For London 2012, WB-Sails made a big research & development effort, mostly centered on Star sails. With the Star out of the Olympics, our R&D focus between 2012-2016 has been much on the Finn, but also on the 470. These two are the only Olympic classes left for which independent sailmakers are still allowed to design sails.
The X Sail Racing Team's boats AUDI e-tron and AUDI Ultra scored a double victory at the X-35 World championships in Denmark: e-tron won Gold, and Ultra Silver. A sizable R&D work preceded the design of the World Champion sails.
The computer was used to design and simulate 24 different configurations. The main focus was on the jib shape, sail trim and in particular the effects of in-hauling the jib - the mainsail design had been updated late in the summer 2014. The influence of the jib entry on the width of the "groove" was explored, as well as the effect of waves in the sail air dynamics in general.
"This is like an old marriage"Freddy Lööf and Anders Ekström re-united in Star Sailors League after 6,5 years. They finished second in the final, winner-take-all race, after convincingly winning the 9 races qualifier. In the qualifier, they were 20 boats, the final was between 4 top boats from semi-finals only.
Olympic Champion Fredrik Lööf did a great comeback in Star Class after a two years break. He finished second in Star Sailors League in Bahamas with his good old crew Anders Ekström. They won Olympic Bronze together in Qingdao in 2008. Iina Airio talked with Freddy after the regatta:
It seems that the Royal House did in fact notice that Sweden won the Olympic Star gold not so long ago. Our both Star boat medallists, Fredrik Lööf and Max Salminen will receive an additional medal called "H.M. Konungens medalj", which roughly is translated as "The Medal of His Royal Highness the King". The ceremony will take place on February 7th, after which Max will hurry to meet us at Helsinki Boat Show. I'm sure Max will have many interesting anecdotes to share about the stardust of the Olympic Star sailing. Meet you there in the Hall 4!
Here at WB-Sails, we live and breathe racing. In fact, the loft was founded after we realized that we need better sails for our own campaigns. Since 1975 a lot has been learned and many things have changed, but the principle of hard work – blood, sweat and tears – remains.