Round The World Races

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by SuperPiper, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. SuperPiper
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 372
    Likes: 6, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: North Of Lake Ontario

    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    Volvo vs Barcelona

    I've been haunting the Volvo Ocean Race website in preparation for the start less than a month away. The reporting has been dismal. The coverage for the recent practice leg was non-existent. And the technical content is zero:

    "Then, a massive setback for Team Brunel. Their front sail, designed to help the boat accelerate quickly, became unfurled, and they fell a long way behind the rest of the fleet."

    http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/7689_Practice-makes-perfect.html

    Their front sail? Is this stuff being written by housewives?

    The Barcelona World Race is starting in December. Which of the 2 competitions is more likely to satisfy the technical sailor?
     
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,679
    Likes: 346, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Open 60's

    The race sailed in Open 60's would be more likely to satisfy the technical sailor,if by that you mean a sailor interested in technical developments. The Volvo boats are One Design and the Open 60's have gone one design in the rig and keel BUT they have left the appendages open to development. That means some of the 60's are going to be using lifting hydrofoils.
    "The IMOCA Class celebrates single-handed nonstop round the world race, the Vendee Globe, which together with the Barcelona World Race are the pillars of their calendar, the most complete, comprehensive and competitive of offshore sailing".
    ---------
    More about lifting foils (still) being legal here:
    Fantastic interpretation of the rules means that a boat designed to use a one design mast and keel can still use lifting foils.Here's an excerpt from the story from the vendee globe website.
    (Read the whole article here: http://www.vendeeglo...lobe-boats.html )

    Since the last America’s Cup, foils have been the focus of much attention in the world of sailing. These appendages take the weight off the boat, improving their performance, and in the case of multihulls allow them to fly. In the IMOCA class, which is in charge of the Open 60 monohull for the singlehanded non-stop Vendée Globe race, they recently established its new class rules following much debate around this question: should foils be banned?

    In the end, it has been decided that the rules should not be changed, thus leaving the door open for these rather ‘exotic’ appendages to be allowed. Here the President of the IMOCA, Jean Kerhoas is interviewed on the Vendee Globe website:

    JKJean Kerhoas, can you explain to us how the IMOCA came to a decision concerning the use of foils?
    “To understand this matter, you have to look at the major decisions concerning the IMOCA rules currently in force and that everyone now knows: the mast and canting keel are one design features, while the hull and appendages remain open. It’s true that within the class there has been some discussion about this question. Without revealing any secrets, some teams applied pressure stressing the need to strengthen still further the mast to take into account the development of more powerful hulls and the possibility of using “exotic” appendages, including foils.

    “Opinions diverged with some pleading in favour of more changes to the rules (with a ban on foils for example, editor’s note) with others arguing that the recently modified rules should not be changed again after all the previous lengthy discussions. In the end, the IMOCA board decided not to modify the class rules. This decision is quite simple. No change to the rules means that everything that was allowed remains allowed.”

    Just to be clear, that means that “exotic” appendages, such as foils, are a possibility for the new boats?
    “In theory, yes. It really means that the choice of appendage remains open (or in other words that designers and studies can continue to work in this area, editor’s note). But that doesn’t mean that any old thing is possible. Everything on the boat has a bearing other elements and as nothing is being changed, what they come up with still has to respect the use of the one-design mast and keel. Those are designed for a certain power (30 tonnes/metre for the mast). Respecting those parameters limits the possibilities. But it is true that “exotic” appendages are not banned.”
     
  3. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,679
    Likes: 346, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Open 60's

    From the Alex Thomson(Hugo Boss) website: ( http://www.alexthomsonracing.com/20...vendee-globe-and-the-ocean-masters-circuit-2/ )

    McGoldrick said; “This Vendèe Globe cycle will be particularly exciting as we will almost certainly see the use of foils not too dissimilar to those used in the Americas Cup. The foils should significantly increase the performance of the boats, an increase we have not seen since the canting keel was invented. Today all the simulations are theory based and of course theory can be very different to reality, so it is going to be a fascinating next 12 months to see what emerges”.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 491, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Do you really think it's easy to find a well spoken, visually appealing TV show personality that has reasonable understanding of such a specialized sport? The folks they sometimes regret using, are the very ones that you'd think should be used, sailors, who typically show how many times they fell asleep in grammar class. It's been tried many times and they do what sailors do, show up drunk for an assignment or cast personal opinions about the various boats, crews, skippers, etc., often in a less than marketable way, etc. Sailors have always earned the reputation they've received over the generations. I remember Dennis Conner and Ted Turner being used and they just weren't acceptable to the marketing guys, in spite of obvious sailing successes.
     
  5. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Define "the technical sailor"?

    Lifting foils and ORMA style boats are of very little technical interest to me and the vast majority of "technical sailors" from my country because there is no ORMA racing for many, many thousands of miles, so the lessons learned in the Barcelona are basically irrelevant.

    The Volvo 65s are a bit closer to what we sail and therefore may have more applicable technical interest.

    In the IOR days the development in the Volvo/Whitbread was probably much more applicable to the technical side of "normal" offshore racing than the Barcelona. Yep, people will point to rollers and canting keels as evidence that the ORMA class can lead the way, but the point is that only a tiny minority of world offshore fleets use such devices - overwhelmingly they are fixed keelers without furling, canards, etc.

    Maybe the reason the RTW and ORMA-style fleets are quite small (especially in the case of the Volvo) is that they are becoming less and less relevant to the normal offshore sailor. Ironically, offshore shorthanded racing itself appears to be doing very well in Europe - but it seems that most people prefer to do it on a fairly typical IRC/ORC style production boat, not an ORMA style specialist machine.

    Two of the world's most popular sports state that pros should use the same gear as amateurs. It's a pity that offshore racing doesn't follow the same theme; when it did the scene was much stronger.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 491, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Sailing, particularly top shelf and offshore, is as much about the technology, as it is the sailor, so having a level playing field with equipment isn't practical, with an ever evolving sport like this. Class racing does attempt to equal things up, but the more successful teams still manage to employ slightly better this and that, bending the rules as they can. Dumbing down to the least common denominator, wouldn't be the wise path, though it would be nice if the broadcast commentators, knew the difference between a tack and a jibe.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Well, dunno about gold medalists like Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge, Schiedt and Ainslie somehow not being "top shelf" when they were winning gold medals in strict one designs where there was no technological difference between boats. :)

    Even in offshore racing there has been "top shelf" competition in strict ODs such as the Mumm 36s and Sydney 41s when they were used in the Admiral's Cup, at a time when the fleet was perhaps comparable in quality to the contemporary RTW races.

    Sure, sailing is evolving - but parts of it are also moving pretty slowly, and the slow-moving parts are often the strongest and most popular areas, as demonstrated by the fact that Lasers, Optis, Flying Scots, Thistles, XODs, Dragons and similar boats dominate the list of biggest classes. For example, last time I checked the very first International dinghy class of all, the 12 Voetsjoel of pre-WW1 vintage, had regained a place close to the top of the popularity list for small boats and was considering applying to regain its International status once they had settled the rule dispute about the requirement that boats be built in mahogany! Sure, the conventional wisdom is that change is better, but while I personally love new gear it seems obvious from the numbers that sailing is actually stronger when it develops slower.

    Restricting the Volvo to boats that were more in the mainstream ORC/IRC/TP52 style would hardly be "dumbing it down to the least common denominator" - it would be simply shifting the restrictions a little bit in the same way that F1 did when it banned fan cars, ground effect, ABS, air valves, larger wings and dozens of other developments, or when things like the buoyant swimsuits and high-performance javelins were banned.

    After all, in other sports and games such as swimming, chess (afaik), road cycling and even Starcraft the pros use the same sort of equipment in world-class events as the weekend hackers do- why shouldn't the same happen in sailing?

    This doesn't mean that the Volvo has to be sailed in Beneteaus (although production racer/cruisers were a mainstay of the events that made the RTW into a legendary race) but if the current direction is so good then why has the fleet shrunk so much since it was sailed in less mainstream boats?
     
  8. SuperPiper
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 372
    Likes: 6, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: North Of Lake Ontario

    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    Few of us will ever own an ORMA 60, but it's still fascinating to follow the developments in the technology.

    Will a mast-forward boat win over a boat with a larger genoa? Will the chines be harder and more pronounced this edition than 12 years ago? Are the daggerboards angled inboard or outboard on the faster boats? Do the fast rudders have an elliptical leading edge or an elliptical trailing edge planform?

    I'm not interested in how many tears a girlfriend shed at the dock-out ceremony. If I was interested in human soap opera, I'd follow the Clipper Race.

    BTW, my boat still has an aluminum mast and wire rigging . . .
     
  9. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,679
    Likes: 346, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Rtw

    The Round the World racing used to be a combination of designers, builders and crew. The Volvo now has degenerated into a one design contest taking the designers and builders out of the picture for the most part-at least from the standpoint of design and building innovation.
    The Open 60's, a class that was known for innovation, still is to some extent thanks to the decision to leave appendages up to the designers-but within the constraints of a one design mast and keel.
     
  10. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    SuperPiper, who said that anyone was interested in dockside tears? And if you ask an open question why belittle the answers you get? If you didn't want people to answer unless they agree with you 1000%, you should have said so.

    You asked a question about which race will satisfy the technical sailor, and I pointed out that the answer may depend on how one defines the term "technical sailor". Surely there is not just one type of such sailor. At one extreme in another area of the sport, two or three people have earned doctorates etc through their scientific studies of hiking in Lasers, one of the strictest ODs in the world. While Lasers are obviously not RTW boats, it illustrates that there is not just one sort of "technical sailor" and that "technical sailors" can learn a lot from ODs. I also seem to recall that sleep scientists have used information from earlier Volvos in their studies.

    OD racing is NOT un-technical and a race does NOT "degenerate" when it moves into OD as some say; we can learn different things from OD racing than we do from development classes.

    Sure, some people can be fascinated by developments that they will never put into practice, but such people are not the only "technical sailors". Others prefer to look at different technological developments that they may use themselves in major races and titles, and arguably such people may not find much more that is of interest in the ORMA 60s than in the Volvo.

    The ORMA style of yacht is so different from the typical yacht that they may not teach the typical "technical sailor" many things that can be applied in normal racing out of the Chesapeake, Solent, Hauraki Gulf or other sailing strongholds. And ODs can arguably teach us more about things like sailmaking and techniques than development classes, where there are more confounding variables.

    Many "technical sailors" may have found a lot more of interest RTW racing a lot more interesting the days of the Whitbread race when RTW world tech was arguably more able to be translated to RORC racing, the Bermuda, Sydney-Hobart etc.
     
  11. SuperPiper
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 372
    Likes: 6, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: North Of Lake Ontario

    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    I had no intention to put down one-design. I was actually looking forward to the Volvo Ocean Race. But I was disappointed in the quality of the reporting. Instead of a Gary Jobson style commentary, Volvo was providing a Perez Hilton approach to boat racing.

    BTW, I'm not sure that I could devote the next 3 to 6 months of internet time to following laser hiking techniques.
     
  12. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,679
    Likes: 346, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Mr. 249 mentions "ORMA" which is a multihull class association( Ocean Racing Multihull Association ). I had the feeling that Super Piper was referring to monohull ocean racing. For monohull racing there's the Clipper, IMOCA(International Monohull Class association) which is being rebranded "Ocean Masters World Championship" and the Volvo.

    http://www.imoca.org/en/championnat-monde-IMOCA/
     

  13. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Yes, I meant IMOCA.

    SP, no one wanted you to get interested in Laser techniques, it's just that technical sailors and technology can exist in different ways.

    Personally, I find the IMOCA 60s, Volvo 60s and 70s are all too restrictive for my personal taste, but that's just me.

    I agree about the commentary style; some other sports do it so much better.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.