A decision was taken at the 2012 RS800 Nationals Class Meeting to look into the development of a new mainsail design. Development got underway in October 2012 with the RS Development Team, Hyde Sails and various RS800 sailors.
The new main with a square head profile and a change of sail fabric from gold to black has been fine-tuned over various prototypes and Hyde are confident they have arrived at a sail that is easy to use in all conditions, thus keeping to the overall concept of the Class.
Technical summary from Hyde Sails
With the square top - the upper- most batten moved up the sail to support the leech head corner. This increased the gapping between the battens, so the sail now has 5 battens.
The new leech profile was juggled to give some positive roach when measured from the line between the aft head point and clew. The width of the head is restricted by the target area and the need to run the roach with a positive curve. We tried several combinations of head width vs' foot length and roach profile. There is always a compromise to consider. If the head gets too big the drag will go up once the sail is overpowered and it makes gybing more difficult. Too small and the sail will perform less well in light to medium conditions.
Also the depth through the sail is controlled by similar needs. The head of the sail needs a certain amount of luff curve and seam shape to function properly across the wind range. The mast stiffness is directly responsible for the amount of depth required. The square top needs more depth to counter its own lever effect.
We have tried some detail changes to the construction of the batten pockets to reduce asymmetry in the gybe loads and also looked at the batten stiffness and shape. The overall aero shape of the sail has remained similar to the original with some changes needed to support the new profile shape.
From my observations and experience in other classes I would expect the new sail design to perform better in light to medium and be similar strong winds. However this difference will be subtle and the skill level of the sailors will no doubt mask some differences.
Mike Lennon, Technical Director, Hyde sails Ltd.
The proposed new sails will be on the RS800 at the 2013 Dinghy Show before the specification change is put to a vote by the RS800 Class Association. The time schedule, if the vote is successful, is to have new sails available in mid May 2013. RS will offer a discount on new mainsails and jibs for a specified period:
Mainsail UK retail price £790.00 inc VAT . . . Limited offer £686.00 inc VAT
Jib UK retail price £379.00 inc VAT . . . Limited offer £329.00 inc VAT
1 March 2013 23:04