May 29, 2011

F18 Arg: Testing the new Infusion MKII

Juan Faustín preparing his new baby

Left to right part of the core of the founding members of the local F18 Class: Juan Faustín, Martín Vanzulli (me) , Cruz Smith , Mariano Heuser and Ian Rodger. Taking the pic the best F18 local crew, Juan Martin Benitez.
Today we could make a first test of the new MKII recently arrived to BA and assembled yesterday. The first impression is top quality build specially on new daggers.
Once sailing the boat feels quite firm
on our little meshy chop, very rigid platform like the Caps.
Here in BA we have shallow waters so these new 2mts foils are problem, and you need special care while going out or returning to the club.
So we waited some minutes to fully down the blades, we reached our usual training waters to start some informal training races.

The second aspect of the MKII is that the main sail is different from the previous cut, I was crewing so I felt that right away on the hard sheetings, this sail as the SI I tested on Mischa's Wildcat or my Landy needs No oversheeting as its stalls.
After a so-so 1st training race where we struggled a little trying to adapt upwind but we just flew downwind reaching first, Juan changed shroud tension and I let the main flow in the next race.
One of the MKII went left with Sergio and his C2 and we went right with Ian on his local Cap.
Wind came down a little, with tricky conditions that required constant trim.

I felt the boat better, Juan tried to point at every pressure zone, I trimmed the main more 'relaxed' compared to the previous version, we made an early tack to the layline covering Ian that was coming with more speed, we managed to point extremely well and both Infusions MKII reached first together
to the upwind mark coming from opposites tacks on comfortable positions against the other two boats.
Result: Happy faces for the MKII owners!
The boat really is a superior version, and the new blades are a blast, they performed in this special condition where we felt the Inf was lacking some flow against other boats, and some gain pointing too. We didn´t made 5 races as when I tested the Wildcat, but is an excellent first impression.
The good news for current MKI owners is that an upgrade kit is available, as the hulls and the rest of the platform is just exactly the same.
The upgrade is worth it, if you feel you have extracted all the juice of your current boat, if you are newbie, it wont make you win races by itself.
Next week Ian is receinving a pair of C2s, so we'll make a new test as is the only new design I didn´t sail yet.

So congrats to Nacra for improving some issues on the 2010 version, this is a top contender, as the Boskalis team showed at the Eurocat.
I always liked the Infusion (you can read the archive) , an easy boat to sail with lots of margin as I prefer, now with these upgrades it has become an updated racing machine to match the designs that came after its launch in 2006.

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