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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  

Francis Vaughan

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Everything posted by Francis Vaughan

  1. Team Australia

    Australia isn't a person. Neither are any of the other countries entering (or not.) There is no "can't be bothered." Countries don't have emotions or reasons. The AC has lived on individuals, individuals with a mix (in varying proportions) of enthusiasm, vision and money. Plus a goodly dose of obsession. The AC has historically been something for the insanely wealthy to burn some of their money on. Only very recently has sponsorship been allowed. And even then, it isn't clear that much of that sponsorship ever made the companies any useful ROI, rather than just a way of liberating money from the coffers of companies owned by those insanely wealthy in a tax effective manner. What the AC has, is serious competition for the insanely wealthy's money, and more importantly, time. No matter how rich you are, you only have the same number of seconds in a day and days in a year as the rest of us. Signing up for the AC is signing up for a multi-year commitment - and if you already have lots of fun things to do with your life - this would be a distraction. Not every billionaire is a sailing enthusiast, and of those that are, most don't give a shit about the AC. It isn't for any given country to somehow cajole or threaten their very rich into joining the AC circus as if it were some sort of prime directive. It is bad enough with the wretched Olympics becoming a matter of national pride, without every other silly sport somehow inserting itself in the queue for money as if they somehow intrinsically had a god given right. It is a sport. That is all it is. Just a sport. If your tiny niche of a sport can't garner the interest, don't whinge - maybe try harder next time.
  2. Mounting Velociteks on a big beach cat

    We have a slightly easier problem - Nacra 5.8 has a bridle foil, so mounted on that. Bracket made up from a few scraps of foam core, worked really well, and has survived a lot of punishment. More than we expected it to. Protoype was made from a polyethylene cutting board. Magic stuff. (Heavy so not a long term prospect.) But you can saw, drill, tap, plane, screw, and machine this stuff. It is cheap, and allows you to very quickly modify designs. Once you have the proportions and the fit just right, build up a composite version.
  3. C-Class Little Cup news

    Chiming in as a long term lover of the C Class. (I remember reading with absolute awe about Miss Nylex when I was a kid.) One thing that sort of worked for the AC was to limit development to one thing. I think the ultimate expression would have been a situation where each series froze a different part of the design. So one could imagine a Little Cup that used the C Class rule exactly as is, but added a per-series rule that froze the deign of a particular element, and thus concentrated effort elsewhere. So you could imagine organising a series where a specific foil design was chosen, either as an externally available part, or were the tooling could be amortised amongst all the boats. Next series perhaps the wing gets fixed - maybe based upon the previous winning boat's design. (Again with the possibility of shared tooling and part manufacture.) And so on. It has the advantage of hopefully making costs more manageable, but without touching the purity of the C-Class rule itself.
  4. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    You know, I was silently hoping it wasn't that one.
  5. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    Sure. I voiced an opinion that I would like to see the ensemble models as this would aid my understanding - and this is your response? The weather is looking really difficult, seeing the ensemble output would be more interesting than usual. I fail to see why this is an unreasonable thought.
  6. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    Your point?
  7. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    What we don't see, but I assume the boats and the VOR office do are the ensemble run results. (Squid provides these as part of the Ultimate package.) Right now seeing the spread of ensemble results might be a huge help in understanding the choices. Just seeing the main forecast run doesn't help us understand how stable or spread the answers might be. The Oz BOM also do an ensemble run over this area, one that is likely very similar to the ECMWF (based on the UK model and code base) but yet again, it is a subscription only data set.
  8. Vestas 11th Hour recovery

    A scarf joint with a remarkably small additional amount of carbon will get you back full strength. Carbon is somewhat miraculous in this respect. Even an unaugmented scarf joint gets you a very close to an original strength joint. (This does assume highly controlled resin content, which these boats are.) I think the class rule does allow for additional boat weights, but one would want to check. It isn't just the weight that matters here, you want stiffness to be controlled between the boats.
  9. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    It is a good question. OTOH, my experience with things like coronial enquiries is that everything does go totally dark from the outside whilst various public servants do their stuff. Interim reports, various requests and random paperwork will wend their way around various officials, and if there is any political slant things will slow even further down as the career public servants keep their heads down. Eventually the entire mess pops up with an officially announced date for either public hearings or similar to begin, a date that is usually some additional time in the future. Things go dead quiet again, and then finally, there is publicly visible action. The western view of Chinese bureaucracy has traditionally been that they make an art form of such long winded processes. Even the Hong Kong marine investigation reports take almost exactly a year to appear after an accident. Only after that report appears does any legal action begin. What nobody sees is the internal machinations and workings behind the scenes. If the entire thing goes off with no political or other major consequences those machinations will have been boring anyway. If there is serious stuff brewing, even hinting at it would have the VOR office almost catatonic with fear. There will be stuff happening, and it would be really interesting to know. But short of having someone on the inside able to leak the details, I doubt there is anything useful to be had yet.
  10. Vestas 11th Hour recovery

    Good point. That may be the most effective answer. Brings to mind the phrase "heroic surgery". Just seems, well, brutal.
  11. Vestas 11th Hour recovery

    You can be sure the replacement is full cored laminate. There is no way you could recover the honeycomb and foam and create a bond to it. I am a little suspicious that there is more than one component in the replacements. There is clear damage past the mid-line, but more interesting is the question of how they will manage the logistics and geometry of assembling the bow. The bow was created by adding the internal structure into the hull before the deck went on. It is going to be awfully tight trying to get the structure together with the deck in place. So they may be intending performing the repair in sections. I just hope they do show how they go about it.
  12. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    That is what DGPS is. Differential = correction signal. There are other attacks on SA. Simply knowing a receiver is stationary is enough to allow it to be defeated, although that is less useful for navigation porposes. It would be interesting to know what key might have been acquired. SA is simple stochastic noise. Almost certainly some sort of PRNG, so acquisition of the seed/key would enable it to be broken, but I doubt the system had a single such key. The key to the P channel encryption would however be a much bigger prize. The advent of Galileo means that even P channel capability isn't anything special. The US was none to pleased about this and leant hard on Europe trying to convince them not to do this, but didn't get their way. My understanding of the system is that the C/A channel, even in degraded form, was good enough to allow acquisition of the P channel in a timely fashion. But military systems may well have had the SA key built into them as well. Key management is always a huge problem. All encryption eventually devolves to the key management problem.
  13. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    You are assuming it was running away. It was probably just playing coy.
  14. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    I ask myself that every time I do.
  15. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    SA was turned off by Bill Clinton, and the US has announced that they will not turn it on again, and further that the latest block sats don't even have the capability. Make of that what you will. With 4 constellations there is close to zero value in SA. However I very much doubt that there isn't a capability for selective degradation or denial in the system somewhere. SA was a very blunt hammer. Being able to degrade or deny use in selective regions would be much more tactically useful. But there is no actual information about that. Differential GPS is still a thing. The higher accuracy capabilities in systems like Galileo and BeiDou-2 may make it less important as time goes on. However Galileo intends charging for their high accuracy service. DPGS and similar can useful in places where you have less than full sky visibility. Not a problem at sea, but in hilly terrain or cities, you can use a bit of assistance. That DGPS removed the effects of SA was probably part of what led to SA's demise, but not the full story.
  16. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    Heck, the SR-71 had a real life R2-D2 in the back that did celestial navigation with star sights. The nice advantage jets have is that they get above the clouds and the turbulence. Just on the subject of GPS - from the point of view of the satellites there is now close to zero chance they will go away, there is GPS, Galileo, Glonnas, and BeiDou-2. US, European, Russian and Chinese. All provide open access, and most modern chipsets have the ability to use more than one of these services. Even your humble iPhone. If every one of these constellations went away when you were at sea, I would be looking very hard for a small island community to offer your services as boat owner and seafarer to, in order to eek out the rest of your life. You could safely assume there was nothing to go home to. The biggest risk is failure of your navigation systems. No matter how much redundancy you might have, you need to power nav systems, and it isn't hard to concoct an accident that leaves you dependant upon only a handful of dry batteries to power your reserve GPS receivers, and thus with a drop dead date depressingly close by. A well aimed lightning strike may well leave you very short on capability. There is an argument that this risk is so low that you are better off spending time on more important things, and this is a human failing. But it remains a real risk, and it is one that takes little to no mitigation, so why would you not keep manual tools to hand? Celestial nav is a fascinating subject. Len Beadell's Gunbarrel Highway was driven across the middle of Australia with nothing but star sightings. There is a reason for the name, and Len's survey and nav skills were it.
  17. VOR Leg 4 Melbourne to Honkers

    Actually the sentence can be cut here. Properly conducted inquiries don't apportion blame. They will find facts, and make recommendations. What happens after that is a different problem, and blame may well be part of later action. But the investigation's result might not even have any part to play in that. If you look at the US National Transport Safety Board, its terms of reference on accident investigation are very clear: To ensure that Safety Board investigations focus only on improving transportation safety, the Board's analysis of factual information and its determination of probable cause cannot be entered as evidence in a court of law. The Australian authority, the ATSB is the same. Investigations are no-blame. The Australian Transport Council recognised the value of no-blame safety investigations at its May 2011 meeting. It agreed that no-blame safety investigations are an integral part of an effective national maritime safety system, In Hong Kong it is the same again: It is not the purpose of the investigation or the report to apportion blame or to take disciplinary action. The grandfather clause is this - from the International Marine Organisation, Casualty Investigation Code 25.4 Where it is permitted by the national laws of the State preparing the marine safety investigation report, the draft and final report should be prevented from being admissible in evidence in proceedings related to the marine casualty or marine incident that may lead to disciplinary measures, criminal conviction or the determination of civil liability. I don't know if China adheres to this or not. I would be really interested if someone with a knowledge of Chinese law - or who can just find read and translate the appropriate information - could enlighten us. But the IMO is pretty clear about what a properly conducted investigation is - and it isn't about blame - it is about preventing further accidents. They take the responsibility of determining causation of an accident sufficiently seriously, and thus the ability to reach a valuable conclusion of causality and make recommendations to prevent accidents, that they request that any participants are protected for further action that might result from the report. This is not a trivial thing. It is retribution and punishment versus the future safety of other mariners. The IMO prefers future safety, and most countries agree.
  18. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    Eminently sensible. Still 39 degrees here. Awful.
  19. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    It appears that the tracker is already at maximum zoom. Because it trys to start up with all the boats in view it sets the zoom based upon the spread of the fleet. Right at the start the spread is so small that the zoom maxes out. You can zoom out, and then zoom in again, but you can't get closer than the zoom it is currently starting with. Not sure if someone has changed the maximum zoom since the last leg, but I remember that it did max out at a zoom that was a bit short of what I would have thought was most useful.
  20. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    All your links still work, so I would surmise this as being a broken web page. Probably someone has messed up the database interface. If they were going to take away the raw content one would assume the top level page would have gone, rather than just an error. Given the dog's breakfast that is the VOR web presence, someone breaking part of it is no surprise at all.
  21. VOR Leg 4 Melbourne to Honkers

    Something I found a bit odd when looking at the Hong Kong notices, was that they had notices for the Round Island Race, and for today's start. But no notice for the arrivals. One would guess they felt that with a spread out fleet arriving there was no value - but it did strike me as odd. I would hope there is a revision of this in the future. http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/notices/notices.html And, the VOR have stuffed up. There is nothing amending the start time in the published notices. The VOR have unilaterally changed the start and the value of the notice is wiped out.
  22. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    Just you I think. I just checked a couple of random links from JBC's index and they are all good. Edit: but the top level index of the VOR page seems broken. Someone has busted that part, but the videos are still there.
  23. V70 -> V65 -> V????? What should come next

    Insomnia, so a bit of prattling... One thing we don't know is what the current sponsors are saying to the VOR office. It is all well and good to imagine what sponsors might like, and suggest that the VOR have it wrong - but absent any firm confirmation that there exist sponsors ready with fistfuls of dollars at the ready, just waiting for the VOR office to change the rules, I don't think we can really say the VOR have got it wrong. OTOH, the VOR may be in a local maximum. Knut drove the race towards B2B sponsor as the consumer exposure sponsors dried up. And that happened in the days of the VO70. Even back then some of the sponsors were B2B. Commercial bank, telecommunications equipment supplier (Ericsson made most of their money selling telco kit, not mobile phone handsets). With the shift towards Asia we may see a reigniting of consumer branding as a sponsor package. But it should not be forgotten the pain sponsors saw when their boat turned out to be uncompetitive from the start, despite the money spent and rock star crew. The idea that there are sponsors out there just waiting, with millions of dollars to spend, on an entry that might easily turn out to be a rerun of Green Dragon is perhaps wishful thinking. This race has shown that OD can bring with it tight and exciting racing. And also bring with it reliable racing. IMHO the idea that the race will give up that any time soon is unrealistic. It presents sponsors with a level of surety they never had before. They know their boat may not win, but similarly it won't be the laughingstock of the race. And they can be pretty sure it won't end up traversing part of the globe on the back of a ship. Not that this is turning out to be as good a guarantee as we might have hoped, at least we have a reasonable expectation that the boats will finish each leg unscathed, as opposed to a leg being a matter of which boat limps in with the least damage. But, IMHO the VO60 mk II is exactly the wrong answer. The last thing we need is to push the direction of the race to being a sort of short handed version of the Vendée. The race should be moving in the opposite direction and seeking to clearly differentiate itself. This would be to both the VOR's benefit, and the various IMOCA 60 races. So, again, IMHO, reverse the trend. The boats should grow, and the crew numbers increase. Heck why not a 75 footer? But at least go back to 70. Get back the glorious menace that was the spectre of a VO70. However in order to meet the above requirements it is going to need to be solid. Leave bleeding edge fragility to the IMOCA 60s. They are better at it anyway. The point of the VOR is becoming more clear - the race is a fully crewed race where the boat is driven 100% 100% of the time. If one keeps that as the core ideal, and makes other components of the puzzle subservient to it, I think the issues start to converge. A big menacing boat that clearly takes a full crew to drive. There are other components of the race that are important, and IMHO should be given a more clear element in the thinking. (These might be considered as non-functional requirements in the world of engineering.) These include: building a new generation, building national racing, building female racing. So my simplistic solution is to add a 33% rule. 33% of the crew need to to be under (say) 30. 33% of the crew need to be female. 33% of the crew need to be from the nation that claims the boat (which one would expect to be the prime sponsor.) Sure, you can satisfy this with 3 or 4 women all under 30, all from the sponsors country. So be it. The next race will see those sailors make a big impact. Making the boat bigger means a bigger crew is more viable. Make it 12. Get past the point where each leg is an ultra marathon where everyone reaches the point of total exhaustion two weeks in and ceases to function fully. 12 gives you the raw muscle to cope with manage when needed, and the ability to bring aboard more neophytes to feed the years ahead. A small crew number will drive the boats to favouring a limited cohort of experienced sailors over all else, and that will starve the race in the years ahead. (Which is another reason the VO60 mk II is such a terrible idea.) Design of the boat clearly needs to address simple safety questions. We have seen a number of accidents and injuries where it is nothing more than the total disregard for the most basic of safe design inside the boat that led to the injury. Sharp edges of carbon, trip hazards, draconian rules prohibiting adding any customisation. Get real, and get someone who has a clue about human factors and design involved in the interior at least. The idea that being inside the boat when it hits a wave is more dangerous than being on deck is ridiculous. Take a note from the IMOCA sailors. They are not that stupid. Their boats may be spartan, but they are not riddled with sharp edges or trip hazards, and they make sure there is comfort enough to allow them to rest properly when they need. I remain unconvinced that dali-foils are the way of the future. After the accident in Hong Kong I would not be surprised to see the idea fade away anyway. DSS might be more sensible. The VOR controls the entire boat design. They can decide the number of foils it has. They are not beholden to the IMOCA rule or any other rule. One thing thing I did like about the VO60 idea was the addition of more controls that came with the foils. Providing the crew with more tuning parameters, within limits, should allow the better crews to differentiate themselves better, and also provides an sort of weakening of the OD component, in that if the parameter space is large enough and complex enough crews will find a large number of modes, and we may see a return of a large set of different navigation tactics based upon the discovery of those modes. Of course that won't last forever, but it may add some spice.
  24. VOR Leg 6 Hong Kong to Auckland

    One gets the feeling that the VOR office have a case of the jitters. They seem to be suddenly in nanny mode. One can perhaps forgive them for this, but at same time, they might like to calm down a little. Alternatively this is symptomatic of leaderless arse covering behaviour - although it is probably a bit over the top to accuse them of that.
  25. Vestas 11th Hour recovery

    I agree with that - which is why I noted it was the average required for the whole journey. The huge displacement limited for a big ship is part of why we have such efficient transport across the globe. I just found that the 10 day number quoted was past the edge of reasonable expectations. As it is, it looks as if the actual time is a pretty spiffy 14 days. Which is much closer to what I would expect.