I got my 295 a couple of weeks ago.
First impresions, comparing to my Phantom 320.
It is more maneoverable with with the shorter length. This also makes it more work to keep it pointing upwind. Perhaps I will do better with practice, but I feel that I loose about 5 degrees or more. Not sure about the angle v speed compromise. I do find it harder on the legs trying to find that sweet spot. The 320 is much more directionaly stable and comfortable to ride.
I have tried it with 9.3m Gastra vapor, 8.5m gastra Vapor and 7.8 m Loft Blade sails. It seems to work with all of them but more balanced with the smaller sails. Perhaps a lighter 9.3 may go better.
I have previously tried my 9.3 on a Bic techno 293 and couldn't get it to work upwind. the 295 on the other hand functioned very well.
The 295 rails very easily in the very light wind but as mentioned above, loses some pointing angle from the shorter rail length and smaller centre board (compared to 320).
So far I would haveto say the 295 is the most interesting Hybrid raceboard design I have tried. The 320 is closer to longboard than short board on the hybrid scale.
Downwind sailing, the 295 is very easy to control in light and strong wind. More sensitive to trim and mast positioning than the 320 but seems a bit easier keeping the nose up.
I think if you are not bound to one design racing, this will be a great youth sailing board combined with the 7.8 m sail. Tried it sailing alongside some techno 293s that were racing in very light 5 knots. I was matching their speed, not much faster or slower. Not sure yet how it will go with a biger sail against Raceboard and RSX classes.
I mostly sail my board in a dinghy fleet since there are not many sailboard racers at my club. I sailed today in the dinghy races with my 8.5m sail. The wind was light in the morning (5knots). I couldn't keep up with the slowest dinghies. The afternoon race was 10 to 15 knots. The 295 still could not get very high angles but was making good speed upwind, faster to the top mark than most of the monohulls. Downwind while planing, the board was very fast and quite easy to control and easy to gybe.
Last edited by tonymatta; 13th January 2012 at 07:44 PM.