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Gaastra Phantom 7.1 2012

Gaastra Phantom 7.1

Stats Size (m2) 7.1 Luff (cm) 451 Boom (cm) 199 Battens 7 Ideal Mast 430/21 IMCS Extension Req (cm) 21 Price £635

The Phantom is a new sail in the Gaastra range, it replaces the GTX racing and is described as the little brother to the Vapour race sail, sharing much of the same shape and technology and development.

At a glance
It has seven battens with three cams and a moderately wide luff tube. The Gaastra build is top notch and the materials used in this sail are high quality. It has an aerodynamic boom cut out and a reduced boom length with a cut out at the clew for the boom to pass through; this is a tidy system with a simple and easy Velcro fastening.

It rigs on a 430 mast and we were supplied with a Gaastra 100% carbon mast for the test. It is easy to rig, with zips on the luff at each of the cambers. It also has pulleys at the clew for better integration with adjustable out-haul systems. The tuning range is very impressive, particularly at the windier end of the scale. Rig it best with maximum down-haul and then tune with minimum out-haul.

It is a highly powerful foil but is perfectly well balanced, which makes it feel easy to access the power and tap into the performance. It feels solid in the hands, with feedback being given to both hands and a constant forward pull enabling you to power up and explore its unlimited top-end. The range of performance is superb; there is plenty of pull at the bottom end, accelerating you quickly up through the gears and towards limitless top speeds. The wind range is impressive and it is particularly stable at the top end when you’re going flat out at high speed. Through manoeuvres, it remains well balanced, with a smooth rotation and controlled burst of acceleration on the exit.

The verdict
The Phantom is a great all-round racer, with lightning quick performance that will match anything else on the race course but also with the advantage of being well built and durable enough to survive in the hands of a recreational, weekend racer.


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