Getting on top of it!!
Tiesda You is the key board shaper for Starboard. Although most R and D time
is spent in Australia and Hawaii with team riders, a fair proportion of testing
is still conducted in Thailand. The test centre is south of Bangkok, at Pattaya,
in the South China sea, and here prototypes are taken for all visiting team
sailors to try.
Tiesda weighs 60kg and is around 5’8". When the likes of World Champion
Kevin Pritchard, or ‘Formula’ racing king Wojtek (or even Svein) get on the
water with him, they nail him on downwind speed – his weight and height are
a disadvantage. But being the shaper, he had a cunning plan! So back in December,
in preparation for their next visit he used his design skills to shape and build
his very own secret weapon to zap them on downwind speed. It is widely recognised
that taller, and or, heavier sailors go faster on speed courses because of the
extra leverage they exert on both the rig and fin. Tiesda’s tri-hull rocket
positions his body a massive 70 cm further outboard. The leverage he can now
generate allows the fin to be loaded up an extra 20%. He can also use the same
size sail and the power exerted on the fin generates the extra forward thrust
that significantly increases his board speed – in fact there are occasions on
flat water he can beat these rock stars. We asked Svein Rasmussen about the
possibility of putting this radical board into production .
" When Tiesda first went out on his contraption I couldn’t pass him, so
there is no damn way we will put it in production. But seriously, the cost of
manufacturing this board would take it out of the realms of reality – it is
effectively three hull moulds. One disadvantage of the design is that the sailor
is elevated and that in choppy waters it does make the board unstable – but
the knowledge we gain from this research is invaluable. We are working on a
few new ‘speed shapes’ for every sailor at the moment and this information will
be out in two months"
For more information on Starboards latest designs – check out their website