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Just as an update on the continuing performance results of the F14, The Alpha F14 sailed in the Adelaide Yacht Club’s once a month winter series last Sunday. It had to sail with three F18's, these being a Hobie Tiger, the Blade F18, and a Nacra F18. There were two races on the afternoon with light conditions. The wind was from the North/NW at 7 to 10 knots, with a few minimal shifts. The course for each race (back to back) was three beats and three windward returns, ideal conditions for the F18's. The Alpha stayed with the F18's during the first race, but finished behind all three, BUT by back calculation of the times, the Alpha sailed up to a yardstick of 74 (the F18 yardstick is 70). So not too shoddy a performance. In the second race the Alpha stayed right with all three of the F18's for the whole race finishing less than two minutes behind the Blade F18 and in front (over the line) of the Hobie Tiger, the Nacra F 18 was behind the Alpha on the first beat and turned onto the run well before the first buoy to sail downwind with the Blade and, as a consequence, he never went through the finish line.

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Hi Daryl,

Mate I got the vid today thanks, and I'm impressed, it's very well presented. The boat looks great, and fast. I'd very much like to race the 430 against it, I think it would be a great contest except off the breeze of course, until that is, I finish fitting the kite. (can't put it off any longer) frown.gif

I like your snuffer, it seems to work well and the spin looks about right too.

Have you had any serious enquiries yet?


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Thanks for that Berny glad you enjoyed the DVD.

With a little luck we may be able to have a race or two in NSW this season, but it is such a long way to drive there and back.

The spinnaker is a "breeze" to use on a 14' cat, as long as every thing is kept simple. The way we have it set up, the deck is "clean" and with the kite up you set the main just off centre (almost as you would on a beat) and forget it and sail with the spinnaker sheet line in hand. With a kite of only 9 sqm to 11 sqm it’s more like sailing with a jib than like it is sailing with a (BIG) spinnaker on a bigger boat. It is easy to set and just as easy to retrieve and it doesn't take a "gorilla" to hold it (like a lot of F18's, F16's, and Tornadoes). In this configuration, its most comfortable sailing from trapeze when the kite is up.

Down wind, with the kite, it feels more like sailing on a beat, with little of the pitch that you normally get off wind, without a spinnaker. The spinnaker chute we make as simple and as small and light as we can, and fit it very low to the deck line, so that when the kite is in the chute, you hardly even notice that it is there, and it offers the least "windage" when sailing upwind.

This has meant that our up wind performance, with or without the spinnaker, fittings and "gear", is virtually the same in either configuration.

With the "light weight" of the cat, and the spinnaker, there’s no great problem at all “mixing” it off wind, with the A's, F18's, etc, and with the cat, weighing only 75 kgs, you keep well "in touch" with them up wind as well.

On that DVD, in some of the shots we have the spinnaker pole set back and on other shots the pole is positioned further forward. We experimented with the position of the pole set to see if it would be better in one or the other position and if the helm would be affected. The helm seems "neutral" regardless of the pole position but it seemed to us that the overall performance was better with the pole in the forward position. An added advantage of having the pole further forward is that we now sheet the spinnaker lines off the side stay and forward to a turning block, which keeps the deck very clean, whereas by having the pole back, we had to sheet the spinnaker lines off the rear beam which meant that there was always a line on the deck that you generally had to sit on.

I have one confirmed order (with deposit paid) for an Alpha F14, for pick up early in the new year, and we have almost finished another one that should be sailing in the next few weeks. There has been good interest shown in the F14 concept from all over the world and as a consequence I have posted off more than 250 DVD's (so far).

Here, at home, we will only be starting to let people who have expressed interest in the cat, to take "test sails" starting about November (warmer weather) so, fingers crossed, something may come from that. I am still kicking around the idea of going down the road of "test sails" and advertising with the national sailing magazines but I haven't really sat down and worked out that direction fully yet.

All the best


PS I still have to fit the "T" foils to the cat, but that’s another story

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