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4Jul/14Off

Raceboard European Championship – Patrik on the podium

Patrik Pollak reports from his great performance on the Raceboard European Championship with his new Loft Sails Raceboard Blade.

 

I received my new loft raceboard blade only a week before the Europeans and off course the first thing I did is drive to the lake to test it.When I unrolled it from the bag I had that positive feeling about it which turned into excitement the moment I rigged it up. Monty did it again !!!Our aim from day one was to make the sail that can get you around the course fast in any conditions. And this sail looks exactly like it.

 

In Sopot we had anything and everything from 2-28 knots (flat water, waves) even a long distance which took and hour to finish and during which conditions changed from around 20 knot to maybe 8 at the very end. Bad sail choice in these condition mean and hour, or more of pure pain or sure discard.
While many were running very often to the beach to switch between light and strong wind sail I do not have to worry about that.

 

We sailed 14 races and the sail worked very very good in variety of conditions we had during the event. You can trim it flat for upwind legs in strong wind which allowed me to sail high and fast without wasting too much energy (hey I am 41 so power is nothing without control and I have to plan exactly where to spend it) and when you want that “power on the back hard” which not only Robby Naish prefers when reaching downwind you can just release the outhaul and the quite “turbo charged engine” reveals an V8 beast. If you race on upwind downwind course speed is not the most important aspect. Angle is. And this sail goes upwind with great angle, but it is nothing compared to downwind leg angles.   Conditions were very often shifty but the Loft Raceboard Blade makes the downwind tactics a piece of cake. Same speed but better angle downwind makes it easy to dig deeper, get on inside of you opponents, jibe 50 or 100 meters sooner because their lay line does not apply to you, and get to the bottom mark before them. This is what I did few times cllimbing up from late teens to 5th or even top 3 in one downwind leg.   Both outhaul and downhaul systems are necessary to get maximum out of this sail and still searching for that sweet spot, finding the balance between angle and speed is ongoing. That is fine because that search is what I love about windsurfing and I hope it never ends.But the search for that one and only raceboard sail is over. If you want to forget about rigging derigging, tuning the battens, finding the mast and all that make sure you get the new Raceboard Blade from Loft Sails, rig it up in the recommended mast and all you have to worry about is your sailing.   You have a weapon which can win you a race in any conditions. No excuses anymore, it is time to work on your technique and physical and play the shifts.

Air to breathe wind to live

PATRIK POLLAK
More info on the Racebaord Blade here

Click here to read more: The Loftsails



27Jun/14Off

Lena Erdil at the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge

The Dunkerbeck speed challenge has been one of the most fun, but at the same time challenging events I have taken part in the recent years.

 
It was so fun because it had a really relaxed atmosphere with a lot of people from really different backgrounds and a lot more amateurs then Pro’s, aswell as some amazing kids all competing together on the same course! But it was also challenging for me as it was despite all my Lüderitz experience my first real speed competition and it took me a little time to figure out the tricks of it. I feel like I learned a lot within only a few days of speed sailing and would like to share my experiences with you .
 
At the beginning I tried to make up for my lack of experience in competition speed sailing by going through the course as many times as possible within one hour, choosing my 87l slalom board to make it easier to sail upwind and get through the lulls in the starting area, but I soon realised that even though i would be more likely to get better gusts by going down the course more times, the race format was only looking at the 2 best 250m runs within 1 hour.
 
So on the second day I changed my tactics and started using my small Patrik Speed board even with my 6,3 Loftsails racing blade and increased my speed by 2-3 knots eventhough I was doing less runs because I was spending more time swimming in the places where the wind wasn’t strong enough in the starting area. It also took a while to get a good fin, as I dont really own any speed fins and was mainly trying my small slalom fins I had a lot of spinouts on the first day. But was really lucky to have Anders Bringdal borrow me one of his new Assymetrical Gasoil speed fins on the second day, which turned out to be the perfect combination with my kit. No spin outs, really comfortable to push against and excellent acceleration. (Thank you Anders!)
 
Another very important aspect of improving speeds during the challenge in Matas Blancas was choosing the right 250m route to take within the 500 m course. Being a GPS challenge, the riders were given quite a lot of freedom in choosing the course they believed was fastest for them the 3 most popolar ones were:

  • 1 – to go more across the wind and try to catch some rolling swell to give you a little bit of extra accelerations,
  • 2 – to go streight down along the beach where it was flattest or,
  • 3 – to start at the beach and then bear off down wind to where the wind was strongest most the time.

 
For me personally a combination of 1 and 2 worked best, my goal on the run was to get some nice acceleration from the swell, aswell as looking for stronger gusts to bear off into. On my best run (36knots 250m average with 38.5knots top speed) i was using my 5.6 Speed edition racing blade with my 43 Patrik Speed board and the 24cm Gasoil Fin from Anders. The kit felt really comfortable, but what was really special about the best two runs was the wind; I could see the flat water glistering in front of me, it was as white-capped as really flat water can be and I could trust my equipment to keep accelerating the more I pushed against the fin in the strongest parts of the gusts.
 
The great thing about GPS and speed sailing is that you can compete within a large group of people of different abilities while at the same time you are actually only competing against yourself, trying to go faster and faster every time. All in all it was a great event we sailed 3 days, 9 hours in 20+ knots and I think everyone was happy with their own personal achievement. I hope to be able to go back again next year.
 
Aloha
 
Lena
 
Pics by Armin Walcher

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26Jun/14Off

Nicolas Goyard – IFCA Youth Slalom World Champion 2014

Nicolas Goyard was crowned IFCA Youth Champion after three straight wins, dominating his category from start to finish. Nico prepared the event by arriving earlier and having some days to test the spot and the conditions, and it really paid off.

IFCA JYM Worlds - Nicolas Goyard Youth World Champ

Nico and his Racing Blade 8.6 World Champs

Nicolas Goyard, just 18 years old dominated the IFCA Youth Slalom Worlds from start to finish taking all three slalom races and wining all but one of his heats. Nicolas is competing in both RSX and Slalom as well as in Raceboard class ocasionally. Last year he was already French RRD120 Champion, a very popular class for the young windsurfers in France. Find out more about him at https://sites.google.com/site/nicolasgoyardwindsurfer/

On top of Nicolas Goyard’s victory, Rob Hofmann was competing in Master category and mNicolas Goyard was crowned IFCA Slalom Youth World Champion last week in Costa Brava, but also Rob Hofmann won the Grand Master title and Jimmy Van Someren was first U15 in the Junior category, so that is three Loft World Champions altogether ¡¡¡ Read the report and interview with Nicolas Goyard Windsurfing his chances of stepping on the podium until the very last race to finally finish 6th but taking the Grand Masters Victory. And Jim van Someren, competing in the Junior category was first U15, so that is 3 Loft World Champions altogether.

Interview with Nicolas Goyard:

Q: So Nico, what is it like to be IFCA World Champion?

A: Honestly,  being world champion, of course is a great joy that you indeed feel when you win the last race of the championship and when you step on the podium and your receive the trophy; however afterwards everything stays the same. You have to continue training hard and progressing to the next level. Of course you want to win to confirm that your efforts are paying off.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the spot and the conditions during the competition in Costa Brava?

A: We went a couple of days before the start of the competition and trained with our coach, Aurélien Le Metayer, luckily I was using the same gear I finally used during competition, Racing Blade 8,6 and a 80cm Slalom board. I was really fast compared to the guys in my age category but also compared to the Masters. During the first days there was a light tramontana that avoided the local summer breeze to kick in, and we also had thunderstorms at night. From Thursday on, the local breeze blew a bit stronger, but not too much, around 12 knots.

Q: You managed to win all three races of the championship; can you tell us how you did it?

A: Apart from and early mistake due to stress in the first quarter final where I finished fourth, I won all other heats I was in. I won the first two finals with big advantage over the second; it was a good start… On the last day the race director announced that he would only finish the third race, so I was already World Champion. We had stronger winds, around 16 knots, and I also won the last final, but with a bit more competition.

Q: Which sail quiver have you used during competition? How did you feel on your rigs compared to your competitors? What was your strong point?

A: I used the Racing Blade 8,6 during all the competition, I am really getting used to this size, it gave me the extra speed I needed in order to win. The sail is very powerfull perfectly oriented and is always tracking forward. It allows me to foil the board sooner, accelerating faster and getting me on the plane very quick after the jibes.
Q: What is your program for the rest of the season?

A: Now I have to lose some weight to compete in the RS:X 8.5 French Championship as well as the Frenc Slalom 31 Championship (3 sails + 1 monotype board). I will also try to get an invitation for the PWA La Torche, which would be my first ever PWA competition.

IFCA JYM Worlds – Nicolas Goyard Youth World Champ

Nicolas jibing towards victory

IFCA JYM Worlds - Jimmy Van Someren U15 World Champ

Jimmy and his Racing Blade 2012

IFCA JYM Worlds – Rob Hofmann GrandMaster Champion

Rob at full speed with his Racing Blade

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

12Jun/14Off

The Loft Team at Defi Wind 2014

Defi Wind is one of the most spectacular and demanding sailing events worldwide. The expectation is very high year after year, as the number of participants keeps increasing. This year was a record breaking, as the inscriptions raised up to 1.000 windsurfers and a great forecast ahead. As the dates where the same as PWA Costa Brava most of the pro-windsurfers following the tour were missing.

Defi Wind - Day 1 - Nico Jibes to victory

Defi Wind – Day 1 – Nico Jibes to victory

Nicolas Warembourg was really expecting the race as last year he fought really hard and was just off the podium, his goal for this edition obviosly was to jump on the podium, and so he did. He was able to win two out of six races and the one raced in the hardest conditions, and had the chance to win the overall until the very last race. Delphine, on her side had the pressure of  being double World Champion,

Defi Wind - Delphine Cousin womens winner

Defi Wind – Delphine Cousin womens winner

PWA Slalom 2013 and her recent IFCA Slalom World title. She had to fight back a strong contendant, as she was unable to win the first two races, but after taking the third one it was all straight wins to take the final women title.

Nico tells us his day a day races and experiences:

Day 1: Happiness ¡¡ I was feeling the pressure before the race started, a mixed feeling of fear and excitement, as I have been waiting a whole year to come back and improve my results. For Race 1 I used my Racing Blade 6.3 and a 92l Slalom board. The goal of course is to do a good start, right after the boat, I am on time and already fighting my way to the first mark with Pascal Boulanger and Patrice Belbeoch, arriving third to the first mark and catching up to second at the third mark, I see that Patrice has gone to much downwind and has to tack to get back on track … Race 1 is mine ¡¡¡

Day 2: Bad starts ¡¡ I was still on the same equipment for Race 2, but had a bad start this time and had to fight my way back up the fleet, to arrive 5th to the first mark, but  a boat from the organization closed in while gybing and I fell down, meaning I had yet again to fight back with the added pressure to finally finish 9th. Wind was raising and decided to go one size down to Racing Blade 5.6 and 87l, but a wind drop 20 second before the start made me fall …hard to believe when there were 30 to 40 knots ¡¡¡  Again I had to speed up the fleet to arrive 8th to the first mark and 3rd at the finish lie, not too bad after all.

Day 3: Recognition ¡¡ On saturday the wind was very strong, so strong I thought we would not be able to race, but the race was on, so I rigged my smallest Racing Blade 4.9, 87l and a 27 cm fin. There is strong chop all over but I was determined to fight for this epic race. A good start and I find myself in the leading fleet, but having to hold on to my boom in order not to crash down, as some riders are doing around me … 3rd or 4th at the first mark, 2nd behind Pierre Moretti near the second mark, I see him gybing smoothly as the wind drops next to the organization boat, I decide to skip a tight gybe and go deeper past the boar looking for the wind gust which proved to be a good move as I find myself in the lead after the gybe. Despite starting to be tired I went on to increse the distance with the chasing group. I could hear the people shouting from the beach and also my coach and the Loft Sails manager received me on the beach to celebrate this great victory that I will always remember.

Defi Wind - Day 3 - Nico wins and epic Race 4

Defi Wind – Day 3 – Nico wins and epic Race 4

Day 4: Bitter victory ¡¡ The pressure builds as we prepare for the last race of the Defi, I can stop visualizing the course in my head before the start, while my coach tries to calm me down and give me the last advices. I score a good start and after some miles, Patrice is chasing me, while Andrea and Anders are in front and near the shore. I pass the first mark in 7th or 8th position but know that I have to finish within the first six to win the Race, so I battle hard with Pierre Moretti and Denis Standhart during the rest of the legs to finally cross the finish line on sixth position thinking that I won the overall …just to realize when arriving to the beach that Andrea finished first and I was finally second. It took me 20 minutes to digest the news … I was so close … no regrets however as I did my best on this last race. Once on the podium I realised what I achived, as my initial goal was a podium position.  I will come back in 2015 with even more motivation ¡¡¡

Defi Wind - Price giving - Nico celebrating on the podium

Defi Wind – Price giving – Nico celebrating on the podium

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

16May/14Off

Delphine Cousin – IFCA Slalom World Champion

With the cancellation of the PWA in Ulsan – Korea, many PWA regulars took the chance to go down to the Azores and compete for the IFCA Slalom Championship, right after the Formula Worlds. Wind only showed up during one day, and the organization was able to complete one full men Slalom round and three women rounds.

Delphine Cousin - IFCA Slalom World champion

Delphine Cousin – IFCA Slalom World champion

Despite a bad start in the firs slalom, Delphine managed to come back and take all next two in a row, discarting her first race and securing this way the title, showing great preparation for the PWA season: “After the cancellation of the world cup in Korea, I decided to go to the World Championship IFCA wich took place in Azores on Terceira Island. Competition has finished on saturday night after a week with few wind. Indeed, on 4 days of races, wind has been present just for one afternoon but for womens fleet we have done 3 races. During this races, wind was enough irregular between 12 to 25 knots. The choice of the gear was really hard. After a disastrous first round in wich I did a bag choice of gear, I make it up by winning the next tow races. And finally, I am first and I won the title of WORLD CHAMPION SLALOM IFCA 2014!

I am really happy because it permits me to begin the season in a good way before the first step of the World Cup PWA in Turkmenistan at the beginning of July.My next competition will be the Defi Wind on 29th May to 1st june, the biggest windsurfing meeting in the world ( 1000 competitors).”
Lena Erdil, on his side, managed to lead the competition until the very last race due to a bad gybe and lost the title by just one point. Winter training in South Africa proved to be a good way to prepare the season.
Lena Erdil - IFCA Slalom Vice Champion

Lena Erdil – IFCA Slalom Vice Champion

“I’m back Home in Ortakent now with a nice second place trophy from this years IFCA World championships in my suitcase! Although second place is still a solid result I’m still a little disappointed not to get first and wanted to let you know that i lost out on first place by just one point and mainly because I managed to fall in one of my jibes eventhough i was leading :( We got to race only one day, but managed to make 3 finals within that day, I finished first in one and second in both the others. However on the up side it was a good training race for the coming PWA races, I got to test all my equipment in racing conditions and against last years champion Delphine Cousine and am now feeling confident for this years PWA racing season. I have 6 weeks now until the first slalom race in Turkmenistan, so I will go back into full power training mode.” All in all a good result for the Loft Sails women team, taking the first two spots in the IFCA Slalom Worlds 2014 and a great start of the season for the Racing Blade.

Delphine and Lena on the Podium

Delphine and Lena on the Podium

On the mens side, Gonzalo managed to enter the final and was fighting for podium positions until the very first mark, when his boom got stuck in the water during the gybe and was finally 8th. Antoine Questel won the losers final, Ludo was just off the top ten, 11th and Nico Warembourg 13th. Well done to all ¡¡¡   Video recap of the event:    

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

7Apr/14Off

Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge

This week we are stoked to officially announce it as Dunkerbeck Week here on Boardseeker. Over the next seven days we will have several features with the 41 times World Champion. Speed challenges to retirement and his 30th year on tour to his top tips on how to go pro in the public eye, there […]

Click here to read more: Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine » | Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine

28Mar/14Off

Event Of The Year

Down the line wave sailing in Victoria, Southern Australia, has made this perhaps the event of the year so far. You might be shouting at the screen “RBSC, RBSC, RBSC” but when it comes down to it, which one would 99% of us prefer to compete in. Incredibly well organised, great conditions and an awesome […]

Click here to read more: Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine » | Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine

27Mar/14Off

Warsaw, Poland

Check out the latest updates on PAGE 7 – CLICK HERE. Or read the feature through and enjoy the developments as they happen. Stay tuned. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Once again windsurfing media will be flooded with scenes of the ever exciting indoor windsurfing. Slalom, freestyle or jump, it doesn’t matter what you are in to because this […]

Click here to read more: Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine » | Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine

6Feb/14Off

The Journey to England

It’s been one of the longest on-forecast events in the history of our sport. Almost failing on the first hurdle, the Red Bull Storm Chase very nearly missed out on the perfect storm they were looking for to launch this latest edition of their storm chase series. The fact of the matter is, they got […]

Click here to read more: Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine » | Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine

6Feb/14Off

St Barth Fun Cup’14 – Antoine and Delphine take the Cup home.

The St Barth Fun Cup 2014 took place from January 31st to February 2nd in St Barth,a French Antilles Island located in the Caribbean, and home spot to Antoine Questel, who doubled as event organizer and competitor. The event counted with many top PWA riders mixing with local amateurs and competitors arriving from nearby islands; Björn Dunkerbeck, Taty Frans, Pierre Mortefon, and Loft Sails Team Alexandre Cousin, Tristan Algret, Delphine Cousin and Antoine Questel were all eager to test the waters and new gear in one of the first competitions of the year. With winds scoring between 14 – 18 knots and three long races (15 km) per day in the program it was 8.6 – 7.8 conditions for the pros and mainly medium boards due to the swells out to sea. A motor boat blasting down the start line provided exiting starts with many riders jumping or crashing during the race start.

Antoine winner of the St Barth Fun Cup 2014

Antoine crossing the finish line

Despite a broken U-joint in the first race of the competition, Antoine Questel dominated the course in his home waters by winning 6 out of 8 races showing his last season progression and expectations for the up coming season:

My great training before this event allowed me to fight for victory against  five other PWA riders, including Bjorn Dunkerberk. Thanks to my speed during the long distances I won 6 of the 8 races. This result confirms my progress of the last season. Winter work has been effective, it is a great start for my 2014 season!  I am very satisfied with the organization of the Saint Barth Fun Cup That allows me to promote my sport and my island with the local public and in the international media. Now, this event has become a major international event of the beginning of the windsurfing season!

Alexandre Cousin showed a very good performance batteling during the three races for a podium position with Pierre, Taty  and

St Barth Fun Cup 2014 - Alexanfre Cousin - Racing Blade

St Barth Fun Cup 2014 – Alexanfre Cousin – Racing Blade

Björn alternating positions a even taking teh victory in one of the races and confirming his good 2013 performance:

It was my second participation in the St Barth Fun Cup where I compited for the very first time in 2012. I am really stoked to be able to challenge riders that are normally in front of me in the PWA events or in hte AFF ( French National Competition). Training with Antoine, who is one of the fastest guys in 10-25 knots is very important for me as I have to give my 300% all the time. My program for 2014 is the AFF, PWA if budget allows, as there are many events in the schedule and the Formula Worlds, as I love it and had good results last season. I would love to aim for a PWA top 20 and a AFF top 5 finish.”

Tristan Algret, our PWA Youth Slalom Champion 2014 showed a very consistant performance placing himself behing the big names and finishing sixt, he will very soon challenge them again during the PWA and AFF 2014 Season.

Delphine Cousin,PWA 2013 Champion won the women competition, she recently joined The Loft Team and had just received her

new sails, so it was a great chance to test and trim her new rigs and prepare for the season.

Delphine Cousing Loft Sails Racing Blade 2014

Delphine Cousin winner of the St Barth Fun Cup’14

All in all a great first test for our New RacingBlade 2014 proving to build on the success of the 2013.

Pics by Alain photographic 971 and Juliette Remi.

Check all the St Barth 2014 videos:

Click here to read more: The Loftsails