POINT-7 AC-X 7.0M 2019 TEST REVIEW
The AC-X first entered the Point-7 line-up in 2007 and remains one of the most popular models in their range, both from a team development point of view and the brand’s client base. With a distinctly slalom outline the brief and premise of the AC-X is to deliver a performance to rival cammed sails, yet dispensing with the rigging, tuning and handling hassle they entail. Viable on both RDM or SDM, it is recommended to use an SDM in sizes 6.5m and up, for improved performance. Boasting a full house of seven tubed battens, it is interesting that Point-7 mention in their blurb not to over-tighten the battens above the boom, simply removing any wrinkles present. New for 2019, the AC-X displays a Dacron luff panel low down, from the bottom batten to the batten just above the boom cutout, the idea being to provide more breathability and depth low and forwards in the profile, as well as comfort in the ride. Rigged on a C80 SDM, it requires a significant amount of downhaul tension to realise its correct set, the leech loosening throughout much of its upper panels as it approaches the yellow tuning marker. The depth of the sail’s profile actually increases as more tension is applied, helped all the more by use of the tack strap, making the skin tension in the sail as tight as a drum. With unique internal tighteners used, x-ply is also employed in each alternating batten pocket to maximise the resistance to any stretch. It certainly has all the feel and drama of meaning business on the water – time to put it to the test.
“This is a masterpiece sail model from Point-7. After using the cam sails the whole year round, jumping on the AC-X feels like opening the soft top on your car and going full speed through an empty road with beautiful scenery around you.” Andrea Cucchi, Founder.
Used in marginal winds, the AC-X does feel like a Ferrari being used to do the mid-week shopping! Nevertheless, despite its taught nature making it feel a little stiff in the hands, the lowdown Dacron luff sleeve does allow the draft to breathe a little, deepening the profile and providing more useable feedback than we remember of its predecessor. The centre of effort is also positioned relatively high and back in the draft, compared to others, helping the AC-X provide more obvious power in light airs. Once planning, the acceleration the AC-X provides is simply another level – it seems to find another gear with every subsequent gust. It demands being paired with a fast freerace or slalom board – something that has the capacity to keep up with it! When you venture into powered and overpowered conditions, you discover the AC-X’s true personality – it is a true freerace thoroughbred, finding favour with the taller, heavier rider that can use the energy it delivers. The centre of effort is locked firmly in place, yet comes from such a high location that it best suits those with an assertive riding style. It helps lift the rider’s stance and push the board’s speed, making it fly on its fin. Carry this speed into the turn and the AC-X has the balance and handling to reposition easily, the lower luff panel breathing to soften the delivery and provide the extra low end power to complete the transition efficiently.
One of the most potent top end engines here, if you have the board and mettle to keep up with it, you simply won’t be beaten across the water.
Other sails in this test: