Mach3 goes fast in holland.

Dutch speed sailors and Severne riders Twan Verseput and Jurjen Van den Noord have been busy in Holland.  The intelligent lockdown situation in Holland allowed them to practice their individual sport, speedsurfing. The wind, tide and sunny weather came together and created the right conditions to go fast on a for both well-known speed spot in the North.

We threw some questions at Twan and Jurjen for some details on the conditions of the day, their gear and how they set it up.

Photos by Marco Lambers

Wow. What a session you guys have had. How were the conditions?

Actually we where not expecting this session so much. The forecast was around 16-21 knots so nothing special, but the sea thermal wind did the job and we got between 20-28 knots. Conditions where the best I saw for big gear this year. The angle was nice and broad so bit easier to hold on to the big gear and to get rid of the fin pressure without almost breaking your ankles haha…

Yeah, that was a special session. The predicted eastern spring wind wasn’t so strong. I had my doubts about the sail and board size. I saw that a number of others went well with 7.8 and decided to do the same in combination with the Starboard iSonic 107.

The place where we sailed is a special one. A few miles out to sea between the sandbanks is a perfect speedspot. The wind direction was ideal and the wind force only increased. I estimate that it blew about 25 knots and that the wind angle was about 120 degrees. The 7.8 and 107 were good in these conditions but on the edge. A smaller set would have been faster.

Is the 7,8 your typical speed sail? How often do you use that for speed sailing?

Normally I use the 7.8 for slalom sailing and not so much for speed. Sizes 7.0 and smaller are more made for speed as I can sail them on smaller speed boards (55cm wide and smaller) but every now and again when the conditions are there, some flying with the big stuff is also super nice and we saw last Sunday the speeds are not so far away from some smaller sized boards / sails!!!

Because I have relatively little time to sail, I can’t always choose the most windy days. I sail relatively much with the 7.8. I know this sail from outside and inside and know exactly how to trim it perfectly. Despite the large size, it is actually a good sail for speed surfing. The speeds that are possible with such a size are unprecedented.


How do you set up the 7,8 for speed sailing?

For speed I put in an tiny bit more downhaul to have a bit more release. The Mach 3 are plug and play straight out of the bag and with not so much tuning, they are already fast. I think this was the second time I used the sail and I remember only putting some tension on the battens the first time. A tip from me would be don’t over downhaul this sail as it will make the board more twitchy and “lifty” in the gusts. Boom in the middle of the boom cutout and set on the upper outhaul clew as I like to have backhand power. So the differences are not big compared to my slalom setup.

Now you’re asking for sensitive information 😉

The bottom line is that I don’t trim the sail to the maximum. Both the downhaul and outhaul I give about one cm less than the recommended settings. The batten tension is a bit higher than normal. This creates a nice deep profile. Exactly what I want on a track like this.

Twan Verseput goes down the speed course

Why was Twan slightly faster?

We both had a good chance of winning, to be honest, I was not really ready for this day. My new AV boards are not there yet due to the virus, so I bought last week an older second-hand slalom board to be able to go on the water in less wind. I never used this board and neither know the shape/settings as I just wanted something which I can use for the coming weeks till the AV’s arrive. Guess going into this without so much tuning also helps as you just have to go for it and have fun! This also shows that the Mach 3 sails are really plug and play and work with any board brand!!

Well, that’s hard to say exactly.  All day we took turns being the fastest. I think on this day it was also a matter of picking up the right gust of wind. I’m pretty sure that on another day the roles might have been reversed.

Jurjen Van den Noord on his Mach2 7,8

What are other common sizes for speed sailing on open water? How often do you use the small sizes 5.0 / 5.5 apart from the channel?

Main sizes are 7.0 / 6.2 here as we use those in 20-35 knots, but this year February was incredibly windy and I think I used 5.5/5.2  6-7 times in one month! Normally if you are only sailing in Holland the 5.5 / 5.0 are maybe used 4 times in one year so not that much. Hopefully the South of France again! The 7.0 and 6.2 are great for open water speed spots as you can use them with your small slalom or speed boards so you can also go on less flat water also and chase your PB’s!

There is no ideal sail size for speed. That depends very much on the conditions. On open water, you don’t want to stand with 50 knots of wind and high waves. Then 7.0 or 7.8 with 15-20 knots of wind is fine. On a speed course (for example behind a sandbank) you can have much more wind. Then 7.0 – 5.5 is a perfect size. My preference is a super flat track where you can reach the highest speeds by making the best use of your technique.

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