SEVERNE NCX 7.0M 2017 TEST REVIEW
The NCX remains in the Severne range as their “class-defining” freerace option, described by the brand as “providing accessible race sail performance without cams”. Proudly using monofilm as the predominant construction material (including a thicker 188 monofilm ‘Stabilizor Panel’ in the upper leading edge), Severne are quick to point out the material’s positive qualities, when it often receives a bad rap from other sail lofts. Promoting minimal stretch in all directions and retaining its integrity over a longer life, monofilm is used in the NCX to ensure draft stability under the higher loadings required. Rigged on an Apex 460cm mast, the sail is easy to downhaul despite the significant luff curve, thanks to the 4-roller tack pulley aligned parallel to the extension’s rollers. Once set, the bottom two battens retain rotation around the mast (the third, above the boom, just touching), and the leech is progressively loose along its length. There is plenty of shape low and forwards in the draft at rest, whilst the two inset clew eyelets provide power -tuning according to wind strength and preference.
“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.”
At just 189 cms, the boom length of the NCX is significantly shorter than any other of its rivals in this group. This translates to wonderfully light and easy handling on the water, the feedback through the hands portraying this 7.0m as a smaller sail than its quoted area. In marginal winds, it does mean the power is subtler than with others, requiring a delicate approach to make the most of its bottom end, despite retuning with minimal tension and use of the top clew eyelet. Once comfortably powered however, the NCX quickly settles into a locked in and committed stance. It has a real efficiency about it, accelerating effortlessly in every gust whilst requiring little input from the sailor. Retaining its light, balanced handling throughout, it has an incredibly efficient nature, making it fun and rewarding to use over long periods whatever the sea state. It is fast, particularly off the wind and thrived on being partnered with a power-hungry freerace or slalom board. Both clew eyelets are oriented low in the foil’s geometry, instilling a great deal of control and ease through the backhand. As the conditions become severe, the NCX remains a joy to use, feeling easily the most compact and also one of the most dependable amongst the group. This reliability enables the rider to adopt the riding style of their choice, the sail’s draft remaining rock steady even if eased out and sailed at half pace. In manoeuvres, the NCX’s short boom make it transition between tacks smoothly and quickly, the low orientation and light handling making it accessible to even the more hesitant rider. It’s a class act and encourages the sailor to push beyond their blasting comfort zone.
Performance comes easy with the NCX, its steadfast stability and light crisp handling making it a delight to use and versatile in stance.
Other sails in this test: