Neilpryde cancela fabricação das velas RS5 e dos mastros X9

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NP press release

October 10th 2005 - NeilPryde today announces the temporary suspension of the production and sale of the company’s Formula Racing products (i.e X9 Racing Masts and RS5 sails in sizes of 10.7 and upwards).Over the course of the past year we’ve enjoyed great success with our RS5 Speedseeker sails among speed and slalom enthusiasts. Unfortunately, over the same period, we’ve experienced unprecedented breakage rates of X9 racing masts among Formula sailors, and for this reason we’re temporarily suspending production & sales of NeilPryde Formula equipment.

As Formula racers continue to demand more powerful sails, it’s appears we’ve reached a performance threshold for masts built using current technology. Having made thorough examinations of broken equipment returned by our own Pro team riders as well as equipment from competing sailors, it’s clear that the increased compression loading on modern Formula sails are simply causing current rigs to collapse.

It’s important to recognise that this is not a problem restricted to our own brand - mast breakages are now becoming a common deciding factor in Formula Racing all around the world - it’s clear that mast breakages are now plaguing all the brands in the marketplace. We’ve made numerous attempts to solve this problem using running changes in the production process, but the breakages have continued and we’re no closer to resolving the problem using current technology and construction methods. We would like to stress that the suspension of production is a temporary measure and not a full-scale withdrawal from Racing. We are already hard at work with a team of technical partners of the highest calibre, and we’re very confident that we’ll re-emerge early in the new year with an all-new mast and sail that will once again become the benchmark for performance in both Formula and Slalom Racing. We would also like to take this opportunity to voice our concerns that Formula Racing sails have now begun to exceed the practical size limits for the sport of windsurfing. The very high development costs required to create high performance rigs of over 10 sq/m are not really justified by their limited performance window nor by the tiny number of racers that use them.

These ‘exotic’ products are unaffordable for almost all regular sailors - and with only a handful of sponsored Pro-sailors able to access the equipment, it leads us to question the validity of taking equipment to these kind of extremes. We will be pressing the windsurfing regulatory bodies to urgently review size limits in Windsurfing races. In order to continue our support for customers of our current (RS4 & RS5) racing sails we recommend sailors use the NeilPryde X6 masts (with extender where necessary) which continue to perform well with all RS Racing sails. In addition we have put in place an X9 Mast Exchange Programme for customers who have broken their X9 Racing Masts - these will now be replaced free-of-charge with an X6 masts and a credit voucher for 300 Euro* exchangeable against any NeilPryde product.Summarising the situation, NeilPryde Windsurfing Division Manager, Jonathan Squires made the following comments: “Over the past twenty years NeilPryde has established a reputation as the number one performance brand on the water. As a company we’re committed to providing our customers with exceptional products that they can rely on with absolute confidence. With breakages among formula sailors running at the rates we’ve seen this season, we have no choice but to suspend production while we make the necessary technical changes to our Formula Racing programme. We can assure our racing customers that development and production of the RS-6 “Speedseeker” sails, up to and including size 9.8m, is right on schedule for release in January 2006 in conjunction with an appropriate range of mast and booms.”

13th October '05