SimonN

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About SimonN

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    Super Anarchist
  • Birthday 06/05/1959

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    Sydney ex London

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  1. My first long term girlfriend was a croupier at the Playboy club casino in London. Because of gaming laws, her costume had to go up to her neck (no cleavage allowed) but my favourite thing was the tail, which was held on by popper studs because in the early days, men used to grab them and rip the costumes. I have to admit to have pulled off a few tails, all in the privacy of my own home
  2. SimonN

    INEOS Team GB

    So you either haven't bothered to look at their sailing roster or you are dismissing some of the best sailors in the world. I might be biased, but I think that overall, they have the strongest sailing roster. Just a few stand outs..... Ben Ainslie - not bad Giles Scott - Only one Olympic gold (so far), 3rd AC Campaign Iain "Goobs" Jensen - Gold and silver medals, considered by many to be the best "wing" trimmer in the world (I personally don't - I think he is equal best with Glenn Ashby) 3rd AC campaign Xabi Fernandex - Gold and Silver Olympics 3rd AC campaign Joey Newton - crew on 2 AC winners 5th AC Campaign Then add the likes of Freddie Carr (3rd AC), Chris Brittle (4th AC) and Andrew Mclean (5th AC) Let's not forget the CEO, Grant Simmer (only 4 AC wins across roles from sailor to design head to CEO), who has the best track record of anybody in AC management. Does that really look like a team built around one individual? Or is the use of Ben Ainslie just a great marketing tool?
  3. SimonN

    INEOS Team GB

    It's funny, but to me, these foils look to be the most sophisticated of any team. I think people are being fooled by a number of things. First, the white "lines" I might be wrong, but I think that is a flexible material used at the hinge point to fair the foil, like the Moths use. I suspect it isn't painted because this is something they will make good on a very regular basis. Overall, I would be surprised if the white stuff didn't create a very smooth transition. Imagine the foils if they were all red. Then there is the fence. I do not see this as only a structural element, because Inios has built enough foils without it. The only reason i can see for it is because of improved hydrodynamics. I think it is at a point where the foil hinges and it creates an end plate effect which would significantly improve the efficiency of the flap and reduce drag. I then look at the "bulb". Wow, that has features I haven't seen on any high performance foils. Look at the "chine" towards the back, the flat underside and the square trailing edge. That's a long way from conventional wisdom. Compared with the more traditional faired, curved "torpedo" shape we see, this looks like an effort to better organise the turbulence. Overall, they look the most high tech of any team, but that doesn't mean they have it right.
  4. SimonN

    Luna Rossa Challenge. AC 36

    Maybe English isn't your strong point, because both statements can be correct. The more iterations you have run, the better you understand you model and therefore when you have a real data point (from a real boat), you can apply it to all the work you have done. A 4 month head start means you have far more modelling and simulation data to compare against the real data, which then allows you to move forward to the design of the second boat sooner. Of course, if your models turn out to be shit when you get data from your first boat, then you might lose some or all of that advantage, but if you are in the right ballpark, you keep your 4 month lead.
  5. SimonN

    Luna Rossa Challenge. AC 36

    All the talk about how well each team's first boat was is irrelevant. The first boats had a few main purposes, and if the concept was quick, that was an added bonus. The most important job the first design has is to validate performance models, and, in particular confirm changes made to the boat during it's useful life performed as the software predicted. Making big changes might be a "hail Mary" move by Inios, but it could also be that they have super confidence in their modelling and have found a significant gain. Significant changes to deck layout aren't high risk at all, because they can be built and tested of the water, just like ETNZ did last time around. Last time around, the team that made the biggest changes between B1 and B2 walked away with the cup. I am not saying Inios will do that, but the idea that the differences between the new and old boat are telling doesn't stack up.
  6. SimonN

    INEOS Team GB

    There has been no evidence of them going dead downwind, but even if they were, at the speeds they go, where would the apparent wind be coming from? At the angles they seem to be sailing, the apparent would be about 10 degrees off the bow
  7. No it's not dishonest. Many classes fund themselves through collecting these sort of fees. In the case of the Kirby Boat, it's not just the racers who benefit from the boat being an international class that is raced. Just one example (and there are many more). Somebody buys a boat to sail off the beach for fun. As often happens, the boat spends more time sitting at home in the garage roof than sailing and after a couple of years the owner decides to sell. It is bought by somebody who wants to go racing and sees the boat as a good opportunity to get a little used boat at a decent price. Therefore, the original owner gets a benefit from the boat being a Laser/ILCA that has been created by the class as a whole. Or take a holiday company - lets' take one of the biggest, Minorca Sailing. Their website lists their fleet of boats and under the Laser it states "The Olympic single hander is raced the world over". So the holiday company is gaining a benefit from the work of the class association. Of 24 different classes they have in their fleet, Minorca Sailing only refers to racing in 3 of them and with only one, the Laser, do they refer to the boat being raced globally. Do you really think that a company like Minorca would keep it's fleet of Lasers if Laser racing stopped? I don't. Non racing sailors also benefit from the controls that make sure all the boats are the same, or for in their eyes, the same quality (let's not argue about that quality!) It certainly gives purchaser some confidence in the product, another benefit that would not be there if it weren't form the class, the builders agreements, construction manual etc. It seems very reasonable to me that these non racing owners contribute.
  8. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    WTF are you talking about. Try reading, rather than jumping to conclusions because your comment doesn't match what I said. Of course all the challenger teams got into TP52's. they were expecting a proper monohull but when the rule was announced, they then cancelled their TP52 campaigns because sailing TP52's is irrelevant to AC75's (some of the AM sailors kept sailing Quantum because they had been long associated with the boat). If LR knew about the proposed design, why did they waste time and money on setting up a campaign that was not relevant and which they then cancelled? That would make no sense. It is true that while they cancelled their campaign on the TP52, they kept using one for evaluating sailors for their junior program (New Generation), but the main team sailors didn't sail the 52 after the announcement of the rule. Max Sirena gave an interview win which he discussed this.
  9. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    Good to see you still believe everything you read in press releases. The idea that LR made any significant contribution to the AC75 design rule doesn't stack up in the light of the evidence out there. Consider the following LR set up a training program using a TP52, which has about as much relevance to the AC75 as sailing a square rigger Immediately after the rule was announced, the LR training program was changed, they started buying foiling boats to give their guys experience and they recruited Spithill despite saying they were going to be an Italian only team, because they were short of foiling helm experience. Interviews with Bertelli and other high up team members have all suggested that they were surprised by the concept but were persuaded once ETNZ had shown them the potential of the boat. I believe there is little doubt that LR was first shown a developed concept. Therefore, at best, LR might have contributed to writing the rule for a concept that as developed by ETNZ. They did not help develop the concept. All of this is rather besides the point. LR and ETNZ both complained long and loud about Alinghi having an unfair advantage because they wrote the rule. It was their biggest complaint against Alinghi, and they considered it far worse than a dodgy CoR. Then there was the complaint about the change to the AC50. Again, part of the complaint was because those who knew about the potential change had been given a head start (and yes, LR had a case because they were furthest ahead with their design work). Have ETNZ done anything against the rules? No, but they have done something that they have complained that other teams have done and that shows they do not hold themselves to the high standards they have held others to.
  10. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    This really doesn't add up. What you seem to miss is that time in the AC is finite. If you have 6 months before you finalise your design, you use all of that 6 months running as many variations as possible. A team with an additional 4 months has a huge advantage. That's a simple fact. To be able to estimate this wouldn't need a developed model. LandRover BAR also said the same thing and they got the info after LR. Think about it. You can calculate the amount of lift available from the foils and therefore what boat speed you need for take off. You know the power to weight ratio (righting moment compared with rig size), and based on experience, you would have a pretty good idea if a boat with that power to weight could reach the needed speed in that amount of wind speed. Basic, rudimentary stuff. Soon after the rule was announce, a number of non AC yacht designers also came up with basic performance predictions. The issue isn't about being able to predict performance to the accuracy of "should be able to foil in...." AC design works to an accuracy rather better than that and it is that precision that takes time.
  11. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    Rather off topic but........ While I could write my own code, I stopped doing so about 30 years ago except for when I need to do some unusual parametric design when I script in Python. For CFD, I cheat by using Autodesk CFD, not least because of the easy interface with the design and production software I use. Efficient and speedy workflows are key to what I do and to write code these days seems pointless as I cannot gain competitive advantage from it. I might save some money considering the eyewatering cost of Autodesk CFD but the time savings more than make up for the cost. And yes, I am certainly old school, but have been updated. Started with Cobol.......
  12. SimonN

    Nacra 15 FCS for fun

    Martin Congrats on the new boat. Settings are one thing, but as you have discovered and implied, sailing technique is where it is at and there are some things that aren't so obvious. What is obvious is that there is no wand, which used to help by managing flight height changes with a given set of settings, so that for any crew weight position and sail time, it make adjustments to the ride height when it changed so you didn't need to. Now, everything is up to you. This means you are constantly moving, constantly sheeting and constantly steering. The key to this game is to stop thinking about trimming your sails in a conventional way. The sails are your height control. Load the sails (pull in) and this loads the foils and the boat reduces ride height. Ease the sails and the foils unload and ride height increases. That's the basics. So consider sailing with the kite up. Should you be sheeting for proper airflow and power, or should you be sheeting to control the amount of load on the foils and therefore the ride height. The simple answer is the latter, while the long answer is that it is the latter combined with walking the gunwale and steering. But that's getting into advanced territory. To start with, practice ride height control through sail loading (assuming you are standing in about the right place). Once you get the hang of that, combine it with walking the side so that you can reduce the amount of sheeting a bit and maintain as good flow over all the sails as possible and finally, combine it with steering.
  13. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is a reason why some say that CFD actually stands for "Colours for Directors". It's because those with knowledge can produce pretty coloured pictures and use them to convince people (directors with large budgets) of anything based on an interpretation of those pictures. I get asked by my clients how do they know that the pictures I show them are real and prove what I say they do (sorry, forgot to say I use CFD to model both air and temperature flows). I first modelled a cat design in CFD a year before the AC72 design rule was announced, but I admit that was taking an existing design (an A Class Flyer 1) to look at a few issues, rather than starting from scratch. You say that Oracle had an advantage over everybody else with the cat. I call bullshit on that. Let's start with the platform which is where all designs would start. You seem to have forgotten that in the previous cycle, Alinghi had designed and built a big cat, while Oracle built a tri (and yes, Alinghi did use CFD). On that basis alone, there was clearly at least one design team who would have been ahead of Oracle. However, there were a reasonable number of other design teams who had significantly more experience of designing cats in cfd than Oracle, such as Nigel Irens and VPLP (who designed the Oracle tri because Oracle didn't have the design experience). Designing large racing cats was not a new art. In fact, ETNZ employed a number of highly experienced large cat designers, including those who wrote the AC72 rule. I always thought that it was either very fair or stupid that Oracle didn't tie up M&M but instead, left them to take all their knowledge to another team. The same is true when it comes to wing sails. The Oracle DoG wing was a very unsophisticated, non state of the art design. It was built in a very short timeframe with a very short design phase and it was over engineered because they needed to play it safe. They knew and admitted this. While the size was huge and that hadn't been done before, it was not at all ground breaking. There were a lot of people who could have designed that wing both from the aerodynamic and structural viewpoint. Way before Oracle came out with the wing, I had drawings and specifications for a far more sophisticated wing rig, a design that formed the basis of the AC72 rig of ETNZ. Again, ETNZ employed designers who had experience of advanced wing rigs and I believe that the ETNZ wings were ahead of the others in their aerodynamics because of that experience (I think they stuffed up the control systems and made it too heavy, but that's another story). Because of well know and understood scaling factors (look up Reynolds numbers), the size was never a major factor in the aerodynamic design of the AC72 wings. Overall, loads and performance predictions for the AC72 could be made based on existing predictive software which was well proven and verified against real performance data. In short, there were a significant number of people who had the design experience of both cats and wing rigs. Now we look at the new AC75. This was a totally new type of boat, both in hull/platform terms and in rig terms. As you rightly point out, you cannot use predictive software optimised for a maxi on a cat, or in this case, you cannot use anything that existed. Teams had to start working on their predictive software from scratch. Because nobody had any real world experience of the boats to check their modelling against, they needed to run huge multiples of simulations and check the data against changes made to see if the changes predicted match the results produced. This iterative process is takes time - the more time you have before needing to commit to your first design, the more virtual tests and more iterations you can do. ETNZ had a huge head start that was impossible to catch up, because all teams would have had a very similar "drop dead" date for the design of the first boat. As an aside, most top design teams these days have developed their own proprietary code for performance prediction. That code is a source of competitive advantage. That code is being constantly refined and many would find it surprising what some are doing to validate their models. For instance, one of the top design teams uses the A Class for this purpose, which is why we have seen so many different foils going through development. At last year's worlds, the production main foil was iteration 27 and I have lost count of how many rudder winglets we have tried. Despite the size difference, the results from the models and from real life testing on the A's at 18' long and 75 kgs are completely relevant to foiling boats 5 times bigger and many times heavier. That's why those designers spend so much time looking at A's (plus they are unreal fun to sail!)
  14. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    There is a lot wrong with this. To start with, there were many syndicates and designers who had experience of big cats. It wasn't exactly a new art. As for wings, sure, Oracle had experience of a big wing that nobody else had, but that wing was very, very different from what was proposed for the AC72 and there were people who had designed and built far more relevant wings who were available and who were employed by teams. Bottom line is that cats and wings were nothing new. At best, you could argue there was a scaling advantage on the wing, but that was offset by the crudeness of the DoG challenge wing. There were at least 5 or 6 designers who had designed and built cats of that size or bigger (one sailed in the previous AC). Before Oracle announced the AC72 rule, I know there were teams who had been working on their multihull design tools and who had investigated wing rigs. Every team could and did employ both designers and sailors who had experience of both cats and wing rigs. Any lead that Oracle might have had was small. In contrast, the AC75's are a whole new type of boat that nobody had any experience of at all. When the rule was announced, the only designers who had any experience of designing and predicting performance of the class were the ETNZ designers who had spent 6 months working on it. The rig was a whole new thing and the ETNZ sailors had spent significant time sailing with a scaled down version. Again, nobody else had that experience or had built performance prediction models. When the rule was announced, both the sailors and designers of ETNZ were significantly ahead of every other team. Those really are the facts. Did ETNZ do anything wrong? Not really. If it wasn't for what Dalton had said in the past, nobody could have any complaints. My only complaint is that Dalton, on behalf of ETNZ, had, in the past, bitterly complained about a defender gaining advantage over the challengers through the writing of the design rule. Arguments on this forum that defended Dalton centred around the idea that not only would ETNZ not do the same thing, but that RNZYS, being a proper club with cup experience, would keep the team in check. The reality is that Dalton, ETNZ and RNZYS have conveniently forgotten what they got so upset about in the past.
  15. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    I just want to be clear about what you are really saying. You are saying that because ETNZ got done over on issues in AC35, that gives them the right to act how they want now. Sorry, but it doesn't work like that. To start with, there is only one challenger left from AC35. If it were all the teams from AC35, then maybe you would have a point. My disappointment in ETNZ is about them (Dalton in particular) making a huge fuss over every time they got done over (maybe with justification), having also got very upset at other teams for developing rules and giving themselves a head start, yet they have done exactly what they complained about in the past. They have given themselves a big advantage. I am not saying they have broken any rules or done anything different from what we have seen before, but if you do something you have loudly complained about in the past, don't expect to be called anything other than hypocritical. Let's also be clear about the AC72 and what Oracle did and why it was different. From the start, Oracle were very open about them considering a big cat. It came as zero surprise to anybody that the rule that was announced was for a cat. I know for a fact that at least 2 teams did pre-work in case a cat was announced. The consider what Steve Clarke reported above, from first hand experience. Oracle ensured that their design team did not have access to rules related info ahead of others. I doubt that in practice it worked perfectly, but to suggest Oracle would have had a big advantage because of how the AC72 rule was developed is wrong. Add to that an obvious fact that in choosing a cat, they were not choosing a type of boat that nobody had any experience of designing With ETNZ, their design team did all the research and development of the new rule, for a type of boat that was completely new and revolutionary. To develop the rule, they needed to first develop tools to analyse a revolutionary new type of boat, tools others could only start work on when the rule was known. ETNZ even gave performance forecasts based on their modelling when the rule was announced. At very least ETNZ bought themselves a 6 month head start over everybody else. Those are simple facts. We can debate as much as anybody wants about whether that was fair, but for me, the disappointment came from Dalton, on behalf of ETNZ, had complained about a least one other defender doing the same thing. It's called hypocrisy.