Starboard's challenge is to help create a popular Olympic windsurfing class for the largest possible participation. Jim Drake has been at the forefront of the Z class project, with meetings inside ISAF, visits to evaluation events and presentations of carefully thought out class rules.

We hope to see Z class boards from all brands compete as early as the Siam cup 04 and further in Olympic trials, but more importantly in all the thousands of local races before the 08 games. The Formula Experience class can become the inexpensive Olympic feeder class recruiting young sailors for Olympic windsurfing.

Z class boards are early planing hulls very close to Formula designs. An extended and sharpened front area produces a longer waterline, which in collaboration with a centerboard and mast track, makes for brilliant tactical non planing light-wind sailing. Once the wind comes up the track moves back, the centerboard retracts and the bow lifts out of the water providing a full-on Formula windsurfing feel.

Thousands of sailing and yacht clubs around the world will finally find it interesting to facilitate for a popular style of windsurfing, suiting their Olympic sailing programs.

The class concept allows several similar but different shapes to fit within a tight "design box". The Z class invites different manufacturers to register their own class-legal equipment for an Olympic cycle, providing versatility, freedom of choice, better support, service, availability and increased participation.

Since the very first time the sport took part in the Games in Los Angeles 1984, the One Design concept has kept stalling Olympic windsurfing.
Today no "one design" class is active anymore, only the Olympic class which artificially survives on Olympic funding. Just like a skier chooses his ski for the games, a windsurfer should be able to select a registered class board.

"It's time to bring windsurfing to the next level."


Model Length
Fitting Fin size Class legal sails
Z-Class 270 100 cm 76.9 cm 13.3 Deep tuttle + Daggerboard system +
Adjustable mast track system
Drake Race 700 + Daggerboard 10.7 m2 max, 2 sails