Americas Cup: whats next?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    So if an outsider thinks a sporting discipline is boring then that is sufficient reason to take its major event away?

    Even when the existing discipline is much more popular and hasn't had big problems getting sponsors? Even when the new format appears to be having trouble getting enough entries?

    And does that mean that if an event for one discipline DOES attract viewer interest then it shouldn't be opened up to gear from another discipline? Or do you want it both ways?

    What happens if something thinks foilers or kites look more interesting than beach cats or offshore multis? Would you take the offshore multi or beach cat regattas away from them and start putting the kiters' names on the trophies that bear the names like Shanda and Ashby?
     
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  2. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Indeed the discipline of sailing has created the event in this case the event is going to be run in sailing boats that have two hulls not one. I feel it's arrogant to dismiss the skills, tactics and the technology involved because of the hull configuration two hulls or one it is still sailing and like it or not it is still the America's Cup. I dont term monohulls "leadmines" either it's really unnecessary, insulting and derogatory. I've crewed on keelboats over the years too and sailed 125's and sabre dinghies and have enjoyed the racing and the cameraderie even if it's not as enjoyable to me personally as racing multihulls, I dont dismiss their value or consider them inferior. I also dont subscribe to the perspective that one hull configuration of craft should be given sole right to contest a particular event.

    If the America's Cup was for example was called the world monohull match racing series and they replaced the current monohull vessels with multihulls that would be something worth arguing about. Match racing has only become a fundamental part of the AC when the boats were closely matched often after several development cycles it was more of a by product rather than a focus and indicated that when the teams found out what was fast within the restrictions of the rules the yachts became similar. As an example that the AC is not always focussed on match racing when Sir Thomas Lipton was making frequent challenges for the America's Cup the NYYC rather unsportingly introduced the rule (since revoked) that the challenger had to sail to the event on their own keel. This meant that challengers had to carry an extra burden in scantlings not required by the defender placing them at a "match" disadvantage and was rather unsporting to say the least. Is that part of the proud "tradition" of the cup as well?

    Things change windsurfers are out of the Olympics and Kite Surfers are in and classes get shuffled in and out catamaran sailors felt aggrieved when the Tornado was removed and lobbied hard and succesfully for a catamaran class to be reinstated. Many classes of indigenous sailing boats that were popular when I was a kid are well and truly gone now it's just the way of things and the world. Apart from anything else Larry has decided this event is going to be run in cats and there are enough competitors (and Oracle is supplying enough cash) to make it work as an event. Sailing boats are still going to contest the event and in this case they will have two hulls not one.

    An example of an event where the equipment has been significantly changed might be something like the replacement of Touring Cars as the premiere event in Australian motorsport with V8 supercars. They fundamentally replaced the old event with a different type of vehicle the new type did not require road vehicle homologation of equipment. I'm sure most motorsport fans still consider the race at Bathurst in much the same way as in the old days of the Hardie Ferodo 1000 even though intrinsically it is very different.
     
  3. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Sure, CT, agreed, all the innovative stuff and breakthroughs came from very bright, enthusiastic and observant and mostly amateur sailors many years ago, and in small corners of the yachting world too, not in the big moneyed, stolidly established classes.
    But the difference with what is occurring right now is that you've got a core of the best heavy keelboat sailors transferring and adapting very, very quickly to the highest end multihull yacht ... and that plus huge amounts of money invested, established best brains in the business producing new ways and directions in technology, design, hard sail handling and so on (although some crazy amateur Gearlooses would have dabbled in these areas years ago - and usually been laughed at) - this I believe is going to have great impact and change to general sailing world thought; the peers, the big shots have turned revolutionary and are loving the big, fast, "new" multihulls ... that is going to rapidly "trickle down" ... spraying the unwashed but applauding masses. Just joking.
     
  4. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    1 - Corley, I think you are missing me up with someone else. I have certainly NOT "dismissed the skills, tactics and the technology involved because of the hull configuration." I have a lot of respect for many multi sailors and for those involved in the AC. In fact in some ways I envy the top multi sailors more than I envy the top sailors in conventional boats, because the fast multi sailors have an amazing ability to finesse the ultimate speed out of a highly efficient boat going very fast. That seems to be quite a different ability to that of being able to get a slower craft going fairly fast.

    2 - Sorry, but the name of the AC is irrelevant. The fact that the AC's name does not refer to monos is irrelevant if one applies the same standard as in other sports and in other sailing classes. Many major trophies do not refer to the name of the sport or discipline in their title. For example;

    The Rugby World Cup does not have the word "Union" in its name, but that doesn't mean that you can play by the rules of Rugby League in the Bill. It has ALWAYS been for Union.

    The Bathurst 1000 does not have the word "touring car" in its title, but the rules have always banned Formula 1, Sportscars, Formula Brabham. Formula Holden etc. It has ALWAYS been a race for touring cars.

    The Tour de France is NOT called the "Tour de France for bicycles conforming to the UCI regulations", but that does not mean that you can turn up with a motorbike, a 'bent, or a bike that does not fit the UCI rules.

    The world's major Marathon events are not called "world running Marathons" but you still cannot turn up with car, bicycle or skateboard.

    The World Rally Championships' name does not specify the class of the cars that are eligible, but you are still banned unless your car fits certain specific rules.

    The facts are clear and simple. All over the sporting world we can find proof that the name of an event does not have to include the name of the type of equipment that can enter it; in fact it's almost impossible to do so. What do you want the AC to have been called, the "America's Cup for monohulled sailing vessels between X feet and XX feet on the waterline and of a seaworthy (insert 50 pages of class rules.....blah blah blah."??

    Finally, the name of the America's Cup does not specify that it is only for sailing vessels. If the name was the rules then powercats would be winning, not sailing cats. You can't have it both ways - either it is for all vessels, or the name is not relevant to the vessels allowed to race.

    3 - The Bathurst 1000 you mentioned has ALWAYS been a racing for touring/saloon cars, just as the AC has ALWAYS been a race for large monohulls. The Bathurst 1000 has introduced different classifications of tourers/saloons, but it has NEVER allowed in faster Formula 1s, Formula Brabham, Formula Holden, Le Mans sportscars, etc.

    It is a perfect example of what IMHO should happen to the sailing world - an event that was created by and for a particular type or discipline should be allowed to retain that event.

    4 - "The AC was created by sailing".

    Nope, it was created by a PARTICULAR DISCIPLINE IN SAILING. It was NOT created by centreboarders, or by open boats. It was made into the event it became by 150+ years of competition for ONE DISCIPLINE of sailing.

    The multihullers of the world said that during the Olympic debate that cat sailing was a separate discipline, so how can you suddenly say that it's not now?

    By the way your history about the requirement to sail on your own keel is out by decades. It was inserted on Jan 4 1882. Lipton did not challenge until 1899. The "own bottom" rule was intended to ensure that boats were seaworthy and that no boats only capable of inshore racing were brought through the canals from Canada under mule power, as had happened in 1881 (Lawson p 85 etc).

    Whether the "own bottom" rule was a major problem for challengers is probably a matter for the designers of the day and although I have read a fair bit about AC history, I am not sure if any of them complained. They wanted boats to be reasonably normal seaworthy types which is why people like Herreshoff got rid of freaks like Reliance.

    Finally - yes things change, but since when did that mean that we could not speak out about change that we think is wrong? The cat guys didn't just say "well things change, let's deal" when the cats got dropped from the Olympics so why are different standards being applied to monohulls?

    Finally, I note that you have not shown any, far less many, comparable events that have been taken from one extant and strong discipline and given to another extant discipline. In other sports, emerging disciplines make their own events rather than take over established ones. I'm doing the first ever nationals in a discipline in my other sport next month. The new discipline made its own major event rather than taking over another discipline's, just as other sporting disciplines do. Why can't multis do the same thing?

    I come from years of multi sailing and think the boats are great. I also think windsurfers and CX bikes and MTBs and many other new sports and discilplines are great, but that does not mean that they should take over events in which other types of gear are used - and on the evidence almost all of the sporting world agrees with me.


    PS - fair point about the "leadmine" term; I didn't know anyone who objected to it until now but I will stop using it here.
     
  5. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    how close will the boats get if they have a closing speed close to 80kts???
    not very I reckon
    2 boat drag race is my feeling
    fastest boat wins
    nothing tactical
     
  6. Corley
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    In general I would agree with your point of view in regards to most events in the sporting world. We are however talking about the America's Cup which has had a pattern of reinventing itself in different forms over the years. There have been times in the AC's history when it has had a technical focus and other times when it has migrated more towards a match racing contest particularly after a number of AC events and cycles. For example Herreshoff's defenders during Lipton's time were the peak of technology for that time one of the defenders used a dural mast unheard of at that point, they invested in making boats that pushed the edge of the available technology and would embarass the challenger as much as possible within the rules that were set (and hopefully make him go away).

    My view is that the AC is the billionaires playground and thats why I think it's interesting that they have chosen to go down the multihull route. It's not often that we see such an unlimited amount of money being thrown at multis and it will be interesting to see the results. There are enough subscribers to the point of view that you are putting forward in the sport of sailing that we will probably see the AC return to monohulls in the medium term so fundamentally I dont think that there is anything for the "purists" to worry about. At this point It's very much Larry Ellison's show and he has set the criteria for this event. I'm sure other gross egos belonging to other billionaires will set the nature of the event in future on a different path.

    I agree rules and restrictions are important and the fastest boats dont necessarily offer the best racing having closely matched boats can improve the overall event and how enjoyable it is to watch and compete in. But it looks like this race will go down the technical path which is interesting to some people and less so to others. Take an interest in other areas of the sport for a while and look again when the format is more in tune with your tastes it is sure to happen.
     
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Nah, it will never go back to monohulls. The old farter brigade will have passed on by then and the new generation won't want anything to do with slow boats. Maybe unballasted DSS monohulls and giant Moth types will be there - if the rules are opened up - which they will be.
    Of course, by then the planet could be fried, flooded, plundered and destroyed - so the few human survivors will be back to paddling hollowed logs. C'est la vie.
     
  8. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Americas Cup on Foils!

    From Scuttlebutt tonight: ( read the whole article here: http://www.marinij.com/sports/ci_21...eberg-instrumental-getting-multihull-division )

    SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE
    By Michelle Slade, MIJ
    After decades of owning and racing monohulls, Peter Stoneberg jests that
    his life was ruined the day he stepped foot on a catamaran...but for which
    he'll be forever grateful.

    The occasion was some five years ago and he's never looked back, even after
    flipping his catamaran Shadow, a ProSail 40, twice in and around the bay,
    sustaining significant damage.

    "Clearly multihulls are the way of the future," Stoneberg said. "I think
    they are the most exciting boats in the world to sail."

    Even five years ago, multihull sailing was still considered the "darker"
    side of sailing, the boats themselves lacking the traditional lines, grace
    and mystique of the monohull. Liken it to windsurfing versus kiteboarding,
    or downhill skiing versus snowboarding, the general consensus was about the
    same: multihulls were not really to be taken seriously, especially on the
    race course.

    However, San Francisco just hosted the America's Cup World Series, the
    biggest sailing event ever for the Bay that entertained over 150,000 people
    who watched AC45 catamarans race along the city front.
     
  9. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Have a look at the history of Americas Cup races. On most occasions one boat was quite dominant and won without breaking a sweat. Not many close matches there and it was a rare occasion where two boats were close enough to make match racing tactics applicable.

    http://www.aboutvalencia.com/valencia/americas-cup-past-winners.asp

    America's Cup past winners list since 1851

    Year
    Defender
    Challenger
    Record

    1851
    Aurora, England
    America, USA
    1-0

    1870
    Magic, USA
    Cambria, England
    1-0

    1871
    Columbia, USA
    Livonia, England
    4-1

    1876
    Madeline, USA
    Countess of Dufferin, Canada
    2-0

    1881
    Mischief, USA
    Atalanta, Canada
    4-1

    1885
    Puritan, USA
    Genesta, GBR
    2-0

    1886
    Mayflower, USA
    Galatea, GBR
    2-0

    1887
    Volunteer, USA
    Thistle, Scotland
    2-0

    1893
    Vigilant, USA
    Valkyrie II, GBR
    3-0

    1895
    Defender, USA
    Valkyrie III, GBR
    3-0

    1899
    Columbia, USA
    Shamrock, Ireland
    3-0

    1901
    Columbia, USA
    Shamrock II, Ireland
    3-0

    1903
    Reliance, USA
    Shamrock III, Ireland
    3-0

    1920
    Resolute, USA
    Shamrock IV, Ireland
    3-2

    1930
    Enterprise, USA
    Shamrock V, Ireland
    4-0

    1934
    Rainbow, USA
    Endeavour, GBR
    4-2

    1937
    Ranger, USA
    Endeavour II, GBR
    4-0

    1958
    Columbia, USA
    Sceptre, GBR
    3-1

    1962
    Weatherly, USA
    Gretel, Australia
    4-1

    1964
    Constellation, USA
    Sovereign, GBR
    4-0

    1967
    Intrepid, USA
    Dame Pattie, Australia
    4-0

    1970
    Intrepid, USA
    Gretel II, Australia
    4-1

    1974
    Courageous, USA
    Southern Cross, Australia
    4-0

    1977
    Courageous, USA
    Australia, Australia
    4-0

    1980
    Freedom, USA
    Australia, Australia
    4-1

    1983
    Liberty, USA
    Australia II, Australia
    4-3

    1987
    Kookaburra III, Australia
    Stars & Stripes, USA
    4-0

    1988
    Stars & Stripes, USA
    New Zealand, NZ
    2-0

    1992
    America 3, USA
    Il Moro di Venezia, Italy
    4-1

    1995
    Young America, USA
    Team NZ, New Zealand
    5-0

    2000
    Team NZ, New Zealand
    Luna Rossa, Italy
    5-0

    2003
    Team NZ, New Zealand
    Alinghi, Switzerland
    5-0

    2007
    Alinghi, Switzerland
    Team NZ, New Zealand
    5-2
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    AC on Foils!

    ========================
    Did you miss the AC 45 racing? Both the match racing and fleet racing was very tactical most of the time. Watch some of the races if you haven't yet.
     
  11. P Flados
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    P Flados Senior Member

    CT come on now.

    The AC may have been mostly monos, but this was just the choice of the participants.

    The AC is about challengers & defenders chosing the platform parameters and then seeing who can do it best.

    I like seeing a chance for the AC big money to push the technology for 72' cats. I like seeing something we have never seen before. The newness of it adds to the interest.

    Having said the above, it would be even better to go an additional step or two. Given how much development money gets spent, it would do all of sailing good for the AC to spend a handfull of rounds on one platform and then to rotate to some other area that is "ripe for development".

    Several of Doug's favorites come to mind: Moth-zilla (moth scaled up for a crew of five), DSS monos, Full foiling multi's with no beam width limits or limits on altitude controls (this would defintiely be wild, there is no reason modern technology could not give you Longshot top speeds with good low end also).

    The AC did lots of development for monos. Be thankfull. Just do not be greedy.
     
  12. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    "The AC did lots of development for monos.
    Be thankfull.
    Just do not be greedy."

    Flados. I love that comment. :D
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Americas Cup on Foils!

    ================
    Yeah, thats probably the best retort to the "Who took my monohulls? And why?" comment that I've heard yet. Good Paul!
     
  14. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I don't know about that. I think if your countrymen (the ones sailing under your flag) win the thing thay are on record saying it's back to mono.

    When the interested parties had their big pow-wow before the design direction was taken, a majority of the parties thought a fixed keel monohull was the way forward. So Coutts asked M&M to do a proposal for a multi and asked Nelson to do a proposal for a swinging keel mono (not what the parties wanted). Some might say he was trying to force some of the mono folks down a different path.

    So at the next pow-wow the parties all discussed the two options and voted on the mono. So Coutts made the obvious decision..multis. He had his poodle agree and we are now where we are.

    Of course this all came after Coutts and Cayard (his present poodle) bilked money out of the middle east to set up a rival to the mono AC. Their new deal was to be sailed in 72' multis (sound familiar?). After a lot of pomp and circumstance no one wanted to play, so that went away. Once Uncle Larry won the cup and put Coutts in charge he saw his chance and here we are, with his failed idea once again.

    When the world sees how Larry outspends the competition this time around there will be no new players the next time. If Artemis doesn't win, will they be back? Can TNZ mount a credible challenge without funding from Uncle Larry and Parada? Once Prada's budget boat (out of the TNZ molds!) is not competitive with Oracle v2, v3, v4 will they be back?
     

  15. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Let's discuss match racing. I don't think you really understand it.

    Let's set aside pre-start for the moment. It is a long conversation. Suffice it to say the current format leaves only one choice in tactics (the hook vs defending the hook). That's a far cry from what has been available in the past.


    Let's look at Upwind legs. In sailboat racing the starboard tack boat has the right of way. They effectively control the situation. This is true in fleet or match racing.

    Let's start with two boats that are sailing even, bow to bow. The boat on Port tack might want to defend the left side of the course, for tactical reasons (more wind, better current, prevalent shift...). They have one tool to use to protect their advantage. That is the ability to lee bow the starboard tacker (who has right of way). This bounces the starboard tack boat back out to the 'unfavored" side, and after a couple of these types of encounters the Port tack boat may be able to become clear ahead. This evens the playing field.

    Despite some claims on this thread (and others), the AC 45s cannot effectively lee bow. If they are even, or P a boatlength ahead, or two boatlengths ahead, and they attempt a lee bow they will be rolled. So now they are in dirty air and the starboard tacker has taken the advantaged side.

    So upwind the use of very fast boats that tack slowly has removed the only tool the disadvantaged tack boat has.


    Now let's consider the downwind leg. In the days of the 12 meters the boats went upwind and downwind at about the same speed. Not very exciting. But it was an advantage to good match racing tactics.

    When the lead boat rounded the weather mark they would still be going the same speed as the trailing boat. So a 3 BL lead at the mark was virtually the same 30 seconds later. This gave the trailing boat an opportunity to attack and gas the leading boat. If the leader sailed higher to clear their air the trailing boat could soak a bit and be in position to control the gybe and/or gas the leader fully on the next gybe. This gave a potential for passing, tagging a penalty, or a fun-to-watch gybing duel.

    In fast boats the speed disparity from uphill to downhill is a lot. In the AC45s it is almost 2:1. So a boat with a 3 bl lead at the mark is about 6 bl ahead by the time the trailer has rounded. Hmmm, not a good situation for good match racing.

    This is compounded by the apparent wind angles the fast boats sail. When the AC switched from 12s to IACC boats and A-sails became the norm downwind the issue of attacking became much more difficult. Now with the AC45s (and 72s) the leading boats are actually gassing the trailing boats!

    So the only tool available to the trailing boat offwind has been removed.

    The AC45s idea of match racing is to split tacks to the opposite boundaries and hope your side gets more puff than the other side. Not very engaging. I imagine the 72s won't be much different.

    I like multis. I've done a lot of sailing and racing on them. I think the AC45s are terrific things, and the 72s are awesome creations. But they are not a good fit for the task of match racing. The AC has been a match racing event for over 120 years.

    A top fuel dragster is the fastest form of auto racing (not counting speed record types), but it would be a poor choice for racing at LeMans. That does not mean top fuel dragsters are bad, nor does it mean that people who don't think they should be the type used for racing at le Sarthe are against them.
     
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