TUSHINGHAM LIGHTNING 7.8 2013 TEST REVIEW
The Lightning is a classic twin cam freerace sail, featuring in the Tushingham line up alongside their full on X-15 and XR race sails. The Lightning is designed to offer hassle-free sailing and easy-to-access performance.
Six battens with three micro leech battens
X-ply reinforcement in critical areas
Moderately narrow luff sleeve
Moulded tack fairing
Two outhaul options
Slight cut down clew
Longest luff on test
Paired with a 460 Tushingham 75% carbon SDM the Lightning lives up to the quick and easy-rigging promise. Like all Tushinghams it’s supplied with a comprehensive rigging guide and the Lightning has quite a broad tuning range, but overall is not too critical of fine-tweaking. Setting with a fairly deep foil low down, flattening off into the head we found it worked best with slightly more downhaul than reccomended and mainly adjusted the outhaul to suit the wind and water state.
In the hands there’s a neutral feel with good bottom-end that even heavier testers found useful for cruising through lulls and from stationary starts. The 7.8 is very rewarding to sail and definitely encourages you to push it hard. In terms of out-and-out speed it’s certainly no slouch and the low-cut foot helps in locking the power down. The stability remains into the top-end and the Lightning is certainly easy to handle through the gusts. It’s around the marks that the handling really stands out, with the feel of a rotational sail, but with added power for exiting turns.
The Tushingham Lightning is an exceptionally user-friendly freerace sail, delivering awesome bottom end power for early planing, particularly at the low end of the wind range. The performance is incredibly easy to access for riders of all levels who will enjoy high-speed fun in any conditions. An excellent value, hassle-free, high-performance twin-cam choice.
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