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If there's wind out there the Ultralight will find it.



A Breath of Fresh Air

The UltralightXL is a new light wind sail designed by Philippe Darrieux. It is a simple concept of one design, one size for a new style of sailing that Philippe likes to describe as 'supercruise'. The original brief targeted super early planing to open up a new market of ultra light wind sailing. Of course, we could have gone for a cumbersome 9 or 10 sqm camber induced sail with enormous power to achieve these results, but the brief was also to make the sail as simple and light as possible to provide easy rigging and easy handling. This was an enormous task for Philippe and after a year of development, we are now confident that we have achieved our objectives of a very early planing sail with easy rigging and easy handling characteristics.

The luff length of the Ultra Light is very long in order to achieve a high aspect ratio that would generate enough lift to pull the board onto a plane in marginal conditions. This high aspect ratio generates the dynamic lift needed to get the traditionally heavier freeride boards (300 to 330cm long) into a plane. The result is considerable head load, and a profile that goes high up in the sail to catch the winds further up. In order to counter the control problems that generally come with a sail of this size, the leech is much 'softer' than other more traditional designs and the whole leech twists giving you all the control that is needed.



Innovative Sail Design

Philippe explains that his soft rig concept is based on a natural shaping method obtained by the general reactivity of the rig. Basically, when the sail is rigged on the beach, it looks totally flat (what Philippe describes as the Zero Shape Method), but once the rig is tensioned by the slightest breeze, the sail takes its natural shape.

The high aspect ratio allowed Philippe to design a 7.9sqm sail that has the power of a sail a couple of sizes bigger, and the handling of a sail a couple of sizes smaller.

 

Light is Right  UltralightXL requires minimum hardware. It is an RAF sail without any cams, the battens are CNC tapered oval rods, the luffpocket is narrow and made in one single piece, the materials are light (lufflight 6 and Kevlar tapes), and the patches are also made with light weight modern adhesive materials.

 

Philippe Darrieux "Working on the Ultralight program was very exciting, right from the beginning I knew the new concept of 'extra soft rigs' would take the design of light wind sails to a new level. Because of the flexible rig the Ultralight performs so well in light winds, and gives a soft feeling when sailing."

Patrice Belbeoc'h "Ultra quick to plane, ultra light and ultra easy, This pure RAF design rigs instantly, handles like a feather and is perfect if used with three meter Freeride boards."

Antoine Albeau "A new concept in light wind sailing. The ultra light engineering makes the sail as easy to handle as it is to rig and it planes while others are parked."

 

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