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Kit Guide

Rooster MXL Solo Loadpath Sail

By Steve Cockerill 30th September 2020
Rooster's final testing of its MXL Loadpath Sail with Ross Harvey and video from a masthead camera to show just how responsive this new sail is:
Rooster's New MXL Loadpath Sail for the Solo The Rooster MXL Solo Loadpath Sail is now ready for sale. In our last test sail, my sparing partner was Ross Harvey and the conditions were 5 knots but with a foul tide. (against us rather than with us). It was clear that Ross had a good pointing mode that he had used to great success at the Solo Nationals last year, finishing second. In the first few runs, I was able to either pull a small lead out on him on each tack - possibly 4 boat lengths in 3 mins but with perhaps a 1 boat length more leeway to his - or when I put the boat into "point mode", I was able to hold a slightly higher lane than his. In" normal mode" I had the boom just down from the centre on the traveller with the boom sitting mid side deck on the transom and I was conscious not to over tighten the leach, always checking that the tell tails were flying. The sail was easy to read. Its response was fantastic. In the point mode I pulled the traveller to the middle and eased the sheet slightly to ensure the upper leach did not get too chocked. I could also ease the in haul and pull the outhaul slightly to reduce the entry and give me that little extra point. Personally, although I made this mode work very effectively, I was much happier taking the speedy approach as this would always take me to the next shift first. Rooster's MXL Loadpath sail gives an amazing response to sail controls and body movement (for wave sailing). The sail is set on a Selden D+ this short clip but the load path sail designs will set on any mast selected as it acts like check stays - allowing the mast to bend in one place and stopping it bend in another. Note - the last piece of movement here was to show the dynamic nature of this rig which excites me as a 76Kg Solo Sailor, I'll need all the dynamic movement I can find if it gets choppy. In the development of this sail, the sail designer, Andrew Smith, told us of his findings when developing Ian Percy's Finn rig in 2000. They found that once they changed the fabric to highly stable fabric, the same sail luff curve would fit any mast. The nature of the check stay aspect of stable or load path sails controlled the mast bend. Each sailor needs to select a mast that yields sideways to match their hiking weight. i.e. lighter sailors select bendier masts such as a sleeved C section, mid weight sailors select a Selden D+ or Superspars M7 and heavier sailors select a front tapered Selden Cumulus (other masts also available) so that each yields to the loads placed on them. Our testing has further confirmed this theory. To this end this load path sail works well with a mast that is selected for the sailors weight. When we finally got ashore after a couple of hours of fun sailing - yes fun even in 5 knots as sailing is always nip and tuck, even when you feel that you have a speed advantage. I then showed Ross and his Dad just how responsive a load path sail can be. Fistly showing them how I could get the top batten to open and close with the use of the Cunningham - and then how when using in-haul and out-haul together easing one and pulling the other, I could move the draft from a flat water sail (flat entry) to a sea sail (full entry). My In-haul system is a Harken 405 tied with a length of 3mm spec8 onto the mast. To stop dissimilar metal fatigue where they touch, I used a very short length of Black 250 micron Chafe Tape.
Solo Inhaul. The testing proved so successful that Ross is seriously considering buying one, and I am not so sure I want him to have one!! For those of you who are happy to accept the extra 700g of weight, we have the same sail design with a black X ply scrim added for Durability.
The MXL Loadpath Sail.

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