Thursday 11 October 2012

New kit to be tested for 2013

Tom Hammerton in Heaven Maui admiring his new creation.
Hopefully I will be able to see the sail loft for real one day
Just when I have really got to know a quiver of sails for the first time new ones are almost ready for production. I know mine to the point where I can sail them on their limits to try and get as much from them as I can. 
These last few weeks I have tried different set ups, mast track forward, lines back, boom up and vice versa as well as different downhaul settings. I have used tiny fins with big sails, bigger fins with the small sails etc. Every time I do try these different settings I then beat myself up for not getting personal bests in one or a few categories, of course I won't, these settings are not perfect, they are pushing the limits of what the sail was designed for. But in the end I am happy that I was rigging the sails as best I can for each set of conditions, I could only know this after altering trim in different ways.

Martyn Ogier on Hot Sails 2013 GPS, photo by Dave White

Martyn Ogier on the Hot Sails 2013 GPS, photo by Dave White

This week is Weymouth Speed Week on Portland Harbour, with the same names at the top as per the last few years. It could all change tomorrow though as the winds turn to their best direction for 500m on Portland Harbour, WSW is the forecast and hopefully it will deliver. The top guys have been scoring just into the 30's in tricky Easterly conditions which bring a lot of harbour chop, but good clean winds. The wind has been low on the course so scoring 30knots over 500m is a good achievement. This brought Martyn Ogier over from Guernsey for the competition, and as a warm up for his trip to Namibia for the big battle for speed coming soon in November.

Meanwhile Tom Hammerton has been busy designing the new Hot Sails Maui Grand Prix Slalom sails. After a battle with customs where they needed my business credentials as an importer (I do not have a business!) we received 3 large long parcels with 4 sails and the new 100% carbon masts. First impressions were they are a lot lighter than the 2011/12 sails, slightly different cut at the foot and amazing on the eye. I am yet to sail one, I hope to tomorrow after work so I can send some feedback. I know the previous incarnations of these sails as well as anyone out there in the the larger sizes, and wish I knew the smaller sizes as well but winds have only been enough to use them a few times this year. With over 60 hours on the 8m it is my most used sail, followed closely by the 7.3m.

SX21 Speed Fin and RSL 35cm Slalom
New designs from Black Project Fins
In the parcel was a nice surprise for us Portland Pirates. Two Black Project Fins to test here, the RSL 35cm Slalom and the SX21 Prototype speed fin. This speed fin designed again by Tom Hammerton is the most extreme foil he has ever created, designed for flat water it will get used as soon as it can on Portland Harbour. 

The 35cm is pretty much the most used size around here, with high wind 8m sessions it is perfect for off the wind 10second runs, or for Nautical Mile runs with smaller sails in similar winds. It looks to have a thinner foil than the Type R fins, with possibly more flex in the tip (will be tested soon). This is something I like, my most used fin at the moment is my Black Project TypeS 35cm, which I pair with both the 7.3 and 8m sails. I think this RSL 35cm is almost a bridge between the Type R and the Type S so it should suit my sailing style (if you can call it style!).

Hopefully I will be able to add a little more about the new kit coming from Hot Sails Maui in the next couple of days.

Good Speeds and Winds
The Bus
(now the nights are getting longer I am sure there will be more regular posts so please check back here regularly again.......hopefully I will be able to report some more record breaking speeds again soon, good luck)

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