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Old 8th February 2007, 10:24 PM   #2
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177
Default RE: Early planning sail for Hypersonic 105

Hello Paul,
Good question, and one with probably as many answers as there are "sailors who claim to know alot about WS sails", unfortunately.
Here's my "suggestions" on the subject:
A formula race sail (4 cams etc.) is definitely more stable in really overpowered conditions, as they are designed to be sailed about 1.5 m2 + larger than Free Race (2 or 3 cams, much greater static draft, easier to rig and more durable) sails.
But I don't think you will find many "Formula race" sails in the 8.5 m2 range.
I believe most formula sailors are now using 9.5 m2 and larger up to 11.0 m2 sails with wide luff sleeves designed to give the best VMG upwind and downwind.
There is a renewed interest in 8.5 and smaller "slalom" race sails at the moment and they may be a better choice (3 or more cams, more tuning range, good top end stability, and the ability to rig them with significantly more static draft than the larger Formula race sails.
So, they have better low end power (or can be rigged to achieve this) but still have a huge range, and very good overpowered stability.
But your best bet, if early planing is your primary objective, is a good 8.5 m2 Free race sail. Sailworks Retro is the "no cam" best choice, NP V8 is probably one of the better choices (but there are similar free race sails from all the major lofts) in a 3 or 4 cam sail.
I'm currently using the very new "mid width luff sleeve Sailworks NX SLM's (for slalom) in the larger sizes and Sailworks Huckers in the 6.6 and 5.6 m2 range. All of these sails have a huge tuning range, and that's probably what you want on the Hypersonic for marginal wind performance.
Many will say that the HYpersonics work best with smaller race sails, and I think that's exactly the market that the new "slalom specific" designs are supposed to fill.
So, lots of choices, and the renewed interest in slalom type racing is giving you an whole new range of choices.
If all out top speed and max. overpowered stability aren't your cup of tea, then the tried and true Retro, GTX, V8/V6, Severne Gator and Code Red, HSM Formula D, and several others in the Free race to full race design range would be what I suspect you want and need.
As far as how "cams" (specifically) relate to early planing, that's another whole subject in itself with the entire spectrum of "opinions".
Larger heavier sailors normally will choose sails with a cam or 3 and fell that they are getting the best marginal wind performance as the cams hold the sail in it's designed shape, and with the designed amount of static draft (if you rig it according to what the designer had in mind).
But cambered sails do not take real well to being under downhauled in anattempt to generate more low wind drive.
No cams seem to handle this a bit better, but as the designs have matured for the SW Retro, Severne Gator, and some other high end camless free race designs, the ability to under rig with a significant gain has diminished a bit.
So, if you are a big guy, I suspect you will want cams. If not, and you want a really wide tuning range, with max. static draft, then perhaps the camless sails would be the way to go.
Hope this helps,

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