Florida Sailors Test Doug’s Beach – August 21, 2008
Florida Sailors Nancy and Pam
It seems like the one word that the forecasters are using to describe the weather lately in the Gorge is unseasonable. I think a better word is weird. Last week at Doug’s Beach it was 110 degrees and the water skiers were having a great time. This week started with clouds, rain and 65 degrees…go figure. Today the sailors that made their way out to Doug’s were rewarded with great wind and sunshine. It was the perfect day to introduce the 2009 Panthers and Freewaves.
Pam: “what’s under the hood?”
It was fun to connect with an eager group of sailors from Florida who were more than eager to be among the first to test the Panthers in classic Gorge conditions. Pam and Nancy from southwest Florida took out a 4.5 Panther and 3.7 Freewave. Pam had been on her 3.8 and wanted to try the Panther. The wind had lightened a bit so she grabbed the 4.5 and headed out. In true Gorge fashion it didn’t stay light for long, but she stayed out and put the Panther to the test as the wind increased. Pam’s a pretty hardcore sailor and a little too much wind wasn’t about to chase her off the water. Forty-five minutes later…her impressions. “I can’t believe how easy the sail rotates on the jibes…it’s smooth and effortless. With the Ezzy I can sail overpowered because it doesn’t get twitchy like my other sail. What was really different was with my other sail I have to sheet out in the gusts, but what’s amazing about the Panther was that I could stay sheeted in and feel comfortable.” (Gary’s note: this is because the Panther has the draft locked forward so the sailor still feels balanced and in control.) Pam told me that she has an ’07 5.8 Special Edition in Florida that doesn’t seem to rotate as easy as the Panther. It’s true that Dave has improved the rotation in all of the 2009 sails, but after talking with Pam about rigging the ’07, I found that she wasn’t out hauling the sail enough. After a quick rigging clinic on another sailor’s ’07 SE, she now has the outhaul dialed. (Check out Dave’s rigging videos on our site and on You Tube)
Pam shows that the Panther is not just another pretty sail.
And how did Nancy like the 2009 Freewave? She’s a progressing sailor who is building her confidence in sailing the Gorge. “The sail was easy to water start and jibe, and had a very controlled feeling. My overall impression…it was an all around fun sail and I had a great time.” Both women had a great day at Doug’s and love coming to the Gorge each summer. My thanks to them for sharing their time and impressions of the new sails. Hope to see you at the beach soon we’d love to have your impressions too, good sailing, Gary & Nancy
Sunset over Doug’s Beach: end to another beautiful day.