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The Best Singlehander I've sailed this year

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13853
Printed Date: 18 Jan 22 at 7:08pm
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Topic: The Best Singlehander I've sailed this year
Posted By: iGRF
Subject: The Best Singlehander I've sailed this year
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 10:16am
Not a dinghy I fear.. it's the Original Windsurfer, revisited and called the Windsurfer LT and is already gaining considerable traction as an International Class racing alongside the Original in Europe as well as the Upside down folk.
It feels and handles just like the Original I cut my teeth on all those years ago, a bit like finding a comfortable old pair of slippers that upon wearing them someone has fitted roller skates. (For those who don't know I raced Windsurfers in the late seventies)

Wider bodied to the point it could be used as a Stand Up Paddle device if you're so mentally retarded, The rig is a slightly larger 5.7 soft sail with a tight leech and a carbon mast which develops considerable power for it's size (Most windsurfer rigs have 'floppy' leech not particularly well designed unless you know what your looking for so are under powered for their size anyway.)

I haven't raced it, there are no handicaps operating in the windsurf racing world and given it is the equivalent of a Laser and would be racing against the windsurfing equivalent of Contenders there would be little point, more it's been a water gym for much of the summer, mucking about, old school freestyle, playing in the shore break, sailing distances to outer sea marks, it's just been fun to play on.

A pity Windsurfers still fail to be recognised as racing devices by the Illuminati at the RYA as this would be a great device for club racing in fleets and would produce so much better sailors in dinghys later on, but alas there is no appetite by our Governing body for the promotion of our sport.

I would say, if you have ever sailed a windsurfer and fancy another try, you should give this consideration, such an easy board, I've not come off it yet had it all year in all manner of wind and conditions, a total delight.




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Replies:
Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 1:03pm
It's great to see Windsurfing returning to it's recreational roots and being able to sail in lighter winds. I keep meaning to get out on my old skool Mistral Equipe (picked up for £100!) with the dinghies but never quite get round to it.

All you need to do to get a PY number is enter a few races, get your own club illuminati to give you an experimental number and make sure it's on the return to the RYA. They can't give a number in an empirical system without people doing races.


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OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 1:10pm
Thumbs Up I have a hankering for an old Mistral Superlight but probably won't bother, I have a couple of short boards for when it's too windy for the Blaze and an iSUP and a very old Rotobat (kayak) for when it's not windy enough. Good to see the Windsurfer back in production and there seems to be a fair bit of interest, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Windsurfer OD class at UKWA events next year.

FWIW I loved racing Raceboards but was dismayed when they replaced the 7.5m class with the 9.5m, there was no way I was ever going to get fit enough to race them effectively.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 3:19pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Thumbs Up†I have a hankering for an old Mistral Superlight but probably won't bother, I have a couple of short boards for when it's too windy for the Blaze and an iSUP and a very old Rotobat (kayak) for when it's not windy enough. Good to see the Windsurfer back in production and there seems to be a fair bit of interest, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Windsurfer OD class at UKWA events next year.
FWIW I loved racing Raceboards but was dismayed when they replaced the 7.5m class with the 9.5m, there was no way I was ever going to get fit enough to race them effectively.


Well they do them in Mistral Colours a la Superlight a few down Hayling way allegedly and some talk of a class start for the Round Hayling... Honestly, you'd love it 5.7 rig sounds small but it's so punchy and the board weighs in around 15Kg.

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Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 3:59pm
£1349 little more than the Dufour Wing I had back in the day, but not hugely more expensive than an SUP Ö got to be better than golf when I can find the time to retire

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 7:50pm
All this is getting me thinking I should get my F2 380 out of storage but I have no idea where the all the bits are for it and I would probably struggle to get it down the beach anyway with a big rig on it!


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 01 Oct 21 at 8:33pm
Originally posted by Oatsandbeans

All this is getting me thinking I should get my F2 380 out of storage but I have no idea where the all the bits are for it and I would probably struggle to get it down the beach anyway with a big rig on it!
F2 380? Just take it up the tip. Landfill, best place for an F2. Then go and buy one of these Windsurfer Lts,or what? Heading to be the richest person in the graveyard?

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Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 8:58am
and I thought it was the pinnacle of longboard design ( the F2 not the windsurfer!)


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 10:04am
Will he take the bait?

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 10:37am
Yes that was the idea - he will probably say the Equipe 2 was the best longboard!


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 12:09pm
I'll say it for him, I reckon the E2 was the best long board ever, I loved mine. When I raced there were a couple of F2 380s around, very fast in the light with a bigger guy onboard but I believe they were a bit fragile. I went from Div 1 on a Superlight to RB with an F2 Lightning WCR before the E2, the F2 was an excellent board, not quite as fast as the Equpe but easier to sail to it's potential.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 4:05pm
So Sam you did the UKBSA div 1 circuit- I probably raced against you back in 1986-ish


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 02 Oct 21 at 8:48pm
Probably, but I'd have never admitted it at the time, The Fanatic Cat was the better board, lot of our guys locally all former Mistral Sailors ride them to this very day .Until very recently I was still riding the PanAm which was a version of the Equipe 2 with that extra layer of bubbles in foam which made it faster, like it does in dinghys but nobody gets why. ;-)
But you had to know how to work the three stage rocker which the Cat Lacked, but the Cat was a better board for folk who were not absolutley top knotch or as 'kinetic' shall we say. It pointed a tad higher but wasn't so brilliant off wind. Fact was until the courses changed to straight up and down, no reaches, the PanAm could still hold its own against the later Starboard Phantoms that came to dominate the dying era of the long board race world.

In the 'Day' there were only the two boards, the Cat and the Equipe, F2 were off the pace most of the time,their designer wasn't really that committed to the long board racing scene imv.

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Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 03 Oct 21 at 6:24am
Yes thatís right about the cat, I had an ultracat and it was great in a bit of breeze -fast and easy to sail . I canít even remember what happened to that one-


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 03 Oct 21 at 10:07am
I've still got an E2 in one shed, and Robby's own custom Pan Am Mk 1 prototype in the other shed. But like the IMCO, the slalom boards or the Lechner, none of them have come out since I got my Windsurfer LT.

Going from memory, the LT is like the famed Mistral Superlight "Mk 1" but with concaves and flatter rocker.  The Mistral may be faster in light winds, but the bigger fin, concaves, flatter tail and thicker rails of the LT make it a ball of fun downwind in a breeze, and easier to sail at other times.  Although I have been dead against major upgrades in other one design classes, I was always dead for this upgrade, and it's been great.  The big points are compared to the old board it's simpler and easier to sail, lots more fun to sail most of the time and for most people, and still dead simple and tough.  Sure, it's not super quick but it will still hit mid to high 20s (in knots) and it will do that while being incredibly simple and offering great sailing and also great tactical competition.

One other point about the class is the level of competition.  At the first (and, due to Covid, only worlds so far) I think we had 15 former Olympians, including the guy who was then ranked #1 in the current Olympic class - and he only won one of the three disciplines in which he competed.

The board sails to close to the same yardstick as a Laser; not 100% competitive in light airs but in a breeze even quite good sailors like the current A Class Classic world champ, an Olympic medallist, cannot compete on corrected time.


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 03 Oct 21 at 10:30am
So the new windsurfer is like the superlight but with concaves- that sounds like the competition SST to me (!


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 03 Oct 21 at 11:44am
If we ignore the very significant differences in fin, outline, rail shape, rig, simplicity, etc.  :-)
For example, I can't recall the SST or Superlight (1) sitting on the fin like the LT does, which isn't surprising when you look at the difference in size.  It makes the LT a different sort of board reaching in a breeze.

The other critical thing is that in the case of the LT, the class and its marketing are being handled by Starboard, Cobra, Mistral, Exocet, the class, Naish, I-99 (Cesare Cantagelli's brand in Italy) etc as a joint venture to regrow the sport.  The deal behind it is pretty good; anyone who can get together the minimum order can buy a bunch of boards but no one can use their marketing clout or bucks to over-ride the class.  It's genuinely being done to help the sport, and it's great to see both kids getting into it, and old guys rejuvenating their love for sailing.




Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 03 Oct 21 at 11:58am
I have just checked out the website-it really is back to the future (around 1983 I would guess). It is tempting but the only problem is my body isnít working like it did then😝


Posted By: skslr
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 9:09am
I have absolute no idea of wind surfing, but compared to the windsurfing sails I have seen this season this sail looks remarkably similar to a dinghy sail. The sails of the Fusion dinghy even have the same colours! Big smile


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 9:31am
Does it still have a dagger board that you remove and hang off your arm downwind?



Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 10:28am
Presumably can also do the sailing the Windsurfer on its side thing too

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 10:51am
Nope, definitely no centreboard-on-the-arm thing.  That went out in about 1983, when the Windsurfer had its first major revamp.  The modern board has a fully-retracting centreboard.

Yep, you can railride the LT quite well, although the rocker prevents the stern-first clew-first tack on the rail. It's not quite as easy to railride as the earlier shape, but the extra stability makes other moves (pirouettes, etc) easier.

[TUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9jGBv5x9bs[/TUBE]




Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 11:13am
No footstraps?



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 1:34pm
I have so far resisted my signature move of railriding it down the beach to launch, given it's a bit more shiny and less resistant to damage than the Original which was made of Polyethylene. The sail however is is very much dinghyesque in it's ultra old school tight leech design, but it is much improved with a new mast with a high percentage of carbon (can't remember exactly how much) but it even has a line inscribed at the join so the mast can always be assembled exactly as it was built I assume. Not that I imagine it will be the right thing to do if it's warm weather and the rig is left fully rigged, they can develop memory and stay a bit bent.
Sail works great for clew first manouvres if you're mucking about pretending you're not the wrong side of seventy and can still do everything you could the last time you sailed one at thirty..

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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 04 Oct 21 at 2:59pm
Originally posted by L192444

No footstraps?


No, very grippy all over traction pad, but I must say, there have been times when the wind's been a bit brisk I'd have liked the option... But that was never what the Windsurfer was about and they'd get in the way doing all the other freestyle stuff, now if they came out with the Original Windsurfer Rocket LT..

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Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 05 Oct 21 at 12:23am
Originally posted by L192444

No footstraps?


Nope, as said above the soft deck is very grippy. The '80s Mk 2 Windsurfer had a retracting 'board and footstrap fittings, but basically almost no one ever used them because you sail Windsurfers by moving your feet around a lot more than on other boards.  Many of us love that way of sailing; it's as if you're using more finesse and less the simple force you can apply by straps.  That may be one reason women tend to do very well, along with the ban on upwind pumping in course races.

Straps get in the way a lot, especially in light winds, and even in strong winds downwind when your stance on an LT puts your hips fairly close to 90 degrees to the centreline.  The whole idea of the board is for simplicity and to be as good in light winds, when you don't need straps, as in strong winds. There's also a considerable saving in on-the-water weight, since wet footstaps and their mountings are not particularly light.

The LT is rather like the Aero of boards, and the lack of straps is similar to the Aero's lack of wings or a trap; it's just not that sort of kit.

It's certainly a successful approach; the WS reports show that the class is outselling everything but the Opti and kites (although windfoils are selling well, no numbers are available). There were 10 national titles scheduled this year, from Finland (about 100 active racing boards) to Oz (about 350 class members IIRC) and the growth is probably accelerating despite Covid.


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 05 Oct 21 at 10:06pm
Looks good to me, maybe they should ban the harness too. 


Posted By: rb_stretch
Date Posted: 11 Oct 21 at 7:13am
Wonderful to be reminded of all those windsurfers that I had long forgotten. I learnt on the original windsurfer at Hamoaze in Plymouth and was fished out of the water a number of times by staff at the Mayflower Marina, after the vicious tide had dragged me in and pinned me to a boat. Completely unsuitable place to learn, but the only place I had access to water - those were the days!


Posted By: Old Timer
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 12:43pm
This looks a fantastic rebirth of a classic. 

What would the dinghy equivalent be?


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 4:00pm
Water Wag Big smile



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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Old Timer
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 6:25pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Water Wag Big smile


I was thinking of a modern laser Ö I guess that is the D zero. 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 7:38pm
Originally posted by Old Timer

This looks a fantastic rebirth of a classic.†
What would the dinghy equivalent be?

A laser built in Epoxy sandwich with a carbon mast, tbh not too much removed from what Ovi are doing with their ILCA, only lighter.

At the end of the day the Windsurfer came about as the Laser was revolutionising entry to dinghy world, but whereas the Laser was improving on what was an existing activity, the Windsurfer was an entirely new sport which as we all know went off the scale in all sorts of directions.

Now the old guard of windsurfing are yearning for the old days of one board does it all, trying to put Pandora back in the box, which can never happen, but, for us old guys it's nice to be able to recount those days on something a bit similar and modern, is it going to rejuvenate the sport?

Not a chance, once more windsurfing has shot itself in the foot with Starboard and their seven grand foiling pathway to never never land, one of our promising kids has just been forced to give up.

Until Sailing is forced out of the Olympics, and the illuminati made to change their viewpoint, I'm sorry, none of us are going to recover at grass roots.

Sailing at our level is f**ked.

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 8:11pm
Sorry to be controversial, but, attempting to officialise a 'pastime' is like trying to herd sheep using cats, never gonna happen,vast majority of boarders are having a laugh.

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Robert


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 8:29pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Sorry to be controversial, but, attempting to officialise a 'pastime' is like trying to herd sheep using cats, never gonna happen,vast majority of boarders are having a laugh.


Don't quite get where your coming from chum, I would guess there are probably as many recreational sailors (that dont race) as many as there are recreational sailboarders, it was always difficult to get them to race, in fact at Hythe we're one of a very few actual racing clubs, certainly the only none commercial.

So, given this is largely a racing forum, when I'm talking about windsurfing I tend to come from a racing perspective, frankly its the only arena in which the RYA can claim a pathetic hold on the sway of the sport/pastime/activity, which they have signally failed to deliver any governance worth the square root of doodly squat in the last twenty years since they disbanded the windsurfing committee.

So in that regard you could be regarded as accurate, however elsewhere in the world, where there are more enlightened governing bodies, Windsurfing competition is alive, well and growing, it's just here, we're moribund, in much the same way as dinghy sailing is moribund at grass roots level.

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 8:38pm
Perhaps my impression of wind surfing is what is causing the issue?

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Robert


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 13 Oct 21 at 9:08pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Perhaps my impression of wind surfing is what is causing the issue?


Probably, to most folk windsurfing is simply a high wind pastime not unlike surfing, kitesurfing.

But in the beginning it was a regatta sport like dinghy sailing, whereas kitesurfing, kite foiling wasn't and the hunt is on to try and persuade youngsters from sailing and competitive windsurfing to take up foiling in order to have some representation in order to give the jobsworths at the RYA some continued purpose. It's not occurring naturally.

There really hasn't naturally developed for instance regatta kitesurfing, because its not a naturally competitive racing sport other than in freestyle and to a limited degree kite speed sailingwhich was how 'Sailing' trapped kitesurfing within it's web of intrigue and corruption. Now we have an even more inaccessible activity of kite and windfoiling as a pathway to Olympic fame and fortune, doing nothing, nada, for the future attraction to our sport, clubs, organisations.

All that benefit are the upper echelon of World Sailing, RYA jobsworths and their continued tap into Government funding for medals, it's a different world, a world we should all break free of and if I were a younger man, would be agressively championing, but I aint, so I just despair and watch from the sidelines as my world disappears.

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