SEVERNE TURBO 7.5M TEST REVIEW
Having tried the class-leading Overdrive R7 and fantastic NCX this year, which sit either side of the Turbo in the Severne range, this twin-cam has a tough act to follow. Designed to include the latest leech twist pattern of the brand’s race program, it has two roller cams sited inside its medium-sized luff-sleeve to encourage a moderate to good depth to the sail’s draft. Stability is locked into the Turbo using the brand’s signature ‘Stabilizor Panel’ – a luff panel made of 188 monofilm, which exhibits minimal stretch in all directions. And despite the Turbo’s lower than average luff curve, the 4-roller tack pulley is a welcome addition when applying the high skin tension required. Rigged on a SDM90 mast, the sail is supplied with SDM cams, but can easily be converted for use with an RDM mast by purchasing a couple of the brand’s RDM cams. With its higher aspect ratio and lower, more inset clew eyelet position, the 2016 Turbo is said to feel lighter in the hands, with improved control and stability.
“I designed the Turbo to give the benefits of cams without the hassle. Draft stability and a pre-inflated foil means it’s a great sail for gusty conditions; it just glides through the lulls. There’s enough twist to reduce drag, but still enough pressure to get boards up and planing as early as possible.” Ben Severne
With a boom length of just 198cm, it is not surprising that the Turbo 7.5m instantly feels smaller than its stated size in the hands. Neutral and exceedingly light, its power in marginal winds is quite subtle, the clew eyelets lower than most here, whilst the centre of effort is placed well forward in the draft. With such minimal backhand pressure, the Turbo’s bottom end potential is still surprisingly accessible, yet takes a more refined approach to make the most of it, rather than just holding the sail still and letting the pressure build. The heavier riders in the team certainly noticed this, adapting their approach accordingly. Using the whole sail to scoop the wind whilst pumping is much more effective than a simple backhand wiggle, channelling the rig’s power more purposefully to the board. Once powered, the Turbo remains wonderfully balanced and light in the hands, accelerating smoothly and effortlessly in every gust. There is not a hint of any pressure building in the backhand, whilst the acceleration inspires a more locked in stance to continually drive more power into the board. It is such a stable, compact foil that you’d be forgiven for believing even a hurricane gust couldn’t unnerve it! In the corners, the roller cams rotate completely without any issue and the forward draft position enables the sail to transition quickly and easily around the mast, its lightness making for slick repositioning. It had a tall order to meet, yet the Turbo performs incredibly well, offering cammed top end speed and stability with the near practicality of a no cam. The Overdrive has a more slippery nature, whilst the NCX will always win out in the minimal-fuss / manoeuvre stakes, but for those looking for a mix of both camps, the Turbo is right up there.
Unifying speed and efficiency with almost unnatural backhand neutrality, the Turbo offers yet another option within the Severne range, equally worthy of consideration.
Other sails in this test: