POINT-7 AC-K 7.8M TEST REVIEW
The AC-K is back for 2018, sitting just behind the AC-1 in the Point-7 lineup as their “King package for race performance”. Rigged on a C80 SDM, it displays one of the most pronounced luff curves in the group and as such calls for a strong hand to downhaul it (read winch!). There is an incredible amount of skin tension in the sail, fighting for your attention with the amount of looseness in the leech. The visual guide in the second highest panel gives you a good idea of the tension required, being positioned right next to the luff sleeve! All this loading makes the foot of the sail go loose itself, requiring the use of the tack strap to rein it in. The profile of the AC-K is relatively shallow at rest, the draft placed further back than in others in the group. Distinctive in Point-7’s synonymous black livery, it displays neat detailing and touches, such as the quick extension tuning guide on the bottom batten, and the brand’s unique batten tensioners with internal working parts to mitigate corrosion and failure. X-ply is used to eliminate stretch in the alternating batten pockets and there are a couple of eyelets to provide range in the clew, albeit the distance between them is minimal. It is a sharp looking race sail and if past experience with Point-7 race sails are anything to go by, we had high hopes for the AC-K’s top end performance.
“Easier to gybe and waterstart against a full race sail. If you are still looking to be a national champion, with the AC-K there is no need to look for a full race sail to win. You can fight for the top speed on the water for hours without having to use the energy of a full on race sail.”
With the stage set, we’re pleased to say we weren’t let down. The AC-K is an incredibly fast and light handling sail to use, flattering even the nervous rider with a blistering performance. In light marginal winds, the high skin tension and shallow-draft combination does mean that the AC-K will leave the passive sailor wanting, when others in the group have long since pumped their way onto the plane. An experienced sailor will work around this and counter any loss of direct feedback with good technique. Instead, take the AC-K out in comfortably powered conditions and you instantly understand its qualities – it is simply all about speed, and makes going fast easy! Let the pressure build steadily, lock your stance in place, hold on and let the magic happen. Slicing through the air, it is effortless to cover ground on and whilst rapid on all points of sail, seemed to point beautifully close to the wind. The centre of effort is low and quite far back, focussed around the rider and providing feedback through both hands. It is just so balanced and requires little technical input or energy expenditure from the pilot, enabling them to prolong their drag-racing sessions. The faster you sail, the lighter the AC-K’s handling, which is also very apparent in transition, thereby encouraging you to enter and maintain your speed throughout. We did find the cams of the AC-K tended to stick mid-rotation consistently, something that we couldn’t alleviate in the time we had. However, we’ve heard directly from founder and director Andrea Cucchi that this is a known factor (particularly on the C80 mast) and with just a few times on the water, the material adapts and the cams start rotating more easily.
The AC-K is simply all about speed – the reward awaiting, and requiring little technical input from the rider to access. It is highly addictive; you have been warned!
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