Today I've used the Ultrasonic 147 carbon / 2011 / standard drake R13/58 fin, with a 10.9m2 Gunsails Mega XR rig in 8-12 knots.
I want to share my experiences in these ultra light wind conditions.
My weight is 87 kg.
I'm not a professional, but I have about 4 years of formula experience without participating in any competitions.
I'm windsurfing for more than 20 years.
When I arrived at my spot there was only 5 knots of wind.
Too little of course and I was schlogging for almost 1 hour.
Then the breeze kicked in.
When I started planing, I immediately returned briefly to the shore to mesure the wind speed: 8-9 knots average.
A little while later, there came a lot of formula's on the water. Typical "rush fever"
If I compare with my formula, I think the formula planes a little bit earlier, not much.
The main reason is the fin, I think. I still need to find a better fin that gives more lift in these ultra light winds.
My worries about an 11m2 sail being too heavy and too big for this board were ungrounded.
On the contrary, an 11 sail seems to fit the board very well.
Planing is very easy and light. The board feels much lighter than a formula.
When the wind picked up to 10-11 average with sometimes peaks to 15 knots, I never felt too much power on the reach.
THe US flies over small chop and when you go downwind you never get the feeling that the nose wants to dive into the chop. No catapult fear nor ankle pressure like on a formula, where you really need to sheet in, on reaching courses when the wind picks up.
Without any doubt, on reaching courses I am faster with this board than with my formula.
BUT ! THe US is no formula, it's a slalom.
I've tried to keep up with a few formula guys. On a reach no problem at all. But when they point sharper, they all leave me behind for dead. They are all also a little bit earlier planing than me. If I had to race them in a typical course race, I would have no chance at all. There is only 1 course, I could compete with them, i.e. the reach course.
Actually, during the ultra light wind conditions, I've had quite a few struggles today with pointing and returning to the point where I left off. This is where my formula used to excell. I wonder if a better fin will help me with this. I was too lazy to go and use my R19/70 fin of my formula on the US. I should have.
So, the big question:
What would be the best fin for these conditions ? Anyone with experience ?