Twan Verseput Wins Luderitz Speed Challenge.

Report by: Twan Verseput

Before Luderitz I was thinking a few times about what to do with my sails to tune them in the right way for the Luderitz speedchannel. I met Pieter a few times and I know his knowledge about sail tuning and for me it was clear this is the way to go and have my sails ready for the channel.

During our meeting we discussed some things about the specific conditions (angle of the wind, apparent wind, profile deepness and so on..) that Luderitz has compared to the normal European speedsailing conditions.

What did I took with me to Luderitz:

  1. 2 sets of Pro Battens for my best sails
  2. Special carbon inserts to optimize the profile of the sail

Let’s start with the pro battens. I had 6 weeks of sailing in the channel so more then enough time to try and see what works the best for me. Pieter made 2 sets of battens, one with a slightly softer batten at the cross/6th batten and one stiff batten. Because I’m sailing there with an asymmetrical boom which means that batten is not leaning against the leeward side of the boom. This generates more power because you can make the sail fuller, but it also creates more curve in the batten which in hi wind can create control problems (to much backhand, less acceleration).

We found that especially in hi wind the slightly stiffer batten in the crossbatten gives you more control and better acceleration downwind. The back part of the batten stays nicely straight where I keep a nice deep profile in the front to keep power downwind!

Now the special inserts, they are something Pieter developed in the past but went in the ‘fridge’ for a couple years. First time I tried them at Strand Horst which gave me enough confidence to take them to Luderitz as well! They are something special, the give more profile in the front of the sail and also take away the backhand a little bit. They also make a really nice clean profile on the windward/leeward sides of the sail to keep the wind flow as efficient as possible. In the beginning, you will feel like you are missing power but once I looked at my watch I was surprised about my speeds and most important how less effort it took to reach it! This is definitely something I’m going to use more often in speed sailing.

Results during the Luderitz Speedchallenge:

1st overall with 50.05 knots on the video timing (wind 30-37 knots) Vmax of 53.2 knots

 

I was super happy to support Twan achieve this great result. Conditions could have been better to allow Twan to really push for the record, but the fact that he showed such great form and was always on top of the ranking was amazing to see. I’m super happy to have proven the Pro-filers (Carbon Mast sleeve inserts) and the Pro-battens for speed sailing. Specially to see that Twan was able to reach these speeds in the conditions they had during the holding period. Just like the pro-batten the pro-filers can be made to fit any sail, the cool thing is that one set can actually be used in more then one size. They do work best in combination with the pro-batten but also as a add on to your standard sail you will notice a lot of the benefits in performance and handing.

If you are interested please feel free to contact me via innovation@pieterbijlwindsurfing.com for more info.