Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yet Another Falcon Sailor

I spoke just last night with Patrick Forrester, of Falcon Sails, who had called to say my sail should be done by the weekend.  I’m slow to jump into such purchases, but I’ve been watching the Falcon Sails videos, reviews, and events’ results for a long time, and have yet to see any negative feedback on their performance or in dealings with the sailmaker. 

Credit: Patrick Forrester
Joe Tousignant in this year's Everglades Challenge with a Falcon
Sail on a Clipper Canoe. 

There are two sizes, the 1-square meter and 1.3-square meter sails.  Watertribe limits the Class I entrants to the 1-meter sail.  The sail was designed and built specifically for the Florida Watertribe Everglades Challenge, a brutal 300-mile race held each year from Tampa Bay to Key Largo, in the Florida Keys.  The round-the-clock, up to 8-day endurance race is as good a testing ground for all gear as any to be found anywhere, and the Falcon Sail, since its first Everglades Challenge in 2013, has yet to experience its first failure.  There were three Falcon Sails in the Challenge that year, with two in Class I.  Joe Tousignant, even though he chose a longer route, won first in Class.  In 2014, there were five Falcon Sails in Class I, and they took 3 of the top 4 finish positions.  In 2015, there were 16 Falcon sailors, but the event was ordered stopped by the Coast Guard within hours of its start due to extreme weather.  This year, for the second year in a row, there were more Falcon Sails in the Challenge than sails from any other manufacturer, and for these hardcore paddlers who are always looking for an edge, that says a lot.   Florida weather again brutalized the fleet with strong headwinds, resulting in 13 DNF’s in Class I, and reported about 63% DNF's out of the roughly 80 starters.  Joe Tousignant finished behind another Falcon Sail boat, a tandem-paddled Kruger canoe.

This is a Snip from the Falcon Sails site.  It is an interactive
page that enables you to design your own sail and see what
it will look like.  Ibi's deck is yellow, but also for the safety that
comes with high visibility on the water, I chose two fluorescent
colors, yellow and hot pink.

Falcons Sails have been sent around the world, and have appeared on virtually any type of canoe or kayak imaginable.  The best way to get an appreciation of how they perform is to go to the Falcon Sails site.  Be sure to watch the videos there, and several others can be found by searching Falcon Sails on You Tube.  By using the cues at the top of their home page, you can also check out the large collection of photographs.  I’m hoping the best is yet to come when I get my sail, install it, and can offer some personal pictures and experiences.  Until then, see:

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