard would choose to race on the Apollo. Towards the middle part of FW wind limits, it depends on the sailor, his weight and personal preference, and finally in the higher wind range the F161 is the better board.
As Svein puts it: think what wide Formula boards with 60cm fins did to course-racing a few years ago, then think what super-wide tail Apollo boards (still below the 100cm FW max width limit) with 75cm fins could do to Formula Windsurfing.