My mate and I just had a little a training duel in Sydney Harbour. Brett was foiling and I was on a Raceboard. The wind recordings were 15 to 20 knots gusting to 27 and 28 knots W WSW. It felt windy on the harbour and I thought to myself it blows in harder I am going to have a real bastard of a time getting home across the heads to Manly. We meet up at Rose Bay and first sailed upwind. Brett was footing pretty fast I was climbing upwind with my centreboard down. We separated a bit and it was unclear who was in front in terms of VMG. Brett was definitely faster through the water. When he tacked I tacked. Brett used the full width of the harbour and I stayed in the channel as I felt the wind was better. Brett got parked in his tack and took a little while to get foiling again. I was powering along and Brett pass behind and to leeward of me so at this point the Raceboard was in front!! Then the Ships Pilot Boat passes in front of me, this boat produces a nice wave and I was able to get on its wake with good wind. I was sailing fast with great height as a result. As we got up to Double Bay Brett speed was very good but he was a fair way down to leeward. Brett’s tack was good, we were now going to cross! I got a lift so the angles started looking good for me. Everything was going perfect for me but then I got a knock and Brett was lifting and the angles started to change and slowly it turned in Bretts favour. At the end of the upwind Brett crosses my in front by about 3 to 5 boat lengths. Pretty close but I said to Brett, ‘I think the foil was much faster’ I said this knowing that I had had good breeze and a nice wake to ride upwind and Brett went a bit close to Bradleys head in his first tack losing the wind.
Upwind - Foil 1 RB 0
It was difficult holding our rigs in the wind and chatting.
I said, ‘go Downwind?’ and Brett said, ‘these are insane, they go straight downwind’ or words something like that.
Heading downwind on port I was planning but not super fast. Brett was going low. I saw strong wind to the left and was sailing high to get to it. I got in the gust first and was lit up big time, the RB had more speed for sure but again we were now separated and in different wind. I held the gust all the way past Bradleys Head and then gybed. My gybe was bad but surprisingly when we came to cross I was still in it and perhaps in front. Then Brett had a crash so I’m claiming the downwind.
Foil 1 RB 1
I then said to Brett, Í better go home’
Brett followed me for a little bit. For sure the RB was quicker downwind in high wind and we were both on the same angle and same wind!
Summing up, the foil looked super cool. Sometimes Brett was going fast and only had the hull just out of the water. It looked safe this way. I thought the foil would have been clearly faster so I was a little surprised! I think I expect a lot of the foil, to be on par with a moth or foiling kite. If Brett had been on his Formula board I reckon he would have got me comfortably so in terms of performance the foiling is getting there but not there yet in my opinion. Maybe foiling is more a lighter wind thing. We had foils before in Rush Randle's time but they never prove to be faster back then, I feel this time it is different
Hopefully on the weekend we can test more by matching up all the course racing windsurfers, a Formula Board with a 12m sail and foil and a RB in light winds and even a Lechner if possible. Stayed tuned.
Regards Justin Lord
Brett was riding a Kerr foil and current NP sail. I was on Exocet RB and LORD Racing RB Sail
The Peter Loft Marathon 2017
We had another fantastic race this year with light to moderate winds and brilliant sunshine. A large windsurfing fleet did exceptionally well. John Doolan was looking super fit finishing as the top windsurfer and special mention to a super tough Jorn Khronke finishing the course after falling in 3 times and getting becalmed off Palm Beach.
It was great watching John Doolan (Gosford SC) come running across the beach to ring the bell, a proud moment for windsurfing he only had two foiling moths and a Catamaran in front. Close behind was Doug Mclean (Canbera YC). It was great to hear all the sailors come in and tell their stories. Lea Sitja (Woollahra SC) blasted out of the bay at the start. Steve Newman (Pittwater) used his local knowledge to make good gains tactically. And other guys and girls sharing the stoke, “oh I sailed high on the course”,” I sailed too close to the island”, etc. All the sailors came in pretty close to each other considering it was a true marathon of around 2 hours plus.
My own race was a bit of a disaster in that I didn’t finish. I took a 12m sail on the Formula board and I only got to get planning briefly. I was in last place when I decided it was time to head for home. When I got close to the beach in the lee of the shore the wind swirled around and I thought, oh no I am going to fall in! Better duck around the front, no that won’t work, maybe sheet in. That didn’t work either and in slow motion me and the rig went plonk into the water. I yacht motored by and asked if I was having a good day, Ha. I was having a great day, I was windsurfing! Yeah I said , beautiful day. My enthusiasm had not been dented for windsurfing.
The day before Dobroyd SC held their first winter race. I asked the guys how did it go? Lissa chirped up, guess how many we had? She seems confident so I bumped the number up and said 15! She snapped back 25!! Wow that is fantastic fleet racing, true fleet racing! A key point for me about this involvement is when I was in last place and then retired from the race I didn’t feel embarrassed or anything like that but rather still accepted. There is something special about this group about Raceboard in Australia and I believe we are building and it won’t be long before Australia has it’s next world champion. Royal Queensland YS has the centre of excellence for windsurfing which is super cool and they are hosting the national championship in January (check this). I have a RB sail in production and I have drawn up a new Race board hull. I reckon we will develop the fastest gear and with the best fleet racing we will be the champions!! Or we will get fit and have a lot laughs trying, so win win either way.
I drove up to Burrum Heads on Tuesday hoping to catch some good winds later in the week. What happened to the Australian Coast nobody could have predicted! Widespread devastation over two states which is still happening as i write.
On Thursday the event was cancelled as the weather took a turn for the worst. I was working on my computer in my place which i fully sealed the windows and doors one storey up and yet the water penetrated halfway across the floor. Then the power went out and i noticed i had nearly run out of food. So i did a little drive down to the shop to stock up but the whole town was out of power. There was minor flooding in the streets however unbeknownst to me this water may have damaged my car! The weather calmed down and i packed up ready to leave for home. I checked for road closures drove around to say goodbye but couldn't find many sailors. I guessed they had evacuated already.
I drove out burrum heads roads but got turned around and given a new route. On toowoom rd i saw warter up ahead. I went through some shallow water to get to a farm entrance to do a 3 point turn. I heard a groaning come from the car. When i was ready to reverse out of the driveway to car shut down! I rang roadside assist they were short staffed as the government told everybody to go home but i dont think they meant essential services to go home. I had to explain about 5 times my location i wasnt feeling confident. Eventually they rang back saying a tow truck could not get to me. I said all sorts of cars are going past me and the water is rising all around me. They road i came in on now had shallow water going over it completely. They said they could try the ses. I said no i safe enough just check with tow truck companies again. I then rand dennis Winstanlanley just in case i was going to need rescuing. Eventually a towtruck came later in the night. And took my car to a mechanic and me to a motel. I was starving by now! It was actually quite a scary moment a realise afterwards and gave me a small insight to those who are really suffering from this massive far reaching storm.
I wrote this on my mobile phones cracked screen , pretty hard
Now i am in hervey bay waiting for the car report. Hopefully i will be home soon to my family.
It was a short 4 day busy trip to China for me and my son. We were there to meet our manufacturer for our 9.5m RB design.
The first day we meet the owner of the sail making factory. Straight away I was relieved to see the factory. He built the facility himself, it is huge! Purpose built for sail making. Inside I couldn’t count the amount of laser cutters and the sewing machines. Until now I have been using a CAD/CAM wheel cutter. The accuracy has to be mm perfect.
The factory has downsized, they have turned away the big customers/jobs in favour of more boutique type businesses like me. They prefer to have a small high quality workforce. Finding expert seamstresses is hard they tell me.
They give a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty and fully stand behind their products. They are totally confident in this.
They fully check the product before it is packaged. It has to made as agreed. Then there is wear and tear, how long should a sail last? For me I want a sail that can win the World Championship built strong enough to handle a storm. Once I’m onto a good thing I want it to last and last but I don’t want the sail to be over designed and heavy. All these things need to be considered.
The expert Sailmakers in the factory have suggested I use mast sleeve material in the luff pocket instead of X-Ply for increased wear and tear. I did notice rolling and unrolling the sail the X-Ply was less agreeable to this action. So I have agreed to this change but only for the leading edge and not the whole luff pocket.
I am considering changing the cams to roller cams. Roller cams rotate well. Gun sails use them in their world cup racing sails. The factory have their own roller cams I would just need to adjust the luff pocket. Actually a big job.
Battens are critical. I have used a range of suppliers to make the battens and I tried many combinations. We will recreate the battens using their in house batten fabrication and this will need to be tested. After market batten detail may suit some sailors.
I favour having no mast protector as I think it is more racing. We are going to trial a removable mast protector so you board has protection for training days.
The range of colours is vast in this loft and all dimension Polyant and screen printing is available also. I few people have given me feedback with regards to colours. Some want to not draw attention to them selves on the start line which I understand and some want to make windsurfing fully visible with all the fun of colours. What do you think? The factory has agreed to special one of orders for those sailors that insist on their own colour scheme.
I will go for max colour on this one. :-)
So I have decided given all these changes I will pay to make another prototype by their hand. This will be version 5. This will add 2 to 3 weeks hopefully less before production starts. I apologize for the delay.
Any updates I will post to this blog. Please contact me with any feedback.
The Raceboard sail I designed is on it way to Hong Kong! I am putting it into production for a short run only. Limited numbers only, I am not making extras or holding stock. If you are interested please message me ASAP to go the list.
On Tuesday 14th March 2017 or Wednesday I will be at the production facility and then send a message back to you with your warranty protection details, sail details and of course the price. The more we order the better it will be for everybody.
In your message please tell me if you have any special requirements. For example you might request the following.
1. I want the factory to put my sail numbers and my name on the sail in black and white or in my personal colours.
2. Instead of orange flouro logo etc can I have red highlights as I sail the Exocet RS380 elite board to match the red stern. Or maybe another colour, green.
3. l will pick up from Sydney or Hong Kong myself or I will send my courier to pick up for me.
4.Send me the sail/s to this address. We have good rates with FEDEX worldwide.
5. I need the sail before the Queensland State Titles.
6. I need the sail now before the European seasons starts to start training.
7. I want a sail mast combo deal. SLAKE or Gun Select 550 SDM.
8. Any other request, please ask
kindest regards Justin Lord
please share this post with your RB friends. You will be able to share shipping cost if a bunch of mates nominate one shipping address.
Differences from V3 to V4
1. batten added (influenced from the demon sail to give more wind range),
2. boom cutout lowered (i am over 6ft and a little heavy for RB, this will suits majority of sailors),
3. seam shaped reduced and move forward (only slightly as V3 was very good in this regard)
4. shaping into pocket, added luff found, luff pocket narrower, less mast rake (end plate effect is easier to achieve),
5. materials revised (higher quality - longer lasting).
6. tack design revised (lowered for easier to achieve end plate effect)
7. Boom shorter and mast longer.
Raceboard Worlds 2016: A Sailor’s Preparation and Regatta.
Firstly I would like to give thanks to Team NSW. There is a great community of Raceboarders here in NSW that are fun to hang out with. Richie and Lissa (the bosses) travelled the world for years prior convincing the World Raceboard community that Australia can host this important regatta. I reckon they must have had confidence knowing that their friends back in Dobroyd are talented and diverse group that can get the job done. I was really touched at The Worlds to see people giving up their week to volunteer; many sailors had official jobs before and after sailing. One cool thing in particular I thought was seeing Richie and Lissa teaching novice windsurfers at DAC selflessly and then coming to the race with the main fleet. These warm up races prior to the worlds was super important in preparing for the worlds. This caring attitude goes all the way through the NSW Raceboard scene.
Making the decision to sail Raceboard
James Grunfelder and Reece Herbert and other guys were saying to me last summer, ‘get back into RB for the worlds’. I was cautious because I know how physical the class is and my weight was in the 90 kilo range. Around 70 kilo is a competitive range. Later, I attended the NSW Association meeting at the Oaks pub (April?) and listened to Greg McInnes talk about the RB worlds. The seed was planted in my brain, I thought to myself, ‘It’s a world championship in Australia!!’ So I gave it some serious thought. I saw they have heavyweight class. Sailing with my own designed sail was a big incentive. I have been importing and reselling windsurf brands which has been super fun, but a lot work. I always thought it would be better to have my own brand. I had previously made Moth sails and with a background in Architecture a sail brand is the obvious choice for me. In Architecture visualization skills are essential and I thought that with the same computer software I was half way. In the Raceboard class prototypes are allowed. Making my own sail was the clincher for me in deciding to take up RB.
I started dieting before the Green Island Slalom Nationals. At that regatta I was about 89 kilo. Sometime after that my wife organised a doctor, and blood and stool samples were taken (arh too much information). A tailored diet with supplements with my naturopath wife chipping in was prepared. I also did gym work with on water sailing. My Gym program was 10 min of bike, stretching, running (12.5min varying to 30min), resistance – weight lifting, and swimming (500m). This I did most days first thing in the morning after a 12hour fast. I would vary things, sometimes interval and sometimes aerobic, or upper body one day, lower the next for the weights. On the 9th Nov I weighted in 81.7kg, my lowest weigh in for years. Technically at this weight I could have registered as a lightweight! However leading into the regatta to reduce stress I eased up on the dieting and exercise and gained weight.
In this regatta the first 4 finishes were lightweights. It always seems to favour lightweight sailors even though we had some good winds. Many lightweight sailors have been through the Olympic sailing system so their intensity and condition was at another level. While I could have worked harder on diet and exercise, at the end of the day I am satisfied with my efforts.
My main strategy was to develop gear to have good boatspeed. I choose the Exocet because I liked the rail shape and uncomplicated deck. 90% of the fleet sail the Phantom so it’s a chance to have a edge over the majority (if it is actually better). I spoke to Rob Scaroff a lot before buying and he told me the Exocet is flying upwind. In the end after weighing up all the factors at that time, I go for it. The board arrives in June with about 5 and half months to go.
I had plans to develop centreboards, fins and sails, however the sail turned out to be a big job, so I dropped the fin and centreboard due to lack of time. I had heard some skiff sailors were trying humpback whale irregular leading edge fins; exciting concepts that unfortunately will have to wait.
My first sail has many innovative design features, leading my mate Arnie Shields to nickname it ‘Robo-Sail’. The sail takes about 1 month to make and ends up as a bit of a disaster! I used Dimension Polyant Q-Bond Tape and 3M tape instead of sewing so that it would be lighter and not crimp at the seams. I did a carbon head cap, and left the batten pockets opened at the trailing edge and varied to twist with twine. The main issue was the luff round was way too much. I felt like it was a complete waste of time. I started doubting myself and I considered buying a Loft Sail, until my wife quickly got me back on track. This first sail became an important reference point for the following two sails.
For my next sail, I wanted to make something more conventional to get the basics right. It was, however, still a bit of guess work, and my heart sank when I first rigged it at the first interclub regatta at Illawarra. It looked too deep, too draft aft and too flat at the luff. I still went racing with it despite these flaws, and as the day went on I found it to be super fast. The winds were light and I found that the sail didn’t have a huge wind range. Its shape I later learned was similar to the current demon sail brand, which I saw months later at the regatta.
The third sail I made would have to be the regatta sail, as I only had time to make one more sail before the worlds. Making it took a long time on the laptop, as I was far more meticulous with my designs. I took the advantages from my previous sails and evened out the numbers. It turned out pretty good, and after tuning the cams and battens I was ready for the Championship.
I was often asked, ‘How do think you will go?’ For a bit of gamesmanship and to avoid putting pressure on myself, I said ‘To finish in the time limit’, and to justify my answer I stated Ivan Pastor’s 2nd place in the medal race at Rio. Truthfully, I wanted to be on the podium, if only in my weight or age group. Training for the regatta with Lea and all the guys had been great. I love that period before a regatta when dreaming of a good result, however a dose of reality was coming!
In the practice race I got rolled off the start line by one of the CZE guys, not sure which one, they look identical and coincidently have the same last name. I also got rolled by a bunch of sailors downwind! I was going to have to change a lot of things in my sailing style before the start of the regatta in two days.
In Race One I sailed different angles and with new pumping vigor, I started out in a better position, but then disaster in following the guys in front sail the wrong course, I finished windward of the finish line!! By the time I had realised and corrected my mistake, I had recorded my worst result.
My next bad result was the final race on Day 2. The wind rose to 17 knots, however I failed to adapt and change gears to get the board going. I really needed to flatten my gear more so in that race.
Before Day 3 started, I had some serious words with myself! Ha Ha. I told myself that I would have to risk injury or fatigue on this day to stay in touch. Previously, I had been showing great speed but mucking it up one way or the other. I needed to finish up there or the points would get away from me. On the last race on Day 3, I led to the first mark and on the final downwind I overtook Antonio to finish 4th. A great result and everyone was super stoked for me. I was starting to turn my results around and was feeling confident for a strong finish.
Day 4 was my disaster day. I think this was my 8th world championship (including Moths), and I have never fell in so much in a world championship. No races went well on this day.
On Day 5, James was 20 points in front of me in 11th position, so I conceded that battle. I was watching the boards behind me and tactically keeping in the same wind while letting my speed keep me in front. Although I started in the second row in the last race, somehow I managed to hang onto 12th place. 4th Aussie, 4th age group and 6th heavy weight.
Ultimately, it was an exceptional regatta for everybody. The fact that it was probably my last major championship leaves me feeling a little flat because it was such a positive experience. I am now focusing on the next sail design based on what I have learnt in Brisbane. Hopefully production is a real possibility soon and a new sail brand LORD RACING will be born.
Post regatta, there has been talk of a new Raceboard hull possibly crowd-funded by the sailors. There is a need for a 14kg (class weight limit) durable board. That would be 20 to 30% lighter than our current options, a big potential advantage!
I am keen for the Raceboard, as a development class, to jump up another gear. Techniques are changing within the class; the boards are being sailed like a Formula or RSX board, in about 20 knots. This planing style of sailing will happen earlier as the gear improves. If this did happen would my beloved Formula class lose relevance? I think the formula class will take on light winds with foils and increase the range of use. If the Formula class solves light winds, will the Raceboard lose relevance? I think there is room for both as they seem to suit different body shapes. I enjoy sailing both.
Good winds, stay salty