POINT-7 AC-X 7.0M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The AC-X is Point-7’s no cam slalom contender, sitting in the brand’s range next to the freeride AC-F tested last month. Developed to be “the fastest sail on the water” it is targeted squarely at high-performance, said to excel even further in overpowered conditions. Nevertheless, Point-7 report that the depth of the profile has been increased for the new season, to extend early planing and drive out of gybes. Rigged here on a Point-7 C80 SDM mast, like last year’s model it retains a great deal of luff curve, the battens pulled away from the mast to shed any need for rotation. The leech exhibits plenty of looseness all the way along its length to the two inset clew eyelets, being particularly loose in its mid-section between battens two and four. It also remains one of the flattest setting sails at rest in this year’s line-up, requiring little outhaul to set for minimum winds. The detail in the sail is excellent, as you would expect from a modern loft, with abrasion beading and reinforcements in vulnerable areas, and a unique batten-end Allen-key tensioning system. With Point-7’s pedigree for making fast sails, and the PWA Slalom World Champ Matteo Iachino in their ranks, would the AC-X live up to its billing?
“If cambered sails are not your cup of tea, then the sheer performance specs and looks of the AC-X should be the one for you; that is if you are up for it! …the AC-X 2017 development team focused on improving the drive and back hand pressure. A bigger cut out has been introduced allowing more S-shaping release. This lightens up pressure of the backhand when powered up, leaving you with more energy to stay on the water all day.”
Despite the statement of intent for increasing bottom end power for this year’s AC-X, like its predecessor we still don’t feel that this is the sail’s strength. It is balanced and easy in the hands at rest and certainly breathes to adopt a much deeper profile as the wind fills, yet the power remains slight and progressive rather than punchy or profound. Taken into comfortably powered conditions, however, and you begin to understand what the AC-X is all about. Once its planing threshold is reached there is nothing to hold the AC-X back, accelerating in the hands as if possessed! Its thoroughbred racing potency becomes increasingly apparent, feeling lighter and more positive in the hands the faster it goes. Slipping through the air, it is wonderfully balanced and efficient, yet has to be sailed hard to get the most from it. If you sail half-baked in a more upright stance, the extent of the looseness in the sail’s trailing edge presents the opportunity for leech flutter. It’s like buying a Ferrari and taking it into town to buy the weekly groceries! Instead, partner the AC-X with a hull that can keep up with it; load it with some proper conditions and have the confidence to charge hard, whatever the sea state. You won’t be left disappointed.
Blisteringly fast once fully lit, the AC-X comes to life the more energy you put into it. It is a raw no-cam racing machine; for freeride look to the AC-F.
Other sails in this test: