AC 36 Foiling Monohulls

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by OzFred, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Sorry, I shouldn't have strayed into participation. The point was the difficulty of getting the wind to blow on schedule, as high speed TV "stadium sailing" as we know it requires. The spectacle of a pro race promoter trying to explain why there is no racing to an annoyed sponsor and a p*ssed off news director who has spent lots of bucks putting a TV chopper in place is one that stays with me. If they do start a race in light winds they then have to explain why the promised high-speed high-flying thrills actually consist of craft puttering along slower than an old man on a bicycle.

    While cricket has moved to shorter formats, as noted other major televised sports have not. Test cricket was always a huge outsider in terms of duration. We can look at 2020 the other way and see that fans will happily watch for three hours, which is probably about as long as the 12 Metre era races.

    In terms of attracting viewers in the modern era it's interesting to look at areas like esports. What many people called the best game of the last DOTA2 International lasted over 100 minutes. DOTA2 has a $9 million prize pool, by far the biggest in gaming, and most of it effectively sponsored by fans of the computer game itself. Along with the continuing success of events like the football World Cup, it seems to indicate that Kids These Days do in fact watch events that last for longer than the races in Bermuda. Personally I'm rather nonplussed that sports seem to be so little interested in learning about the theory and psychology underlying computer games, and how the lessons the game designers have learned so well can be applied to sports.

    I've done lots of high-speed made-for-spectators short course racing, such as windsurfer slalom which largely kicked it off in the '70s, so in no way am I against it personally - in fact I love it. The issue is whether AC races have to be as short and as fast to attract viewers as is sometimes claimed. I'd argue they not only do not have to be, but effectively they cannot be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  2. OzFred
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    OzFred Senior Member

    An interesting article in Ocean Magazine by Ivor Wilkins:

    Time machines
    The new monohull design for the next America’s Cup has received a mixed reception. But the brains behind the concept have created a hullform offering the most exciting spectator experience while drawing us back to the original concept of the competition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Very interesting article. Sounds like the foil system may be one design. Oh,well...... "DeLorean"--thats funny!
     
  4. David Cooper
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    David Cooper Senior Member

    I hadn't heard of this before:-

    “The other advantage is that a wing-type topology allows you to more accurately control twist and camber along the length of the spar. Something the AC50s developed was control where the top of the wing was loaded in the opposite direction to the rest of the wing. This meant that when you wanted to depower in higher wind conditions, the top of the wing could work in opposition to the bottom, which provided more drive force for the same roll moment.”

    It reminds me of using the windward foils to generate downforce (where there's a risk of the foil coming clear of the water and a sudden capsize, but there's no equivalent of that risk if you're doing it with the top of the sail).
     
  5. Konstanty
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    Konstanty Junior Member

  6. OzFred
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    OzFred Senior Member

    Development rather than innovation I think, nor is it "breakthrough" as claimed elsewhere (link below). The idea of double-luff sails has been around for some time, I first saw one in the flesh in January 2013. The AC75 design team might develop it to be a reasonable alternative to a full wing, though no one else has been able to do so, perhaps because others have gone to a full wing instead because they weren't limited by a class rule.

    An interesting feature is what looks like a twist control mechanism at the top of the sail.
    Sailhead.png

    There also doesn't seem to be a vang, so boomless with a traveller, clearly designed by those with multihull experience. It should also greatly reduce rig loads.

    One issue is that double–luff sails are very difficult to de–power, the one I saw was difficult to sail in breeze and not developed further. It couldn't out–perform pocket luff sails, though it also ran out of development momentum (likely due to lack of development resources like time and money). The twist control will help with depowering, it will be interesting if they can get reverse camber.

    Team New Zealand's breakthrough sail design for next America's Cup
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  8. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    It's silly that the article claims that this is the first big double-surface main. Gilles Vaton tested an 86ft (IIRC) maxi foiling tri in the mid '80s with an inflatable double-surface mainsail, and of course the Lungstrom rigs of the 1930s had double surfaces.

    Windsurfers tried them some time ago, of course, as did many others; a world 14 Footer champ had one on his singlehanded skiff about 2004. It was terribly slow.
     
  9. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    I suppose there might be a difference between the length of time committed fans will spend watching an event and how long the casual viewer will watch before getting bored. After all, how long does that damn superbowl thing last...
     
  10. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    You're probably right, but on the other hand lots of people seem to watch events like the Tour de France for hours without being particularly committed to the sport.

    Of interest, Groupama's new sporting sponsorship, a cycling team, had its first event today. So they've dumped the foiling cat sponsorship in favour of a bunch of guys rolling around on extremely restricted gear at about 18 knots.
     
  11. OzFred
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    OzFred Senior Member

    Groupama were sponsoring Franck Cammas in whatever he turned his attention to, not sure if the change to a different sport means much to sailing in general. Dunno what their target market is, but as an insurance group, likely they'll get much more bang for buck from sponsoring cycling.

    Maybe there's a bit of "A long time ago, we used to be friends. But what have you done for me lately?" (with apologies to the 'gurge).
     
  12. Dolfiman
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    Dolfiman Senior Member

    Groupama is typically the midsize, mostly national, companies which sponsored offshore sailing on a long term in France (20 years with Frank Cammas 1997-2017), 32 600 employees, ranked 8th in the insurance companies in France :
    http://www.groupama.com/en/analysts/2015-key-figures/

    Others well known are Macif (10 000 employees insurance company), Banque Populaire (mutualist bank, 4th in France), Gitana/ Edmond de Rothchild investment bank (this sponsoring being a tribute to Edmond de Rothchild who was a famous skipper in Mediterranean races with his boats named Gitana), IDEC (Real estate group), ...

    The typical budget and cycle of top teams are roughly : a new boat every 5 to 10 years (5 M€ (Imoca 60) to 10-12 M€ (Ultim 105)) + an annual budget of 2 to 5 M€ which allows a technical team of 5 to 15 permanents around the skipper (e.g. FG Mer concept, the team around Francois Gabart : Équipe - Macif Course au Large https://macifcourseaularge.com/trimaran-macif/equipe/ ) and a regular upgrading of the boat (e.g; Ultim IDEC is upgrading its 2006 trimaran with foils and T-shapped rudders :
    https://www.idecsport-sailing.com/2018/02/22/a-fresh-new-look-for-the-idec-sport-maxi-trimaran/?lang=en )

    This sponsoring landscape, their usual budget and purpose (offshore races) does not fit very well with an America cup campaign, and moreover the one to one match racing is not in the genes of the top sailors, so despite skills close to the ones needed for mounting an AC75 team, and on the other hand because the growing interest on Ultims, I have a doubt on the existence of a french challenge.
     
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  13. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Groupama apparently are sharing major sponsorship of the cycling team (now Groupama FDJ), which has a 16-20 million Euro per year budget. There are other minor sponsors, so maybe Groupama is kicking in 6-9 million Euros per year?

    It makes being a significant sponsor of an America's Cup bid look fairly expensive as I understand, since people seem to be talking 150 million Euros. So the AC wants double the cash for one major event every 3-4 years instead of an annual event that is rated as the world's biggest annual sporting event. It doesn't make the sailing sponsorship look very sensible.

    I've been coming to the conclusion that sailing is better off as a cottage industry. Even when it was booming, it was pretty much a cottage industry. It seems to have the ability to easily become unsustainably expensive, as the AC is showing. Trying to make it too much more than a cottage industry just doesn't seem to work very often.

    Another really interesting thing to do is to work out the inflation-adjusted cost of the ACs of the 1800s and 1900s. The last time I did that, it was apparent that in inflation-adjusted terms even the Js and big cutters were amazingly cheap to race compared to modern boats; a whole campaign was in the region of $10-20 million in today's dollars, and the British boats were regularly raced for years afterwards on the local circuit so they had an entire second life for their owners.

    While I personally believe the AC should be in monos for various reasons, it would have been interesting to see a challenge in Ultims - they would have looked awesome and also been more in the spirit of the Cup.
     
  14. OzFred
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    OzFred Senior Member

    I know, what they need is a totally new, low–cost monohull, relevant to ordinary sailors. But foiling so it's fast and attractive to non–sailors… surely it can't be that hard? :)

    PS. My previous reference to "the 'gurge" was in the mistaken belief that I was quoting lines from from a Regurgitator song. It was actually The Dandy Warhols' "We used to be friends". My apologies.
     

  15. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Man, getting
    It'll be easy to make that low-cost accessible foiling mono - we've been told for a decade now that it's just around the corner. In fact, wing sails are so accessible and fast that the only reason none of the much-hyped user-friendly wingsails have not been seen on the racecourse is that they are so fast that not even the finish boat can see or hear anything but a blur and a sonic boom. Y'know how the Omer Wingsail was going through proper two-boat tests "any day now" about a decade ago - well, what happened was that the soft wingsail went so fast that the water around it turned to steam and the test boat dropped into a hole in the boiling ocean, never to be seen again.*

    However, if you're getting 'Gurge lyrics wrong then all I can say is "I like your old posts better than your new stuff". :)

    * on the other hand, there's a remote possibility that it was all hype and fluff.
     
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