34th America's Cup: multihulls!

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Given this discussion is about an already completed event, it is moot.

    I think there is merit in further discussion as preparation for the NEXT event and any rules to be established for it. Embedded systems can be very small and incredibly powerful - and very hard to understand when looking at without schematics and complete design documentation. What looks like an innocuous USB key can be a complete multicore real time computer. Processing power requirements can be very low, and could be supplied easily through standard interconnect.

    I doubt a typical jury panel investigating a sailboat race protest could determine the complete functional capabilities of well-camouflaged embedded systems. The is not a doubt in my mind that Oracle (the company) has got the capability to develop and deliver systems products to handle this type of application. To find this kind of system it is easier to look for the electrical/mechanical interconnect that actually would make this function. Solenoids, actuators, interconnect and hydraulic controls are much easier to identify.

    Much like I now have multiple GPS equipped devices on me at any time (phone, tablet, cameras etc.), it would be strange not to expect a boat to incorporate ubiquitous technology to improve performance - especially if it did not require outside power or stored data. No one uses sextants, tables and clocks anymore. Antilock brakes (ABS) for cars come to mind - better braking in low traction situations with low operator involvement.

    Carrying the ABS analogy forward, do I think Oracle "cheated" if they implemented a system in this fashion? No, as long as the jury knew the potential function was there. Both teams had equal opportunity to push the boundaries. I would label it cheating if ETNZ had tried the same technology and had it ruled illegal and Oracle had used it.

    ETNZ would have happily used the lifting hydrofoils foils they pioneered even if Oracle did not develop them as long as they passed judgement in the eyes of the race committee. And ETNZ would have won in straight races.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  2. salglesser
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    salglesser Junior Member

    I agree that the next event is probably the best discussion. It's quite embarrassing to have our AC events "won" or "lost" in a courtroom.

    As with forumula One race cars, the rules are refined yearly to sort out problems that develop with new ideas and new technology from the current year.

    It will be exciting to see the "New" Amercia Cup platform and watch them develop. I've had several friends, not really interesting in sailboat racing, contact me and tell me how much they enjoyed watching the races. The new format of fast boats within eye shot of the audience does have potential, IMO, to grow the sport.

    sal
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    First Foiling Americas Cup

    ================
    Congratulations to you too, Sal!
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  5. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    fwiw the entire schematic of the Oracle foil control system is public record. It has been inspected and debated and challenged ... it is still on the boat.

    also fwiw - Team NZ? as in the Emirates hired kiwis to sail their US designed boat?

    The AC is about the boat not the sailors. Oracle won the design contest. Apparently Mr. Nationality Rule (Grant Dalton) couldn't find anyone in NZ that can design a boat?

    Well done USA

    On to AC35
     
  6. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    So, will the sailboats become too-high-tech for the average consumer / audience ? Or have we already gone beyond that, and the public does not really care about such things ? Is there a danger to have an America s Cup which would depend upon the boat designers and the computer software programs much more than upon the sailors, and which would be essentially over even before the first race ?

    Those semi-automatic stability control systems are well known - I wonder why TNZ had not used them, and I also wonder why Oracle USA had not used them successfully right from the start. Why do they had to wait until the very last minute ? ?
     
  7. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    I believe that the almost the same happens in the case of F1 - but the public would always love to believe in hero-drivers, not in hero-designers ! :) So, I think that the role of the sailors should not be diminished too much...
     
  8. salglesser
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    salglesser Junior Member

    Hi Xarax,

    I don't think we can predict too much here. It's all pretty new, especially to AC. As the technology is refined and developed, the field opens wide. Just what the ailing AC needed.

    In the world of "Boutique" blade steels, New technology in making steel at the foundries, changed everything downstream. New chemistry's changed performance requiring new manufacturing methods, which again changed chemistry's, etc.

    Doug's new thread will offer much to discuss.

    sal
     
  9. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Did I really imply that, Doug? When and where did I talk about cheating?

    Please let me remind you of few words I wrote 4 months ago:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/34th-americas-cup-multihulls-34612-98.html#post631980 #1460:
    "The current format and choice of boats has taken a direction which will be difficult to change in future. We have foiling multis now and we'll probably have too keep them in the future. Otherwise, another similar racing event will be created for big foiling multis, and the AC will lose a big part of it's importance and prestige.

    So, we have foiling multis now, and we know that they can go extremely fast. Which means - they can be dangerous. A temporary fix was found now, wind-speed limit, to try to keep the safety indside acceptable limits. But, as this discussion has shown, it is a fix which goes against the original premises of this event. These boats were supposed to race in much wider wind-speed range, and that promise has been broken because the resulting vessels have become dangerous for the crew.

    In my opinion, if the AC organizators want to maintain this direction (rigid-wing multihull foilers), then the best way to keep the promise of racing in high wind-speeds and in variable sea conditions is to introduce the possibility to have an automatic flight-control system (yes, these vessels are essentially airplanes with sails) which will take care of fast aero-hydrodynamic corrections necessary to counteract effects of wind gusts and irregular waves, and which will maintain the vessel in a nearly constant flight attitude as external conditions change."​


    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/34th-americas-cup-multihulls-34612-115.html#post636542 #1714:
    "I believe that is the way which the AC will undertake in the future. More electronics and automatic control systems appear to become unavoidable at this level of boat speeds.
    It means that several parts of AC Class Rule will have to be deeply modified, starting from the whole Section D, Art. 19, a good part of the Section B, and a brand new chapter will be introduced about on-board power electronics and hydraulics."​


    Nobody had replied to my post #1460 back then, probably because very few persons here (apart Petereng, TSpeer, BMcF, MikeJohns and few others) have a real knowledge of the automatic systems in general, and of automatic flight control systems in particular - why and when are they used.

    But now it appears that my words were right. Should the rumors about Oracle automatic flight control system be confirmed, it will mean that this AC has gone exactly in the direction described in these posts, and exactly for the reasons explained back there.

    And just to make it more clear, if it still is not - my post #1742 remains valid (though I had said it in a poking way, to cool off the discussion: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/34th-americas-cup-multihulls-34612-117.html#post636828
    "The sailing technology has to move forward, and will. I am all for fly-by-wire foiling sailboats"​


    Now take a deep breath Doug, calm down and stop seeing enemies everywhere, man!!!
     
  10. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    When was the last time Ferrari had an Italian driver? When was the last time an Italian driver won in a Ferrari?

    Does anyone on the face of the planet think that Ferrari is not Italian?

    If you want fame as a sailor, you sale One-Design so there is no doubt ... you sail the Olympics if nationality is a concern. Seems people try to make the AC into some other model.

    I agree having good sailors is part of good management. The circumstances of ones birth have no more to do with sailing skill than your gender or the colour of your eyes.

    As an indicator of true national pride ... please look at the videos:
    Helmets - "USA" on one boat "Emirates" on the other
    Wings - US flag on one boat some fern on the other
    Hulls - US flag on one boat the other boat looks like a floating billboard

    IMO all the grousing about the nationality of the crews was to deflect the fact that both the Arab boat and the US boat were designed in the USA.

    :)
     
  11. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Cellular telephones and desktop computers are too high tech for the average consumer. Every fifteen year old girl crashing her way through the mail looking at her phone has more computing horsepower in her hands than went to the moon. You no longer have to understand things to use them. And that is a good thing! Imagine if everyone using Google Maps had to know how a sextant worked to use a GPS.

    Successful autonomous systems are easy in theory, but hard to get right in practice. I write a lot of code for transaction processing systems that run unattended for long periods of time - but the development time and regression testing for all possible operating conditions is where the real time is spent. Just speculation on my part, but I'd guess that Oracle got the design done, implemented the hardware and probably didn't get around to testing things and refining it until they were already racing. If this is true they sure got the basic design right and were lucky it was able to be zeroed in as fast and as well as it did.

    ETNZ? Sailing is an emotional sport, and the people that live racing day in and day out would almost automatically react badly to someone (a tech nerd like me) proposing a feedback loop autonomous system being potentially better at some tasks than them. I'd bet the idea was killed off before anyone even tried. Happens all the time.

    Once in a while you get lucky and someone gives you enough rope to prove them wrong. Ellison would be far more predisposed out of the gate to things like this than most money dispensers.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  12. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    It is not the Arab boat. It is a NZ boat. There is no reason to be offensive and dismissive towards New Zealanders Randy. New Zealanders have designed, built and sailed the Oracle's AC72 too, together with several other nationals - among which the Americans were a minority.

    This is the design team of Oracle: http://www.oracleracing.com/web/team (click on "Design team"). All-american, is it? ;) Now click on "Sailing team" and "Operations and boatbuilding"...
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    First Foiling America's Cup: Property of the USA!

    ======================
    Slavi, I may owe you an apology*-I haven't decided yet(!). When you posted this: http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/09/scuttlebut-team-new-zealands-scuttling/#axzz2g0vIaceK

    I read this:

    Also some Indian guy was on talkback this morning claiming his son is the IT guy for Oracle who controls the foil from his laptop at base by radio and it was permissible under the rules. So if that’s true (sounds odd) then Oracle team are simply grinding hydraulics to charge only on their boat whilst this guy onshore is adjusting the trim using the mechanical device that adjusts it with stored energy.

    Now ,stored energy is illegal and my opinion was that this writer was saying Oracle cheated by using stored energy in this absurd scheme. So I got the opposite of calmed down and was amazed that you posted such a thing-no facts-just anecdotal bs. *Anyway, I haven't decided yet.
     
  14. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    ...AFTER they were unlucky and had to spend months without any testing, because of that capsize and destruction of their first boat during its recovery. Both explanations/guesses you offer about the different roads the two teams had followed do make sense, indeed. However, there were this "gap", this sudden and great leap forward in the development of the US Oracle sailboat after the 11th race, that makes me think there was yet another story that has not been revealed till now... and, most probably, will never be. :) My guess is that the tem was forced, by the -8 score, to take more risks, and use some new foiling configurations that had proved successful. IMHO, they should had taken those risky decisions a day earlier.
     

  15. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Stop the decison-making process, I don't need apologies. :p
    As about the above excerpt - I have given the link for the sake of information from different view points, and also because it will be interesting to discuss that aspect too. But those words are not mine and the guy who wrote them is the only one who can say how much true they are.
     
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