These last 2 years there has been a massive attention on the AC-1. In 2013 the AC-1 was THE sail on everyone’s lips as Alberto Menegatti was fighting for first place in the PWA Slalom world tour. A surge of power that made more people than ever looking towards getting their hands on a professional slalom sail.
The AC-1 as the sail is great of course, but doesn’t mean that it’s actually the best fitting sail for every sailor who wants to do slalom and be fast.
The AC-1 is the best sail for winning on a downwind course. Unlimited speed, explosive acceleration and specifically developed to perform in high-wind conditions so that it can get the rider around the race course as fast possible on a 4min course without falling.
But what if you are not only committed to downwind slalom in high wind conditions where you are always sailing overpowered; are there alternatives which gives you the same performance?
The answer would be YES, there is an alternative in the package we call the AC-K!
The AC-K is the evolution of the AC-1 but in a suitable package that demands less of the rider and delivers its full performance in conditions that are more suitable for long sessions against those 4 minute slalom heats we see on the PWA tour where the gear is being pushed to its absolute max by 100kg muscle monsters.
The AC-1 in the hands of Menegatti is best compared to an F1 Ferrari being driven by Schumacher, but would the average driver be able to get the same of the F1 car as the most winning driver ever? The answer is NO, but that doesn’t mean that the less skilled should be cheated from experiencing top performance, hence we developed the AC-K.
When develop the AC-K 4G our first priority was secure absolute speed! To do this we transferred the profile ratio from the AC-1 but at the same time reduced the size of the mast sleeve and removed one camber ending up with three in total. Then to soften the reflex from the mast panel work was made and a softer material was used on the upper section of the mast sleeve resulting in a sail that won’t be so hard to sail for extended periods of time.
Looking at the sail body, we decided to open the ‘exhaust pipe’ for the wind to escape out of the faster, speeding up the passage of wind in the sail to increasing the actual top speed of the sail. We did not fully open one exact point to keep an automatic pilot when needed to push upwind. So the sail keep the wind locked in at one point which allows more pressure on the fin to point upwind when needed.
We changed material on the inside the body mast sleeve to allow the cams to have more power to rotate. This gives the cam more reflex so the rotation will be softer as the cam will rotate as soon as the sail enters the new tack without a loud noise. This will allow you to dominate the sail in the jibe.
The AC-K was already a fast sail, but now it gives the final rush to not feel the need to have a full racing sail. The light weight of the sail and the simple construction makes the board super light on the water. The fact that the sail has only seven battens it make the sail feel softer than a racing sail and for the wind to push harder in the sail in lighter wind. These factors allow you to plane earlier on the same size sail than on a 4 cambered sail and reach maximum performance without sailing over-powered all the time. So you can now enjoy a smaller and lighter sized sail but still have the full performance of a race sail in a perfect package.
We put a lot of racing development on the AC-K 4g, but kept it simple to have fun with a high-end performance!