Organisation/WS Windsurfing Trials/World Sailing Games Reports
STUDY RESULTS ON FORMULA WINDSURFING CONCEPT
Made by Pascal CHAULLET National Coach, Responsible for Windsurfing organisation
This study ,which was ordered by the French Sailing Federation regarding the Formula Windsurfing concept, is divided into three parts.
The purpose of this study is:
To evaluate and measure the technical characteristics of this equipment ( Speed/direction)
To determine advantages and inconveniences within a sport structuring possibility and within an Olympic bid proposal .
To evaluate possibilities to present this concept for the Peking Olympic Games.
Hereunder results is the first summary for N° 1 part – A full report will be presented on November. Part 2 and 3 will be followed by Didier Flamme.
Human and technical means to realise this study are the following:
Observers team are including: An engineer Paul Iachkine, A video specialist Lionel Cottin, Didier Flamme CTN and Pascal Chaullet National Coach heading the Windsurfing National structuration.
Measurement and watching tools are video cameras, a meteorological buoy anchored before and during racing to permanently measure direction and wind speed , GPS to determine the racing surface limits and Speed/direction compromises.
The one Design Equipment used was : one board, two fins and two different rigs see details.
First statement on measures and observations:
Ten courses have been raced within four days over nine regatta days as follows:
One day cancelled for all racing series du to strong wind
One day cancelled due to lack of wind to the exception of J80 and J22
Three days cancelled due to insufficient wind for the Formula Windsurfing
Racing area surface is very large due to the widely open angles on the windward leg. Raced distances are of about 2 miles for a 0.7 mile upwind leg. Racing areas are so large that it is advisable to make use of a Windward/Leeward course rather than a trapezoidal course for inter series regatta.
Many broken masts but nothing happened on the water. Although the board is perfectible, the one design equipment was of good quality. Sizes and number of sails are in line with an adaptability target for a large number of potential users and also the equipment limitation.
It is not possible to make a long term equipment viability statement considering the short utilisation period.
Coaching on water is more difficult due to the large racing area surface used, board speed and course duration. It is more difficult to over watch a race from the beginning till the end . The coach duty is somehow modified by the many technical details linked to tuning and also sails and fins replacements. Coaches interventions take a technical dominance. It is quite difficult to back-up more than two competitor, to back-up two different series, men and women is not satisfactory.
The sail choice is determinant and competitors may be conducted to call an assistance boat. This is a problem we have to think about and regulate.
The wind ideal conditions for this equipment stages between an average of 10 to 15 knots ( Ref the Meteo buoy ) . For stronger wind sailing is time being very difficult with the larger sail and generally for women. Over 20 knots sailing is merely possible for few competitors only.
The main difficulty is staying with the wind speed and variations which may jeopardise sailing if fins and sails sizes are not matching.
However there is a large progression margin regarding equipment adaptation, tuning and evolution of the large sail, competitors technical level under such perfectible conditions.
Above elements may let us think about a very quick equipment or competitors adaptation for sailing under superior or equal weather conditions and rough sea.
Low wind speed range is far more problematic since it has not been possible to validate races with an average of 10 knots( see measures ref.). Under these conditions the number of competitors together with wind variations are unfavourable elements for sailing with a wind below 10 knots. Board speed estimated ( GPS ) would be 3 knots for a wind of 9 knots hence reaching the Laser performances, upwind route angles may go down as much as 70 to 80° from wind direction.
Under above conditions, speed differences linked to planning or not acquisition conditions are leading to considerable gap between competitors ( differences can be up to one mile on only one upwind leg ) therefore leading to inequity .
Concept development :
In view of short boards development ( without centre board ) , this concept seems to be adapted to a mass practice. The One design concept answer the necessity of low costs and equipment restriction. It encourages the individual adaptability to the equipment and puts limits to over equipment.
As regards to women this concept is for the time being not adapted to mass practice taking into account the existing population.
Within ideal conditions 10/15 knots it is particularly efficient, good for recreational activities, rapid and attractive. It needs very strong lower limb muscular qualities and people of a higher and heavier dimensions than for the actual centre board equipment.
Tacks and gibes are costly which gives to courses a strategic prominence to the detriment of tactic. Rigs and board speed do not favours a fine perception of wind variations in its direction. In view of a practice at high level, it should be wished to consider an initial formation on equipment which favours the tactic basic knowledge such as Optimist, Laser or Centre board Windsurfing.
A more detailed statement will be presented in November , it will compile all data and measures together with observers reports.
Wishing you a good receipt , I stay at your disposal for any explanations or complementary information.
In charge of Windsurfing structuration.
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