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mark h 3rd July 2014 06:23 PM

PWA rules need up dating
I'm a big fan of all the PWA events, especially slalom. But more than often, events are spoilt by light winds at great cost to the sailors, event hosts and manufactures/sponsors. Why does this continue when we already have XXL slalom boards almost ready to go (US147 etc).

Maybe it is time for the PWA to update the max board width rules. Turkmenistan and several other events have produced very lights winds. In the current climate, the PWA have have events where ever they can, this includes super light wind venues like Turkmenistan, Korea etc, so why not have boards which work in these conditions, instead of send sailors half way round the world just sit on a beach playing cards and hoping for wind!

With so much money invested in each event by various parties, it must make sense I increase the board with allowed to 90x cm. these would enable racing to commence within the current wind minimum rules. The PWA sailors voted for the new wind minimum rules, but most of the male riders really struggle to even get going in 7k winds. Even when they do get going, they look very underpowered.

several board manufactures already have a 90x cm wide slalom board, SB ultra sonic, Fanatic falcon 152, tabua and RRD etc. these boards can easily be tweaked for extra performance. They do not need full formula type boards, just "one size up" slalom boards.

Chris Pressler 4th July 2014 07:37 AM

Hi Mark,

out of my view as an active Slalom racer on tour I can say it would need to be tested first. I am not sure if many sailors would choose the widest possible option. It as well depends on the course. If there would be much more upwind, at the moment it's 20% what I know, a wider board would make sense.

Even when it' slight not everyone is using the biggest possible gear. Just have a look on elimination 1 at Turkmenistan. 6 Starboard riders made it into the winners final. Jimmy Diaz, Pascal Toselli, Cyril Moussilmani and Gonzalo Costa-Hoevel are on the biggest available iSonic, the 130, which has 131 liters. Taty Frans and Steve Allen were on the 117, which is 121 liters:[8370].pdf

Taty and Steve would be allowed to use the 130, too. But they do not as they would probably limit their overall light wind range and jibing performance, I assume :-)

Out of my view: using bigger boards not automatically guarantees better performance in lighter winds, the same for the sail sizes, somewhere are limits



mcross19 4th July 2014 10:41 AM

Mark I totally agree, time after time these events end up being dominated by lights winds and the big guys struggle to get going and keep going. I think when Roberto Ricci launched their version on the Ultrasonic last year at some PWA event he said that if the competitiors had access to this board they would have completed all the heats and had a result, can't remember if it was Alacati?

mark h 4th July 2014 08:12 PM

Hi Chris, thanks for the reply. Sean obrian said a similar thing to you. So I guess most don't need to go bigger. I think Sean is around 80kg, so his iS117/8.6m is enough in light winds.

I noticed that the women's heats in Turkmenistan looked a lot more powered up than the men's. I think the heaviest female is 70/75kg. Delphine's biggest kit is the iS117/lift 8.6m, fine for her weight.

I'm not sure about the heavy weights though. I'm 101kg, in 7k to 10k winds, I have to pump like a demon to get my iS137/9.5m warp planing in sub 10k winds, and I feel really under powered. In a solid 10k + winds! I have no problem. Skill wise, I'm miles away from the Likes of Bjorn or Finian, but I can't help but wonder if they would have more chance against the lighter guys like tatty, Steve A and Sean if they could use a race tuned version of the US147/RRD X-fire light wind. Not bigger sails though.

But, fuerteventura and other events will be windy to very windy, plenty of action on the card:)

mcross19 5th July 2014 05:40 AM

Mark, I don't think the guys need a race tuned version of the RRD/US147 it should be fine in standard trim. Have you ever done a test of your isonic 137 against an Ultrasonic, would be an interesting comparison?

BelSkorpio 5th July 2014 07:18 PM

I've already asked Finian Maynard, last year.
He did not have to think twice.
For the heavy weights it's a no-brainer. If 7 knots is going to be the lower limit for PWA slalom the next couple of years, then the 85cm board width limit is ridiculous for heavy weights and should be elevated.

mark h 5th July 2014 10:26 PM

Hi Bel, that's what I was thinking too, given the chance heavy weights would opt fir a slightly bigger board to remain competitive. World titles are at stake and it's a shame when BD can't plane at the starting line.

Hi Martin, if your right, then SB have a board ready to go:) but I seem to remember hearing that both the US147 and RRD Xfire light wind are slightly de tuned IE slightly in hoard foot straps and slightly softer rails. But I think the 2014 US147 is slightly racier than previous versions. I would also guess that a iSonic 90x cm would be shorter than 240cm. I do no that the Fanatic Falcon 152 is a blow-up version of the Falcon 140, so it's good to go.

I have not tried a US147 as yet, although every one you has them loves them. I doubt if they are faster than the iS130 in 10k plus winds, but I'm pretty sure they would kill an iS130 in Turkmenistan type conditions and would also be able to be competitive against lighter sailors.

Possibly resulting in less waiting on the beach and more action:)

Just my 2 cents worth:))

BelSkorpio 6th July 2014 05:55 AM


My personal experience, as a medium weight rider of 87kg, learns me that the US147 is a bit slower than the 85cm slalom boards on a typical PWA straight and slight down wind course, even in the superlight conditions. BUT with each jibe you gain back a lot of time because you're faster planing again.

Upwind the US147 is always faster, but this is of no importance in the PWA slalom.

Because of the flying start of a PWA slalom course, probably most riders would be faster at the first buoy with a 85cm wide board (or even smaller for the light weights).

Just take a look at Finian (108kg) in heat 6 in Turmenistan. He manages to stay 3rd till the 2nd buoy just behind Gonzalo (78kg) and Taty (74kg). After the jibe he's not able to get away anymore and gets overtaken by all the light weights. Frustrating.
With a wider board it could have been different.

mcross19 6th July 2014 03:44 PM

Ok so the US147 has two sets of foot strap holes, not much of a weight penalty but could easily be changed for the racers by starboard if they didn't want to go down the road of designing a bigger isonic.

I suppose that these days it is quite easy to punch in some numbers into a CAD machine and make a larger slalom board thing is the PWA committee would have to decide on a maximum width.

Surely by keeping the max width at 85cm it levels the playing field?

BelSkorpio 6th July 2014 07:29 PM

Some other brands are already busy ...

Take a look at the new Elix prototype:

It seems to have 147L, 230 x 90

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