Sydney-Hobart won by multihull!!

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by bad dog, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    By the way, I don't know if S-H does this, but the Transpac uses staggered starts so that the boats have a better chance of arriving closer together. For example, the big multis start a couple days after the big maxi monohulls. That approach might address some of the problems of little boats arriving long after the big boats, and make the race more fun for the less-wealthy participants. I guess it would reduce the pageantry of a mass start, but might be a worthwhile trade-off.

    As to the "lies" told about catamarans being banned from organized racing after Amaryllis, this is what that notorious liar, L. Francis Herreshoff had to say about the matter.

    "While AMARYLLIS won easily boat to boat, she was protested by several of the competitors and subsequently ruled out, the prize being given to the PLUCK AND LUCK. At that time, the papers called AMARYLLIS a life raft and several things, but created all at once an interest in catamarans, so that during the next ten years there were about twenty of them on the Hudson River and the head of Long Island Sound. However, their popularity was short lived, principally because they were barred from all the regular classes, although the Newburgh Bay Yacht Club ran special classes for catamarans for a few years."

    I would truly be interested in the source for your statements about the NYYC encouraging cat racing after Amaryllis, since I've never read anything about that. As I understand it, they gave Amaryllis a "special" prize because there was some popular sentiment to the effect that if the beaten competitors were protesting Amaryllis on the basis of it not being a yacht, they should have done so before the race, not after they'd been soundly beaten. Apparently, some of the public saw disqualifying Amaryllis after the fact as less than sporting.
     
  2. Alan M.
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    Alan M. Senior Member

    Monologue,
    monochrome,
    monotone,
    monaural,
    monocle,
    monogamy,
    monotony,
    monohull........

    There always seems to be a better or faster or more desirable alternative doesn't there?
     
  3. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Agree to disagree

    I think CT249 and I will have to disagree with the rest of you. Multis racing will not bring an amazing change in attitudes. In the Bay to Bay or Marlay Point race multis make up a fraction of the fleet still. Even after 30 years of racing there has been almost no shift in proportions from the first days. The slow Castle 650 and RLs has great racing in a fleet every year whereas the multis are few in number even though there are no restrictions on them.

    As I have sailed and raced both types of boats and have friends in both camps my take is that multis are not as good for racing. The numbers show that most sailors agree with me. Its not that multis don't get enough media time. I have written heaps for two multihull magazines (one as sub editor) and two mainstream mags that were eager for multi stories. Most of the multi mags in Oz are dead, from a lack of interest. (inside multihulls, Cat sailor)

    The problem is - even if the CYC did offer to let multis in - would any come? In about 1999 I interviewed Bruno Peyron when he was in Oz. A group of Ozzies were going to charter Explorer but didn't. There was a proven boat sitting in the Harbour but no one could generate the interest to grab it whilst here. Mono mag editors like Bob Ross came down and talked to Bruno and gave him time. Everyone seemed to go out of their way as they saw the potential of a record attempt with Explorer but there is no money for any shorthanded or record sailing - mono or multi. I sat having coffee with Bruno and he told me he couldn't have coffee like that in France as he would be mobbed. In Australia he was a nobody. But every sailor is like that in Oz. Would you know John Bertrand if you saw him? What about Iain Murray? Down here our sailors are not the same as in France. Even the big monos are paid for by bloody rich owners - owners like the Oatleys or Wharrington or Langman.

    Australia is a long way away from France. We make great boats for the French - B and Q and Sodebo. But they are very fast to take their boats away ASAP. Sodebo got out of here so quick it was amazing. The publicity is generated back there, not here. I saw some of the sponsor scene in the 1988 Round Oz race (John West, Verbatim) but it died afterwards. Now there is no sponsor driven large racing. You need an owner who thinks it is worthwhile to plunge heaps of money into a boat and so they will try to race someone else and get a similar boat. Our scene is not French.

    Really though I have to be a bit provocative here. As multi sailors we have to be as open minded as we ask others to be so before you take anyone seriously about mono/multis ask - Have they sailed well raced monos recently? I dare you to try it! You will probably find a standard of sailing above that of your local multi fleet and a heap of reasonable people too. Most suspiciously you will probably find fab racing even on slow boats! My prediction is that you will find BETTER racing at your local yacht club than at the local large cat club.

    cheers

    Phil Thompson
     
  4. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Ray

    Re the Transpac and stuff - Multis were excluded but organised their own event for years. CSK boats dominated this event for a long time and as the multis showed they were there to stay by continuing to shadow the mono fleet they were accepted. The mono sailors let them in - same as the Ensanada race. The multis were let in. The OSTAR was always unlimited until 1976 so multis were always okay. Those stuffy shirt guys even let in Cheers in 1968.

    One of Sydney's best offshore multi racers - Paul Nudd - was asked about going to Hobart. As I remember it he said it was silly as it was cold and a slog. He didn't want to go and he was for ages the most committed guy around here. He held the Gladstone record for ages. If he doesn't want to go then it will be hard to get a fleet going.

    As for the Hereshoff thing - really why is this brought up? As your quote says there were cats around and they died out. Why didn't their races generate more interest? Get more sailors? Why didn't they grow their own club? That they didn't is not the fault of the NYYC but themselves. Either they were not good enough at promotion or the boats themselves were not suitable.

    Let's not blame anyone else for the lack of multis around. There are few because they suit few people for racing.

    Guys you are missing the point - its cruising that's there multis shine - not racing. Let the racers go and then focus on what multis do best - take you away from forum arguments and the rat race and get you up that shallow creek faster than any other type of cruiser. That's where they are great.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  5. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Randy, I agree that it's hard for a single-number system to work for disparate boats in all condtions, but there are degrees of difference. Even back in 'displacement' boats there were significant differences in performance at different angles; you were never going to beat a 1976 Kaufman 1 tonner downwind in a 1973 S&S 1 tonner, for example (all else being equal). However, I'd argue that even today the differences between (say) a 40' leadmine and a modern 40 foot mono are not as great as the differences between a 40' leadmine and a cat or a tri.

    Re
    "You make the point that recumbent bikes are not allowed in the tour, but that is a poor analogy. The two types are so different in performance that they can't race in a mixed field on an equal basis. It would be more accurate to keep boats with unusual performance potential out of the SH to make the analogy work. That would mean limiting the SH to boats that are displacement speed limited."

    Define 'displacement speed limited'.

    For example, is the Spencer 65 Ragtime, often called the original ULDB, a displacement boat? What about her smaller sisters? What about the fractional IOR Farr/Whiting/Davidson/Faroux etc boats? What about the non-IOR cruiser/racers that Farr turned out in the same era, or the J boats? Is a Volvo 60 a displacement boat? A Farr 52 OD? An Open 60? There's just too many boats on every borderline to allow us to draw a distinction between 'planing' and 'displacement'.

    In contrast, there IS a sharp division between mono and multi. It is easy to separate monos from multis, and they certainly perform differently. Therefore the mono/multi distinction is a simple and valid one - as cat sailors themselves admit when they refuse to allow monos, kites and boards into most of their own races.

    The variation in performance among existing monos IS a problem - so why make it worse by adding multis?

    "Outside a racing context, what keeps the majority of bike riders and sailors in traditional designs? Why haven't the recumbent bikes taken over the recreational market? They are demonstrably more efficient than the traditional type used for racing. The same holds true for sailboats dos it not? We are herd animals, we follow what the leaders in our sport do. The guy on the road bike is Lance Armstrong when he sprints for a block on his ride, I am Ted Turner when I race my Catalina. We are all Walter Mitty at some time or another."

    Well, I race bikes and I never think I'm Lance, and I don't know anyone who does. The fact is that most of us find that a conventional bike has enough advantages to make up for the lack of speed (a subject well covered on bike sites). After all, if we really wanted speed, we'd drive. The choice of slower gear is perfectly logical for most of us; it's not driven by any Mitty-esque fantasy.

    Once again, what seems to you to be driven by fantasies becomes perfectly understandable and logical as soon as you consider that absolute speed and comfort, per se, are NOT what most people look for in their sport. If people find that they enjoy a traditional form of equipment more, then that is the most efficient type of equipment for having fun.

    Re

    "As far as the quality of racing in Multi's ... for the most part Multi sailors are far behind the curve. They would be lower half of the fleet if they were sailing mono's."

    I agree that the numbers are firmly on the side of the mono sailors, but IMHO the top multi sailors (and plenty of multi sailors are very good) are extremely good at the very fine art of extracting the last few % out of boats that feel really fast even when they aren't performing well. And many very good mono sailors (Chris Dickson, for example, or the Bruces from NZ) have found to their cost that they were not competitive in small cats. It seems to be a very individual thing IMHO - some make the transition, others of equal pedigree don't.



    *I may add that I regularly ride a 'not normal' bike myself. However, it has other issues (safety etc) that underline that those who chose more common type of equipment are NOT stupid. It's a good analogy for sailing - slower stuff is more fun for most competitors, and fun is what we are after. Whether something else would get you to the finish line earlier is of no importance, it's the amount of fun that counts.
     
  6. bad dog
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    bad dog bad dog

    Indeed, indeed.

    I have to admit that I have just learned that recumbent bicycles are faster than - whatever the other traditional kind are called. You learn something every day...

    Doug - fear not the return of that transcontinental invective - CT's explanation of the fond terminology that bounces round Sydney Harbour is spot on. You Seppos may not understand it, but there is no enmity in it at all. Let me give you a historical perspective:
    During a cricket test match between England and Australia (that's as big as they get), being the controversial Bodyline series of 1932-33 when blood was spilled and bones broken, an Aussie made a remark on the pitch that questioned the parentage of the English captain directing the bloodshed, Douglas Jardine. He is said to have visited the Australian dressing room to complain bitterly to his Aussie counterpart Bill Woodfull. Woodfull turned to his team and said: "Which one of you ******** called this ******* a *******?"
    Sorry mate, it's just the way we are.

    And that perhaps sums up where this debate will hang for the time being.... somewhere between CT's very real but more cynical analysis, and RHough's and Ray's slightly more optimistic view. I can see that we need to work with the truth in both views to make sure we don't set a whole new round of prejudice and bias, and work the PR circuit better.

    As to the dichotomy between class racing and boat design - I think by definition that can never be resolved. It is, and will remain, a ******* of a problem.

    Thanks to all contributors - personally I reckon we've squeezed this lemon for all it's worth for now.
     
  7. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Verbatim (40' tri, 4 crew) started outside the heads 20 minutes after Sovereign (80'maxi, 23 crew) went past. We passed them at Botany Bay and were miles ahead by the time we got to Tassie, due to moderate to fresh northerlies. Breeze went south and they caught us in Storm Bay. Going up the river, they sailed into a hole and we caught them again. Turned into a light air tacking duel, we only had to stay between them and the finish to win. We "knew" there was more breeze on the other side of the river, so went for it. There wasn't, they beat us by 8 minutes. A moral victory by 12 minutes.

    Only time I have raced to Hobart on a boat where the bunks were dry, you could get into pyjamas on your off watch (nothing would happen that the on deck guys couldn't handle) and the on watch got a hot cuppa in bed before they went on deck.

    Despite Ian being a native and that when we passed Sovereign in the river we were going close to 20 knots under shy kite and they were sitting still, Verbatim was totally ignored by both the spectators and the media.

    Racing to Tassie is cold, wet and miserable, even on a well sorted boat like Verbatim. Not wanting to do it is further proof that multi sailors are smarter than mono sailors. Plus what Chris says.

    rob
     
  8. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Well, the Herreshoff thing was brought up to show that yachting protectionism set back the development of viable multihulls until the middle of the twentieth century, and that perhaps this was not a good thing. Racing was different then-- it was the hobby of a few very wealthy men. If a man's boat was proscribed from the big races of the day, he was out in the cold, in both the yachting and the social sense. By the way, while I was looking for some confirmation of what CT said about the NYYC welcoming the cats with open arms (I didn't find any) I discovered that recumbent bicycles have suffered from the same technological conservatism. Some guy set a new time record over a kilometer, back in the early days, and his record was disallowed because he did it in a recumbent bike. Recumbents are still banned from ICU-sanctioned races, and the recumbent riders are still bitter about it. The arguments brought up by the anti-recumbent forces are eerily similar to those brought up by anti-multihull sailors-- they're more dangerous, for example (untrue in both cases.)

    Please, let's not pretend that there isn't a strong streak of conservatism among sailors. Most of us here understand the great superiority of multihulls for cruising, but even among cruising boats, multis are a tiny minority, though a fast-growing one.

    If as Phil and CT say, there is little interest in racing to Hobart among local sailors, then I'm even more puzzled at the adamant refusal to allow multis to compete. If no one really wants to go, what possible harm would come from opening a multihull class? It would be a welcoming and inclusive gesture toward a part of the yachting world that still does not receive the respect it deserves.

    I have to say, one reason I've found this thread fascinating is that I see in it some confirmation of my belief that multihull ocean racing suffers from a lack of entry-level training. For multis, there's nothing between beach cats and larger and fairly expensive
    boats. Racing beach cats is more of an athletic event than traditional sailboat racing, and doesn't have much in common with racing boats big enough to go out on the ocean for substantial lengths of time. The prospective monohull racer can get an old ragbag and learn on it, but the prospective multi racer has to consider a much bigger investment. I think that once there are enough entry-level multihull racer-cruisers around on the used market at reasonable prices, this will change.

    Anyway, I hope so. And I hope I haven't offended anyone with my opinions; that was not my intention at all.
     
  9. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    I have very little to add to the excellent pros and cons of this whole thread.

    However I can add at least this little insight.

    I was once told by a senior member of our yacht club " Every time I see a multihull sailboat I have the urge to beat it to death with a stick".

    I think a lot of this, (perhaps unstated), opinion still exists. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Alan M.
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    Alan M. Senior Member

    If multi's were allowed to compete, but in a seperate class, and treated like second-class citizens, as per the Brisbane-Gladstone race, then it's probably true, not many would want to compete.

    But if they were actually allowed to race for line honours, and be recognised as such, I think there would be plenty.

    For example, you could buy a boat like ROGNTUDJUUU at under $400,000, and seriously threaten the maxi mono's - and in the right conditions beat them. I'm sure there would be more than a few who'd give it a try.
     
  11. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Geezzz guys, shorter posts, the year is almost up, I want to finish reading the thread this year :D

    There are always going to be discrimination between boaters, same as has been between anything and everything else. You will probably find the guy who had a multi but now has a mono will discriminate against multi's, or vice versa. Happens, it's how it is, the art of conversation :rolleyes:

    Some people have really nice and very fast boats. Doesn't matter, they enjoy them.

    As for the mono's :D they are nice too - if it's someone else's - but don't expect me to walk on the walls of my boat.

    There, if that doesn'nt start a chain reaction you are all a bunch of sissies :D



    He he... if someone visits here driving a Ford, when they are about to leave I say to the wife, bring the spade, I want to remove these Ford tracks before any one else sees I know someone driving a Ford.

    Worst case scenario is when they agree :D but none ever offered to help.
     
  12. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Thanks for a sane post - let's all just let other people choose the boat that suits their likes and dislikes, and let them sail it as they want to - whether that is with others of the same type, or with others of different types.
     
  13. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The abuse goes both ways; actually I've probably seen more criticism by multi sailors towards monos than vice-versa.

    I've been at a cat regatta where monos were called "****" by a cat class president at a class meeting.

    I've seen articles in Multihulls and elsewhere that predict the death of mono sailing altogether.

    I've been at a cat regatta where someone else was called a "******" just because he sailed an International Canoe mono.

    This thread was started by someone who calls monos 'sinkers'.

    The owner of a cat that was welcomed into a regatta mainly for multis rewarded the majority of sailors by writing "why would anyone sail a mono" and boasting about his performance in a heavy air race....strangely he was very quiet about the club races where his new 12.2m cat was the same speed as 1970s 10-11m cruising monos.

    I can't recall the exact words, but the Oz multi mag's on-board report from the Bay to Bay a year or two back was (IIRC) savage in its hate and contempt for the trailable monohulls (the type of boat that created the race).

    These are just a few minor examples that are ready to hand. One classic one, though, has been seen here, and that's the instant assumption that anyone who sails a mono does so because they are conservative, trying to protect their ego, or for other discreditable motives. The fact is that people can like monos for very good, honourable and logical reasons (as do those who like monos AND multis) and the very fact that many multihullers don't recognise that is an insult in itself.
     
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  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I hope I have not offended you with my opinions. Your apparent attitude that 'multis are better and people should recognise that' does stick in my craw, as many of those people closest to me are people who are NOT conservative or silly, but they choose to sail multis AND monos for very good reasons.

    Both types are wonderful, often in different ways. Why can't we each respect each type and the reasons why people sail them, and the way in which they chose to race or sail them (whether just among their own type or against other types).

    Respecting your fellow sailor just isn't that hard. They aren't all stupid, conservative or poorly informed - even if it makes some people feel superior to diss their fellow sailor because they dare to have different tastes in sailing.
     

  15. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    WARNING - FINAL AND LONG POST ABOUT COMPLICATED QUESTIONS

    This is my last post; I find the question fascinating but now I'm no longer waiting for epoxy to dry I shall stop raving on.

    Just three final thoughts - once again, the basic fact is that mono sailors are criticised for restricting races to their own type of craft, JUST LIKE CAT SAILORS, WINDSURFER SAILORS, KITEBOARDERS ETC DO. That seems hypercritical and hypocritical.

    Secondly - surely there are negative results that flow from the 'mono sailors are fuddy duddies who hate us' thinking that is so often expressed. Maybe the thinking, perhaps typified by the fact that many people still bring up one boat (Amaryllis') disqualification one hundred and thirty years after the fact, is obscuring many more important issues about the sport?

    Thirdly - there are three sailors in this thread who sail multis and have done Hobarts. All three (and two of them are very innovative designers) are perfectly happy with the Hobart being restricted to monos only. Significant, surely.
     
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