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5.7M CROSSOVER SAIL TEST 2022

07/06/2022
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5.7M CROSSOVER SAIL TEST 2022: THE CROSSOVER CONUNDRUM

TEST EDITOR: TRIS BEST // SECOND TESTERS: MAURIN ROTTENWALTER, ROB YORK, JOE NORTH, SCOTT STALLMAN, ISAAC LINES // PHOTOS:  JOE ADAMS // TEST LOCATIONS: GWITHIAN, OVERCOMBE AND KIMMERIDGE.

This month we are looking at the crossover sail market and have eight sails in the lineup, of which half are designated wave sails in their promotional literature. Two of these go a step further and possess four batten structural skeletons, such is their leaning towards the manoeuvre-oriented segment of the market. There are then three that have a definite freeride bias and one genuinely versatile sail that feels at home in most environments and roles.

The truth is, we are asking a lot from this sail size and style. The transition from a light force 4 to a force 5 brings with it a significant change in planing potential, with a doubling of the useful power delivered. This size sail sits right in this wind speed band and is therefore presented with the unenviable task of being lots of different things, to many people. It’s a tough ask and could easily push a designer down the path of trying to fit in too much, their product becoming a ‘jack’ of all trades. Luckily, most have seen this coming and chosen a more specific brief and performance pathway for their sail range, be it ‘high-wind freeride’ and coastal blasting, or more wave and manoeuvre-oriented, hereby avoiding the ‘over-promise’ banana skin.

Summary

The Wavescape from Loftsails is unchanged for the 2022 season and is one of two four-batten wave sails on review here. Looks can be deceiving and it provides more punch and bottom end than anticipated, yet still possesses a wonderful on-off nature along with logic defying top end stability. The Super Star from Duotone is the second four-batten sail here and has undergone some significant refinements, providing some integrated softness and flex to its delivery without the use of a Dacron luff panel. There is a wealth of tuning potential, so enjoy tinkering with its set to get the most from it. Goya have reintroduced the five batten Eclipse into the range for 2022, dubbing it the Variowave and using all the latest material technology available to keep weight to a minimum. It is incredibly light and punchy in the hands for a five-batten structure and certainly stands out in its fluoro-yellow colourway. Neil Pryde have new materials and technology up their sleeves too, the Atlas championing a new hybrid cloth called Taffetta in its luff panel, and exhibiting a definite performance advantage as a result. The Move from RRD is unchanged for this season, keeping the Y26 version current. It delivers a freemove/freeride centric performance with a super soft progressive delivery, but wind it up in more wind and it showed many a clean pair of heels! The Gator from Severne is also freeride in nature, displaying a massive amount of pre-shape and structure in its draft. As a result it generates plenty of dependable drive and is also incredibly efficient, taking all the stress out of recreational sailing. Gunsails provided the Zoom for review in this test – their no-cam freeride offering, which has a batten less in this size and the forgiving temperament to cater for the most challenging winds. Finally, there’s the versatile Spy from Point-7 – a sail with a manoeuvre-oriented outline and the speed potential of a high wind blasting engine – something the brand has forged a reputation for. There’s a whole array of options within this group, so before choosing which to opt for, our suggestion is to be honest in the style of sailing you do and where you sail, identifying the correct match accordingly.

 

THE LINEUP

Duotone Super_Star 5.7

Goya Eclipse Pro 5.7

Gunsails Zoom 5.6

Loftsails Wavescape 5.7

NeilPryde Atlas 5.8

Point-7 Spy 5.9

RRD Move 5.7

Severne Gator 5.7

 

 

 

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