SEVERNE NCX 7.0M 2016 TEST REVIEW
The NCX sits next to Severne’s Gator as their no-cam race sail, with the clear remit to provide no-compromise potential with no cam ease. Like the Gator, it has relatively little luff curve compared to others in the group, yet uses the brand’s ‘Stabilizor Technology’ (incorporating monofilm and x-ply in the luff panel to mitigate any stretch in the sail’s cord), to increase skin tension and lock in stability. Rigged on a Severne SDM90, the NCX takes the most pressure here to pull on the correct amount of downhaul, which in anticipation, has been combated by Severne incorporating an 8:1 pulley in the sail’s tack. With rotation remaining in the three lowest battens, the NCX sets with good defined shape low and forward in the sail’s profile, and progressive looseness through the length of the leech.
“Maximum stability is achieved through high skin tension and 7 battens. Combined with the shock-absorbing properties of a no-cam sail, this means a huge wind range. Refinements for 016 include higher aspect ratios, lowered shape distribution and more control oriented geometry. This improves control and facilitates easier waterstarting.”
With easily the shortest boom length in the group, it is not a surprise that the NCX feels small and compact in the hands from the off. What was a surprise was the amount of punch it still provides and with such focus. The bottom end power is not soft or grunty, but rather pin-sharp and defined, feeling balanced in both hands, the delivery supremely smooth and positive. The skin tension in the NCX locks the draft right to the leading edge of the sail, pinning the board down and transferring energy efficiently to it. Partnered with a freerace hull with the minerals to keep up with it, the NCX is a drag racing machine, thriving in gusts and possessing the rock-steady stability to tackle the most violent conditions. In transitions, its compact nature comes back into play, rotating quickly as if a sail 2.0sqm its junior and remaining light and responsive throughout. In challenging sea states, a sail with such precision can often become a handful, feeling too instantaneous and pulling the rider’s stance out of shape. Yet the NCX remains a pleasure to use, the progressive release through the leech and movement in the luff tube helps to dampen any aggressive feedback. But it is the fact that its sweet spot is so locked and secure that inspires confidence to keep charging, helping to retain control over the board as the sail continues to deliver more power and acceleration.
The NCX stands for speed, focused drive and precise handling, matched with such unflappable stability that it can’t help but inspire and turn the most relaxed sailor into a bold and fearless blaster.
Other sails in this test: