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Old 15th November 2007, 08:18 AM   #1
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Default Formula Windsurfing vs Racerboard class: what to do?

Hi, we are looking in our region to add one new class to our race calendar.

We are looking for a class with this characteristics:

- Fun factor
- More 18 - 45 years oriented
- Less price to be competitive much better
- Atractive international events to participate

Would be good if we can try to be the most objective possible on this. All input is welcome.

R.
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Old 15th November 2007, 09:24 AM   #2
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Formula means big heavy sails, high fitness levels and limited wind range.

Raceboard does not.

Just my take on it
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Old 15th November 2007, 10:10 AM   #3
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How about the Kona one design class?

Low cost, wide wind range and sail/weight catagories for fair racing.
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Old 15th November 2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hello,

as a coach and race director, I think both classes have a good part. Personally, unless there is a government support as for RSX, is not good to have a class that is one design as the Kona, as it limits people to buy just to one company, better if you have at least a chance to choose.

If you go Raceboard class, then Kona, RSX, Starbaord Hybrids and many others can race and that makes things easier for many people and also interesting.

I think Kona is a nice concept but thats it...its like saying lets compite in Serenity class. Can be good, but its not complete for what you want...say, an international calendar of events.

About fun factor...i vote for formula windsurfing, its the best thing in fun factor. Have not checked the costs between FW an Raceboard class as I am not updated of detailed pricing. Now FW is frozen in boards each two years..thats a good thing. Dont know exactly what raceboard class says about board designs.

Then, you can also have the chance of Formula Experience, is a very good class we would like to have here too. There are two boards racing there Bic and Starboard and lots of sails companies. If you can work in a good 18+ fleet for this class, then all your requirements are completed.

Personal view...from your choices...I will say FW, but again, dont have costs in my hands.


Mike
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Old 15th November 2007, 03:39 PM   #5
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Default How windy?

One of the delights of raceboard is that you can race in light winds.

In the UK racing inland reduces formula sailors to spectators at the majority of events. At coastal events, the raceboards generally do more races than formula class.
Cheap second hand kit is available for both classes, though raceboards are getting harder to find as so few have been made in recent years.

It does appear that the industry is begginning to support raceboard again after a ten year period when they put all their marketing resources behind formula.
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Old 15th November 2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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Post #1

You haven't said where is your region and how windy it is? Apart from a few windy places, I believe a Raceboard will be a better option in a wider variety of conditions. I agree there with poster #5.
I've sailed (and competed a bit) in Div2, Raceboards, IMCO and Formula before I finally gave up and went to enjoy freesailing on my own schedule (but that's another story). I would say that a lot of people have put too much hope in Formula (me included) when they first appeared, with regard to light wind performance. Yes, it can plane in ridiculous winds, but when you have light, shifting, fluky, holey wind (as in most inland places and many coastal), a daggerboard and a long waterline is needed. Also don't forget monster Formula sails, 550cm masts and 300cm booms. How many people (both sexes and all ages) are willing to handle these?
Fun factor? Well I don't know how it's called when you shlog a Formula for miles, on a day when a 5 seconds 10 knots gust is the best thing on offer ;-)

Fair winds
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Old 18th November 2007, 12:15 AM   #7
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R

If that is the case where you sail, I would vote for Formula, even after I criticized it. I won't comment on your goals (I think nobody could), there are still many ifs and potential problems as PG says.

Carlos wrote:
"up to 20 knots formula with ONLY ONE sail ONE board is enough. I have been sailing in FE the other day with Overdrive 11.0 in 28 knots with my 70 kilos...still possible."
This is the kind of comment that can create a lot of misunderstanding and confusion among less informed sailors (to put it very mildly).
After all the good discussion on these forums related to strong wind board choice (iS, Kombats, etc), I think most people can judge credibility of such claims.
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Old 18th November 2007, 11:30 PM   #8
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It's been said that the Kona is a problem class because you can only buy from one supplier - but for many people, that is not a problem but a plus. Some of us just don't want to get into a gear race. We don't want to spend our time working out whether a Brand X 2006 model mast works best with a Brand Z 11 or a Brand Y 11.3421......we just want to go out and become better sailors, and to know that when we win, we win because we sail better and not because we have spent more money, or because our sponsor has superior designers. I leave my fastest gear in the rack and race one design because I just cannot see the challenge in beating the fleet because of the stuff I own rather than because of how I sail. I also want to be able to sail when I want to sail, not wait for wind to get a decent day out.

However, of course, lots of people DO like tweaking their gear, and getting the ultimate in course racing planing performance. They don't want to sail something slower.

The problem is that given these very different extremes, any attempt to get 50 people to race windsurfers in an area on just one class may rule out too many possible racers, no matter what you do. There are always plenty of people who love FW and would not sail RB or Kona, and vice versa. The problem is that windsurfing seems to hate the idea of diversity amongst racers - the manufacturers want everyone to race in a small number of classes. That ignores differing tastes and conditions. Sure, numbers breed strength in some ways but not if you are leaving people out by not giving them a class that they find acceptable - maybe not ideal, but acceptable.

It may be more difficult, but a two-pronged approach could be a very good way to go. Maybe something like a Kona class and a FW class, since you have such good winds. People who like to sail in all winds and want cheap new one design off-the-shelf gear can sail the Kona, guys who want the ultimate in performance can sail FW. Actually wouldn't a Slalom class be likely to attract big numbers in 12 knot+ winds??

We have a total fleet of 50+, with 30+ racing on a good day. There are three classes - Raceboard, One Design and the kid's OD. Without the three classes, I don't think we'd get the same numbers overall as too many people would be unable to find a board to suit their tastes. However, we are sailing on a small inlet where FW and Slalom don't really work.
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Old 19th November 2007, 03:22 AM   #9
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Well, as I understand, there are many classes out there, I have checked in internet and there are many classes out there but just some of the mentioned are on IWA or ISAF.

Chances are simple, FW, FE, Raceboard, RSX as I understand. I dont think Kona because if you are going to work a serious fleet, that class is not ISAF class.

Of the others, as people said, depends on your wind conditions really. FW looks lots of fun, but still needs updating equipment and high costs. Raceboard is a bit simpler on this, but for sure, someone racing FW wont like to race in a Raceboard and RSX. From this side, best thing can be FE but its more young guns oriented. RSX, can be same as Raceboard but Raceboard gives the chance to many people to buy (same as FW) some Used equipment and race for fun.

Luke
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Old 19th November 2007, 08:35 AM   #10
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Raceboard Raceboard Raceboard!

It is the most accessible to a wide range of skill levels and allows for exciting racing even when the wind is too light for formula boards. Raceboard should be the primary class, which forms the base of your fleet. Some of the earlier posters brought up the excellent point that the raceboard class allows many different styles of boards to compete; almost anything with a daggerboard can be used. For example, I sail a Kona ONE, but I compete in the raceboard class because there is no one-design fleet for Kona in my area.

In my area, only the big, strong, experienced, aggressive, wealthy men race formula, whereas the raceboard class is a good mix of different types, including women, kids, and old people.

Having said that, if your fleet grows and you have many aggressive, expert windsurfers, then you could create a second class for formula windsurfing.
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