No Interest in the AC?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by RHough, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    There is interest, but what is there to say? Most of the good info is classified at the moment.

    Went to see Pete Melvin from the BMW Oracle Team give a two hour talk on the topic of Wing Sails last night. I've known Pete for some time, he is a gifted sailor and designer. He didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know, those of us who have been following the AC so far. He did have some nice slides of various C-Class cat wings over the years, the '88 S&S Wing, and some construction photos of the current BMWO wing.

    He was open to Q&A, and obviously was held to his non-disclosure contract on many of his technical answers.

    The one thing he did say pretty emphatically is the sailors, many of whom never sailed a multi before this AC involvement, are now converts and would like to see the AC remain multihull.

    If all goes well his slide show and video of his talk will be posted on the Ullman Sails website sometime soon.
  2. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Great insight!

    Not a design thing, but to show how good sailors can make a difference ...

    Alinghi raced the iShares Cup in X-40 One Design catamarans, Ed Baird is a "mono" guy with a good record. Randy Smythe is a "multi" guy.

    Ed beat Randy something like 17-2.

    Good sailors are good sailors. Ed was able to figure out how to sail a Cat and beat the best of the multihull specialists in ONE season.

    The design effort that both teams have made for this AC is stunning to me. I happen to think that Alinghi's choice of a Catamaran was wrong and the BMWO trimaran was a better choice

    Now that the BMWO boat is not at all like it was when first launched I can share this: The boat, 90feet LWL x 90 beam, less rig and sails weighed 10000 pounds when launched.

    That is a design and construction that is almost too light to be believed.

    Run the D/L numbers and then see how heavy other high performance multi's are. With the BMWO budget, how light would a F-18 be?

    If this AC puts and end to "speed producing lead" sailing will be better off.
  3. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    I remember a guy during the last cup, that was expressing serious doubts about multihulls in AC. He was saying that it would be impossible to have a real match racing sailboat event with fast, open class multihulls, and match racing is the essence of AC since 19th century...Does this line of reasoning sounds familiar to you ? :) What would you tell to this guy now ?
  4. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I have always loved the Louis Vuitton Cup for that reason... Match races, many times shoulder-to-shoulder with uncertain outcome up until the last few hundred meter, clever and often naughty tactics, big names from all around the world, national pride mixed with technology and muscles. That's what makes a real world-class event.
    I will watch this AC with lots of curiosity, but something tells me it will not be exciting at all... One team will prevail over the other with arrogant superiority, because boats are just too different. No thrills this time, just a lots of commercials to often interrupt a very short race.
  5. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    1. If " arrogant superiority" is the end effect of long, hard, innovative scientific and technological work, let arrogant superiority win ! It would have deserved it. It would be far better than a win based upon "naughty tactics" on or out of the water, where all marvelous human ingenuity is reduced in stupid efforts of exploiting accidental mistakes of the opponent ( most of the time in the pre-match tricks ), or discovering legal loopholes in archaic restricted class rules.
    2. That the boats would be too different, tells nothing about their relative performance ! They can well have an overall too close performance, or not at all, nobody can predict it in advance from the sole fact that they are different !
    3. If the one boat will be proved to be slower than the other, in the next cup it will move towards the faster boat design, so at the end we will have more similar and much faster boats. That is how evolution works, until it reaches a stage where we can speak of organisms of the same species, boats of the same class.
    4. Of course, the spectacle of match racing we were used to watch will be quite different, and something, inevitably, will be lost along the way. But consider how many things will be gained ! These boats are real 21 century sailboats, and I am sure that the 19th century sailors that established the AC would try to jump out of their glorious graves and sail them !
  6. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    You might be right form the technical point of view, but I still see sailing races as a sport, above all. And the first premise of any sport match is that the opponents should (in the limits of possible) have an equal possibility to fight and win. I know it is an utopia most of the times in the real life, but in this case the disparity is evident, regardless of who will be more advantaged.
  7. farjoe
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    farjoe Senior Member

    Have I been watching the wrong LVC/AC in the past few series? It is my impression that many times the boat in front stays in front unless the wind shifts dictate otherwise. In the times that the boats have managed to stay close it has been very exciting but this has not been very frequent. More often than not the most exciting part is the prestart when the 2 boats HAVE to stay behind the line close together and actual speed does not matter.

    Unlike say in soccer or basketball where the team suffering a goal or basket gets an immediate chance to hit back starting from an even footing this does not happen in match racing whether in mono or in multihulls.
  8. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I agree. This is how "Match Racing" evolved. Under any design rule, the early races see different designs sailing and the racing is seldom close. It is after the "right" corner of the rule is found that the racing gets closer.

    Rather than try to write rules that create near one-designs that are "good match racers", I am happy to see the design side nearly wide open. We might see two or three clashes of titans as the limit of what can be done on 90 foot lwl are explored, but the boats will soon be close in performance and we will see good 21st century racing instead of good 19th century racing.

    I hate the legal side and the politics. I love the boats. I think some eyes will be opened when they see a modern multi that sails the same angles upwind as the best monos and does it at more than twice the speed ... off the wind the tactics will be different but with a wide range (relatively) of angles that produce about the same VMG, we will be treated to a whole new game.

    I think it is about time! :)
  9. bill broome
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    bill broome Senior Member

    the balsa log sailing raft has never been significantly been improved on, this hollow boat nonsense will soon blow over. until then, do not be seduced by ideas springing from people who wear gloves to press on the start button of a winch.
  10. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    I cant believe that match racing in huge cats will be interesting, every manoeuvre will need to be executed so early they will be miles apart, just think of the turning circle...
    Match racing in J24's will be more interesting...
    The message is the AC guys are enjoying it..yes because they are sailing by themselves?

    For my money it needs to be mono hulls but ones that plane downwind
  11. bad dog
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    bad dog bad dog

    Ok so there are two different things going on here: one is the matched skill of the sailors (best tested in match racing), the other is the ever-evolving matched skill of boat design and construction (best tested with no rules at all except a start and a finish).

    Q. How to resolve these quite different aspects of the one sport?

    A. You can't. That's why we have class club racing on Saturdays (small boats), and Extreme 40s etc (bigger boats) - for match racing where it is all about the crew work. And that's why we have AC and Globe Vendee etc - where it's more about the boat design (but you still need the crew work).

    Do we have to resolve them? Vive la difference!
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Well said!
  13. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Bill, you are kidding, right? If you truly believe this, then why on flat-earth do you visit this site with some form of regularity?

    While I do not, at all, like the idea of full-time, running engines for any sailing machine, I do like the other ideas that these characters have conjured. Please keep in mind that the designers of these boats are likely not of the same emotional cloth as the leaders of the syndicates.

    Match racing in huge multihulls will be very interesting, as long as one doesn't try to apply the same paradigm as has been learned while watching/participating in monohull events. I'm pretty sure that you would not expect a cutting horse event to be interesting to watch if it were being done by long track thoroughbreds... would you? The inverse is also true.

    The rules have long allowed for this type of expression. It just hasn't been done before due to entrenched ideas within the boating community. I just wonder what you guys would be saying if you had grown-up watching incredibly fast multihull races for the AC and then someone proposed to do the event in lead slugs that took forever to accomplish the windward leg?
  14. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    If it is drag race then completing fast is good.
    When cats race you plan for one tack to the top mark as tacking is SO slow you will blow it if you do one more then your compeditor.
    You spend less time on the track so wind shifts play a much smaller part than with a mono, i.e. going slower
    Going faster and in a giant boat will mean less tacks, assy spins, like the last Cup also means whoever goes around the top mark wins..boring
    Why do you think the world match racing circuit puts sym kites on all the boats regardless of whether they had them originally.
    Many races are won on down wind tactics, ( why coz the boat behind with the same performance can pass the one in front) some thing that was missing from the last cup so you may as well just race to the top mark..
    Some of my Italian mates that sailed in the last Cup told me it was the most boring one they had ever sailed, the guys with the computers in the office would predict the days results once they knew the compeditor and had the wind speed, barring a cock up

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Well, it remains to be seen.

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment, though. I've been watching, very closely, the Extreme40 cat racing over the last few years and they are as exciting as any really close, monohull match race one could envision. For me, it has been quite a bit more exciting. Speeds, boat handling, flying hulls.. the whole deal.

    My opinion... I think that you'll be surpised if you think that this is only going to a series of drag races to the top mark.
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