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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.  

Chris 249

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  1. New Cubed - First Supermaxi Since Speedboat

    F1 has a widely acknowledged effect on racing at all levels, because hundreds of millions of people watch it. Can you imagine how many people would be signing up for sailing lessons if 100 million people watched great productions of top end sailboat racing every few weeks? Guess what? In france, where millions DO see that kind of thing regularly, the sport of sailing is the healthiest of any nation in the world. Do you really think that is coincidence? F1 actually proves that whole "if people watch it on TV they will do it" argument is wrong. Lots of people watch it, but motorsport itself has fairly low participation rates. There is an enormous amount of evidence that proves that the sports that people watch most are often quite low in terms of participation rates. This has been said and demonstrated by people like Vladimire Andreff from the Sorbonne, arguably the world's leading sports economist and obviously someone who knows about French sport. If watching sports on TV encourages participation, then why is motor racing (the 3rd most-watched sport in France) only the 37th most popular sport in that country in terms of competitors? If watching TV encourages people to participate in a sport, then why is the most-watched sport in France (bicycle racing) only the 23rd most popular sport in France, in terms of competitors? There are more licensed badminton, pentanque and table-tennis players and more licensed orienteers than there are licensed racing cyclists and car racers, but you probably won't find a lot of televised diving or orienteering, for instance. The facts are plain and simple and stand true over a long time and many countries - watching a sport does not translate into doing that sport, although the reverse can be true. Even assuming that your claim that sailing is more popular than anywhere else is true (which it may well be) there are many other possible reasons why sailing is so popular in France. Here's a few that come to mind; 1- Massive government subsidies - Andreff's figures show that sailing had the fifth-highest national government subsidy of all sports in France. 2- Federal laws that required large employers to subsidise sports clubs, which were often sailing clubs. 3- Lots of club- and local-government owned hire boats to sail - in a 2014 EC survey, 88% of the French agreed that local sports clubs provide the opportunity to be active. 4- Historically, a strong emphasis on participation and adventure rather than elitism, as demonstrated by organisations like Glenans. 5- an emphasis on small, cheap one design and cruising boats. It still seems to run that way - even major events like Spi Ouest have racing classes full of "4k SBs" like X302s and old half and quarter tonners, which you don't see in some other places. 6- Shorter working hours and longer holidays compared to many countries, therefore creating more sailing time. By the way, the number of registered participants in sailing in France decreased by 49% from '88 to '99, which was an era when there was plenty of shorthanded multihull racing and televised events and an increased emphasis on high-performance boats. Sailing in France can't take another "success story" like that. PS- I don't like the 100' monos, but if multis are so much better than monos why hype sportsboats so much? Everyone knows that a F16 or F18, or an Int 14 or B14, will kick the ass of a J/70 or Melges all day for a fraction of the cost, and in the right conditions a board will make them all look silly. If Comanche is dumb then so is a sportsboat.
  2. No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above. It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough. The NYYC did NOT ban multis. No club banned multis per se - Stevens, founder of the NYYC, had a cat even before he was part owner of America. Commodores of other YCs around NY at the time owned cats, and raced them just like every other type was raced - in a separate class for that particular type. The NYYC did not have a system of "big club prizes" for an "open fleet" of all types of boats - boats were divided by length and by type, so schooners normally raced in a separate set of classes, catboats raced in a separate set of classes, sloops raced in a separate set of classes - and multis raced for years in a multihull class. ONE cat was DQDd for ONE race but given a special prize. LF Herreshoff later wrote that she was banned, a few decades later, but he made a slip-up when he wrote that. His own letters indicate that he knew that cats were not banned, as do many race reports from the NY Times and other records of the time. There were no real "powers that be" that banned shifting ballast in the UK. It was a hotly-debated subject that showed that many people thought that the old practise of shifting ballast screwed the sport. The owners had to pay for extra crew to throw bags of lead shot from one side to the other each tack. The owners had to pay to get the cabin furniture removed before races, to allow the bags to be thrown around. They had to pay for the damage caused by the bags, they had to pay by having less comfortable interiors, by having boats that were dangerous in accidental tacks. Far from any "powers that be" imposing ideas on anyone, there was a groundswell by many separate clubs, regional groups and regatta committees to ban shifting ballast. They realised that it was not an "advance" to make the sport more costly and less accessible. It's a pity so many people today ignore that. There seems to be a bias against people of the Victorian era. They were incredibly innovative - the sailors created many more developments than we have in the 21st century. If we actually read what they said and thought, rather than imposing our own stereotypes on them, we almost always find that they restricted some technology for good reasons, such as reducing cost, reducing the horrific death tolls, and opening up the sport to a wider set of participants. The bias may come from those who assume that the Victorians were hidebound instead of the great innovators they actually were. It's good to have the input - but don't put words in peoples mouths. I said that multis were banned - from the race 'for the big club prize'. I understood that there was a significant race (annual?), for the fastest boats in the club. A multi was allowed to compete, but upon winning was told "race in a multi class from now on - no 'big prize' for you' today - or in the future." Presumably a 'political decision' within the club, just as it is in many clubs today, given the amounts already invested in leadmines. If that is fundamentally wrong it may well stem from the 'incorrect', or possibly reinterpreted with extra spin?, (if one were a cynic) letter that you mention. Regarding the other vessel with movable ballast in the UK, it was clearly stated that it was an unofficial entry in the Round the Island Race of 1851 - not 'banned'. That would have been up to the RYS, may have even varied race to race, prize to prize, over time and also quite possibly Club to Club. Apologies for the misinterpretation; I took you as one of the many who thought there was a blanket ban on cats. The stuff I've seen doesn't indicate that there was any such NYYC prize but I may have missed it. There are several documents, such as letters from Nat and LF Herreshoff and others, association handbooks and other sources, that indicate that there was a very strong feeling against "open" races at the time. They seem to have been keener than we are to break up boats into small classes based on their rig and hull type. Yep, for some time the rules on shifting ballast varied from place to place, but by the time of the America it seems to have been pretty much a national ban (and it was a formal national RYA ban five years later). The main point was that "the circumstances" Robin C was talking about were that there was a huge amount of innovation at the time, and a lot of well-informed debate about the place and limits of technology in the sport. On SA, though, people just often seem to believe that the rules against shifting ballast and the demise of the early cats were caused by establishment bias. Anyway, I haven't been on here in about a year and I'll log out again. Cheers.
  3. No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above. It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough. The NYYC did NOT ban multis. No club banned multis per se - Stevens, founder of the NYYC, had a cat even before he was part owner of America. Commodores of other YCs around NY at the time owned cats, and raced them just like every other type was raced - in a separate class for that particular type. The NYYC did not have a system of "big club prizes" for an "open fleet" of all types of boats - boats were divided by length and by type, so schooners normally raced in a separate set of classes, catboats raced in a separate set of classes, sloops raced in a separate set of classes - and multis raced for years in a multihull class. ONE cat was DQDd for ONE race (which wasn't even run by the NYYC, but by a separate committee) but given a special prize. LF Herreshoff later wrote that she was banned, a few decades later, but he made a slip-up when he wrote that. His own letters indicate that he knew that cats were not banned, as do many race reports from the NY Times and other records of the time. Nat and Lewis Herreshoff both wrote about why cats faded out and neither of them said that they were banned. Nat actually later wrote that multis had had their day, because the invention of outboards meant that those who wanted to go fast would just get an outboard. Obviously he was wrong (thank god) but it does illustrate how silly the common claim that cats were killed by the NYYC is. There were no real "powers that be" that banned shifting ballast in the UK. It was a hotly-debated subject that showed that many people thought that the old practise of shifting ballast screwed the sport. The owners had to pay for extra crew to throw bags of lead shot from one side to the other each tack. The owners had to pay to get the cabin furniture removed before races, to allow the bags to be thrown around. They had to pay for the damage caused by the bags, they had to pay by having less comfortable interiors, by having boats that were dangerous in accidental tacks. Far from any "powers that be" imposing ideas on anyone, there was a groundswell by many separate clubs, regional groups and regatta committees to ban shifting ballast. This is very clear from the letters and Notices of Race in the press of the time. They realised that it was not an "advance" to make the sport more costly and less accessible. It's a pity so many people today ignore that. There seems to be a bias against people of the Victorian era. They were incredibly innovative - the sailors may have created many more developments than we have in the 21st century. If we actually read what they said and thought, rather than imposing our own stereotypes on them, we almost always find that they restricted technology for good reasons, such as reducing cost, reducing the horrific death tolls, and opening up the sport to a wider set of participants. The bias may come from those who assume that the Victorians were hidebound instead of the great innovators they actually were.
  4. What a pussy. Stay classy SA.

    It's about as low as the fact that over on AC Anarchy, the "senior editor" has been throwing insults at the widow and parents of a late and great sailor. This has really reached a new low and the advertisers who support the site should be thinking about their actions. I'm out.
  5. Team NZ

    NZ sailors were shit hot at AC sailing much more recently than US sailors were shit hot at AC sailing.
  6. Team France

    My mistake; for some silly reason I always associate the "VP" with Vincent (Lauriot) Prevost. My apologies.
  7. Team France

    Met both in Venice, VP is the cruising part of the firm ??????????? Haven't seen VP for years and then only a few times, but back then he seemed to be into racing; when I met him he was at the end of the OSTAR, meeting Frank and others to talk ORMA 60s.
  8. New Cubed - First Supermaxi Since Speedboat

    Laser gold, 470 golds, 49er gold...... hardly second-level stuff. To turn the question on its head - why are events for classes that may only have 7-12 boats "top level", while events for classes that that have hundreds or thousands are apparently considered "second level"? Obviously the Olympians aren't all second level, or they would not be paid so much to sail the AC and similar events. But if we can assume that you mean the top level "pro racing" events for big boats, maybe one reason is the fact that Australian sponsors can't see the benefit in spending money on events that are mainly held overseas and away from local markets. Another factor could be the lack of stability in rules in the "top level" big boat events. A big and thinly-populated and isolated country can't build up critical mass in classes as quickly as other places can. It's also hard to get critical mass in a design that doesn't work in the normal club-level mixed-fleet racing that is inevitable in a sparsely-populated country. For example, arguably by the time we started to really develop our Farr/Mumm 30 class, the class was already on the slide internationally. As one big-boat sailor with a lot of international and industry experience joked to me, we don't adopt classes until they were on the way out..... it's an exaggeration but we don't have the economy, geography or population to just suddenly adopt the Cool Kids Class of the Week. Nor does most of the world, but sailing seems to be good at ignoring that these days. And finally, don't most of the "top level" big-boat pro events these days have such tiny fleets that on simple statistics, it's unlikely that a small country will have an entry? What small countries are major players in "top level" events these days, with the exception of the Kiwis, who have government funding? In an increasingly globalised world aren't we are seeing fewer and fewer countries at the "top end" of big boat racing, and does that means that the problem is that the "top end" scene is taking the wrong direction? PS - I have moved away from Sydney and from the big boat scene, so the above may not be current - but FWIW there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the facts or reasons have changed since I was in better touch with the scene.
  9. Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    The game isn't fun if abusive people like you keep on telling other people that we have no right to their opinions and that anyone who doesn't follow all of your ideas is a dickhead. It's also not fun if we have to deal with abusive people like you who tell us that we have no right to be involved in a class association, even if some of us have succeeded in reviving youth interest in classes that we run. The first time I had contact with you, on the Laser Forum, you were anything but welcoming - you were vicious, arrogant and abusive, simply because I politely expressed an opinion about the competitive longevity of Laser sails that differed with yours. I may add that around that time I was district champion and top 10 nationally, so I was not exactly clueless; but you didn't bother to ask for details, you just threw abuse. Getting abused and insulted by you was not fun. It was not welcoming, If you want to make the game fun and welcoming, why not turn off the hate, abuse, arrogance and insults that you throw around so often, and try respecting your fellow Laser sailors instead.
  10. Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    The 505 is specifically NOT a development class, according to its designer and its other creators. As designer John Westell wrote in detail at the time, the fact that it's a one design is the basic point of the class. He specifically wrote that he felt that the traditional British model of restricted-development classes was going to suffer because of increasing cost and therefore a ONE DESIGN class was the way to go. The Coronet "prototype" was then picked up by owners from the Caneton development class, who asked Westell to modify the Coronet so that it could form the basis of a new ONE DESIGN class. The class rules specifically state that the hull shape has to follow Westell's lines plan (with some building tolerances) and that the sailplan is one design. In contrast, development classes don't have a lines plan to be followed. The fact that a one design class allows some latitude and tolerances does not make it a development class; that's been pointed out at length by people like the man who essentially created the first International One Design yacht class, George W Elder.
  11. New Cubed - First Supermaxi Since Speedboat

    Had to edit that, look for the CAPITALS. Apologies Nicho. You guys don't have the resources, technological know how or expertise to mount an AUS challenge. Simple fact. So you build some bits n pieces and complete the odd chainsaw job here n there, amazing. AUS has lots talent that's indisputable, shame there's no AUS avenue for that talent. What's the pinnacle for an AUS junior, sail for Oracle? NB you missed Will Oxley. Will you agree that your facts were wrong, and that it's a bit tough for you to blame our lack of an entry in the Volvo and AC "decades ago" on a boat built in 2005? Have you ever heard of a guy called Grant Simmer? Ian Burns? WTF are you Americans paying them for their technological know-how if they don't have any? Why do you Americans give them jobs like sailing team manager, general manager, skipper, strategist, helmsman if they don't have the expertise? You have 14 times our population and yet over the last couple of ACs you've relied on foreigners for your only team, yet you criticise us for not getting a challenge up and running and blame it all on WOXI? Really?
  12. New Cubed - First Supermaxi Since Speedboat

    1/ For your information we are in 2014. The future you're talking about is 20 years old. 2/ The world goes way beyond Eastern Australia in general and Cookson Yachts in particular. 3/ Bob wouldn't find the restroom without his son's guidance, let alone where naval technology is headed 4/ This bloke is a senile old man - let us stay polite but not indulge in undue praise. The WO team/brand, call it what you will, are good at what they do, dominating the EC of Aus, big fish small pond. The recent AC CoR balls up really demonstrated this, complete inability to play with the big boys and cutting edge tech. I would go so far as to say that WO has actually lead to an unhealthy myopic focus on a handful of AUS based events and WO in particular, the result being that AUS hasn't had a Volvo, TP52 or AC challenge in decades/never. Your best sailors have had to find a home else where because AUS has no presence on the world yachting stage, that's a real shame. No presence on the world stage - apart from forming a VERY large part of the brains trust on the winning boat at the last America's Cup (at the big-boat end) and topping the sailing at the Olympics (at the other end), and doing about as many things in the middle as small country from an isolated part of the world can be expected to to. Since WOXI was launched we have won a couple of Farr 40 worlds, a couple of Farr 30 worlds, dominated Lasers, 470s and 49ers, yada yada. On a per capita basis that is a long way from having "no presence." There's a glaring problem with your claim that WOXI is the reason why Australia has not "had a Volvo, TP52 or AC challenge in decades/never". Our ONLY Volvo entry was during the time that WOXI has dominated local line honours, so you just don't know the facts. Secondly, you can't blame our lack of Volvo entries through the '70s, '80s and '90s on a boat launched in 2005. In the same vein, there is no evidence that WOXI is responsible for the fact that we stopped doing the AC before she was launched and stopped doing serious challenges a decade before she was launched. I'm no fan of the canting keel 100s, but it remains incomprehensible how someone could call the place that has five or six of them "a small pond" in any relevant way, when the "big pond" in the northern hemisphere has only two supermaxis; one of them old and little modified, one a cruiser/racer. Maths is not my strong point, but last time I looked a pond of 6 was bigger than a pond of 2. By the way, the last time an Australian representative offshore team went to the northern hemisphere, they came back with the Admiral's Cup courtesy of a boat named Wild Oats...... Bob has proven since the '80s that he will race overseas, but the competition for supermaxis is mainly down here. As I said, I don't even like the boat or the class, personally, and I don't care for the way some commentators hype it, but that doesn't mean that you can just make stuff up. And god knows why you would throw disdain at someone who is very well respected merely because he actually dares to be old and still love to sail. At least it's better than Edouard's sliming......
  13. Oracle Team USA

    A nice piece, which proves that people who surf mega waves and sail mega boats can actually have an amazing time at 5 to 6 knots. Sorta underlines how silly it is to diss slow-moving watercraft, doesn't it. Of course, it's mainly the armchair experts he disses who are so one-eyed; guys like JS seem to appreciate slow craft as well as fast stuff.
  14. Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    With brilliant foreword thinking imaginative minds like yours I damn certain wouldn't be holding more computing power in my hand than NASA owned when men landed in the moon. Probably the key to the. $1000 14 foot sailboat is to stamp them out using way less material. If we built our toys weighing forty pounds or so, materials costs could be lowered along with shipping and all kinds of hurdles could disappear. Maybe the fold up suitcase boats need to be inflated with a sufficient pressure to achieve stiffness. Can we make roll up spars whose stiffness comes from folding hinged sheets around a series of "bulkheads" ???? We need to climb out of the tiny box from Where all previous construction ideas have come and look at how things Te being built elsewhere And we need some fresh ideas of our own Why can't we have our toys for $10?? Because nobody has decided to show us how!!! Dinghies for $10? Jeez you think small. For $10 I'd expect to be able to buy a matched pair of 120 foot racing quintuplemarans that do 60 knots dead upwind in 2 knots of wind, have fourteen geodesic ballrooms with custom fitted bordellos for accommodation, and sail on custom-made seas of champagne driven by wafts of angel farts. Errrr - maybe we don't do have $10 racing boats because they are not actually possible? Some people have been sailing 40 lb toys for 30 years, some people are working on inflatable sailing craft, but even an inflatable surfboard costs $350 A or so (which leaves very little room for a rig and foils) and it's not going to fit the Laser type niche. It's one thing to have dreams, but is abusing the sport while producing unachievable fantasies actually helpful? If it's that easy, why don't you do it yourself? By the way, if you want to use the computing power analogy you also have to allow for the fact that the efficiency leaps you mention were accompanied (and created, as I understand it) from reducing the physical size of the device. That is not realistic in a sailing dinghy that will fill the Laser niche.
  15. Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    The call for a $1000 Walmart Laser is way off base. The closest thing they sell seems to be a plastic 12' dinghy for $700. Who in the world is going to be able to add a quality centreboard, rudder, and rig AND make a hull tough enough for racing, for just an extra $300? Even the Snark sells for more than that, direct from the builder.