Chris 249

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About Chris 249

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  1. 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.
  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 (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.
  3. Chris 249

    Team NZ

    NZ sailors were shit hot at AC sailing much more recently than US sailors were shit hot at AC sailing.
  4. Chris 249

    Team France

    My mistake; for some silly reason I always associate the "VP" with Vincent (Lauriot) Prevost. My apologies.
  5. Chris 249

    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.
  6. Chris 249

    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.
  7. Chris 249

    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.
  8. Chris 249

    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.
  9. Chris 249

    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.
  10. Chris 249

    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.
  11. Chris 249

    Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    It's the same down here in Oz, in big rigs at least. No one wants to try to race against the full-time Olympic aspirants; even people who finished top 3 in the Open Worlds immediately before the class went Olympic walked away as soon as it was selected for the Games. Ironically, some of the Olympians don't turn up to the Nationals. That annoys those who feel that the Olympians think that the Nationals are not good enough for them, but on the other hand it could be that, as in some other classes, some Olympians know that they are at a different level and therefore stay away so they don't demoralise the amateurs. The Radial doesn't seem to be so effected, probably because the numbers are bolstered by kids who still believe that they are on their way up to Olympic or Youth Worlds level. The split could hurt the perception of the class because it makes it appear that numbers have dropped
  12. Chris 249

    Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    And people sail Lasers for convenience and other very good reasons, not because their heads are in their arses.
  13. Chris 249

    Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    Well slight correction may be needed, It's about the medium to long term welfare of the Laser sailing dinghy. The rest of our sport will manage (shock, horror!) with or without the Laser. Slight correction. The sick and dying sport will continue to lie face down in its drool until any affordable well promoted " toy for everyone " is supported by a builder, local dealers, and a vibrant well organized promotionaly driven class association. Only if you believe that sailing can take part ONLY in SMODS. I enjoy sailing handicap races, knowing that some days the wind will favour me and some days it will not. Maybe you prefer to sail, an uncomfortable boat, which has sails that last a season only, but it is the same for all of you (If so then the Laser/Torch/Kirby Dinghy is for you). I also enjoy class racing in a boat that is comfortable, has a residual value, and has sails that are competitive after a seasons use, as is every one else in my class of boat. The sport is only "Sick and dying" (Your words not mine), because people are not prepared to get thier heads out of thier arse, and say that there are plenty of other better boats to sail than the Laser, and to give them a go. This is partly down to old farts in clubs not allowing handicap racing and also old farts who have been too involved in SMOD classes and who can not see the bigger picture. We do not seem to have this problem too often in the UK. Jon Oh rubbish. There are many, many people who have sailed boats one hell of a lot quicker than your Blaze and then decided that they love Laser racing. It's NOT the Laser that is the cause of sailing dying, if it is. What has actually happened is that many OTHER classes have dwindled while the Laser has pretty much maintained its strength, and in fact grown in some ways. It's bloody arrogant to say that there are "people are not prepared to get thier heads out of thier arse, and say that there are plenty of other better boats to sail than the Laser". It's fine if there are better boats for YOU to sail, given your own tastes, situation and preferences. That does not mean that there are better boats for OTHER people to sail, given that we are have different tastes, situations and preferences. PS- I come from background in development classes that would beat your SMOD Blaze senseless, but I don't abuse your boat because it obviously suits you. Why not give the same respect to Laser sailors?
  14. Chris 249

    trickle down

    Hughes from Tiga? Wow... he was a fun and innovative guy in windsurfing.
  15. Chris 249

    trickle down

    It didn't take so long. Dave Keiper's cruising tri Williwaw was fully flying in the ocean in the late '60s. The video of the boat in action are shocking - the hull and rig looks extremely crude, about as efficient as an early Piver, but the boat smoked when foiling fast. Small cats like Icarus and Mayfly were foiling at Weymouth Speed Week in the '70s, and there were many other foilers at such events. Tabarly's tri Paul Ricard was using foils, adjusted by a pivoting main beam, when it was launched in '79 and other tris such as VSD were fitted with them for some time. The 26m (85' IIRC) tri Charles Heidsick was designed to semi-fly using foils and the ground effect of the beam. Moths were, IIRC, foiling in the '60s in trials; there's blurry pics on Moth sites of a scow foiling on (IIRC) Port Philip Bay in Australia in that era, with further details about the experiment. Windsurfers were photographed foiling about '77, for example in the Churchulla (sp) Bros book. There was also foiling Mistral M1 at my local beach around '83 and there are pics of Harken stock foils being used and advertised for sale on the original Windsurfer around the same time. And as Doug has pointed out, Monitor was there in the '50s. With the technology of the day, though, boats were normally too heavy to make foiling effective around a course. Creating sails that were powerful enough to lift a boat onto foils but could then stay flat enough when the apparent wind increased would have been impossible, too. You can add in the fact that popular craft tend to be simple, tough, cheap and perform well in light winds, which are not easy things to achieve on a foiler. The fact that offshore boats were foiling decades ago proves that foiling trickled UP to the America's Cup, like most technologies did.