View Full Version : Old Race Sails V's New Race Sails

Aaron Richards
20th February 2007, 05:41 PM
Hi Roger

I ended up getting the Hypersonic 96 Dram (I asked you a couple of questions on it a few weeks ago) I cant believe how easy I get going on it in such light winds. I have used it the last couple of nights after work, lucky if the wind has even been 12 knots (max), and I get planing on it about 95% of the time. I am using an old Gaastra F1 7.4 sail on it. I thought the sail would be terrible in light winds on the Hyper 96, but it has suprised me, how well it goes. The sail is quite heavy (it has 7 cams). How do the newer Freerace sails compare to my old Gaastra F1 ? Have the shape of race/freerace sails changed alot, since 1996 ? I am thinking of getting a new sail /mast for my hyper in a few months. I dont know if I should go for a Race or freerace type of sail. I do like the speed of my Gaastra, but I would like something newer and lighter. I dont think I need bigger than a 7.4, as I could not see myself planing in any lighter winds than I already can on my Gaastra F1.

I mainly wavesail, so I have not taken much notice on slalom/race equipment for quite a few years.


21st February 2007, 12:49 PM
Hi Aaron,
Sails have changed significantly since 1996.
Your Gaastra F1 probably was designed and made a little before the discovery of the advantages of "top twist.
I suspect, since you are planing so well and so early on the HS 96 that your F1 is a very powerful sail, and has a very deep draft (by todays standards).
So, I think you will be able to get quite a bit more top end speed out of our Hypersonic with a modern "twisty at the top" rig. It will certainly handle the gusts better than your F1, size for size, but I think to get the same results, and better top speed, you will need to make your current design rig about 0.5-10 m2 larger.
For the Hypersonic 96, an 8.5 m2 rig is about as big as I would go, but the board really gets awesome with about a 6.6-7.2 m2 rig in about 18 knots of wind.
Many will tell you that race sails are better, and I would agree if you are talking "slalom race sails" in the 6.5-8.5 m2 range, and most of the current "slalom race sails are 3 or 4 cams in this size range.
So, either a free race or a slalom race tpe sail will be good, you just need to decide if you want to go after every last bit of top end available with the Hyper 96, or just sail as fast as possible with something a little less complicated and lighter in weight (a camless free race design).
Hope this helps,

21st February 2007, 01:17 PM
I had a 7.0m gaastra F1 and my memory is that it rigged very flat, was slippery fast, but was the worst sail to get out of the water I ever owned. The luff was so wide I remember once actually not being able to even uphaul it once it had filled with water ;-(