Extreme 40 Circuit changes?!

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    From the Telegraph.co.uk :

    By Kate Laven
    12:23PM BST 27 Jun 2014
    comments.gifComment

    The spaceship has landed and this one, in the shape of spectacularly fast foiling boats first seen in the America’s Cup last year, is forcing the brains behind sailing events such as the Extreme Sailing Series to rethink the future.
    Before the AC72 was introduced to the world in San Francisco last year and set hearts and pulses racing with a rocket like thrust that whacked up the speeds from 25 knots to 40 in less than ten seconds, sailing high performance catamarans like the Extreme 40 was as good as it got.
    America’s Cup teams used the Extreme circuit as a platform for learning how to take corners at high speed.
    But that was before foils and the world is now a different place.
    The best sailors only want to race on foils because, according to Freddie Carr, the British America’s Cup sailor who raced on Luna Rossa in the last America’s Cup, foiling is an ‘insane’ experience.
    “It’s a crazy sensation,” said Carr who recently joined Sir Ben Ainslie’s British campaign for the next Cup.
    “The thing you notice first is the G-force. You are hanging onto the pedestal grinding and you feel yourself getting thrown over the side of the boat as you go from 25 to 40 knots in 8 seconds and basically start flying. You have no idea about the speeds until you look behind you and see the chase boats going flat out trying to keep up.”
    Carr is not alone in seeing foiling as the way forward. Extreme 40 skipper Paul Campbell-James was also on Luna Rossa in San Francisco and won the Round the Island Race last week in a new boat, the GC32, which appears to do 30 knots in a mere puff of wind.
    The GC32 was launched two years ago and already, there are said to be 45 boats on order with a new European circuit set to kick off in July.
    “It might turn things upside down because the boats are awesome and you have all the top professional sailors involved because the boats are so awesome. In a perfect world, the Extreme circuit would be raced in GC32s but the advantage of the Extreme 40 is they are simple and we had a lot of break downs in the GC32s.
    “Nothing beats getting 12 Extreme 40s on a race course that’s built for tiny Optimist dinghies but the boats are now ten years old and no longer as exciting as they were.”
    Extreme organisers, who had the idea of bringing sailing into city centre ‘stadiums’ in rivers and harbours long before the America’s Cup highlighted it, are well aware of the need to update their boats to keep the top sailors engaged.
    But foiling at 35 knots in a venue such as Singapore where the race course is surrounded by tower blocks and shopping malls, would be impossible, says Extreme Sailing Series event director Andy Tourell.
    “The world is going foiling and we are always looking at whether there is an evolution to suit us in future years but currently the 40s suit the purpose,” said Tourell.
    “It is fundamental the sailors are excited by the boats but to go foiling, we would have to increase the size of the race course to accommodate the higher speeds and that would compromise the stadium racing concept which is core to our circuit.
    “But we are looking at a dual mode where we could have one day of foiling offshore and three days of non-foiling on stadium courses. These X40s boats will almost certainly remain for next year but the dual mode option is really exciting because it achieves the balance of moving with the times while staying true to our roots.
    “At some point a redevelopment or transition will definitely be needed but whether that is 2015 or a year later remains to be seen.”
    For the moment, the Extreme 40 circuit remains the leading one in Europe and American skipper Morgan Larsen of Alinghi is once again on top of the leaderboard after a strong first day’s performance at St Petersburg.
    His long running dual with Leigh McMillan, skipper of two times series winner The Wave, Muscat looks set to dominate this Act as the two experienced campaigners find ways of getting round the Neva river course, marked by a strong current, in very light winds.
    After four races, Alinghi was ahead of the Omani boat by nine points but with winds too light to get the boats across the tide, racing on Friday was suspended until the breeze picked up.
     
  2. rapscallion
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    rapscallion Senior Member

    I was wondering when the extreme 40s would address the GC32. It will certainly get interesting in the next 3 years. I just found a D35 for sale, I think the owner could get a GC32 for the price of his 2009 D35.
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  4. Corley
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  5. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The author of that piece has won the series and worked in the commentary of the series. It's only logical that he has an exceptionally good viewpoint from which to assess how well foiling may work.

    How many classes have dramatically increased their worldwide popularity by adopting technology that dramatically increased speed but increased costs and logistical issues, such as limiting the number of waterways they could sail on? The answer is very, very few - but many have suffered dramatically by that move.

    There have been about five fully-foiling classes. The Moths have good fleets in the UK and one state of Australia, but as their official AGM minutes state, the class is not growing strongly and outside of the UK and (to a lesser extent) Australia, fleets are very small. Even in Oz the recent national titles attract only as many boats as in the last days of the pre-foil era.

    The Rs have shrunk since foils were introduced, although there are outside influences. The FF600s have died. The As are in a very early stage of development. Foiling kites? Dunno; here in Oz the fleet is tiny.

    The foilers are fantastic; I've quite enjoyed the couple I have sailed. They are a worthwhile and fascinating part of sailing. But when someone who has been involved in a success story like the Extreme series mentions the problems, they are certainly worth listening to.

    You could argue that the Extreme series was fundamentally little different from the ProSail series in the '80s or the Formula 40s, in terms of basic boat design. The difference is that the Extreme series survived much longer, indicating that its formula of ultra-tight stadium racing worked better for that market.

    Given that the Extreme series has arguably cracked the secret that eluded previous attempts at the same sort of series, why should they change the format? When one thing succeeds where earlier attempts have crashed, surely it has a good recipe.
     
  6. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I am all for progress in design but if it is a choice of close in theater or foiling out on the horizon I vote in close. It's better for the live venue and better for the sport. Foiling like the AC needs media coverage like the AC with Stan Honey's graphics and aerial cameras. Is it possible we could have foiling in close quarters with smaller boats? Could media technology make the offshore race more accessible? Camera towers at the marks? Drone cameras?
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Extreme or Retro?

    I understand that the relationship with their established venues is important-at least I think that was the point of the comments quoted in my last post-but it boggles the mind to think that equally appropriate venues couldn't be found that would allow an even more spectacular show with the foilers. I'll never forget the awesome fly-bys done by TNZ and Oracle in San Fran-imprinted on my brain and many others for the balance of my life.
    And in this new era the "Extreme 40's" have a real problem with using that language to identify their boats!
     
  8. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It boggles the mind to see people assuming that those who have actually been running such a series haven't done their homework properly before coming out in public with the problems. Finding places to run such a series is already hard enough and there's an obvious basic contradiction between having a tight racing arena and having the bigger racing area that foilers need to show their wares.

    The boats were never really that "extreme" in design terms anyway. In dimensions they are quite similar to the '80s ProSail/Formula 40s, but a bit lighter and with bigger jibs. The ProSail and F40s tried to use bigger courses and both of those series failed where the X40 arena concept worked.
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    "Extreme" 40 Circuit

    ==================
    If you're accusing me of making such an assumption you're dead wrong. I think their decision is based on more than the venue.
     
  10. Corley
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    I have to agree with CT 249 they have a formula that works and I'm sure it's the tight inshore stadium sailing type courses and the easy viewing that offers to the general public are the biggest contributor. The crew work on these boats is hard graft due to the short legs and high amount of maneuvers.

    The GC32's have their own circuit and if I was the Extreme 40 administration I'd watch that carefully and see how that goes in the longer term before committing to any major changes to the boat or format. I have seen no compelling evidence that having the fastest boats is the main requirement to run a successful sailing series.
     
  11. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Retro or Extreme?

    I think the choice of the 40's in the beginning was driven by their speed, but I don't think speed is everything-the spectacle of sailboats lifting completely out of the water is a crowd thriller, if there ever was one.
     
  12. Corley
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    I think the Extreme 40's were born of a compromise they wanted them to be easily demountable, simple and have one platform and rig for all conditions therefore they are relatively under canvassed in light conditions and a bit over in heavy.

    I can see why they do that though because if there was an option to choose a large or small rig all the teams would always choose the big rig regardless of the conditions for fear of being underpowered which gets away from the one design intention and/or creates headaches for the race officer's who would then have to more often cancel racing due to wind limits.
     
  13. zerothehero
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    zerothehero Junior Member

    you think the Extreme40's were designed to be raced in crowded harbors and canals? 40 foot boats racing in areas where 20 footers would be tight?

    No, the organizers partnered with the Volvo and realize they could capitalize on an existing audience. They realized the spectacle was worth the sacrifice. Can that be continued with foiling boats? I don't know. I hope so. But if the foilers mean the action moves away from the audience then I think they will have issues.

    The 40's were great but it is time the circuit moved on. The audience has seen it all. Time for something new. Get it right and it will be great, get it wrong.....
     
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The info I can find indicates that the Extreme 40s were in fact designed to be sailed in crowded harbours.

    At the launch of the first boat, Herb Dercksen said "it was the desire to change the world of sailing that inspired him and Mitch Booth in the design of this unique boat. ‘Everything happens far away on the ocean. We wanted to compete in-harbour; visible to an audience, but there is less wind, so we needed a spectacular boat with a lot of sail. This was our dream and here she is,’ Dercksen said."

    It was also written when the class was announced that it is "a strict one-design catamaran that has been purposely designed and built to race inshore and short offshore regattas......‘Can you imagine just how thrilling it will be with these boats flying a hull just feet away from the spectator gallery?"

    The description for the very first regatta for the class was "Each race for the 40ft catamarans will comprise of a reaching start, windward / leeward and a reaching finish, with a target duration of 20 minutes. Racing will be held close to the shore to provide good spectating of the action."

    It does sound as if they were designed exactly for racing in crowded harbours, close to spectators on shore.
     

  15. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    "Extreme" 40 Circuit

    ====================
    How could you possibly get that from anything I said?!
     
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