Ever since the original Formula was introduced in 1999, Starboard have paved the way with class leading designs year after year. The results could not be any clearer: simply put, no other brand can globally claim as many Formula Windsurfing medals over the last half-decade.
With such a heritage, as direct descendants of the original Formula 155
(1999-2000), the dominating Formula 175 (2001), the 100cm wide X-186 series
(2002) and the innovative ultra-compact Formula 147 (2003), the Starboard
development team now introduce the new flagship 2004 Formula series.
With over 26 different prototype shapes designed, tested, re-designed and
re-tested for over 11 months by a true R&D dream team (designers Tiesda You,
Svein Rasmussen and Jim Drake, test pilots Remi Vila, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel,
Kevin Pritchard, Brian Rogild, Michael Nakvachara and Wojtek Brzozowski!),
one can rest assured that these all new Formula 158 and 138 models will once
again be in the lead.
With strict Formula regulations in place limiting radical ideas, fundamental
fluid dynamic theories were researched through several hull designs, while
constant tweaking of ergonomics, rockerline, volume distribution, rail and
chamfer shapes aim to maximise every possible detail. These optimised
details together with several breakthroughs in hull shape concepts, add up
to a whole that is remarkably greater than the sum of its parts: angle and
speed performance is gained on all tacks: pointing, upwind, reaching,
downwind. An even more reactive, responsive and controllable ride than ever.
A trend introduced last season, the Formula boards continue to become more
and more compact. A compact board, with its radically short length and
relatively high nose volume, will have both a minimised static weight and a
reduced dynamic swing weight: the board will feel remarkably lively and
reactive. This translates into an instinct-driven race board capable of
making the most of wind shifts, gusts and lulls.
High-aspect planing surface
Considering the speeds at which a Formula board travels, it is no secret
that a high-aspect planing surface - wider and shorter - will provide
superior speed and efficiency. The tail outline has therefore been
redesigned to become wider with a shorter flat section. This also has the
advantage of providing at the same time both greater leverage and power for
improved pointing angles and more bottom-end grunt.
Full rail design
With fuller rails and a vertical section of the rail that extends higher,
the use of the rail when biting upwind is maximised. Towards the tail, these
fuller rails also provide an extremely high degree of comfort for the feet -
unanimously approved by all top team-riders. Towards the nose, the start of
the chamfers have been edged forward so as to provide an improved upwind
bite, yet on the downwind tack, the chamfers continue to add comfort and
control against sharp chop.
Recessed mast track
With the boards becoming more and more compact, overall thicknesses
increase. With the recessed mast track, the centre of effort is lowered
further to bring the tenth degree of ultimate control.
Introduced in 2002, the Zero-Vee concept has been tweaked and tuned yet
again for 2004. Already proven in the Formula 147, the lack of vee in the
tail of the board allows a hull to ride higher and freer above the water
surface, with a higher-aspect and more efficient planing surface. Simple
mechanics also imply that leverage is increased, providing significant gain
in power and acceleration.
Stickers, paint, bottom finish and other cosmetics have been reduced to a
minimum, so as to provide critical weight-savings. Combined with an
ultra-light wood technology lay-up specification, the Starboard Formula
boards boast possibly the lowest volume-to-weight ratio ever seen in the
construction of full-core composite boards.
The larger of the two models available, with enough volume to cater for
sailors from 75-80kg and above.
The 138 remains identical to the 158 in all respects bar the reduced overall
thickness and the re-worked, more slender rail shapes that add control and
comfort for racers around 75kg or below. The reduction in volume also
provides the advantage of a lower board weight.