GA SAILS PHANTOM 7.8M 2015 TEST REVIEW
The Phantom is surprisingly straightforward to rig for a sail with a deep luff sleeve. With pockets on both cams providing access, the two can easily be popped on before setting the downhaul tension fully. A little experimenting found we didn’t really need to play the downhaul at all, adjusting the outhaul to fine-tune the sail’s power delivery instead. With some of the more compact dimensions in the group, it sets with plenty of shape in the draft whilst the leech is loose all the way down to the main batten above the boom.
“Performance combined with ease. Fast and fun, the Phantom is ready to give anyone a run for their money! Watch out racers – the Phantom is on your path and you could find yourself chasing a ghost!”
It has got to be said, there is something quite special about the Phantom. Light and easy in the hands at idle; it has a good deal of shape to its draft and generates a reasonable amount of bottom end punch for a deep sleeved high-end freerace foil. There is also a bit of movement in the leading edge, enabling the Phantom to breathe and adopt an even more powerful profile, or respond positively to pumping. Once going, the GA quickly settles into a comfortable stance, the low cut foot shape making it easy to lock it down whilst keeping the mast upright and driving forward. It has a slippery efficient nature, translating gusts into more speed without the slightest hint of pulling the rider’s stance out of shape. Take the Phantom into increasingly stronger winds and it simply keeps accelerating, having a seemingly limitless top speed, particularly off the wind. It’s this ability to keep driving that makes the sail so captivating, capable of squeezing every last drop of performance from any board it is partnered with. And yet, its handling never lets you down, even when used on a slow stubborn board.
Although not practical for long periods of use on this type of platform, such is the Phantom’s light easy handling that you can stand upright and temper the power without feeling like you’re trying to cage a wild animal. In fact, the only thing we can nit-pick about is the rotation of the Phantom’s cams during transition, tending to stick slightly before the sail fully powers and completes their rotation on the new tack. But it is certainly something we could live with.
It may only have two cams,bestowing easy rigging and light handling as a result, but make no mistake – this is a true red-blooded thoroughbred of an engine and is best fit for those determined to take their sailing to the next level without going down the no-compromise slalom route. But what price for such high performance?
Other sails in this test: