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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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About Airwick

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    Victoria, BC
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  1. Overall this seems like a good way to approach ratings, especially compensating for the weight. I like that using the top speeds to adjust the polars would reward consistency which which should give the edge to well sailed boats as even boats not sailed as hard would occasionally see burst of speed even if they don't have the skills to sustain them. What I'm wondering about is what happens when surfing down waves: this could produce erroneous points on the polars that no-one would be able to achieve in flat water (however skilled) so does that mean that "better" crews able to catch more waves would get a larger rating hit because of it? Of course there is still the question of how the ratings are applied: for example is the actual rating used based on the "average" wind speed over the course or based on an integrated conditions over the course? In the end no rating is going to work perfectly over any conditions but this looks like it could be "as good as it gets"...
  2. It will be interesting to see how many Rapidos sell as they are positioned right in between the performance cat and something like Paradox (both in terms of comfort and, one would expect, performance).
  3. Don't they have mini-keel and boards, you would have significantly less area if the board was up but maybe still too much for the "keeping only the windward board down" trick to be effective. Although if there was enough wind to capsize the boat with a double reefed, partially eased main, there probably wouldn't have been much that would have helped... One of the issues with the self releasing systems is that you have to make sure the line will run enough without snagging or tangling for it to be effective. The load cell in the shroud coupled with hydraulics would seem like the most reliable. However it depends how fast the ram actually dumps the sheet and if you are sailing with main already eased quite a bit, it won't help as it will just hit the shrouds. Using a "fuse" that will break before a capsize isn't really practical as it will likely end up breaking during a jibe or while launching off a wave due to shock loading. The strength might be controlled fairly well when it's new but most materials loose strength pretty quickly as they age/are used (especially when subjected to stresses close to their breaking strength). Not saying it would have solved the problem for sure but someone outside might have heard it coming early enough to react (or not...), waterspouts are pretty loud but it it's approaching from downwind and it's already blowing 30 with rain, you could definitely miss it... I do find cam cleats are much faster to release than the self tailers. Also you don't have to be right at the winch either, all you have to do is yank on the line from an angle that will pull it out, and if there are several wraps around the winch it should be loaded too much either.
  4. There are a couple of things worth considering regarding the Neel (I don't have any info the build quality, but this looks like a one-off issue as there seem to a number of them sailing now and they don't seem to be sinking or falling appart). To be fair I grew up living aboard a large tri with "condomaran-like" accommodations (Architeuthis) and I have limited first hand experience on cruising cats so this might not be completely balanced view... Storage and convenience of putting supplies away: most cruising cats I see really don't seem to have very convenient storage for the sort of "stuff" you would want in long term cruising. The Neel has the "basement" under the main saloon and I wouldn't underestimate its usefulness: it was amazing how much crap we had in the holds in the main-hull and I always wonder where you would put this on most cruisers I see. I think this tends to end up in the lockers in the 4 corners of cruising cats, which brings me to the next point: comfort at sea. Tris tend to have smoother motion at sea: a bit more roll amplitude than a cat but more gentle (kind of 1/3rd of the way between a cat and a mono) and less prone to hobby-horsing. Keeping all the weight of supplies nicely centered would also have a significant effect on this. This is a double bonus for performance and comfort and might be a help anyone sensitive to sea-sickness as well during passages. I think the reason you don't see more Neel type boats is that adding an extra hull does significant cost and I think most builder figure they can offer better bang for the buck with cats. But if Neel can built something at a reasonable price-point I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. I think the trade off is that they have to use "Lagoon-style" build methods/technology levels to keep the cost down and end up achieving something closer to "Outremer-level" performance. I do wonder what kind of machine you would end up with if you took the Neel concept and engineered/built it like and Outremer to create something half way in between a Neel and a Rapido... Regarding the redundancy aspect of cats, I agree but it also adds a lot of duplication of systems (fuel and water tanks, grey water handling, etc...) which leads to more failure points and things to maintain, if you have a decent rib with a substantial outboard, it can double as emergency power for the mothership and opens up options while cruising. We went through a variety of ribs from 12" to 16" with OB going from 15 to 40 horse (and had 2 of them for a long time, one on each side) while growing up that allowed us to venture pretty far from the "base" (exploring up rivers, or going around the other side of an island, pulling other boats of reefs, etc...) Anyway, I just wanted to point out some of the less obvious benefits the Neel could/might provide.
  5. There are a couple factual inaccuracies here that I could should clarify, it's excusable as it was a few years ago... The boat was actually a designed by Louis Macouillard and Paul Weychan and built in Bristol in 1969 so as much as I am supposed to resent the English (being French and all) there wasn't anything French about it... I never found sleeping in the windward ama to be a problem as it was generally no more bouncy than a typical V-berth (I say less). The leeward side however tended to be more of an issue is some conditions, as the bunk was above the water the slamming would literally kick your butt, with the really bad ones getting you almost airborne, making it pretty hard to sleep! It had to be pretty rough for it to be a problem (like 20 to 30 on the nose) and it would get better really quick as the boat got lighter towards the end of the season when we didn't have 6 month worth of supplies for 10 on board! Also, I wasn't actually born on board but I did get back when I was 7weeks old... I also can confirm that my sister and I both learned, walking, biking and rollerskating in the cockpit. Which, if we want to be accurate, was "only" about 24' wide (and about 10' long) because the ama hull line did rise above the cockpit floor thus reducing the width by about 2' at each end form the 28' overall beam. The bulwark was also really high in that area and the railing had netting installed to prevent us from shooting through so it would have taken a lot to get overboard. Incidentally with the right wave period it would be always "downhill" if you turned around at the crest, which is much better than on land if you ask me... although I do remember a couple instances of crashing into the pile of 15 dive-tanks that were quite painful... Going back to the Rapido, I think the amas would be perfect for storing large but light items like fenders, and kiteboards/windsurfs etc... If you think of the relative weight of these items it really shouldn't make any significant difference. I'm pretty sure you could even through a kayak in there with no issues (but you want to strap things down so they don't bounce around). You would not want to put things like dive-tanks and spare anchors and crap like this though! Also, Architeuthis is the Latin name for the giant squid, so to be pedantic, it's a specific species of sea monster. There was also a centerboard installed for the OSTAR which was removed in the later years as it was taking up a lot of space and maintenance, and the Mercedes did a better job at minimizing leeway when going to windward anyway... Back to the regular programming...
  6. I've heard that sailing against the trades is a real ass-whooping. These guys obviously made it, but was it luck or good planning? Is there a time of year when the tradewinds moderate, making this less of a pain mission or is it always bad? If sailing against the trades is always inadvisable, how does one get from Mexico or Central America to say, the BVI's or Turks and Caicos? Sorry for my ignorance, but my time in the Caribbean was on a submarine and we had no trouble going to windward. The best time is to wait for a cold front in the winter and ride the westerlies that come with it. Ideal if you want to get from Miami to the Turks and Caicos for example: cross the stream close hauled on starboard in flat-ish water as soon as it turns past southwest and end up on downhill most of the way (stay a bit north at the end for when it goes NE after the front passes). Otherwise you are just going to have to beat into 20-25 for a few days, which is not great fun...
  7. I think it might have something to do with Reynold's number and viscosity of water. For small things (like plankton) water feels pretty much like syrup would to us so it would make sense that larger structures wouldn't be affected as much as smaller ones at the other end of the spectrum.
  8. My first thought was that the rudder was ventilating. When that happens you have an air bubble being sucked down the rudder and it does very little even though it is at a large angle of attack. It is fixed by centering the rudder briefly and until the flow re-attaches and you should regain control. However it does indicate that the rudder is trying to do too much, if you were going upwind in a good breeze at the time you might have needed to ease the traveler down a bit to make the helm more neutral. Also, depending on how balanced the rudder blade is around its pivot you might not feel any "weather helm" so you would need to look a the tiller and see how far off center it is. This ventilation issue is a common problem on F-boats (24 and 27 at least), one thing that helps is to put a "fence" on the blade about 2/3 down so that you still retain some control. However it can be managed with sailing technique as well as keeping the rudder leading edge nice and smooth.
  9. They are aware of the problem and are working on a fix (it's been overloaded by too much traffic) https://www.facebook.com/racetoalaska/?fref=nf
  10. Yes... Ok, I won't be a smartass about it but it's kind of my job! Just look at how to compute loads on a block based on the angles (every block manufacturer has these, or look at this). Basically the halyard goes 180 deg around the sheave which means the compression in the mast (due to halyard tension) is exactly twice the tension on the halyard/luff of the sail itself. Another way to look at it is that if you have a hook at the top of the mast, the rest of the halyard is slack coming back down is slack and therefore does not exert any compression on the mast. Other than that, yes the further aft the compression is applied on the mast the more easily it will curve. And yes, the pre-bend induced by the diamonds also make it "softer" than if mast tube is perfectly straight.
  11. Haven't you heard of the latest "rod halyard" trend? I hear they are really fast! Yeah, obviously I meant mast...
  12. Except that if you have a halyard lock/hook at the top of the mast you reduce the halyard compression by 1/2 compared to cleating it at the bottom... It doesn't reduce the mast compression by half but it does add up quickly! Adding 100kg of cunningham tension will add 200kg to the mast compression when the halyard is cleated at the bottom of the mast (vs 100kg with a hook) so that's significant. If the mast was designed for it, then it's not a problem, and there are less chances for things to go wrong if you just have a simple sheave at the top with no hooks or locks in a hard to reach place at the top of the mast!
  13. That mainsheet arrangement does look a bit odd. At this point it really doesn't look like the boom is doing much, you might as well go boom-less at that point and save some weight... A couple corner supports for the coach roof should enable it to take the loads (I'm pretty sure it's been done before) Also I'm not sure what the big drawbacks of outboards in nacelles or on the rear beam would be... Either one seems like a much better proposition than on the transom for a boat that size (where they would regularly get completely submerged in significant seas)! Accessing the berths directly form the saloon doesn't strike me as a bad thing for a racer though.
  14. Here's another beauty! It looks like it might have asymmetrical daggerboards (the wing shaped things sitting on top of the amas), that would be admirable... https://www.facebook.com/r2akteamfly/photos/a.741084782691596.1073741828.735921423207932/773177509482323/?type=3&theater
  15. In case you were wondering if it looks any better from other angles; it doesn't: https://www.facebook.com/TeamProSailAsia/ Also, this shows the intended use of the "vessel".