Tornado Team Takes Everglades Challenge

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Chris Ostlind, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Apparently, Tornado sailors, Steve Lohmayer and Jamie Livingston, going under the team name of Lumpy and Bumpy, have won the annual Watertribe Everglades Challenge in a record time of just under 36 hours.

    The Everglades Challenge is a 300+ mile adventure racing event that runs from Tampa Bay's Ft. DeSoto beach to Key Largo. The previous record for the event was set last year with a time of two days, 8 hours, 56 minutes by a 22 foot, double-handed skiff.

    Lohmayer and Livingston passed fellow multihuller, Randy Smyth, about two thirds of the way down the course, when his trimaran suffered an unknown breakage, forcing Smyth to retire. Randy then found transportation to the finish line to greet the Tornado team upon their victorious arrival.

    The dudes simply shredded the course and it's going to take a real special set of conditions, the right boat and mostly... the right crew to beat this record.
     
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Tri

    Chris, do you know any details of Smyth's tri?
     

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  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    I haven't seen the boat in person, but I'm getting reports that it has a rotating ama/aka rig, allowing the skipper to move well aft, while the leeward ama moves well forward.

    One can readily see the advantages of this setup, if one can deal with the fiddly nature of the mechanism and all that goes with it.

    Smyth's breakdown could have been caused by the spindly qualities of the connectives in the conditions in which he was sailing. He did have problems with the rudder at Checkpoint 1, but apparently fixed that and went back out and on his way down the coast.

    The eventual demise of his effort took place down around Sanibel Island, so there was quite a bit of travel after the so-called repair.

    Anything else is still up in the air and will probably require a bit of time before Randy will speak to the issues.

    Interesting and complicated beyond a standard trimaran. I have more than a feeling that if he had built his boat with longer amas, fixed, but foldable aka beams and no rotating rig, he'd have won the event going away... even with the Tornado chasing him down the coast.

    Chris O
     
  4. Paul Scott
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Paul Scott Senior Member

    I can't count how many times I've doodled something like that.

    Paul
     
  5. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Smyth Swamp Thing

    hey Chris
    This craft has to be very light seeing that it is mostly (carbon?) sticks and air - but does look fragile - but very clever. The floats look, I think, almost flat underneath, so we are back into that planing multihull question again (something that you are not a believer in?). Randy Smyth once did a Worrel 1000 in a Richard Roake cat with swinging outrigger wings - and it looks as if he has continued along this line of thought with the swinging ama/aka. Also the Gougeons had a similar thing with the pivoting floats on F40 Adrenalin.
    I think, yes, if simplified with fixed beam,floats it would have been more reliable - but all multihulls require rotating masts, IMO of course. There are huge advantages with such rigs over conventional types. You need to sail on one mate.
     
  6. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Hi Gary,

    First let me clear-up the impression that I do not support rotating masts. I realize that I wrote "rotating rig" in the last post I made above, but that had to do with the entire assembly relating to the rotating ama/aka, as a "rig" and not the sail rig. Apologies to the readers if it came across that way.

    Second and without getting into another one of those, "do trimarans plane" discussions, once again... there's another image of the boat on the Watertribe site. It's part of a pre-race video which is available on another page. Smyth's boat is shown from a stern oblique view as the camera pans the beach full of boats ready to launch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHGQTSXhSk4

    There is precious little visual source material to determine the actual shapes of the hulls, but I'm of the impression that it is not of the planing variety... not one, in the water hull, shows any of the preliminary shapes that would be needed to provide that potential.

    This is a very longish, very skinny main hull, with very slender amas. The skipper seating positions on either side of the boat are above and well outboard of the ama beneath.

    It looks more to me as a very fast, very high length-to-beam main hull designed to pierce the water rather than achieve the dynamic lift necessary to ride on the top of same.

    Others may have different takes on the topic, but that's what I see.
     
  7. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    All is speculation until the details are reported, of course. Assuming for now that the DNF was due to a failure of the moveable rig, however, you could be right that he would have had a better chance of winning with a more conventional tri. I suspect his goal was more than a single race, in which case he's doing it right: take an innovative design, get it built, test it, race it in the real world, analyze any failures, improve the design and/or the build, test and race again, etc. The Groupama team will be doing the same on a much larger scale.

    Again, we don't know if the second failure was related to the first, but there wasn't that much sailing between the 2 failures, as Sanibel is only about 30 miles from the first checkpoint.

    Sounds like a great race, combining open water (and crossing of a major shipping channel almost immediately after the start) and flats, condo towers and mangrove islands.
     
  8. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Smyth Swamp Thing

    Fair enough Chris - about rotating rig, not mast. It does look to me as if the extremely thin main hull is there to only support the weight of crew and boat at rest - once moving, although the crew will be out to windward (like a foiler Moth) that leeward hull will be doing most of the work. It still looks as if the floats having very slight rocker and although fine at the transom ends, still flat underneath. As you say, we are just guessing - straighten us up Randy.
     
  9. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Super Tri

    I look forward to more info on the boat-I hope Randy might contribute. The amas look to me to be flat on the bottom but I'd bet that has more to do with trying to get the highest length to beam for a given volume. Thats one reason its done on a Moth since a box section with the same area as a semicircular section can be narrower with less rocker. And it's also true that those flat hulls will plane-only in the Moth class they don't have to anymore. The box section results in a slightly greater wetted surface area with a reduction in wavemaking drag due to the narrower resulting hull. And that offsets that extra area.
    I hope somebody that knows Randy will tell him about this thread.
     
  10. BOATMIK
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    The big advantage of flattening sections in the ends of boats with narrow waterplane is that it dampens pitching. It used to be the main speed limiting factor in offshore multihulls.

    Crowther (L not B) here drew Bagatelle a lot of years ago here. Despite being a spacious cruising boat he decided to play with subtly bulbed bows.

    The boat was great at accelerating and continuing to accelerate in rough water when ostensibly faster boats (based on displ and sail area and wetted surface and beam and AR) would just pitch up and down and lose speed - result for Bagatelle was high average speeds - though limited in terms of top speed.

    Lock's take (as i understand it) was the behaviour was more from the flattening out of the fore sections - so over the next few designs the bulb gradually disappeard and the flatter sections stayed.

    His son Brett has pushed the principle more strongly into the tail end of his own designs as well.

    Great way of damping pitch.

    Maybe there was some influence in Skiff Moths too when they went really narrow with very flat bottomed forms, but the control that the inverted T foil rudders resolved the problem in a more powerful way (later they took the plunge and put one on the centreboard too as we all know.

    As far as planing/nonplaning hullforms ... impossible to define. All boats develop some lift along their hulls - but it is a question whether the nett positive lifts are bigger than the nett negative lifts.

    Is a boat that is getting a lift of 10% of its sailing displacement planing - or is one that gets 60% planing?

    It is so nebulous. I won't talk about "piercing water" here - but seems to be a similar problem of definition and a reflected version of the lift ... 10% lift means 90% "piercing water" and so on ...?!?

    It is of course very hard to know how Mr Smyth's boat would have gone against the Tornado if his tri hadn't broken down. My feeling is that it is rather impossible to tell.

    I do have so much respect for the Tornado. The design destroyed the B and B2 classes when it came out and it has defined efficient cats ever since (even the C class for a long time in terms of platform).

    It would be a great feat to come up with something and get it going to the same levels of efficiency as a Tornado - you can only look with awe of the evolution of an extremely fast but somewhat delicate package in 1967 to something that is so reliable and trouble free you can get top level performance out of it for 2 or 3 seasons.

    And there are not many modern cats that can keep up with it round a racecourse.
    http://www.vic.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/vic/downloads/Yardsticks05_06 new3.pdf

    People will talk about what is faster, but repeated results around a course are the test. For example Moth Foilers will improve further, I am sure but, round a course they do about the same as good 16ft catamarans designed to the Tornado scheme in the early '70s. (see the same PDF above). This is not unimpressive by the way .. but indicates that perceptions of how fast a boat would be are almost always wrong until you do repeated testing in some sort of controlled conditions.

    The case in point shows that a Tornado can simply sail round the course but something that looks cooler has rudder problems and then crossbeam problems....

    Was R Smyth's boat ahead of the Tornado at any time (now there is an interesting question)?! And if it did or didn't what were the margins? Actual measured ones.

    Mr Livingston crewed on the boat that came 27th at the North American's last year - not that this means anything in particular. Mr Lohmayer seems like not a slouch on distance events in multis (after a check on google - though no Tornado results) so we can say with reasonable probability that the boat was sailed well.

    BTW I think that Mr Smyth would have been much faster in a Tornado too (with a little bit of practice).

    :)

    Michael Storer
     
  11. BOATMIK
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    Doug, you snuck in a reply while I was writing mine.

    I would not be discounting what you say about wavemaking either.

    Also .. sometimes there is not just ONE good effect from good design.

    And the Crowther office was only a couple of suburbs away from where the Moths sail in Sydney.

    MIK
     
  12. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Well, Randy did hit the first checkpoint ahead of the Tornado by 24 minutes. So, for at least that part of the gig, Smyth did see an advantage, however small. Like you say, though, there' no real telling how that would have been factored into the next couple of sections, as fatigue would start to become a factor, as would sea state issues for a lighter boat.

    Still, it's tantalizing to speculate and that is further pumped by Smyth's history of banging long distance events with a modest degree of past success. ;-)


    Yes, I agree... he's rested on his laurels for much too long. That business just a short time ago in the VX40 series with the Tommy Hilfiger ride shows him to be a bit rusty. ;-)

    I, too, hope that Randy takes a moment to post his thoughts here once he gets it all back to his home and has a chance to filter the experience, the performance of the boat and his thoughts on the design component.

    Chris
     
  13. BOATMIK
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    Howdy Chris - good solid information that the Smyth machine came in ahead of the tornado.

    Light weather reaching perhaps? I would be very impressed if it was real upwind stuff - that would indicate a useful performance advantage.

    On the other hand .. Smyth is one of the all time greats - so even if he was a bit "rusty" in terms of pushing the boat hard I am sure he would have been on the right side of any wind shift - or at least more on the right side that the competition.

    That could give a 20 minute advantage easily. Be interesting to know more.

    Cheers again for the extra information.

    Michael
     
  14. BOATMIK
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    BTW Chris,

    With the comment about Mr Smyth needing practice to sail a Tornado efficiently ... it was a bit of a joke. As you know - he just about wrote the book on the beast!

    I did mean it a little bit, but the statement was meant to be a joke too.

    MIK
     

  15. Paul Scott
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    Paul Scott Senior Member

    Smyth's tri does remind me of Sebago. Back in 1998, when we started the design process that led to our present boat, I talked to Phil S,, the skipper of Sebago for the OSTAR (I think it was that race) about the sailing characteristics of the tri, because I was fascinated by the parsimony of it's design, and when I asked him what he thought about having planing floats, he got pretty excited, esp. given how short the amas were. On a cursory look at the pic, the amas do kind of look like White's planing cat hulls.......
     
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