RE: Apollo Vs F161
1) Assuming the minimum planing threshold for a FW board is 6 knots of wind, are you really able to make the Apollo planing with as low as 4 knots of wind ? Is that correct ?
Tricky one to state specifically as planing early involves not only the board but also the wind conditions, water conditions and the sailor's weight and ability; what is categorical however is that the Apollo planes earlier than a Formula board to the point where FW can become viable as an Olympic class (and FW itself can hold races more often).
2) Would a 80 cm fin be able to lower the planing threshold even further or not ?
I'm pretty sure it would, but with diminishing returns. We've been using 75cm because it's a less scary step than a whole 10cm, and its a good size to start lowering FW wind limits.
3) What top board speed are you able to reach : 8, 10, 12, 16 knots, i.e., twice to 4 time the wind
Another tricky question to answer. I confess I wasn't wearing the GPS when testing.. When we test the boards, we invariably go head to head to find results because GPS readings can be misleading. But a key point to remember is that an efficient high-aspect planing surface not only needs less energy to get planing, but it also starts planing at lower speeds.
I like the idea, thanks! Will get on to the case with our web people..