Bryan Lake is the 2013 Lord of the Wind. Here is a link to the results: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lord-of-the-Wind-Showdown/142026572492055 We are now in La Ventana with Johnny Heineken winning the kite division of the Double Cross yesterday. Today we are going to do some Courseracing and tomorrow some slalom. Finally the wind has dropped below 30 to hopefully get some good testing in. Aloha,AA
There hasn't been much news from the event. How did the slalom go?
What is the situation on boards for slalom? Last year they had a World Championship which Damien won on your boards but because it was such light wind, they had to use race boards. I would have thought that even in the lightest of winds, if the board was designed for light wind slalom a slalom board should be able to beat a raceboard. Was it just because the slalom boards couldn't get upwind to the start line well enough in very light winds or in very light winds is the raceboard so good that a slalom specific board cant beat it?
Hi Ronnie, The slalom in Los Barilles the last two years has been won by a twintip. I even think Evan who won this year was in Bindings. The course in Los Barilles is very short between buoys and very choppy water. That is why a twintip can compete there. The course lost two outside marks which especially made it easier for a twintip as there were some good tangleups on the startline in the Finals. I had made a fast twintip and a slalom board for the event. I used the Twintip to advance to the Finals and used a slalom board with cutouts in the Finals. Johnny, Adam W and Bernie I would say were the fastest on the course during the week. Two were on raceboards and Adam Withington was on a 60 wide slalom board. Johnny got tangled in the second of two Finals starts. I got tangled with Simone in the first start. Bernie might have won or got second by avoiding the tangles but did the course wrong both heats. Evan finished both races without tangling and was the eventual winner with a 4th and 1st I think. Johnny second with 1st/DNF and I got 3rd with a DNF/2nd. So there is definitely room for slalom boards and twintips in certain conditions to win Slalom events. Johnny and Bernie (Bryan Lake) are great jibers on a courseboard though, making them tough to beat on most courses, even with them on course race boards. The courseboards are extremely fast, just difficult to turn at high speeds and choppy water. Adam W and Johnny spared a few times on the course in practice and they were similar speeds between the Slalom and Courseboards. Whoever was in front at the first mark, stayed in front of the other through this course in Los Barilles.
It sounds like you can set up a compromise slalom course to give everyone a chance on anything from a twintip to a dedicated slalom board - if its windy enough.
I'm still hopeful that slalom will become very popular, but it sounds like the raceboards are very versatile if you are skilful enough. That could be good if they are in the 2020 Olympics and have to run a modified Course Race that is more of a downwind slalom because the wind is too light for anything else.
At the moment there seems to be the Course Race board and something like the Airush Sector 60 V3, so it looks to me like there is a gap there for a board designed for slalom type speed in very light winds. Something that gets the maximum speed out of sub 10 knots and gybes or tacks well and can get back upwind quite well in that wind too.