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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. SimonN

    Wings on Rudders

    I have done this a number of times on Australian Flyers with success. Some of you are trying to make it too complex. It is safe to use the transom as reference point and you need to get the winglets to 90 degrees to the transom vertical. Lift the boat up high enough to get the rudders down, get a big builders set square on the transom and simply draw the line on the rudders in the right place. Then you can do the rest off the boat. There is a lot of BS written about how to set up these small winglets on non foiling boats. Here is the good news. They do not have to be really accurate to the waterline because the waterline constantly changes as you move about the boat. Think about it. Upwind you should be far more bow down than when you are going downwind. This is why simply using the transom as reference is good enough. Once you start using the big winglets like we are using on foiling boats, that is a whole different story.
  2. SimonN

    Hervey Bay A Class Worlds

    Sticking my head above the parapet as usual at the time of a worlds! To clear up a few points. All the top 6 used adjustable rudder systems, plus 8th place. Only 1, 3 and 4 could sue differential (Mischa had removed it).IMO, Mischa's sail was very full but the rig that Glenn, Pete and Blair used wasn't that full, even compared with the Brewin. It's worth noting that Glenn developed a flatter sail for Herevey Bay and when you compare that with a standard ashby, the standard sail looks full. While the Brewin and Ashby sails are rather different, I believe that the camber isn't that different. I do think the Ashby does a very good job at the bottom of keeping shape which makes it look full. For the nationals, the Team NZ guys used Z22's and "standard" rudder winglets. They swapped to Z23's and their own winglets for the worlds. Everybody that i spoke to at the front felt they weren't as quick with the new gear as they were during the nationals. I don't think many will be able to use their rudder winglets because they go to the max width allowed in the rule and there is zero margin for error. There were measurement issues with rudder winglets due to the loads placed on the platforms - at least 3 boats I know of didn't measure with the masts up but did once the mast was taken down. Differential was the obvious difference and having spoken to Glenn, it seems that when it works it is great but when it doesn't pay, it is very slow due to drag. I think he used it more than Pete and Blair and he seems to have only used it upwind.Compared with the people who have tried it before, there is an important difference in their system. In the past, people have simply reduced the lift on the windward rudder. The new system decreases the lift on the windward one as it increases the lift on the leeward one. The adjustment is done by feel with the only mark on the system being one that donated neutral. What was noticeable was the Team NZ guys were standing in a different place upwind, further back than everybody else. They were probably running more rudder lift than others. Downwind, Mischa was probably the fastest. I believe that while we all like to focus on equipment, the finishing order just about reflects how well the people sailed. Glenn was pretty unbelievable. The closeness between 3rd and 5th (6.5 points) shows there was little between Pete, Blair and Bundy. Youth won out as both Pete and Blair were very quick around the boat, and Pete would have done significantly better if he hadn't crashed as much. Bundy was always mixing it with those guys. The good news for everybody in the class is that while the Team, NZ guys did a lot of development, development isn't what won it. If you have a current boat, you can get on the pace. The DNA looked competitive with their new T foil rudders (why did it take them so long!). If you have an exploder with Z22's and dagger rudders, you probably wouldn't go updating anything at the moment. Finally, I would add my voice to those who have praised the organisers. I have been to a lot of world championships in a wider range of classes and I cannot think of any that were better organised. While sailors take good on the water organisation for granted, the way this event was organised, from the assistance on the beach to the bar, food, coffee and boat park set up, plus the support from local people and businesses was exceptional. I wasn't going to attend, because I wasn't ready and my boat was more like an obstruction than a race boat, but friends "forced" me to go and I am so pleased I did. It was the worst regatta sailing wise for me, but to be with such a great bunch of people at a great venue with out of this world organisation was a real pleasure. Now I can head back to hibernation until the next major event.
  3. SimonN

    A-Cat Style Rig on foiling Moth

    It's been a long time since I have posted, but this subject is close to my heart as I have looked at A Class rigs for Moths and Moth rigs for A's. While some of what is being said is correct, the biggest problem most have when considering these "swaps" is they slavishly hang on to some element of the original rig and try to make it work with the new one. For instance, Phil is considering tight leach and vang for an A Class rig on a Moth. This will not work for a number of reasons and you do not need it. To make an A rig work on a Moth, you need to adopt every aspect of the A rig. Consider an A vs a Moth. The A is now the faster boat through the water. Put Pete Burling or Nathan Outteridge on both and they will be higher and faster on the A upwind, and about the same speed but lower downwind. I believe this because that is what they say, but also because Adam May has been sailing his A against one of the top UK Moths and beats him downwind even with gybes. The point of this is not to boast, but to show that the speeds we are talking about are comparable and that you can go that fast without a super tight leach achieved via a vang. Now for the real problem. You need every aspect of the "borrowed" rig to work properly, or else it is pointless and this is where previous attempts fall down. For instance, you cannot take a short A Class mast section and have any hope of is working because as it is shorter, it becomes way too stiff. Even cutting 730mm off a standard A Class mast makes it way too stiff for an A, so 2 plus metres would create a tree trunk which wouldn't bend at all. Get the sail and mast combo working correctly with the right amount of flex in the mast you won't get the effect Phil mentions above, with the sail getting fuller when you ease the sheet. When I ease the sheet on my A, the leach opens and the sail stays as near as the same fullness throughout that it makes no difference. This lowers the centre of effort of the rig in a way the Moths cannot, although the faster you foil upwind, the harder you need to pull on the mainsheet - it's rather counter intuitive. It's a very well developed combination of mast flex, sail shape through both seam and luff shaping plus batten layout. When right these rigs are superb, when wrong they are a pig. The other big issue with these rig swaps is that nobody is going to make it work first time. You won't get the mast right and you won't get the sail right. I discussed doing a Moth style rig with Amac and he said it would need multiple mast iterations to find the right mast, plus even more sail iterations. When we tried a "short" rig for the A, we went through three masts and 5 sail iterations to find something that really worked and even then we didn't have it right enough for serious contenders to use in a major championship. The A Class type rigs I have seen on Moths simply look wrong and undeveloped, with the masts too stiff and big a section. The real problem is that in both classes, the rigs are very highly developed and work very well, and that is what you are trying to improve on. You won't make that improvement without lots of development and that takes time and money. I struggle to see who would have the time, money and skills to do it. Do I think rig swaps between the A and Moth could be made to work? With the Moth rig on an A, I don't believe it would work because the super tight leach makes it very hard for the sailor to control the height of the centre of effort in the rig, which is an essential part of ride height control on an A. But an A rig on a Moth might have potential. It would need a very different approach and way of sailing the boat. There are real problems with how you would sheet the sail, but the answer isn't a vang. You don't need a big curved track as the A's can get away with a straight track only 800mm long. But as mentioned above, it would take a lot of development and probably need a different way of sailing the boat. In short, I wouldn't consider trying this unless you have money, world class sailors, a sailmaker and mast maker committed to the project and lots and lots of time. Finally, to bananentiger, while the idea might seem attractive, there are problems you haven't considered. For instance, you would not want to leave your wing mast up overnight because of the windage. On A's, we have to tie the boats down very securely. At the recent worlds, when high winds were forecast, people were dropping their masts for safety. With a Moth, there is no way you want that mast up for any length of time ashore unless the wind is light to moderate. The other problem you will face is that the current boats work really well. Foiling is far easier than it used to be. Most of that is in the foils and foil controls, but it is also in the whole package. Go with a rig that doesn't work so well and you will make sailing the boat a lot harder.
  4. SimonN

    Morning Cloud III

    Although I cannot shed light on the questions asked above, I crossed the Channel the night Morning Cloud went down, although it was by ferry. We left Calais at about 11.00pm and by the time we got to Dover, conditions were so bad we couldn't get into port and we had to wait outside for about 3 hours. I have never seen conditions at sea like that and doubt I ever will again. We may or may not have been hit by freak waves, but the ferry was tossed about like a rag doll at times and we had some extreme amounts of heel at times, well over 45 degrees. Cars down below, which were chained in place, moved but luckily not by significant amounts, although enough to do damage. Almost everybody on board was sick. The crew told us that if they had known how bad the conditions were, they would never have left Calais, which supports the view that Morning Cloud didn't have much of an idea of what they were heading into. When I heard about the loss, it wasn't a surprise, as I wouldn't like to have been caught out in anything in the conditions we experienced.
  5. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    I wasn't going to post again, but I wanted to address this because it shows the problem with the internet. I read you post, thought it was probably the best thing you had posted for a long time even if we didn't agree on all issues. I did not realise I needed to respond in any way, because we had both presented our views and it was there for all to see. Some might think otherwise, but I see no point in tit for tat arguments when the views expressed speak for themselves. I certainly wan't ignoring your comment. Just shows how easy it is to interpret what somebody does on a forum incorrectly. I heard there was more than one complaint, but have no other details. My final comment on this remains about how dismissive some people are about this. A complaint or maybe more than 1 was made. A highly respected independent assessor investigated the incident and he recommended that Witty should be charged with a rule 69 offence. If this was nothing, why has it made it passed the first step? Others clearly think there is a case to answer and that there is something problematic. Let's see where it goes from here.
  6. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    Despite making it clear in my profile that I now sail an A Class cat, which should clearly identify me, some people have been giving Simon Nearn, a well known 18' skiff sailor, grief for my views. While I know Simon Nearn and have the pleasure of sailing against him in a number of classes, I want to make it clear that I am not him and that my views do not represent his views in any way (I don't actually know his view on this subject). I find this particularly annoying because I make no attempt to hide my identity by providing my full history, which is different to Simon Nearn's, yet some seem to get so hot under the collar that they don't bother reading and jump to conclusions. This is a shame because I have now felt obliged to change my profile details and remove mention of past sailing which I am proud of. The irony is that I want people to know who I am yet by now removing detail from my profile, it makes it less likely people will be able to identify me.
  7. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    Can you explain why that is in any way sexual harassment? There is absolutely nothing wrong with what they were saying. They were making a joke about something that everybody would know was not going to happen. If Charles had done a Trump and said he was going down to his bunk to grab her .......... that would have been a different matter. But instead, they were having a laugh about something that clearly was not going to happen. It could only be offensive if anybody would believe that it was going to happen and that Carolijn wanted it to happen. Trust me on this. It was not going to happen and Carolijn is not interested in Charles!
  8. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    I suspect that some of the attitudes shown on both sides of this argument are cultural. What to some nationalities this seem wrong, to others it is harmless banter. I am sorry i am in the former camp, but it is probably a result of my background. I used to be business development director for a major computer manufacturer looking after the UK. One of my side roles was being a champion for women in the workplace and in that role, I used to speak at conferences and also was a spokesman for all press including TV. When we had problems of sexual harassment, I used to work with the director of HR to resolve the issues. In that situation, we often took legal advise and on a few occasions we needed to get advise from a specialist barrister. By coincidence, some years later, the one we used joined the same golf club as me and we became friends. I decided last night to run this past him, to see if i was being a dickhead about this. His reply, besides claiming I am always a dickhead whether I am right or wrong, was very interesting. His view is that if this happened in a UK workplace, he would have recommended the termination of Witty and Hayles and formal written warnings for the others. If the sponsor had been one of his UK clients, he would have recommended the sacking of Witty. What I didn't expect him to say was something I had completely missed but I totally agreed with. Anybody who thinks this was a one off is simply kidding themselves and that it is highly unlikely that this was the worst behaviour. He also pointed out that clearly Witty knew that what he was doing was offensive at the very lest. No excuses!
  9. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    That is not what I said at all. He had no other option in the Volvo. Did you follow what he said about mixed crews in the Volvo and his disparaging comments about women in the race? This is not the first time Witty has been called out for inappropriate comments or behaviour towards women. As for the S2H, why do you think Witty liked to have women on board.
  10. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    Some of you are hard work! What you do in the privacy of your own boat with your own friends or guests on board is totally up to you and you can set your own standard. The Volvo is a professional race, the boats are their work place and the crew are employees. They have to behave to a totally different standard to what you do in private. I have known Witty for over 20 years and I would say he is a misogynist. Yes, he will pick an argument with anybody, but he is deeply prejudiced about the ability of women and their place in our sport. People saw a hint of it in his original comments about women on his boat and on women in the race in general. The only reason a woman is on his boat is because he had no other option. Added to his deep set views is a total lack of filter, which does mean you know exactly where you stand with Witty and what he thinks, but which is why most people consider him to be a loose cannon and why, until now and despite trying hard for the last 20 years, he had been unable to get a sponsor for the Volvo.
  11. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    I have no idea how AB was affected, but it is totally irrelevant. When it comes to sexual harassment, or even sexual assaults, the reaction of the person it was aimed at does not in any way mitigate the behaviour. To be clear on this, the skit was an ambush planned to get a reaction, whatever that reaction might have been. It was then broadcast. That is not behaviour I want to be associated with. I am pretty certain if that had happened in an office in London, the people involved would have been dismissed on the spot. The Volvo is a professional race and the behaviours need to match. In this case it does not. Has it brought the sport into disrepute? Maybe.Consider the non sailing mother of a 1-14 year old daughter finding that daughter watching the video on the Volvo website. My bet would be that most mothers would be pretty upset by it (after answering the question of "what is a scrotum!") The number of people on here who do not realise that this behaviour is unacceptable highlights why we have an issue with harassment in society today. You cannot tolerate any such behaviour, because as soon as you do, you open up to all sorts of excuses. I don't know many on here, but I would be surprised if more than one or two would actually behave like this even though they are saying it was acceptable. This is about basic respect. It is that simple.
  12. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    I agree you are entitled to your personal view, but you are mistaken that the only opinion you should respect on this is from Annemieke. There are 2 reasons for this. First, most women subjected to sexual harassment do not speak out for any number of reasons. It is considered one of the biggest issues in stamping out this type of behaviour, using the "she didn't mind" excuse. Secondly, the issue isn't how Annemieke reacted or what she thought. It is that 2 men deliberately planned a course of action to get a reaction from a woman by using inappropriate content. The fact so many others have reacted negatively tells us it was inappropriate. Now you are just being naive. Why do you think they said "scrotum" and not chest, or ankle or any other part of the body.
  13. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    The more I hear about what happened, the more I believe that many of you need to get your heads out of your arses. According to the reports, a group of men rehearsed a a skit that they then sprung on the only female in the crew. It doesn't matter how she reacted. it was done specifically to see how she would react. That is harassment, pure and simple. If it had been banter that got out of hand with comments comments came out in the spur of the moment, while not acceptable, it is excusable. But make no mistake. Now it seems likely that it was premeditated and they knew what they were doing, there are absolutely no excuses. You cannot even take the reaction as evidence it is acceptable. I have watched and i cannot tell if the reaction is shock, disbelief, resigned acceptance of poor behaviour or even fully happy to be part of it, but that is irrelevant. The event that is wrong has already taken place. Just to be clear. A premeditated attempt to get a get a reaction from a woman by using explicit and lewd material is sexual harassment. It is that simple.The reaction of the woman is irrelevant. The location is irrelevant. The fact they are a mixed crew on a racing boat is irrelevant. This is not PC gone crazy or people needing to harden up. This was sexual harassment. If you cannot get that, then you are part of the problem.
  14. SimonN

    Wanted Missing VOR Skipper

    I would like to offer a slightly different view on Witty and his now infamous video. I should declare up front i know him and like him, plus I know some of his crew. I have no problem with that type of banter on board a mixed boat, so long as the women on board have no problem and feel able to comment if they do have a problem. I know women who would find that funny, but I also know women who would find that offensive. I believe there are lots of men who would equally find it uncomfortable if women were joking around about their private parts, but so long as it is all consenting adults, it's OK. One of the real issues is that in most environments, and in reading above, any woman who found it uncomfortable might well feel they cannot speak out because they risk being considered an outsider who shouldn't be there. Then consider that we should be trying our best to make sailing equal opportunity and be encouraging women to participate. Is this really the way to be encouraging women to take part? Is this what we want our children to aspire to. i have 2 daughters and I am imagining them at the ages of, say 12 and 15 following the Volvo. I think they would be horrified by what Witty said and that it would significantly reduce the chances of them wanting to take part in a Volvo While the behaviour might be considered OK on one level, on board. there are so many other levels at which it is wrong and is sending out the wrong message. I don't "blame" Witty as such. He clearly didn't want women in his crew but realised he needed at least one. In addition, Witty always has been "one of the lads", so such humour is well within character - you know what you are going to get with Witty. He is also the product of one of the most misogynistic societies I have ever lived in, so again, it is not outside the norm. I don't know the answer to this because I hear attitudes in Australia are changing, but I think it is outward behaviour has changed, rather than attitude. What was totally wrong was to publish that video in the first place. I think there needs to be a strict test - would you play it to a mixed group of Optimist sailors (under 15). I also cannot see this as being the fault of the OBR. If HQ isn't censoring the output, if they haven't issued strict guidelines, they are in the wrong. Some of you might know I don't come on here very often any more, only for really important issues and I see equal opportunity for women as one such issue. I am passionate about it because 3 out of 4 in my household are women and they deserve equal rights, opportunities and respect. This incident doesn't give them that and is not a good advert for offshore racing for women.
  15. SimonN

    AC 36 Protocol

    A one off post, to set the record straight. Very few warned of the evils of Larry Ellison when he went after Alinghi and Ernesto Bertarelli. Everybody who did was seriously abused and accused of being both an Alinghi supporter and an apologist. Of that few, Marion was the only one who I can recall who really was a supporter and apologist, because she had an agenda and relationship she never disclosed. Clean is right that she couldn't be trusted, she dealt in mistruths (the original "false news"?) and was actually very bitter and didn't trust many, if any. But for all her faults, Marion was right about 2 people, Ellison and MSP, both of whom were touted as saviors of the AC and both of them were shown to be anything but. She deserves some credit for that. The few I remember warning that there was no difference between Ellison and Berarelli were Marion, Dogwatch and myself. I am sure there were a couple of others, so sorry for not name checking them, but it was very, very few. The other big thing I remember was Spinbot and his promise that if Larry ever pulled any of the tricks that EB was accused of, he would be just as vigerous in his condemnation as he was against EB. That never happened. Shame on him. FWIW, I believe that Clean was also in the camp of not trusting Ellison's intentions. My final thought is that we now have a new defender and COR. Some are already suspicious and some are already totally blind to anything that may be wrong. The reality of the AC is that there will never be a perfect defender and there will always be mistakes. The reality is always in the event itself and AC34 was pretty special. AC35 was interesting for me but I suspect far less interesting for many. How AC36 will be judged will be interesting and I am pretty open minded about it. I think it is possible to hav spectacular monohulls, but I wonder how you do it and still get good match racing. However, I also suspect that match racing is way over rated in the AC and there have been very few occasions, if any, when proper match racing decided the AC. I will check back in after 2021 to see what the judgement is.