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31 March 2009

Ever checked www.GPS-Speedsurfing.com Bèta?

Look @ this link: www.GPS-Speedsurfing.com Bèta

There are some experiments on the Bèta version:
  • New layout
  • Different menu's
  • Day ranking you can see Alpha speed
  • and more...

Cheers,

Erik

29 March 2009

Speedsurfing BLOG test, polished fin how does that feel?

Select SL7 polishedpolished fin how does that feel?
  • Slippery...
  • Not very safe @ low speed... It looks nice, and it is way easier to detect any flaw in the vin profile!!
  • It takes more energy to make the board plane
  • I have customized a few select fins by painting==> polish them==> sand them with sandpaper 600
  • So far sandpaper 600 is the finest that worked for me.
  • So far polished fins have proven me not to be significant faster.

26 March 2009

2009 Speedboard recommendation: HTS SR-series

HTS SR59 speed slalomboardIn the Netherlands I have been watching the dutch HTS teamriders for quite a while... Since they got their new HTS slalom& speedboards they seem to be a lot faster! The shape of these boards is just very goood for speed. Big GPS-speednames like Jurjen vd Noord, Dirk-jan Knol are doing insane speeds with the HTS boards.





Models for speedsurfing:::
  • HTS SR49 (230x49cm x 71 liters)
  • HTS SR59 (230x59cm x 96 liters)
  • HTS SR69 (230x69cm x 118 liters)
It seems everybody on this board can go fast, I haven't found any negative gps-speedsurfing.com post... So it must have high control, the shape is a monoconcave somewere underneath the masttrack that slowly converts to a v-bottom in the tail area. This gives superiour lift but also control in my eyes! Very very smart solution ;)

If you haven't bought a new speedboard for 2009 I recommend to have a serious look @ these speedmonsters!!


HTS SR59 speed slalomboardPrices of these boards: LINK

25 March 2009

Boats also beyond 50kn?

On http://www.seabreeze.com.au/ I found a message the 'sailors' of Macquarie Innovation pushed their 'boat' over 50kn... Probably officially over 500m! First boat ever, very nice! Congrats! But now it is time some windsurfer gets a GOOD day...


MESSAGE:::

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: speedsail

Date: 2009/3/27

Subject: Macquarie Innovation makes history

Hi All,

This is just a very
brief note with more details to come - but essentially, we did it !Macquarie Innovation powered down the Sandy Point speed course last night at an average speed of 50.43 knots. During that run, we hit a peak speed of over 100 km/hr and while the claimed average speed, which is about to be sent for ratification, will be reduced to 50.08 kts due to the tidal allowance, we have sailed our craft in excess of 50 knots.It is the culmination of over 15 years of work by the team and their loyal group of supporters and once again, we wanted to pass on both our sincere thanks and congratulations to you for helping us to create a little piece of yachting history last night. As a result, we will be making a claim for a new class C record which will be just shy of the current outright world record (50.57 kts) held by a kite, but most importantly sets us apart as the only sailing boat in the world to complete a 50 knot run !Once again, congratulations and many thanks for your help in getting us to our goal of 50 knots !

Regards,Tim



RELATED:
  • http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=49321

24 March 2009

New Personal Speedsurfing Record at the Amstelmeer!

I believed it wasn't possible to break my older record but yesterday almost prove me wrong! I was sailing with Peter de Wit in very gusty conditions. We chose to be on the same gear to feel the difference between the Neilpryde 6.2 EVO1 and EVO2, We both used a Fanatic Falcon 79, combined with a Select caspar 29cm.

We went on the water when the wind became as strong as it would get, I was really doubting if I could handle a 6.2, the first upwind leg was challenging, but we survived. We both started to do some downwinders and that was only possible by shooting into the Amstelmeer.

After a half hour we changed sails and I used the EVO2, what a difference!!! On shore the sail feels twice as light but on the water this changes in CONTROL. The first run with the EVO2 I was faster than all previous runs with EVO1. Than we changed again and I made my 3th best run with EVO1 in front of the "Vogelreservaat"

Soon after that we made a short fuel-stop... Because it was a bit cold we went on the water after some dissapointing downwind runs I got with the EVO1 a amazing gust, it was so strong I had to follow the gust. Normally I run out of a gust within a few seconds, but this gust was faster. On the moment I didn't accelerate anymore I decided to stop... And it was easy to break off the run, the new 2009 Select Caspar Speed was just soooo easy and controllable. (it is now my favorite fin)

When I came back on shore I was completly stoked, and looked on the GPS and saw 41kn... That is a new topspeed record!!

Related:
  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=11641
  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=41833&uid=870

20 March 2009

Poll - Favorite fins

What are your Favorite fins for Speed. This is a little test, first poll ever for me on www.SpeedsurfingBlog.com. I hope you guys like it. Click on the link named after your favorite speedfin to vote. It doesn't matter if you're speedsurfing in 12-50kn of wind or doing 25-50kn of a windsurfer!

You can vote till 25 March 2009.

  • Caspar Speed


  • C3 X-serie or Strike


  • Deboichet


  • Lockwood Mcdougal


  • Select SL7 or Lightning EVO


  • Select other model


  • Timemachine fins


  • Tectonics Falcon F1


  • Homemade fins


  • Other brand/model

For the record I voted for Select Fins other model (Select S07 M)

19 March 2009

Thin nose

I never realised that the thickness of the board in front can do a lot. But it does!!! Now I own 2 extreme different nose-design boards:

  1. Carbon Art Speed, thick nose/ not very wide
  2. Fanatic falcon 91, thin nose/ a bit wider

And when pushing the board to the max in higher chop I just feel that the Fanatic falcon feels way lighter when hitting a wave with the nose of the board. The CA speedboard just doesn't like to hit a big wave when sailing 100% flat, it is a big bang, or when you are a bit unstable it could result in a catapult. I guess the age has also a bit influence on the fanatic falcon 91 'softness'. I like it!

Differences between the 2 designs are very big, but I still feel the speedpotential of both designs is very about the same.

Related:

  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=11523
  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=41546&uid=870

17 March 2009

12-16kn

Last Saturday the wind was less than expected, this I could get a decent 'speed' on my Fanatic Falcon 91/Neilpryde RS:R EVO1 6.7/Select SL7 Gold 31 combination. Suddenly I was faster than most bigger combinations, strange...

But I always wonder, would a bigger kit be faster (just topspeed) or not. I think if the wind is really constant a smaller board is as fast or even faster... But those small gusts make a bigger board go faster. So last saturday the wind would have been theoretically quite steady.

I am happy just having 3 'small' boards so I haven't to make that choise (big or small). But in lightwind the wrong gear, or slalomgear is making quite a difference in speed. And you can't do anything about it.

Cheers,

Erik



Related:
  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=11505
  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=41487&uid=870

13 March 2009

Interview - Martin van Meurs

Name: Martin van Meurs
Age: 44
Sponsors: Neil Pryde, JP, van den Berg , C3-fins
Profession: Project developer
Hometown: Leersum, the Netherlands
Favourite surfspots: the Brace, de kwade Plaat

martin van meurs

What was your best surfsession of 2008?
Without a doubt my "the Brace" mid summer session. I came back from a leg injury and still had difficulties to walk, but was fully competitive against the other Dutch topriders and set a topspeed on National waters.


What conditions do you need for a new 500m worldrecord speed? sailingangle, curved or straight line, etc...
The WSSRC is surveying 500 meter Outright Sailing Record attempts and has set up the rules. The rules say straight 500 so for an official 500 World Record speed you need to go as fast as possible in a straight line. I don’t think windsurfers will stand a chance in the long run…unless….we’ll see. We’ve got some cards up our sleeves. I am being supported by some extremely talented designers and they truly know what they are talking about. C3 chief designer Boogie is a long time friend of mine and with the support of Ron van den Berg we will start building an all new speed concept board this summer. If calculations are right something interesting could happen. But it’s only fair to say the kiters and some sailing syndicates are extremely fast and the standing record of just over 50 knots is no true reflection of the speeds that are currently possible. If windsurfers want to stand a chance you have to create something with 60 knots in mind as the ultimate goal.


What is your favourite speedboard all time?
Since my main focus is on outright speed that must be the latest and fastest board, so my latest JP proto, built by Ron van den Berg. I am also anxiously awaiting the new JP production speedboards and knowing who designed them without a doubt they will prove to be extremely fast. I am especially keen to see how well they perform in real life speed conditions at strand Horst and one of my biggest aims for coming year is to try and close to a top speed of 50 knots at this given venue. The latest board designs eat chop like never before and hardly slow down in combination with the stable sails we sail nowadays. We designed boards and fins with possible high open water speeds in mind and first tests prove we gained a lot of ground compared to last year.

If you design a new board, sail or fin you expect it to be faster or easier to handle. In real life it isn’t always like that but if things work like planned the satisfaction is huge. The great thing about racing is the fact you have to put your money where your mouth is and only in races against other riders you can tell where you stand. Based on the first tests I’ve got high hopes about this year and we’ll see if my love affair with the latest proto will last.


You have been surfing all different sails last couple of years, Gaastra/ Neilpryde/ Naish/ Maui Sails/ Neilpryde. If I see a Maui Sails TR-4 or a Neilpryde RS:Racing there is a big difference, do you think there are several ways to design a fast sail?
Sure there are. Indeed differences are huge. I love the way Barry Spanier is thinking about sail designs and it’s reflected in the clean look of the latest designs. The TR5 is looking hot and completely different when compared to the Evo 2. Still both designs will work. When I decide to change sails I always try and look at the feel they might give. I love a soft and foregiving feeling which ensures I can stand light on my feet in extreme gusts. The sail needs to think for me. The new NP sails bring exactly and more than what I thought they would bring. It feels as if I wear a handcrafted suit specially designed for me.


What is your favourite sail right now?
I only tested the Evo 2 a couple of times and it beats all other sails I had before hands down. I rigged the new slalom and that one looks great as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if I would love those as well in the smaller sizes.


What is the most underestimated fact in speedsurfing?
How much harder things get when conditions get truly rough. An increase in windspeed from 40-45 knots gives a completely different feel to the runs and people who just add numbers and think, hey I am going this fast in light wind conditions, it must be super easy to go faster in stronger winds will get hammered by nature. Never underestimate the force of nature. True Speedsurfing starts when Slalomsailing stops.


Since we both live in the Netherlands I have seen some ‘extreme’ designs from you and Vandenberg boards, what was the most extreme design you have ever sailed?
That must be an old raceboard I designed together with a friend of mine around 25 years ago. I competed in the Elfstedentocht, a traditional Dutch race over lakes in the North over a distance of 200 kilometer. The board was a single concave raceboard from front to back and I raced against Division 2 boards. At the start it was blowing force 6 and I gained 5 minutes in ten minutes time, but it turned out the board was only good downwind and even with the daggerboard tacking was a nightmare. As the resin was just dry we found out during the race, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. You build up experience and over time things changed from wild guessing to controlled improvements. I have seen it all from the beginning and it’s one big rollercoaster ride. Great fun, even the projects that didn’t stand the test of time.


When I speak for myself I always have a hard time when the windstrenght goes past 40kn, but you always seem to be in control. How did you learn to keep in control?
Experience and I think speed is in my veins. It has always been like that. In my longboard period (a long time ago) I once got in a second place in a heat when it was howling force 7, the wind dropped and I got in second to last in the next heat haha. I fall asleep when the wind is below 30 knots and the stronger it gets the more exited I get, but at the same time I am trying to go for the calm in the storm. When nature wants to play with us mortals and runs can get truly fast, I mostly get in some kind of Zen and it is as if everything comes together in that given moment.


What is your comment on age vs experience? It seems that experienced speedsurfers are often way faster than young full-trained speedsurfers. Do you think speedsurfing is in the end more like a strategy game?
Strategy and staying calm in your head is a very important part of speedsurfing when things get rough. Getting used to given speeds and conditions is also very important. A couple of years ago my body got tense when I got close to 44 knots, now I start to enjoy things from 44 knots onward. I am not scared anymore and can look further ahead, this is an underestimated part of speedsurfing. The faster you go, the further you have to look ahead but that’s truly scary as all you see in the beginning are the whitecaps in front of you. You really need to dare and get in some high speed crashes first and I’ve had my share of them haha. You need to respect nature but overcome your fear, I guess that comes with age and training time in extreme conditions.


On http://www.blogger.com/www.c3-fins.com I read you are chief tester, could you give us a top 3 of your favourite c3-fins, why you like them?
I really love my old X fins. Those were the first ones Boogie designed basically especially for me and my sailing style. When put upright the fin was so powerful I could go upwind like a formula board. We adjusted rake angle and it turned out to be the most foregiving speedfin ever but you need to sail it light on your feet otherwise you loose momentum and the fin tends to slide away. When sailed properly it’s probably the fastest fin ever made. The fins are full carbon, razorsharp and super thin and the only downside is that they are very fragile when hitting a sanbank.

martin van meurs

The new asy strike fins offer more security without giving in on endspeed and are the first fins to match the X fins in ednspeed. The main advantage is that you can go truly small on the fin, they are made out of G-10 so they don’t scratch as easily and you can push endlessly. Spin-outs are no longer occurring and the faster you go, the more secure you feel. The Strike fins will help me for sure to try and get averages over 50 in when conditions are epic.

martin van meurs

The Venom fins are pure slalom fins. I talked a lot with Boogie on the need for foregiving slalom fins which high speed potential. The main aim in slalom/speed conditions is to get enough length and surface in to go upwind well but at the same time try and keep speed as high as possible on a downwind run. With the Venom fins you can and need to go 2-6cm longern compared to other fins to get the best out of them, but even at high lengths control is insane. Because of my leg injury of last year I didn’t get to properly test the longer sizes, but I hope to be able to do that this year. If you look at slalom results sailed with the Venom and hear the raving reports from the riders it’s obvious Boogie has done it again. I am really keen to give them a go in moderate conditions.


I read somewhere you are focussing nowadays for a single top performance, will this be 1x 10s run? Or will this be a 500m run?
My main focus will be on our 5x10 rankings. They are the most fun to do 99% of the time. Only if conditions get truly epic I will do all I can to get in the perfect 1x10 run for our new records. Fivehundred is still very tempting but WSSRC attempts are extremely expensive and time consuming since they are related to single spots. I’ve driven so many times in vein to the South of France when it was howling in Holland I don’t think I will do it many times again. Still the hunt for the WSSRC Outright Record is truly inspiring so who knows. Realistically seen though the Outright will be in the hands of kiters the coming years, but on the other hand, they force us to think outside the box, hence our project. Basically I love every aspect of speedsurfing, and it only gets more interesing every year.


Thank you Martin for this interview!


Other intresting articles/links about Martin van Meurs:

  • http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=25527&uid=77
  • http://madwindsurfing.com/neilpryde-new-sponsor-martin-van-meurs/
  • http://ukwindsurfing.com/news/2007/1215_martin-van-meurs-hit-507knots/

Fanatic Falcon 91 = Active sailing

Yesterday I had a very nice surfsession again on the fanatic falcon 91. However one thing I really feel is that the falcon 91 is a physical ride. OK I have sailed now 3 sessions in 5 days after 14 weeks of nothing (no sport). So my arms and legs are not in very good shape. But compared to my CA Speed board I have to use my legs way more to balance.

After to session I concluded the speed and acceleration is soooo good of the Fanatic Falcon 91. My bigger boards before (starboard isonic 105/ starboard hypersonic 105/ Carbon Art Slalom 62) were way more draggy and couldn't accelerate this much in small gusts.

For everyone that is looking for a cheap&fast board go for the Fanatic Falcon 91

Related:
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/?mnu=user&val=41447&uid=870
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=11474

11 March 2009

Speedrecord Ratification WAR!?!

Now the community www.gps-speedsurfing.com is growing and got more and more members it is finally time to stand on their own feet and claim records that are reconized by all members of gps-speedsurfing and gps-kitesurfing. After 5 years intensive use of gps-handhelds we all know how good they perform, and when the handhelds fail.

GPS-speedsurfing/kitesurfing announcement:
Record ranking:

From March 1st onward people can start kitesurfing and windsurfing for our new 1x10 record ranking. There are some minor technical problems left before we're able to start up the record ranking and the GPS Speed Record Technical Committee is finalizing technical aspects related to the latest firmware version presented by Tom Chalko. This might take a few days. In the meanwhile our members can start the new record hunt.

If you consider to enter the record ranking make sure to use two GT-31 devices and download the latest firmware which can be obtained at:

http://www.mtbest.net/setting-up-navi-GT31.htm.

In case a rider expects possible high speed conditions before the final rules are presented please contact Roger van Tongeren (windsurf) or Rob Munro (kitesurf) with a short description of your record plans.

Now I guessed the older speedsurfing/speedsailing communities like WSSRC, ISWC, IKA would never agree. In my profile you see I am a Civil Engineering student, result of that is 1 year experience with high precision measurements by gps, total station, etc.

A gps handheld measurement with just with (or without) doppler is WAY different, compared to trimble-gps/videotiming.

  • gps-handheld measurement without doppler, coordinate precision low, displacement precision low
  • gps-handheld measurement with doppler, coordinate precision extreme low, displacement precision very good
  • Trimble GPS, coordinate precision good, displacement is ok
  • Videotiming, coordinate precision good but 1-dimensional, displacement only over the whole course.
A trimble system is now compared with a GT-11/GT-31, and according to the results they found a run with a difference of 1.7kn over 500m. For most cases this is not very big difference, but for speedsailing it is. I think you can't really 'easy' compare a trimble gps measurement with a doppler measurement. You know why??? The trimble is only very good in coordinates, and the NAVI is only very good in displacement. How do you know when putting data in a model that the NAVI and Trimble are on the same place???

As a civil engineer I have experienced the NAVI giving a whole day data exactly 30m next to the real coordinates. With a constant speed is this no problem, but when a speedsurfer accelerates the difference can grow between the 2 divices. Especially when you have to sail between to points (500m)

The gps-speedsurfing ratification is not measured in [m] but in time [s], so for the gps-speedsurfing community I think this ranking will be quite spot-on. I would advice serious speedsurfers to go for the www.gps-speedsurfing.com ranking, in the end it is just more fun, more opportunities, less costs, and sponsors/other windsurfers are now paying enough attention to the gps-speedsurfing 'fun'-ranking. And for 2009 I still haven't heard any event/recordattempt with videotiming...


Related:
-speedworldcup.com___Handheld GPS World Record Claims not recognized by ISWC and IKA

09 March 2009

Windsurfing Weekend

Finally last weekend wind showed up, had the oppurtunity to sail both days 07/08 March. Both days I sailed something 'new'.

Saturday
Neilpryde RS:Racing EVOII 7.0 and 7.8, very less wind 8kn till 14kn. The sails feel a bit more soft, general feeling is about the same. The total distance was 37km, and topspeed was around 50kmh (27kn). In Low-end conditions the new Neilpryde sails are easier to handle, the older sails had a low-wind mode but when hitting a sudden gust you had to be carefull

Sunday
I bought a secondhand Fanatic Falcon 91 (2006) somewere in October. Saturday was the day with right conditions to see what this board can do. Wind was between 16 and 21kn. I chose my RS:Racing EVOI 6.7 and a Select SL9 proto 33cm. And it felt quick from beginning.
However I struggled to get over 34kn speed. In the end when the wind was degreasing I chose a bit smaller fin Select SL7 Gold 31, and managed to surf the fastest run of the day >35kn.

Next time I am going to use the 31cm fin and hope to sail even higher speeds!

Related:
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=41284&uid=870
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=11404

07 March 2009

Degree of finish

Well we all know sandpaper, and I think that the majority of speedsurfer use now and than a bit of sandpaper to smooth the fins for example.

But what sandpaper should do the finishing job???? Or should we polish everything that is in though with water??

  • Polished, water cannot from a layer on the surface. Polished surface have theoretical the best waterdisplacement, thinnest layer on fins. Why don't we polish our fins??? simple answer to that: with a polished fin the surface will release from the water when air is involved, this means you will instantly loose 2/3 of the lift that the fin generates. SPIN-OUT is often followed.
  • 600 grit sandpaper, that is what I use for my fins to finish, but I don't know if this is the best. It is easy to get and quite fine.
  • My carbon art boards are all polished on the bottom, it is not dangerous when the bottom of the board releases from the water. And polished surfaces don't get dirty!
  • My fanatic Falcon is finished with 400 grit sandpaper or something like that
On Boogie his site I found some table with sandpaper vs waterspeed, don't know how those figures were calculated but from those numsandpaper finish surfboard /boats speedbers we speedsurfers should use 1000 or higher.

04 March 2009

Interview - Chris Lockwood

Name: Chris Lockwood
Age: 34
Sponsors: KA Sail, Carbon Art
Profession: Design Engineer
Hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Favorite surfspots: Swan River, Sandy Pt (Vic)

What was your best surfsession of 2008?
That would have to be the day I tested the SP40 for the first time last year. We picked it up from the international freight depot- unpacking it in the carpark, and then went straight to the domestic airport to catch a flight to Melbourne. After a few hours sleep we drove for a few hours to Sandy Pt and we were on the water around 9am. There was one rain squall that came through delivering some powered up conditions for the 5.0m sail, and I got my fastest run ever. The chop was intense, 30cm high where I reached top speed, but at 49/50kts it’s like driving over corrugations. I knew at the time I was going faster than ever before, and that a crash would likely result in injury given the size and steepness of the chop. So I held on and rode it out until I slowed enough to pull up to the bank. The next day was also great fun- less wind but enough to get up to almost 48kts on my 5.8m. Then back to Melbourne for the flight home.

What conditions do you need for a new 500m worldrecord speed? sailingangle, curved or straight line, etc...
I think for the record to be taken by a windsurfer again, its going to take some very special conditions. Unlike with kites and larger boats, we have a relatively small amount of power available, due to the fixed mast base generating a torque that is balanced only by our body weight. The kite configuration can generate several times the power for the same rider, and it becomes a case of leg strength more than body leverage (height and weight) as the limiting factor. This results in a lower acceleration capability for windsurfers. So we need quite a long run-up before the start of the course. The course itself needs to be quite broad- I think 135-140 degrees is optimal since this reduces loading on the fin (which results in fin drag) and results in more of the sail force in a forward direction- giving greater acceleration and top speed potential. The problem with these two things is that the broad angle generates a rolling chop the further along the course you go. A curved course can assist by allowing a smooth acceleration at tighter angles without significantly increasing the chop. Chop on a course long enough for a windsurfer to break the record is inevitable, so the equipment MUST be capable of riding through this chop. Footage from the canal when Antoine broke the record shows a relatively small rolling chop, so its an excellent venue. I sailed there the day Finian broke 48kts in 2005, and remember the chop being small and broken- far smoother than the fast conditions I’ve encountered at Sandy Pt.

What is your favorite speedboard all time?
I have two favourites. I use my Carbon Art SP44 most of the time since the wind doesn’t often get stronger than 20-25kts where I live. I mostly use 6.6m and sometimes 7.5m sails with this board. I set my best 500m and 5x10second averages on the SP44, but this was before the SP40 existed. In more than 25kts and relatively flat water, I find the SP40 is a joy to sail. I’ve been using it with up to 6.6m comfortably. Unfortunately I haven’t had enough time on this board lately.

We know you use KA sails and perform really well, what is the secret of these sails, why do you like them?
I’ve been working on developing the KA sails for a few years now. The objectives I seek in a sail are that it should be very light in the hands (non-fatiguing) but powerful when required. The ’09 models are working very well. I’m looking forward to sailing them in some speed conditions, but the weather has not been obliging.

What is your favorite sail right now?
I’m using the 6.6m a lot with my SP44. Its got a lot of range, and great top end downwind. I’d rather be on smaller sails (5.8m powered up) but there hasn’t been enough wind.

On Karphatos I have seen (on internet) you on a Neilpryde RS:Racing 7.2, did you like it?
Yes, it felt comfortable and efficient upwind. One of the reasons for borrowing this sail was that the biggest I brought with me was 6.6m- and it wasn’t enough for some of the rounds.

What is the most underestimated fact in speedsurfing?
The first thing I suggest to newcomers to speed sailing is to go at deeper angles to the wind, and to keep going at that angle, even if you feel underpowered.

After research on the web I read you have made some extreme designs for speedsurfing, what is your most extreme design?
Chris Lockwood speedboard“Back in the day…” There was a time when I first became interested in applying technology to windsurfing. I’d been shaping boards for more than 10 years based on the “go by feel” method that most of the industry sticks to. I stuck to the usual rules and pushed them a bit from time to time to see what would happen if I did XYZ. So I came up with a few radical shapes and learnt from their limitations. Some of the ideas I was trying at the time appeared on popular production boards shortly afterwards. Then I got interested in speed sailing and started to think about the problem from an engineering perspective- trying to understand WHY things worked the way they did and apply them in a more rigorous way to design. By the time I designed the Carbon Art speed range I had a pretty good feel for what was important, and had spent some time correlating the theoretical aspects of design with the subjective side. I try to keep things as functional as possible- since the end goal is for the ultimate sailing experience. Gimmicks don’t help to achieve that. The boards below were developed in 2003/2004. Interesting times! The 58cm slalom board with the cutouts (and vent holes) on the left of the top photo did >42kts on GPS with a 7.6m sail in 2004…
Chris Lockwood speedboard








On gps-speedsurfing.com we see you every year on top, is the competition getting stronger?
Of course! I think it’s fantastic to see the growth of speed sailing. So many people are getting into it now. It’s definitely helped to revive the sport in many locations. It’s hard to find good second hand slalom boards now. 3 years ago you couldn’t give them away. More guys are getting dedicated to speed and putting more effort into improving, so inevitably there is going to be an increase in competition on the GPS front. I have to say that competition at the top of the GPS ladder is as much creating and maximizing opportunity to go fast as it is sailing skill/equipment tuning. I’ve noticed a few guys investing a lot of time and effort into seeking the best conditions to maximize their chances of going really fast. This is great! I wouldn’t have been able to get my best speeds locally. I had to fly to our best speed venue which is 3800km away, with the risk that the forecasts wouldn’t hold up.

Your carbon 'custom' speedfins are now finally ready for production, could you describe the speedfins, and what customizing options do we have?
Chris Lockwood SpeedfinsI’m finalising a website that gives some background into the development of these designs. The fins will be available with two twist options- one of them suitable for lighter riders seeking a lower-area speed-slalom fin of a given length, and the other with less twist suitable for pure speed sailing with heavier riders. In the near future I’ll also be releasing a “standard” slalom model to deliver interchangeable performance with other fins on the market, but with lower drag and more stable behaviour.





Can you tell us more about Carbon Art board developments?
I’ve been developing the Speed range with James Dinnis for a few years now. They are based on design concepts I’ve been developing for the past 10 years or so. The goal is to maximize the freedom of the board in the widest range of conditions, without compromising the stability. We are constantly reviewing the designs, and so far there has been no need to change them significantly. We do not change things for the sake of change. I don’t believe I have found a speed limit with the boards yet. This is a nice position to be in!

On ISWC 2008 you ended 11th place, with just 2 out of 12 events participated, quite impressive. Are you happy with this performance, and do you have some improvements for 2009?
It didn’t go entirely to plan, but under the circumstances I’m happy with the outcome. I spent almost 2 weeks in Maui before the event and there wasn’t much wind (the locals were saying it was unheard of for summer). It was my first time there and I’d like to go back. I trashed my 6.6m when the wind dropped out completely at Sprecks on my speed board and I had to swim in over the reef. The hasty rebuild of the battens didn’t last. I raced a few rounds at Fuerte with broken battens and that was a big problem at the end of the course with the sail shape collapsing- killing all the power. I also had problems getting my boards in time, so I only had the SP47 and SP40 (which was unsuitable for the conditions). There was also a hole in my 47 which I didn’t notice until half way through the event, but by then it was weighing 9kg. Not ideal!

I used new asymmetric fin designs for the start of the contest and was struggling with control problems. In hindsight they were too big for the conditions- but since it was my first time at Fuerte there were a lot of variables to come to grips with so I was struggling to piece it together. Then I got sick. Toward the end of the contest after some relatively poor results, I had nothing to lose so went on a mission to fix things. I switched to my KA 23cm symmetric. I rebuilt the battens in my 6.6m, and straight away managed a 4th place in then next round. It was a very tough contest, but a great experience.

Karpathos was really nice. I was more consistent there, although I wasn’t 100% after being hospitalized the week before with a violent illness. My SP44 turned up, and I got a better understanding of my new asymmetric fins (going much smaller) and raced on those. On the day after the contest I tried the SP40 with my 6.6m and reached my best speeds by far (44kts on the GPS). I was very surprised how well this combination was working so at least I learnt something. Shame I didn’t discover this setup a few days earlier! In the end I was happy to finish 5th overall.

This year I’d like to do a couple more events and hopefully put last year’s experiences to good use, and step it up a notch!

I find it very useful to compete with the top professional riders on the same course. It removes a lot of the opportunity aspect which I think tends to dominate the GPS ranking. That said, I’m looking for the opportunity to go GPS fast again at Sandy Pt. Its been a very quiet year over there.


Thank you Chris for this interview!


Other articles about Chris Lockwood on speedsurfingblog:
-video 50knot run
-the 50knot board, carbon art speed 40

02 March 2009

Combinations

On the dutch windsurfing.nl is a discussion: Do all racesails & slalomboards match??? No simple answer to that. But I give it a try...

If your weight is 80kg, you are the ideal weight for most combinations!!! And most combinations will work, however some will have a little smaller range.

If your weight is 65kg or even less, you have to carefully choose your combination!
-loose boards: fanatic falcon/older JP slalom/ etc with high lift sails: gaastra vapor/old naish stealth/etc will be hard to ride, only very flat water and small sail/big board will work.
-best solution would be: fanatic falcon '09/tabou manta/starboard speed special etc. with mediocre lift sails: NP RSR/ North warp/etc

If your weight is 100kg or even more, the choise of equipment is also a bit more difficult:
-Sticky boards: Tabou Manta/ Starboard Isonic with Soft sails with low profile: naish stealth/hotsails/etc. Will not or even NEVER take off. Starting planning is hard.
-Better take the fanatic falcon/ JP slalom/etc with mediocre lift sails like Neilpryde RS, or for best low-end even high lift sails like Gaastra Vapor, KA sails


A good test would give a better view. Maybe a idea for a surfmagazine article... Only thing is we need cooperation of a few importers/brands and it is hard to say brand X doesn't work with 90% of its potential buyers... How does this work with 'bad' car reviews???