RE: Hypersonic 105
Hi Steve M,
no team member either, sorry... but maybe contribution from us average sailors can be even more useful.
I've had a 105 and a 111. I must admit that I didn't like the feel of both boards: the HS needs a totally committed power on style, while I'm rather the "glide" speedsailing type. After a few sessions I put the mast foot well back and raised the boom because the board just didn't go with a more relaxed stance; once set in a racey way, it performed. I think it could be the fastest board I owned, expecially the 105 (just impressions - don't ask me why or how much). Once on a plane, it just goes and keeps going. It likes to go upwind, or you can make it fly on a broad reach; but it is a pain to keep it on a beam reach. It also gives you the impression there are no lulls at all, even if you see other people sailing start/stop... Not an early planer IMHO (85 kgs. and using a race 7.5), I guess all that underwater shape adds a lot of drag at low speed; but once on the plane, it just does not stop. My impression is that it is not much fin sensible, so don't think you can substantially change its attitude by switching fins; I used it with those odd wide square Drake designs stock with the 105, tiny slalom Spitfire 31 and the Drake/Curtis 34 and 42 stock with the 111, but didn't noticed the differences that one may expect from such different designs on a classic slalom board. Jibing is a pain, period. The 111 is somewhat more well mannered than the 105. Both boards handled chop incredibly well and could be tamed easily in high winds; I had the impression that high wind behaviour was even better than that of my tiny RRD Avantslalom 278 (84 lts...); but the fun wasn't there, at least for me.
In the end I returned to traditional slalom design (Sonic 95), but I have to admit that both HS were extremely fast, pointed extremely high and never stopped. A very good solution to save light days, and a very good, or maybe perfect, fit for the needs you stated.