16th Dec 2017 - Heat 3 Formula v Foil
Forecast was for moderate to fresh NE but in the end by my own observation it is only 5 to 10 knots.
In the morning it was a super hot day at Marmong Point Sailing Club! Overcast and looking like rain or even thunderstorms but eventually the cloud and haze cleared up and the wind fills in from the east after about a five hour long wait onshore.
We have about 20 sailors challenging, of which about half a dozen are foiling.
The pin end is favoured and Glen Morrell is well positioned to win the start. Glen is riding a foil. I position myself badly and get stuck with the committee boat and some boards to leeward of me but eventually find myself on the line. When the gun goes nobody is really going, Glen has space to leeward and gets away and I go straight after him but as soon as I start pumping my calf muscle start to cramp! Never had that before, it is going to be a though day! I look over my shoulder to see Brett Morris is also going well to windward of me. Rick Murray clears himself from traffic and gets going well upwind. It is the usual formula suspects and now add Glen on foil who has made very good progress mastering foiling since Heat 1 Formula v Foil event back in October. The conditions are marginal and often we have to bear away to nearly beam reach angle but stiil trying to go upwind just to keep the board going. It is also hard to link up from puff to puff.
Brett, Glen and myself are neck and neck around the course. Coming up to the last top mark Glen and I tack before a puff finishes but we are below the lay line. Brett continues and picks up new wind to round the mark with two less tacks and this is the moment when Brett wins the race. I don’t follow Brett down to the finish but choose a different route hoping for a miracle and then I cannot get going after my gybe as I am on the lighter side of the course but somehow I manage to hold off glen for second. Glen and I both drift over the line in very little wind.
The Race Officer moves the committee boat windward for the second race to square up the line. The wind is slowly coming around to the NorEast and very slightly above marginal planing wind strength now. However in the last minute of the sequence the wind shifts more left and the pin end is hugely favoured again and Brett is perfectly positioned for it to win the start. I am thinking dam is it over already as the rest of us probably cannot even lay the pin end of the line. Glen over my shoulder tacks onto the now lifting port tack and I follow him immediately. It ends up been a stroke of genius and Glen and I get away from the fleet and we are racing each other for the win. I hold him all the way till the last gybe where he sails faster and deeper to the bottom mark and Glen takes the win. I pushed hard and pumped hard and I picked the lay lines perfect and planed the whole race but it is not enough! Rick gets 3rd in front of Brett.
Before this regatta I thought the foils had a edge in super light conditions only, but now I think as the wind increased Glen was definitely still powering and maybe even more so. We need to do it all again and test more but foils are definitely real now.
Max Gaubert and I are working hard bringing the premium French foils into Australia. Windsurfing is on the cusp of entering the age of performance foiling!! Exciting times ahead!!
For the Formula guys I would say Formula sailing is still to remain for some time as a disciple for the big and strong. I find formula very enjoyable and challenge and a beautiful and safe way to get all around picturesque Sydney Harbour.
Next events are the Ledge to Lancelin for the lucky ones able to make the trip over and the Downunder pro for Raceboard and Formula fleets at Royal Queensland.
Regards Justin Lord
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.