Took the TI out tonight and tried hiking out on my hakas for the first time. Wind wasn't much, 12-15 MPH for the most part, so reasonable practice conditions...
It worked, I was able to get to 7-8 MPH without the constant dousing from the leeward aka knuckle, but man steering is a pain. When I'm hiked out on the right haka, no problem - the hiking stick is perfect. On the left side, though, the best method I could find was to have the stick running under my left leg, sticking out to the side. I held it to the outside of my leg and push/pulled sideways, which worked, but talk about SLOPPY steering.
I thought perhaps I'd connect the hiking stick to the rear steering lever, and that *almost* works except when on the right side I can't get full left turn due to the angle of the steering lever. Aside from that it sure feels better than under-the-leg when on the left side.
Am I missing something? Another way to do that? (Right now I'm contemplating the rope system I saw on some videos by Hajime K on Youtube.)
And I can't believe I'm saying this, since the new seat was one of my main reasons for waiting on the '15 TI... I'm thinking about alternative seating!
The Vantage seat seems to be a real problem when hiking out. I can't use the seat back as a reliable brace / handhold, and it's a bit clumsy to reach behind it and grab the aka brace. The diagonal cords that hold up the seat back are absolutely in the way - can't just slide sideways, have to move forward first.
Finally, is it my imagination or does the TI sail better on a port tack? I'd swear I'm noticing that I can point higher and go faster on a port tack. The effect is especially pronounced when the sail is partially furled. Don't know if there's a reason for that or it's all a dream..