The following was written recently on the racing board project.

New UK Raceboard still under wraps.

Problems galore have hit the project that was going so well but Bruce Keeping will not be deterred from seeing it through. The main setback was Bruce having a big skiing accident earlier in the year and has had to suffer major surgery on his shoulder to join everything back together. As if that was not enough a serious mistake in the weight calculations (not Bruce’s) has resulted in some pretty complex design changes to the board’s interior structure. Nonetheless things are progressing and at least we have some illustrations of the dagger mechanism, patented and protected, and the complete plug for the mould.

The board is 380cm long and moderate width with a squared off tail that is narrower than current fashions. Bruce believes in ultra light raceboards with narrow entries and moderate tails built for true upwind planing. The real difference with this board is that the dagger is a very narrow aspect ratio with twin remote levers that allow the mast track to run way past and over the dagger pivot. It’s also possible to pivot the dagger from a rear position forwards but that’s an option for the future.

So what does this mean in practice? As much of our racing is in marginal conditions any board that can plane upwind has a huge edge. With a modest width, long sharp rails and a highly efficient dagger it’s possible to convert so much power from the rig to forward thrust that the board will plane consistently at a low heel angle upwind. With more apparent wind you can squeeze more from trimming in the rig and power through very light patches of wind.

What about offwind and planing winds? I’m guessing that the clean, narrow lines will give a slight edge in marginal conditions, testing will tell. Planing winds and chop are where this design could have a huge edge if you change your mindset. Dagger up, rig right back towards the fin and you have a pretend short board. Think back to the Mistral Equipe 1 where driving it from the tail was (and still is) fast and fun but you had to have a low aspect rig, with the CE further back, or it wasn’t comfortable. This new design can use a high aspect, high efficiency rig as the CLR could be around 7-10% further back than normal assuming that the rails do release water cleanly. Narrow entry and modest width/low weight means the board shouldn’t become airborne (much).

So much for theory, apart from the dagger mech it has all been done before and maybe some of our readers can give us more information Mould for the hull with board in place. The bulkheads and dagger

from 15 or more housing are being modified to reduce weight. Lots of work here.

years ago. Will it work? The proof of the pudding is yet to be tasted but Bruce has had some success on an early hand made prototype. Realistically the first pre-production board won’t be ready till midsummer. Recognition as a production board is another story, with the UK demise in raceboard racing I feel he will have to look worldwide for customers. Lots more info on Facebook, search for Waveblades. Paul

Info courtesy of Bruce Keeping;