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Mistral competition TCS ???
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ebs675



Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Mistral competition TCS ??? Reply with quote

So I am new to the sport and just picked up a late 80's Mistral competition TCS. It's the model with a fixed fin, retractable dagger board, and adjustable mast track.

I am curious if anyone is familiar with these boards. It is in pretty good shape and came with about 6 different sails. I have a couple questions below.

1.) Is this board compatible with a modern rig? I think I would like to get a new rig to learn on this board. Although, I am going to test out the sails it came with too. Looks like the boom is a clamp on style, but the mast is one piece plastic.

2.) As a beginner should I always run with the dagger board down?

3.) I think I read somewhere that the best position for the mast on this board, 90% of the time, is to set it in the rear most position. Is that correct?

4.) Any other tips for a beginner on this board? I will kind of be teaching myself with a few tips from locals. Anywhere still sell parts or mods?

I am super excited to learn windsurfing. I have sailed dinghy's, but I am an avid snowboarder and am drawn more to wind surfing and board sports in general than I am to small boat sailing.

-E
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arden



Joined: 26 Jun 2000
Posts: 28
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am familiar with the Mistral Competition since I learned on one and still use it to teach people once in a while.

Quote:
1.) Is this board compatible with a modern rig? I think I would like to get a new rig to learn on this board. Although, I am going to test out the sails it came with too. Looks like the boom is a clamp on style, but the mast is one piece plastic.


Yes, a modern rig will work on this board. Two caveats though. The first is that the car in the mast track probably only accepts the now defunct mistral twist-in joint. Hopefully you got a mistral mast extension with a red ovalish bottom when you got this setup. Newer extensions are much nicer for rigging, but can be difficult to adapt for this connection.

The second caveat is that these extensions won't work with reduced diameter masts (RDM) that are very popular these days. If you look into newer rigs, be sure they use standard diameter mast (SDM) that is approximately the same diameter as the plastic mast you already have.


Quote:
2.) As a beginner should I always run with the dagger board down?


Yes, unless it is too shallow. Even once you are better this board generally performs best with the centerboard down.


Quote:
3.) I think I read somewhere that the best position for the mast on this board, 90% of the time, is to set it in the rear most position. Is that correct?


No. The best position is at or near the front. The exceptions are if you are very light (say a kid<100 pounds) or heavier than 220-250 pounds. Then you should adjust the sail position so that the board rides level (tail just in the water and nose above water).

The other exception is if the sail is very small/short boom, maybe less than 5.0 or 5.5 sqmeters. The the mast should usually be positioned near the middle.

FYI, the board will generally turn more quickly and be more sensitive to sail motion (tilt forward or tilt back) with the mast track at the back, but will correspondingly have the hardest time sailing in a straight line. The reverse is true with the mast track in the front. The board will tend to sail in a straight line, but will require more sailor input (larger sail motion over a longer period of time) in order to steer.


Quote:
4.) Any other tips for a beginner on this board? I will kind of be teaching myself with a few tips from locals. Anywhere still sell parts or mods?


For steering, be slow and persistent with your sail motions. This is a large board with a long waterline and not a lot of rocker. It will take some time for it to respond to your input until you can get to some intermediate techniques for helping to exaggerate the sail motions to speed up the turns. On the plus side, all that waterline and volume make it a pretty stable platform to learn on.

For parts, one of your best bets is Windpower Windsurfing (Fond du Lac, WI). The owner bought pretty much all the remaining inventory on Mistral longboards (80's through 2000's) as they moved away from longboards. He probably has something new or at least used.
http://www.windpowerwindsurfing.com/


Quote:
I am super excited to learn windsurfing. I have sailed dinghy's, but I am an avid snowboarder and am drawn more to wind surfing and board sports in general than I am to small boat sailing.


Sounds great - you should learn very quickly. Windsurfing is better performance and fun than just about any kind of wet-butt sailing, at a fraction the cost. And you can transport with just about any vehicle and launch from practically anywhere.

Good Luck,
Arden
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you learning to windsurf?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6646

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to offer a contrasting view on your question #2. Although I didn't own a Mistral, I did own an F2 Strato that included a retractable daggerboard as my first board. With the daggerboard down, a beginner will have easier time controlling the board's direction, particularly in light wind. Also, it will make the board far more stable and less tippy. However, as one gains the skill to plane and getting into the straps, you really want the daggerboard retracted and concentrate on driving the board off the fin in the direction you want to go. The exception to this would be if one is beating hard to windward, like in a race to the upwind mark, because you need the lift of the daggerboard to point high into the wind. Think of the daggerboard as a tool that you can elect to use when needed, or put away when it's not needed.

I would also like to point out that the position of the rig in the mast track will vary based on whether the daggerboard is up or down. More forward in the track if the daggerboard is down, and more towards the rear of the track if you are planing and the daggerboard is up and retracted.

Lastly, I think it's of great value not to become too dependent on the daggerboard to control the direction of the board. I feel that sailing around with the daggerboard retracted will hone and refine important skills that will better prepare you for sailing short boards in the future.
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jjstien



Joined: 31 Mar 2000
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once owned this board, it was my first. I hate to say it, but you will learn a lot more quickly on a modern "wide" board. The investment is probably worth it.

If you get skilled on it it will plane (with the center board up).

I didn't want anyone else to have to go through the frustration so after mine sat in the garage for a couple of years I sawed it in half and put it in the garbage
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mchaco1



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jjstien wrote:
I once owned this board, it was my first. I hate to say it, but you will learn a lot more quickly on a modern "wide" board. The investment is probably worth it.

If you get skilled on it it will plane (with the center board up).

I didn't want anyone else to have to go through the frustration so after mine sat in the garage for a couple of years I sawed it in half and put it in the garbage

Shocked
you could have at least given it to the SUPers, they deserve a struggle Laughing

I learned on an Equipe II which is pretty similar. Its not as easy as the new beginner boards, but assuming youre on flat water its ok (if youre not than good luck..)

If you want to use a modern rig you can do what I did and get yourself a stack of large washers that are as big as possible but still fit in the alluminum track and a nut that fits the modern mast bases (if you have the tools its much better to get the washers oversized and grind them to fit so they cant twist in the track and weld/braze/solder the whole washer/nut deal together)then you can use whatever equipment you want on it.
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ebs675



Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jjstien wrote:
I once owned this board, it was my first. I hate to say it, but you will learn a lot more quickly on a modern "wide" board. The investment is probably worth it.

If you get skilled on it it will plane (with the center board up).

I didn't want anyone else to have to go through the frustration so after mine sat in the garage for a couple of years I sawed it in half and put it in the garbage


I realize it will not be as easy as a modern beginner board, but I can't drop that much money right now. This board will get me on the water and that's all that matters Very Happy ....Also, I am use to learning difficult things so I am excited for the challenge.

I forgot to mention, I got all of this gear given to me so I really have nothing to lose.

Thanks all, for the advice. I am sure I will be back for more LOL Laughing
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jamieinnyc



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is worth remembering that until wide style boards came along everyone learned on a board like the Competition (myself included, Mistral Maui), and it was fine. Wide style boards are easier to balance on, and easier to tack/gybe, but the learning advantages pretty much end there. In sub planing conditions, they are far less responsive (you won't get as much feedback from the rig or foot position), and a lot slower. They will plane in less wind, but likely only in the hands of a more skilled sailor ( requires pumping and correct foot position, etc.) - this offers no advantage to you.

As far as the daggerboard goes, if you are not planing, keep it down (it will make the board considerably more stable). If you are planing, use it only upwind, and only in the half-way down position.

For a lot of good information about basic longboard technique, take a look at the article linked below.

http://www.lbwindsurfing.com/journal/history/blast-from-the-past
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ittiandro



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamieinnyc wrote:
Wide style boards are easier to balance on, and easier to tack/gybe, but the learning advantages pretty much end there. In sub planing conditions, they are far less responsive (you won't get as much feedback from the rig or foot position), and a lot slower. They will plane in less wind, but likely only in the hands of a more skilled sailor ( requires pumping and correct foot position, etc.) - this offers no advantage to you.

As far as the daggerboard goes, if you are not planing, keep it down (it will make the board considerably more stable). If you are planing, use it only upwind, and only in the half-way down position.



I have been windsurfing for a number of years, so I am not exactly a beginner. I just bought a 2nd hand Mistral Competition SST. I tried it out yesterday and it responds very well to my expectations: indeed, a vast and quite pleasant improvement in light winds subplaning as compared to my Bic 293 ! I guess the length and the triple concave hull are what make difference. Also, with the Competition, a 6.5 gives me plenty of power, whereas with the Bic, in the same wind conditions, even an 8.5 is underpowered. The board gets in motion almost by itself !
The only drawback is its tippiness, even more so when tacking or gibing.! I end up in water more often than not, unlike the Bic which is much more stable because of its width. A bit of a problem !. Maybe I have to push the the daggerboard full down when I tack or jibe or perhaps keep it there all the time because planing conditions tend to be rare around here.
Also, I am hearing different opinions about the mast-foot position in the track. Some say it is better towards the rear because it easier to steer the board, others say forward or full forward, because it makes the board track in a straight line instead of swerving. I would have thought that a mast foot more in the back is better because it helps the nose to rise more above the water and slide over the crest of the wave, which can help speed and planing. I am a bit confused.
Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks

Ittiandro
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whitevan01



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to echo what was said earlier in this thread:

mast track forward/dagger down to go up wind all the time. if board starts to rail up too much, then dagger should be picked up just to the point where the board settles down. However, the board should be railed to leeward (a la heeling a sailboat) at most times to get best performance.


mast track back/dagger up when planing off the wind, if there is enough wind to do this.

I was out sailing my Megacat today and had a blast. I thought at one point that the wind was strong enough to pull the mast track and keep planing, but not quite, however, board as planing with mast track forward and dagger up.

Some one gave me an article from the 80's about sailing these boards, and they said to only have mast track all the way forward or all the way back for racing.
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