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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. Really?. When LP ceased to be a supplier of legal lasers, PSA automatically became the "dominant supply" without having to do anything other than continue business as usual. What they have done in addition to "business as usual" is to attempt to plug the gap as best as possible. However, they are still way down on the production numbers needed and have no ability to expand any further with their current premises, staff and equipment. Once new builders start manufacturing, they will have a big advantage in their local markets because it costs money to ship boats around the world. So seeing that PSA cannot meet global demand, have stated they do not want to expand their business beyond current capacity and do not wish to compete in the countries where the new builders are set up, the only way that the new builders would be in trouble is if there is no demand, in which case this whole discussion is pointless anyway
  2. SimonN

    Building an A-class Catamaran

    Sam is spot on. A's need top be able to rotate their masts which isn't compatible with rig tension. With the C's, they use a dolphin striker to counter the relatively high rig tensions they carry and this stops the platforms twisting. The wings have cut outs in their skins to allow for rotation, because they are relying on a mast spar that runs inside the shin and which everything hangs off. As people experiment with rudder differential and the like, we are applying increased loads so I do think platform twist is something the A's need to be considering, even if I don't have the answer for now.
  3. SimonN

    Building an A-class Catamaran

    Sam Bad wording - I was trying to say 2 things. First, using an autoclave is ridiculously expensive just to build boats, which is what Marstrom did. it needs a huge capital expenditure which is hard to justify in boatbuilding. Holland Composites, who build the DNA, have an autoclave for which they can utilise in other parts of their business making it viable to own one. I was also suggesting that Marstrom's construction method overall was very costly.
  4. SimonN

    Building an A-class Catamaran

    I think this is so wrong. The hulls have to be part of the structure because of the twisting forces. Consider the centreboards and their cases. They are trying to "rotate" and need the bulkheads and the hull skins to resist that force. Bulkheads and a spine would never manage to resist the forces on their own. Same with the loads on the transom - rotational and pulling. Transoms have been ripped off. Then look at a top A from behind and you would be surprised at how much twist you see in the platform. When you do the structural analysis, there is a minimum size of hull needed for structural purposes, even with spines, beams and bulkheads. It should be noted that the strongest, lightest and most twist resistant platforms ever made were monocoque hulls made by Marstrom with no bulkheads or spine at all. By using all the weight saved by no internal structure and placing it into the hull skins, they made a far better boat. The only issue is that they used an autoclave and it is a ridiculously expensive way of building a boat.
  5. SimonN

    iFLY15 - bullshit marketing?

    Interesting view on upwind foiling and it seems that yet again you under estimate the A. Is it that you have never sailed against somebody who can sail an A properly or are you biased. I am 60 years old, not a professional or Olympic sailor and I can now achieve over 22 knots with good VMG. When you compare the top A's vs the top Moths, the A's are 2-3 knots faster but lower. The decider on upwind VMG is the number of tacks, because the A cannot foil tack. Is it easy to achieve those speeds on an A? No, it takes practice, but it is realistic for A sailors. It's just like the Moth - if you don't work at it, you won't be able to achieve the performance potential of either boat. The A is harder to sail in a straight line but the Moth is a lot harder when changing direction and you capsize far more on a Moth. It is certainly easier to sail a boat like the S9 and that would be a good choice if you want that type of sailing and cannot put in the time.
  6. SimonN:

    Spot-on post on Monday's iFly thread.  I appreciate your candor.  

    Charlie Mayer

  7. SimonN

    Team NYYC

    Great to see the "experts" still post their wisdom on this forum, particularly about how boats foil What I see with Defiance in that video is not inconsistent with how the other boats are being sailed, so long as you take into account the conditions. Look at the water in the Defiance video. They are foiling in very light winds. In light winds on a foiler, you steer and sheet lots because fairly small changes in wind velocity make a significant difference. As the breeze gets stronger and steadier, the less you need to steer and sheet. On an A downwind in light conditions, you are constantly sheeting and steering, just like we saw with the AC50's and most other foilers and often by bigger margins than we see in the video. However, as the breeze builds and becomes more stable, once up and running, you would expect to need little sheet and steering adjustments. Merry Christmas and happy foiling (to those that actually do it!)
  8. SimonN

    iFLY15 - bullshit marketing?

    Let's get this straight. The guy is a total dickhead. He came to the A Class world championships in Weymouth and made a real nuisance of himself, to the A's, the club and to the harbour master all of who had a serious word with him on multiple occasions. He would launch at the same time as the fleet was launching, so that he could get photos with the A's. On one occasion, he blocked the way and delayed one of the main contenders for nearly 10 minutes. When out sailing, he came too close to the race course although all that did was make people realise just how slow he was compared with an A. Then he sailed into restricted waters in the harbour which is reserved for shipping. Finally, after telling us all how safe his boat was, on the last day he stuck it down the mine and broke the mast and needed the sailing centre to specially launch a rescue boat or else he would have been in serious trouble. He was told not to bother coming back. It's a shame because there is a fair amount to like about the iFly, although as others have said, I think the rig is a bit of a mess. Like others in the foiling cat market, he has become obsessed with trying to convince everybody that a) A's are difficult and dangerous while b) the iFly is so much better. If there is one thing we saw in Weymouth and that is it is not true. The iFly was a pain to launch and recover compared with the A because of the T foils sticking out under the boat, it was a lot slower in all conditions and while it should be easier to sail, the A showed it is not that much harder if you watched the middle/back end of the fleet. There is enough room in the market for all these boats, but if I had to choose, I would recommend the S9 over the iFly for a few reasons. I think it being smaller and lighter is important, while I think the complexity of the iFly rig is unnecessary. The S9 also has the jib option although the iFly tried a headsail at weymouth which looked stupid. And then there is the BS marketing, but that is another story. Changing subject slightly, WTF is this about? What logistical challenges? I can get an A from trailer to on the water faster than either the iFly or S9. The A can be rigged and launched without any outside help. Am I missing something, because I cannot think of any beach cat that is easier. As Sam suggests, this is more ill informed BS. If you can sail a beach cat, you can sail a modern foiling A. Sure, it is a challenge, but there are lots of people doing it that are not superstar level sailors. i am 60 years old and there are others who are older and as much as we would like to believe we are superstars, we aren't. I have never won a nationals, nevre mind a World title in anything. I haven't been to the Olympics and I have never been good enough to be paid to race. Yet just 2 days ago I was out in 18-20 knots, gusting 25. There was a guy out who had only sailed a cat 5 times, 3 of which were on the A. If you go out on a badly set up A without bothering to find out how you are meant to sail it, you can get a wild and uncontrollable ride with the chance of hurting yourself but it is also very easy to dial the boat down so it is really manageable, but what's the fun in that? Most "weekend warriors" who sail foiling A's say that the fun is in the challenge. If you can sail an F18, you can sail a foiling A, although don't expect to get it right first time out. But the A isn't for everybody, which is why it is so good that there are boats like the S9 for even more accessible foiling or there is a great global fleet of "classic" A's that don't foil. And there's the crazy thing - there are guys who sail foiling A's who know they would be quicker round the course on a classic, but they stay with the foiler because it is so much fun. We are fortunate that we have a choice of boats that suit all sorts of different people and i can see no need to go making false accusations against any of the boats. Finally, a question. Why do people feel they need to dis other classes and in particular, make false claims about the A's. There might be dickheads involved with the different boats (iFly is a great example!!) but when looking at the boats, you need to take the personalities out of it.
  9. It's interesting how looking at raw facts without understanding can distort the position so much. Maybe the Belgium case didn't directly enjoin PSA, although I really did think they were a co-respondent, but to some extent, it misses the point. The story behind the case was fairly simple - LP were going through one of their periods of not supplying boats, so one of their dealers, fed up with the situation, bought a load of boats from PSA and imported them to fill the gap.In the past, if there was a problem with production, builders talked to each other to sort out and allow other builders to do this. Instead, LP went to court. I know that PSA/Global saw this as one of many antagonistic actions by LP, channging the whole cooperative way in which the Laser world had worked. It was like the whole "illegal" construction claims that LP used to try to get PSA into serious trouble/lose their builders licence. In the past, if there were issues around construction, one builder would pick up the phone to the other and sort it. LP under Rastegar changed the way the game was played from cooperation with all builders working together for the benefit of the class to one of confrontation. To me, it is totally irrelevant who actually went to court first and what definition you want to judge that by (I still consider the Belgium case an attack on PSA). It's like a case of a neighbor playing loud music and saying that because you reported it to the authorities, you started the problem. You need to look at the whole picture of what has gone on. If anybody thinks that Rastegar hasn't been deliberately antagonistic or that the actions against LP were a preemptive strike rather than retaliation, they are being delusional.
  10. Not maybe. You did. I really cannot be bothered to spend hours trying to find stuff I don't know how to find but here are some clues for you. How many of Rastegar's shell companies did you search and in what jurisdictions? One case I can remember some of the details was probably about 2011-12 when the then shell company that held Rastegar's trademark (now defunct I believe) went after PSA in a European (Dutch?) court regarding the importation of boats. And there were others.
  11. Here is a very clear case of a little knowledge is dangerous. It depends on when you consider litigation started. For some reason, you seem to think that the first litigation was the move by BKI and Global Sailing. Can you tell me why you have chosen that bit of litigation as your start, because I know for a fact that LP instigated litigation before that particular set of filings. Clearly you don't realise that that the BKI/Global Sailing litigation was in retaliation to legal moves made on a number of occasions by LP and that BKI/Global Sailing considered their move as an end game to stop the "Rastegar" litigation problems. Here are 2 key facts Until Rastegar came along, the builders lived pretty much in harmony and worked together. (I have fond memories of the LP Tim Coventry days) LP was the first builder/trademark owner to start litigation against other builders. I really can't be bothered to dig out all the references and links, so if you want to ignore what I say, that's fine. After all, this is Anarchy where the truth is never allowed to get in the way of a good story. Full disclosure - I know Chris well. I used to know the LPE people well. I have followed this over the years because it has impacted friends.The stress caused by what is going on has had a significant impact on the health of people I know. And yes, people on forums like this do not know the full story. I certainly don't and I have spoken directly to people who do, and wisely, even though I hope they trust me, I am not told everything as should be expected when litigation is involved.
  12. SimonN

    DNA vs. eXploder - buying new A Cat

    The new system from Exploder (there were photos published during the worlds) has done away with the gas strut and lever and I would now argue is at least equal to if not better than the DNA system. With the new rudder system, I would say it is very stiff and i cannot see how either manufacturer could claim that theirs is stiffer. Funny thing is, I didn't like the idea of the hard tramp until I tried it and I love it. Looking at older boats, i don't think their hard tramps get any "softer" than a traditional tramp. Yes, they will last less time if left in the sun, so get a decent cover! I think they will last as long as the current style of soft tramps and while they are more complex to refit and probably needs more skill, doing a soft tramp probably takes the same amount of time because you need to retie all the controls systems.
  13. As usual, Julian makes some interesting and valid points, but his take on social media doesn't work for all classes. It's easy in the N17/49er world. What is the average age of the sailors? What percentage use SM as an active communication platform? The answers are young and all. Now consider that with a class like the Laser. I bet the answer is more like older and not as many. The reality is that while raw figures of how many people have a social media account and/or use social media suggest it is a good way of working for classes, it tends to be mainly the younger generation that run their lives through social media platforms. Think of it this way. My 21 year old daughter would organise a party through a closed group on Facebook (about all she uses Facebook for these days). No written invites, no phone calls to invite. Just social media. Forget oldies like me - how many 40 something year olds would organise their party this way? At my age, i know that if I only sent out social media invites it would be a very small party and not just because nobody wants to party with me Another strange phenomena - some time ago I read some research that suggested that online voting for associations (not sailing specific) hasn't seen any real increase in participation compared with pre internet days when voting was either postal or only at AGM's. Social media and the internet has its place in class association management and communication, but I believe that there are few classes that can work in the same way that the N17/49ers work because of demographics. The implication is that the ability to reach quick decisions and to sort issues through SM is a good thing, but in my experience, it is quite often the exact opposite. There are times when speedy action is needed, but there are others where a process that requires time leads to better solutions. The A Class foilers are a great example. People were horrified some years ago when a proposed freeing up of foil rules was very narrowly defeated. many predicted disaster for the class. If we could have used social media/internet voting, I am sure the vote would have been overturned fairly quickly. But, because of the time issues in the constitution, of when votes can take place and the processes before such votes, people had time to try the rules as they were and now, most would agree that by a bit of luck, what most thought of as poorly framed rules have resulted in a foiler far better than expected and now very few want to change the rules. Many now believe if we had freed the rules, we would have probably killed the class. I don't have the answer to the problems of the ILCA but I suspect that the real situation is only half as bad as people make it out to be while the solutions are 10 times more complex than people would believe.
  14. SimonN

    DNA vs. eXploder - buying new A Cat

    Nice controversial subject! There are lots of variables that make it hard to answer. Mischa won the worlds on a DNA, but was that the platform or him? My view is that it was him. After the last day, one of the other main contenders (sailing an Exploder) said to me that they had been faster than Mischa all day but he was so much better round the race track with boat handling etc. Then you need to consider whether speed is due to the platform or rig. Many at the front use similar masts but there is a variety of sails. When you compare the latest DNA and Exploder offering, there is a lot that is similar. Both now offer solid tramps with skin underneath to create the "double skin". Both are fitted out to a very high standard. In this regard, DNA used to be ahead of Exploder but the latest Exploders have caught up and maybe even gone ahead a little, although I am sure DNA fans would argue differently. In the past, the DNA was delivered ready to sail and set up, while the Exploder wasn't and needed some setting up. The latest offering from Exploder has addressed this and they now offer a well thought out finished platform ready to race. Some argue that the DNA is more streamlined and aerodynamic, or just plain sexier! If you prefer the look, then maybe that is a deciding factor. When it comes to quality, I can't really comment, because while you hear stories, I haven't seen the evidence and only know Exploders and how they stack up over time. They are well built with few problems In short, both are great products and unless you are capable of winning a worlds, this is a little bit of a non discussion because both are good enough to allow you to sail it as easily and well as you can. Even when considering winning the worlds, there is no clear cut choice. For many, it comes down to price and there is a significant difference there.
  15. SimonN

    A Cat World Champions 2019

    So I just got home. It all went a bit downhill for me when on day 3, I damaged my shoulder, continued sailing for the rest of the day and paid the price on day 4 when I really couldn't sail and it didn't improve. i believe the injury was caused by a change in my trapeze gear for the regatta that increased the distance from hook to handle, plus a change in handle type. Although I had used it a couple of years ago, I think the extra stretch combined with me having bulked up by 4-5kgs for the regatta simply put too much load on the shoulder. As they say in the movies "shit happens"! My feel with the foiler fleet is that the Exploders with Brewin Sails were probably the fastest in all but the lightest winds, but Mischa out sailed everybody and found something extra in the light stuff, probably due to losing 5-8kgs. Mischa was particularly good downwind. Dave Shaw sailed great for his second place. He felt once the breeze was in he had a speed advantage but that Mischa made up for that and some more by his overall boathandling, whether it was turning corners or keeping flying longer downwind without the small touchdowns most get which seem minor when there is nobody around but which loses you boat lengths against somebody who doesn't do it. In the interests of fairness, I should disclose a bias as I sail with Stevie all the time, but I think I am being fair. I think that the level of the fleet has picked up as well, probably due to a mix of more sailing and better set up as information gets out about what and how. Settings are very hard to generalise because 5-7kgs difference in weight results in needing different settings. Then there are differences in personal sailing styles. And while being super competitive on the water, the A's remain one of the friendliest fleets around. Final shout out goes to the venue and in particular, the race team. The PRO had a great reputation and you can see why - best I have ever raced under. The centre itself had a great vibe, with lots going on from introduction to watersports kids programs to 7-8 world class Moths training to the GBR youth squad training for their transition into 470's.