f18 worlds, deck sweeper, catamaran, sailing, winning

F18 World Champions!!! The Fleetsweeper

Efficiency, optimal use, new ideas, best materials . . .  These are the subjects and questions constantly floating around my head.

In the last years I have stepped out of the F18 racing scene (and in general racing besides A Cats) because I am involved in so many different design and engineering projects. But the truth is, is that I am happiest when I have designed and built something answering all of the questions in my head and then able to put the final product to the test. This type of racing relaxes me knowing that I have done all that I can to make my material the best that it can be.

I like all types of racing and believe me, including one design, but the question in all classes remains as to just how “one design” a class really can be. Production in our sport for small boats has tolerances and therefore the open box rules of a formula class dictate the amount of playing room there is for innovation (this is also the case in one design classes but these rules usually rely on the builders delivering 100% equal products) The best sailors all know that you need to find measurements and materials within the class rules in order to have an edge on your equipment. This doesn’t mean that the entire fleet needs to take part but all of the top guys will search for the boundaries.

The F18 class has been years in discussion as to how to change the class. In my opinion, it is a great class with a strong set of rules which has allowed for small improvements and innovation over the years. No one knows the ideal boat but over time we have made some significant steps. There is question to go foiling, or to make the boats lighter but I believe that the beauty of the class is the ability for us to sail the boats with friends and family and with hundreds of boats around the World. Will it be that much better if it is 50 kilos lighter, will we enjoy it if we limit the field to only people willing to go foiling. Remember that the faster you go the more damage and the harder it can be on the material.  The F18 class should stay the same and should enjoy what we have; fabulous people, events, boat builders and a great attitude.

After developing and proving the deck sweeper in the ACat I knew that it would work for the F18. I had designed it two years ago but all innovation needs proper testing and prototyping. It is not just simply recut the sail and go. I was bending booms, using windsurf booms, no booms and different goosenecks until I reached the current situation. I am sure there will be a lot of copies coming into the market but I’m not too worried because competition is also what makes this class fair. I know that I have taken the time to make a good, solid product which works. If there is only one builder then the sailors are the victims to raising prices and the monopoly of one builder.

If you are interested for a quote on the new or standard sail package let me know.


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ACat planning – 2016 strategy

The NEW DNA F1 coming soon

We all know that a new boat launch from DNA is in the planning but there are many questions.

What are the important details and priorities? Focus on foiling or focus on light air speed? Effective around the race course, windage, rig shape, sail shape?? It is all coming together but the deadlines are looming. Will production be ready, will we have made the right calls? All I can say is that we have a great team who is open to ideas, criticism of all ideas, out of box thinking and taking risk. This should be the winning combination.

At DNA we have spent a lot of time to perfect the new DNA F1. We are convinced that we have made strong decisions calculating risks and look forward to showing our clients the end product.

Let’s see what happens. More info to follow!

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Seminar – Future of Foiling?

Today I presented a seminar about foiling during the Sail Today Winter Training in Muiderzand. It is nice to see a big group with many new faces all interested in the pinnacle of the sport. The explanation included  how the stability during foiling works, which different designs are for speed and which are for control.

Foiling design incorporates all the forces working on a boat to be balanced. My engineering degree comes in handy with all this new technology. I am able to translate the information into a story for everyone to follow and learn from. I use 3D drawings, videos and visuals and stories to teach. 

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Custom designed A-Cat

The boat of Franco Niggelaar.

He is a smart, calculated man who is “too small” for the ACat. But not anymore! After some consultation, I have designed him a shorter rig with a special sail in the hopes that he can be the light air bandit and the bullet in the breeze. In theory he should be able to hang with the others at “optimal weight” but that will take some time. This trend will continue. Just wait until he is that bullet!  I first started thinking about this issue when I had been discussing with Carrie. A smaller rig would allow her to sail in the Class. Now with Skylar and with my busy schedule she has offered to keep the family under control so that I can focus on my business. I appreciate this very much and will do my best to give her the time she needs for whatever it is that she wants to do.


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