Thanks DLW. This was a great race and tons of fun. I do have 3 race boards and have just ordered 2 more. I agree that Jeff's boards are great out of the box. I have ridden the new prisoner of wind (Damien L. has one) and found it to be a very good choice. If you don't want to get into design, etc. this is a good choice. It is has good glide and a high average speed on all points of sail. Interestingly enough, it is even fun to ride in some waves, where my boards are really more geared toward racing.
If you are looking for some very new designs I would also check out http://www.njsdesigns.org
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Nils is at the leading edge of racing and has come along way. I recently tried a proto board of his and it was very good up wind with a very high angle. It wasn't as slippery as Jeff's board though. I do know that Nils is at least 3 protos farther now than when I tried his board 2 months ago.
I will also say that Dereck's boards are very good. This would be a custom board and he will take your input. 3 years ago when I wanted my first race board for down wind, Dereck's first shape was killer and I have yet to find another board that is better on a reach or off the wind. As a matter of a fact, I used this board for the Fowey race last weekend. His rocker is perfect for what I want. The course board that he built for me is outstanding and upwind it's hard to beat. Later in the week, I'll be heading to his place to order 2 more boards based on the one that I have but with some modifications. My experience is that you can't go wrong with Dereck.
At any rate, the 3 board makers above will put you in the game for a race board. Although I sell Cabrinha, I wouldn't say that the S-Quad 5'3 or 5'9 are the best race boards. Off the wind they will stick with my best down wind boards, but upwind you would be giving up a little to the dedicated race boards.
Look for the second issue of SBC Kiteboard for a full kite racing feature. This will clearly lay out shapes, rockers, and sizes for you to start.
There are a ton of races this year and racing is fun as hell. Hop on any directional board you can get your hands on and start working on board handling skills. Get the tacks and jibes down and then order up a course board. see you on the water.