A-Class Cats about to ban fully flying foils?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Chris Ostlind, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    This is pretty interesting when you consider all the hype about the topic of class after class of existing boats being oh-so hot to convert to foils.

    http://www.mathran.nl/acat/files/Ballot Explanation v1.doc

    It's pretty clear that the A-Cat guys are right on the verge of banning the use of fully flying foils. There are many reasons mentioned, but the biggest one is the fact that within their box rule, flying foil technology just will not be of any experienced benefit at all.

    If you have seen A-Cats racing at all, then you know how truly straighforward, elegant and fast they are.

    No.... It's not a revolution
     
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    The A Class has banned fully flying hydrofoil systems for years now. What they are doing is trying to fix the rules to allow canted foils which are being used by many in the class. So they want some lift to be ok.
    This is enlightening:

    http://www.mathran.nl/acat/files/Ballot Explanation v1.doc

    From the document:
    At the 2009 AGM the Hydrofoil Commission were asked to put forward a proposal for a ballot to restrict lifting boats out of the water. The areas of concern are Rules (8) and (4), the “No Hydrofoils” rule and the “inner box” rule. During the meeting Rule (8) was discussed and it was decided that this rule’s true meaning was difficult to define, and if correctly interpreted could lead to disqualification of about 90% of the current fleet. It was agreed that this was not the intention of this rule and the development in the class towards canted centerboards has been allowed and accepted by the fleet. The Agreement of the IACA committee was that a certain amount of vertical lift was accepted by the class and the commission should concentrate on controlling the key factors to stop “Flying Boats”.
     
  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Does it even occur to you that you posted the very same link that was included in the first post of the thread?

    Maybe you should read the material posted at the link provided. And, since you also redundantly provided the same URL, maybe you should read it AGAIN.

    The very first sentence goes as follows: "At the 2009 AGM the Hydrofoil Commission were asked to put forward a proposal for a ballot to restrict lifting boats out of the water."

    Now why would they be considering a ballot for such, if they already had a rule opposing the use of flying foils? It's not about canting daggerboards. That's a very peripheral argument, but not THE argument.

    The use of canted, hull mounted daggerboards has been allowed under a wink-wink discretionary approval for some time now. Since they (canted foils) do not come close to lifting the boats from the water, this rule addition is no where even close to applicable to that type of foil. They also do not infringe on the Not to Intrude zone between the hulls.

    If one reads in depth, they will soon see that the use of a lifting foil set that would be large enough to actually get the A-Cat out of the water, would easily infringe on the Not to Intrude area designated between the hulls. Two separate individuals with excellent credentials for doing so, have run all sorts of numbers that pretty much tell the whole story about the flying foil use.

    Essentially, it's a dead issue from a technical, within the rules, perspective. The vote is pretty much a formality to reenforce that reality, but under their rules, it must be done to officially lay the argument to rest.

    Really, read the document for what it says and not for what you'd like it to say with cherry picked vignettes of information that have no substantive bearing on the issue at hand.
     
  4. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    Being an A-Cat sailor, this is up to a vote right now. It looks as though we will ban "flying boats". the reason for the modification of the rules are that they are not clear enough to limit the lift that canted or curved foils have. It seems that the issue at stake here is two-fold. First is not to obsolete the entire class of existing boats and second is to limit the lift that the foils can produce. The purpose is to stop flying boats. All of you will remember the last C-Class Championships and Fred Eaton's second entry. Though it did not win and a traditional boat did, it showed what was possible. There are many other design changes happening within the A-Class from foils, to mast, sails and hull shapes. Glenn Ashby has a MK!!! Flyer out. John Lindahl with retired geek has the LR3 with has substantial changes to it and RacerX with his predator. The A3 has 2 years on it and is doing more testing. Bimare and Marstrom have new boats and Nils with the Nikita. The Evo is out and seems to be a progressive platform. And there are others in the works right now. It seems the focus is in these design changes as well as different bottom paints and other go fast ideas. The new rule defines the limits allowed in both canted and curved foils. I have not decided on how I will vote on the subject yet.
     
  5. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    One thing that puzzles me about this stuff is that if flying boats don't (or can't) win, why bother to ban them?
     
  6. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    Oh! Flying boats can win and allowing them would obsolete the rest of the fleet. The reason that the Foiling C-Cat did not win were two different issues. first was simple time on the water and second if I remeber correctly was the wind conditions. I think that the wind did not favor the foiler for some of the regatta. We will see what happens at the next C-Class Championship.
     
  7. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Good question, Ray. The foiler battles have gone on in the Moth class, the R class, and the I-14-all so called "development" classes. The anti-foilers want to preserve whats good with the class and are afraid if development runs amuck (continues) it would destroy the class. The pro-foilers say that everybody knew the class was a development class when they got into it and think development should continue and be encouraged because thats what made the class great in the first place.
    If the anti-foilers had won in the Moth class that class would be dead now-instead it is flourishing. The I-14's worked with the guy who developed the first fully flying 14 to select a foil area that would not allow the boat to lift off and said that was legal. Now every racing 14 has a rudder t-foil. Not sure what it has done or not done for the class.
    TTS has defined the issues in the A-Class and they are similar to the issues faced in every development class. Personally, I can't see why great classes like the I-14 and A Class would deliberately put the hold on development-seems so counter productive......
    Just imagine if trapezes had not been allowed in the I-14 class-it would have died.
    I think it comes down to class leaders who have a good handle on Class history...
    --------------
    TTS- the history of 3 or 4 foils on cats is not a good one. Starting with Icarus and others boats with 3-4 foils have not showed much promise around a course. I'm not sure Rocker would ever be fast but I am sure that a two foil C Class configuration would be-but the ideal platform for that would probably be a monohull or tri...
     
  8. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    Doug,

    I am neither for or against the foils. I will vote on the issue and I am not sure how I will vote. Right now the class is active, growing and has great racing on a worldwide basis. The Worlds over the past 3-4 years has seen 100+ boats with regional US events topping 25-40 and NA's around 100. The local fleets see 10-30 boats attending most races. It is now up to the members to decide which way to go. As you know, I put my boat up for foiling experimentation and though I only sailed once with that configuration others used it 10-20 times with different foil configurations. Most of these boats can be made into foilers and i know of at least 4 that are rigged that way. I will see what the class decides.
     
  9. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Tom, could you elaborate more on the foiling experiments in another thread or in a PM-I'd love to know more.
    I don't think these decisions are easy- especially now-it's a big responsibility in
    great classes like the A and I wish you and the class the best...
     
  10. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    Doug,

    I would be happy to elaborate on the foils on another thread. I will make the time to soon.
     
  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    TTS basically hit this nail on the head, Ray. If the current A-Cat fleet were to be obsoleted by the need to jump in with a full foiling cat in order to remain competitive... First of all you'd lose a huge portion of the class right off the bat. The guys who chose to stay in the game, would be looking at a MINIMUM of $10K over and above their existing boats just for the parts.. Mind you, this is on top of a boat that cracks the mid to upper range of $20-30K when new and it will probably be much higher to go to foils.

    With that change and all the brand new boat practice that would go with it, would be the unspoken reality of the new foiling A-Catter would not be able to even approximate anything like being competitive in his local fleet, much less at something like the sailing and social environment of the annual Worlds.

    In short, it becomes a game for those with big money and the ability to dedicate the time on the water to perfect the differences between foiling and not.

    End of Class, End of the camaraderie and the End of all that had come before it. With all that wreckage, comes the business of trying to desperately dredge-up a hulk that was once one of the most elegant sailing Classes in existence. One man, One sail, One boat.... and the incredible beauty of simplicity at speed.

    Instead it would be One man, One sail, One boat and Four Very Expensive Foils and the attendant control systems. More complexity does not make for a more pure experience.

    These guys will be more than correct to reject this possibility. Besides, there is already more than enough development in the class and you can easily see that by reading the thread for A-Cats over on Catsailor.com These guys are eternally busy.

    I see the point of foils on various boats from time to time, but I do not see it, at all, when it comes to this class.
     
  12. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Agreed, me old mate Chris. An A Class is too narrow a platform for foils anyway. Just my opinion. The C Class with four foils obviously works but not really fast and too much drag, back to basics chaps. There maybe is a place for a new trimaran foiler class, say 18 by whatever, three foils including rudder with the windward one flying clear, two foils working on a non tripping sea, sky, sea minor disaster - that could be called the A Class trifoiler - but do we need yet another class, and an expensive little mother at that?
     
  13. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member



    Which is it?
     
  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    It's both, Ray
     

  15. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    There was a point in time late 80's and early 90's that the class was in trouble. It came from what we termed throw away boats. These were built as light wieght as the current technology allowed. The lightest boat usually won the regatta if the boat held up through the regatta. This caused a great deal of turmoil and increased the cost of competing in the class. In 1996 the class voted in a minimum wieght of 75kg to ban this practice. Since then the class began growing again and now it is one of the most active and competitive racing classes in the multihull world. I think that the veiw on foils follows a similar thought proccess.
     
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