[Test] Neilpryde no cam race- Hellcat 7.2-2015 and 8.2-2014

Yesterday I tested two Hellcat sails in the tropical winds. First no-cam racesails I tryed since forever... The wind was at the low end  (below) 15kn. I learned no-cam sails can be good for a bit of racing. The main differences no-cam versus cam:
  • -no-cam needs wind for a profile. This means you lose power compared tot a cam-sail in a windgap;
  • -no-cam sail in a gust can be compareable with a cam sail. However the profile depth is very depending on boom stiffness (which means with the x3 rental boom more profile in gusts). Stiffer booms and trimsystem would probably give more performance boost (more control/wider windrange);
  • - no-cam is light to carry on the beach. On the water it doesn't feel lighter on the straight end (but it does while gybing);
  • - larger (or maybe older) Hellcat was less performance, maybe the no-cam concept is beter for smaller sails (I actually would nog recommend it);
  • - both no-cam sails have slightly less lateral/sideward lift compared to a race sail. At least, this is the case when you use it correct. Let me explain: when you (want to) start gliding you can sheet in  100% with a cam sail, but the no-cam sail is 50% (otherwise the lower profile will stall/oversheet). Therefor the sideward pressure is lower on fin and board. Which means the board will have less lift out of the water. To compensate I figured out it works to rail the board;
  • - no cam had much less downhaul tension. Therefor I expect the no cam sail to be more dureable and have more sailing hours without significant performance loss.

Conclusion "when should you buy a no-cam sail for freerace/speed":
(1) if a cam sail is too heavy to carry or gybe or waterstart;
(2) if you like to do a few manoeuvres;
(3) if you seek for a lower budget sail which will maintain a good shape for many years.
Score cam VS no-cam (1-10):
I trief to visualise my feeling between cam or no-cam sails.

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

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