RE: "softer, earlier planing rig concept" (see Apollo)
I'm pretty sure they are talking about the new Severne Glide rig when they speak of a "softer, earlier planing rig concept".
While Severne Sails are not my preferred brand, I've had a Severne Glide (left over from the Windsurfing Magazine (US) Power Sails tests)
availabe for about 2 months.
I'm not quite sure how Ben Severne was "challenged" to design this particular rig, but I've heard rumors it has something to do with the German Surf Magazine.
But. I have to admit, the results of that challenge are pretty brilliant.
The Glide rig is very light, and very powerful.
I've used the 7.5 m2 Glide on the Apollo and the Serenity and it has really impressed me how a light weight, but very powerful 7.5 m2 rig can get you planing in about the same windspeed as most 8.5 -9.0 m2 rigs.
I'm hoping that Severne decides to make this sail in a couple of larger sizes, and that it starts a trend amoung all the major sail lofts to design sails that are super powerful in light winds but also light, well balanced, and uncomplicated like the Glide 7.5.
It's a very drafty sail, goes on a 100% carbon Severne Redline 460 cm mast, and is quite easy to rig and tune.
The Glide may not have the incredible range of more heavily built, twist off top Free race cambered and camless sails, but it sure works for the intended purpose.
Try one, and for getting planing, in < 10 knots, I don't think you'll find another 7.5m2 rig that offers as much low wind drive.
Severne Sails reckons the Glide 7.5 has 20% more light wind power.
I've found that number to be pretty accurate in very light wind "on the water" testing.
So, the "softer, earlier planing rig concept" really does seem to work,
and for those sailors who are not blessed with 14 knots and higher windspeeds very often, the 7.5 (or larger) Glide rig could be the fore runner of a whole new class of sails, industry wide (I hope)!
Check them out!