Archive for March, 2016


You know the feeling: Someone you love, is no longer around. You hear the  name in the street, and you turn to check, partly out of habit and partly in anticipation you may see again the loved face.

It is human, although you know the truth…


I progressed riding F2 boards, but then, F2 was at the frontline of the sport both shape wise & competitively. Great shapers were designing the new boards and incredible athletes were riding them to consecutive victories, year after year in all disciplines. The input from such a cooperation, was then filtered down to the end products, sold to mortals like myself.

Like many other historical brands, F2 lost momentum, fought back thanks to the joint forces of the shaping-racing-marketing twin of Patrik Diethelm & Karin Jaggi, but finally took the downhill, directed by the new investor. Patrik says about that:

“The new owner had unfortunately other plans or maybe better said, no plan! For cost reasons and because I just speak my thoughts, I was pushed out. After that, my assistant Daniel Aeberli took over for a while. It didn’t work and he also left. But if you cannot hear and see, it doesn’t seem much better to start running….Also we noticed with horror that friendships are not always as they seem…. I’ve prepared a presentation in which I wanted the owner to clearly understand how to bring the brand back to the top. Marketing, product positioning, business plan – I had everything in the bag, but he laughed at me. Not only did he laugh, but said in fact that I had no idea of the business. Well, I do remember well, when he became the new F2-owner against all present business partners, importers and team riders, in his first presentation he said that he did not know much about windsurfing and generally was not athletic, but that he knows how to manage tax savings…”

Not able to resist, now & then, I check the F2 site. In 2013, the brand in an effort to cash the Sputnik  fame of the legendary Thommen shaped board,  introduced  the new Sputnik range, which represent their Freerace  boards category. Three months ago, I noticed that for the Sputnik they have used a photo of Sputnik 85 , a size that is not included in the 2016 pdf e-brochure (which by the way is the only way you can see the characteristics of each 2016 board).F2 Sutnik 2016

I messaged the company, but no reaction was generated.ScreenHunter_86 Mar. 08 16.45


Then I checked a little more, and noticed that for the Rodeo Junior – 116, they have used the photo of the adults Rodeo 96.F2 Rodeo Jr 116 - shown 96


I skimmed through the sails section…Gone are the days of the Arrows league – sob, sob.


I checked the wetsuits page and I was reminded of the cheap looking suits I spotted two years ago on the hangers of an F2 club.

Finally, I opened the site page F2 Team. This was the coup de grâce. The days of glory are gone forever. Blessed were the talented ones that gathered together & joined their powers to the ultimate achievements of the great era that comes to our mind when we refer to F2 

And I wonder: For how long can just a brand name keep a company in the game?


PS  The only positive addition to the F2 windsurfing equipment I have recorded for 2016, is the use of the excellent Maui Ultra Fins.

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Bert, a French oldschool believer, send me a message about his vintage equipment he enjoys, mentioning the recent acquisition of an F2 Sputnik 270. The Sputniks, first introduced in 1991, were legendary for their blasting potential under extreme conditions, being Peter Thommen’s civilian versions of Bjorn Dunkerbeck’s World Cup weapons.

I noticed that he was not positively identifying the version of his board, although I have uploaded the official, brochures of F2 that cover these years. I thought, “one more guy who does not search through my precious material…”, but I politely gave him the defining details of the 2 possible versions, asking for a photo to have a look myself. To my surprise, the board of the photos, did not match completely any of the versions!

The best source of information I thought it would be Peter Thommen, and yes, it was thanks to him that the identification was effected. Thanks Peter.

Here is our message exchange:

I still ride my Tiga wave 250 from 1989, and it works more than fine! Especially in strong winds, when it works more than great, since it’s an heavy board (like, more than 10 kg I guess…) with a fun shape (a big scoop!). I also take it into waves down here (south west of France, 50 km north of Hossegor), and it works great, better in backside surf than frontside, I’d say, but I’m not that good in front side surfing and winds is always onshore anyway!
That is to say that ten years before yours, the tiga wave was already a good board, as far as I can say. I’m no expert for sure!
I just bought a F2 sputnik 270 (I guess 1991), seems like I’m gonna have fun when spring comes!
Love your blog about oldies, I’ll become a regular!

In reply to bert.

Fine boards you have Bert!
The Tiga Wave 250 was measured by Planchemag 9.3kg (1990)
It is easy to identify your Sputnik going through the posted brochures. The 1991 has the funny artwork of M.Gorbachev , while the 1992 is either almost uniquely purple colored, or plain white in the World Cup Edition.
Have great sailings on them.

In reply to zaosan.

Well, it’s definitely not a 91 edition, could be a 92, same artwork as on the brochure, but mine is plain white, while not a world cup edition. Seems like they weren’t all purple colored! I’ve found some North and Gaastra slalom sails from the mid 90s to work with, it will fulfill my dreams of when I was younger, and unable to buy these things! 9.3 kg said planche mag? Without the fin and the straps, then!!!:)

In reply to bert.

Vas-y Bert, fait une photo de ta planche! (now things get tougher for me to go on writing in French)
Let me have a look.


Then I got the photos:IMG_1522IMG_1523IMG_1524

In reply to bert.
Well, well, well…
The look of your board is not registered in the F2 brochures!
I think I can ask for Thommen’s assistance.
Anyhow, we may assume it is a quite rare version.*:) χαρούμενος
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               zaosan to Peter Thommen
Dear Peter,
I hope you are doing fine with the new semi custom boards (and custom as always)!
I have the photos of a mostly white F2 Sputnik a friend recently bought, that is not registered in the F2 brochures. No, it is not a World Cup Edition…
1991 is the introduction of the Sputniks – with Gorby graphics & A.C. Multiaxial construction.
1992, boards of A.C. Multiaxial  construction with graphics like the unregistered board, but on colored background.
1993, we have different graphics and construction – for sure not our board. 
It is either a late 1991 board (maybe dropped Gorby on the way – if it did not appeal to the clientele)
We have an early 1992 board, which was finally considered too austere and next boards turned more colorful.
Any comments?
The reply from the master shaper himself!
Hi Dimitris,
If my recollection is correct, there were two versions in 91. One with Gorbachev and another, more neutral one. And I believe the later didn’t make any brochure or advertising. 
Best regards,

In reply to zaosan


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It is not a secret, that cooling is not X 1/9’s forte.

The concept itself, does not allow such a thing. We have a mid mounted engine and a front mounted radiator, with a long connection through covered, mostly metal pipes. As a result, the engine  does not get much fresh air, while having the complete exhaust system closely below, does not help cooling either. (the spares image comes from the Danish based Niels Laursen source of X 1/9 spares that unfortunately closed down at the end of 2014)

*:( λυπημένοςNiels Laursen.dk - X19 cooling system

All the above were known parameters the mechanics of the Gruppo had to work with, but being a modestly priced sports car, no expensive solutions were applied, apart from the alloy carter.

The first modification I did, was to make the water-cooling fan switchable from the cockpit, while I had a second original fan on hand, as the car had such a provision for 2 fans, one next to the other.

Back in 1979, I purchased a robust serviceable GT radiator kit from Stand21, which worked flawlessly for ~20 years, but then due to deterioration of the metal it started to leak a bit. vintage GT oil radiator

When my mechanic Dionysis got fed-up trying to seal it, without telling me anything, he came up with a present, a new monoblock alloy oil cooler he fabricated himself, just for my X.X1-9 D.Vourtsis custom made oil cooler - front mounted

This, in addition to the modification my late friend mechanic Panos did in the ’90’s – changing the corroded water refrigerator with a bigger one, together with a stronger fan, helped me not to face any overheating problems.

But you know, I have one more friend insatiably fiddling with the inherent weaknesses of his cars. Danilo has the extra knowledge of electronics, and as such, he fine tunes everything much better. So when a little ago he told me he was working on the cooling system of his car, I could not resist asking him to share. Thanks Danilo & keep us updated on your project.


Now, I am installing an auxiliary electrical cooling pump (on my X1/9 1500, for now) to eliminate, mainly, the “heat soak” (or “hot spots” or “hot soaking”) after ignition shutdown.

To replace completely the mechanical cooling pump with a electrical one, would require a different configuration of the cooling system, my opinion, of course.

 Heat soak, after switching off the engine, leads, in my opinion, a faster burning of the head gasket and an equally faster formation of cracks in the head itself.

Currently and as aftermarket, it is easier to find electric cooling pumps.

Davies Craig, Australian manufacturer, has a catalog of electric water pumps with flows from 80 to 150 liters/minute. I bought one of 80 liters/minute: 208 Euros, from Italy, including Tax and postage.

As you said, the mechanical pump absorbs a substantial mechanical power, the electric pumps, instead, have a rather low electrical power.

I sensed that the motors designed for electric cooling pumps were different, I got confirmation from an interesting documentation of the Pierburg.

In the link   Pierburg Pump Technology – TEAMLEARN

 on page 8/61, you can see the very low water passage resistance for the engine designed for the electric pump respect to the engine with traditional mechanical pump. 

That is why I chose to leave the mechanic pump and add the electric one.

I will mount the electric pump, at the front, at the exit of the radiator.

The increased passage resistance, due to the electric pump added, should not be too high.

For the management of the electric water pump and radiator fan, I will make use of two
digital thermometers/thermostats.

I bought the electronic thermometers/thermostats from China, just over 3 euro each:
the quality is very good although it is a product from China. It was not worth to design,
from scratch, the electronic thermometer/thermostat.

Attached two pictures of the electronic circuit, still in progress, which I will insert
in place of the ashtray.Mod-engine_112Mod-engine_113

You can see the sensor (NTC), home-made, which will replace the original X1/9
sensor ON / OFF of the radiator fan.

The ON/OFF sensor of the thermostat box (that sensor exist on the X1/9 1500 Bertone,
but not in use, maybe for air conditioning
?) will be replaced by a NTC sensor, home-made, for the management of the electric pump.

The micro-switches, on the front panel, set temperature of intervention and hysteresis.

The circuit of the electric pump and the radiator fan will stay ON 4 minutes after the engine is switched OFF.

Of course, electric pump and radiator fan will only be switched ON if temperature exceed the set temperature, also in normal operation.

Keep in mind that the project is not yet completed.


Photo 114 shows some details of the front panel, already present in the photo of my previous message.

The 3 digit display of the two XH-W1209 thermometer/thermostat were removed and re-soldered on the multi holes board.
Also other functions (micro-switches and LEDs) have been moved on the multi holes board (single layer).


Mod-engine_115In Photo 115 some constructive details of the themperature sensor regarding the electrical cooling pump.

The whole device is …”home made”… as well as most of the rest….

The original themperature sensor of the XH-W1209 was too bulky so I replaced it with a much smaller NTC Murata
(same electrical caracteristics).

 One day later UPDATE

Two more photos


The first photo shows the original flow and the modified flow for the coolant.


This second one, is a bottom view of the arrangement of the electric cooling pump. (unmounted the fixing clamps sleeves as also the device for bleed air trapped in the pump).

…..probably (my opinion) the project is too specific so that it can be useful to someone….



Danilo’s project has been completed and the resulting cooling improvement and the the extra security manual activation give him an enviable X1/9 upgraded cooling system. Thanks Danilo for sharing!

Ciao Dimitris,

I finally completed the electronic management of electric radiator fan and electric cooling pump. Now the temperatures are measured and controlled much better then before.

For additional security, a special switch can manually turn on electric radiator fan & electric cooling pump.

The attached photo shows the two mounted thermometers/thermostats on the X1/9 Bertone 1500. You can also see the switch panel to witch I added other functions besides the standard ones.


Tanti saluti da Trieste.Mod-engine_119


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