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The SP40 is a new addition to the Carbon Art Speed Board range.

It is a dedicated speed board, with its sleek 40cm wide parallel outline, and lowered nose. The SP40 is designed for total control in epic conditions making it the ideal board for all-out speed.

The SP40 carries the same features as the other boards in the Speed series which give it unrivalled versatility, and an incredibly loose but stable trim. The design maintains a thicker profile to make it easier to get started, and the deck profile under the single back foot strap is designed for a locked in, comfortable, and dry ride.

The SP40 was developed to help lighter riders get more out of square speed courses, and to provide the ultimate control in full-on speed conditions where rolling chop keeps other designs waiting on the sand bar. The SP40 is an ultra high performance board designed and proven to achieve the most in real-world conditions.

Suggested sail size: 4.0 to 6.0m

Suggested Fin: 20-24cm

Chris Lockwood took the first unit off the production line to Sandy Point for the weekend. The result was impressive. He tells the story below.

Sandy Pt has been very quiet since my last trip there in October ’07, and I’ve been itching to get another good speed session in. The conditions forecast for the weekend were looking good for a few fun days of sailing, but not windy enough for big speeds. I figured that it would be a good opportunity to ride the new production SP40. So flights were booked and the mission on. Matt Langer joined the mission with his SP47 to check out Sandy Point, and to try to break 40kts over 500m.

I spent a good part of Friday trying to arrange customs pre-clearance, and avoid delays with quarantine since the SP40 was only due to land at 5.45pm. Fortunately all agencies involved were very helpful and the board was available for pickup at 9pm. We unpacked the board in the car park at the international freight depot, and repacked it into the board bags for travelling. Then it was off to the domestic airport.

After long negotiations with the check-in staff, and handing over (Matt’s) credit card for the excess baggage fee, our equipment disappeared into the baggage handling area. At 11pm we were off (after a few minor issues with the boards not fitting on the plane and going on a different flight).

A few hours later, and a few hours forward in time zone (5am), we arrived in Melbourne. We were relieved when our board bags emerged from the oversize baggage area. Brett from KA Sails met us out the front with the KA wagon, and we were off. Since we were pushing for the morning session we didn’t have time to detour back to Brett’s place to drop him off, so we made him catch the train! Apparently it would have taken just as long to drive and then we would have lost that time again to get back out to the highway. That’s how we justified it, anyway…

We got to the inlet at 8am. Matt’s first Sandy Point moment was unpacking his only board to find that it had been damaged in transit with a solid blow to the rail. It was minor damage, but enough to put it aside for the morning session. I lent him the SP50, and he came back after one run saying it was feeling pretty big, which meant there was enough wind to fire up the SP40. I lent Matt the SP44.

First run on the SP40, 42kts on the GPS. The board felt spot on, everything was balanced and comfortable. This was a good sign of things to come. I moved the mast track back, dropped the boom, and shifted my harness lines a bit. Next run, 44.7kts. It was time to get some weight on, 9kg in the jacket. After that I was getting 44s and 45s even though the wind had dropped. I decided to save some energy for the afternoon session, which was predicted to be a lot stronger. The tide was coming in so we left the gear in the bushes, and headed back to Andrew Daff’s place to check GPSs and have a nap.

After a n hour or two of sleep in a noisy house (there was a GPS party going on) we headed back to the inlet for the afternoon session. The wind had swung to the west making it very broad and shifted the best part of the run behind the lee of large sand dunes, making it very gusty. It was windier than the morning so I tried the 5.0m. The tide was still up, so the water was very choppy. I still managed to get some good speeds (45-46kts on the dial) in relatively rough conditions for Sandy Pt. As the tide dropped the speeds got faster, and it got darker.

It was hard work getting upwind due to the run being broad, and the top end of the run being so gusty due to the high dunes. I found it easier to start further down on the opposite bank, sacrificing some of the run to get more runs in. I was aiming for good 10 second speeds and peak speeds. The SP40 was making it easy to get back to the top of the run, even though I was on an asymmetrical 20cm fin.

A rain squall came through late in the afternoon, and I waited on the opposite bank for the wind to pick up. It did increase by a few knots initially, but I was hoping for more. By the time the squall was just about over, the wind kicked in and I decided to go. As I approached the bank, the wind was hitting mid to high 30s. I let the outhaul off knowing it would be broad and gusty. The acceleration was smooth and controlled, but it continued as the rolling chop built. Then I went into an even bigger gust, low 40s, and was fully powered up on the 5.0m running very broad, maybe 140-150 degrees. The chop was getting dangerous by then, around 30cm according to Matthew Robertson who was on the bank near where I hit my peak. I managed to hold it all together, but it was definitely not a safe or comfortable run. I felt I was at the limit of control, and even considered bailing out at the end, something I’ve not done before. Normally I look like I’m in control on my fastest runs, but Matthew said he thought I was going to crash on that one. I was glad the SP40 was so incredibly stable.

At the end of the run I pulled up, and watched the gust disappear with the rain, leaving behind a perfect rainbow. What a sight. I found out later that Ian got it on video, from the upwind end of the run.

I knew the run was going to be up there with my fastest ever, and it really did feel faster than I’d gone before. I thought there was a chance that I hit 50kts, so when I saw 50 on both GPSs I was stoked. I checked the 10 second times and they were on 49kts (doppler-based measurement). Then I was totally stoked! First day on the SP40 and it felt perfect. When I think back over that run, it’s hard to believe that it was possible to go that fast in those conditions.

I did a few more runs and called it a day. A lot of the time was waiting for the elusive next squall that never happened. Matt and the rest of the crew were buzzing at having such a good session. It was the first time Matt had seen a string of 40s and 41s on his GPS using the repaired SP47.

Back at Mission Control (Andrew Daff’s house) we checked that the tracks were really clean and consistent, which verified the run was good. Both GPS’s where within 0.1 of a knot in all categories so the confidence in the speeds was high.

The next day was forecast to be lighter and tighter. I used a 5.8m and managed to get over 47 knots, with a couple of 45kt 500m runs. It was a great day. Not epic, just nice and comfortable. There were a lot of guys on the water with Carbon Art speed boards having a great time and getting some good speeds.

So it ended up being a much faster trip than expected, and the SP40 performed just as it was designed to. The board felt spot on, everything was balanced and comfortable. The first day on the SP40, and it felt perfect.

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