A Class Sailor

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About A Class Sailor

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  1. A Class Sailor

    Boats and foils comparison

    Who's Simon? Are you are playing the same game as others have tried, guessing who I am. Another fail to your credit I don't follow any of your "logic". You are suggesting that because they aren't using it, it doesn't work. That is completely wrong. Canting the rig works. it worked on the Groupama C Class, it works on A's and it works on boats of all scales. By "works", I mean that in a straight line, it has been proven to be faster than a non canting rig. That is not the issue. As with any form of racing, it is never the ability to produce straight line speed that counts. it is the ability to sail a particular course the quickest. At one extreme, that means that I can beat Paul Larsen and SailRocket around a standard windward/leeward course, despite his boat being capably of over double my speed. The reason why canting masts are not used in the big ocean going tris is because they were incredibly unreliable. They kept falling over the side. They also took a long time to tack/gybe during which they were very vulnerable to dropping the rig. On the A's, those who have tested canting rigs say it is faster, but the systems needed make the boat too complex to sail and a canted mast makes trapezing really tough, so we don't use it. Your problem is that you seem to think if people are not using something, it is because it doesn't work or makes the boat slower. That is a poor deduction. There are many things we do not use that could make a boat a lot quicker, but we don't for any number of reasons. As an example, consider the A Class and wing rigs. We all know that a C Class style rig would make an A quicker. Glenn Ashby actually developed Ben Hall's A Class wing when he worked for Oracle (it was the basis of their mega wing) and he reported to the class that it would make existing rigs obsolete. Despite that, nobody else has built a wing, even though it would mean they had a significant advantage over the fleet. The reason why is simple, because one capsize would not only finish your regatta but also potentially write off a very expensive piece of equipment. Nobody is capably of sailing a foiling A on a regular basis without a capsize, so it would be stupid to use gear that cannot survive a capsize. Stop thinking that non use or no longer used systems mean they don't make a boat faster in a straight line. This comes back to the Groupama C Class. It was the perfect size of boat with enough crew sailing in the right conditions to make it worthwhile to use a canting rig, which they did to great effect. It worked. Period.
  2. A Class Sailor

    Boats and foils comparison

    Pleased to see you are still writing ignorant shit on forums. You want a fast foiler that uses a canting rig? How about the Groupama C Class. That had a canting rig which was seen as giving it a big advantage. The general view is that canting rigs are faster on foilers but are far more unreliable and very hard to make work particularly when changing tacks. This is why they have been removed from ocean racers. There is an old adage - to finish first, first you have to finish. There are practical reasons why you cannot cant a rig 45 degrees on a boat you need to tack (think about the rigging geometry), while boats that you trapeze off also have a limitation because the more you cant the more the trapeze wire gets close to vertical and the harder it is to stay on the side of the boat. Canting rigs have been tried on the A's, and they are faster in a straight line, but there are just too many problems tacking/gybing, and staying on the boat. Often, the fastest straight line set up won't get you around the race course the quickest. Making a boat sailable, turning corners and reliability cannot be ignored.
  3. A Class Sailor

    14' Stunt S9 Foiling Cat

    While I have to admit this was from Lallo, it was based on the Stunt and the views expressed above were certainly being posted by Michele at the time. They really make me laugh to read them today. While it doesn't take away anything from the Stunt cats, some of the comments look stupid today. Consider the following We have lots of "weekend warriors" now foiling A's well. The foiling A is significantly faster than any of the new boats on the market. Even weekend warriors are getting good speeds, while the top guys are now doing 22 knots upwind and over 30 knots downwind. Even a weekend warrior like me can do 18 knots upwind and 26 knots downwind, maybe more. The A remains at the cutting edge of cat development, showing that you can achieve reasonable foiling stability without wands while achieving the highest speeds. This is my favourite quote Next time I am blasting along at 25-26 knots thinking how stable and well controlled the boat is, i will try not to remember that it must have been designed by people uneducated in dynamics There is lots of room in the market for different types of foiling cat using different foil configurations and foil control. In the A's we also see foilers and non foilers living side by side, and it's great to see Michele coming back into the A Class family with his innovative new boat which I wish him luck with because development is at the heart of the class
  4. A Class Sailor

    DNA vs. eXploder - buying new A Cat

    There is certainly a lot of BS talked on forums and this thread is no different. I don't know why people pussy foot around the real issues and don't tell the truth. Forget speed for now, because both platforms are quick enough for anybody and are capable of winning at the highest level. The real factors for most are cost and longevity, and there is a clear winner here. Some facts. Somebody in Europe (no names, no foul) tested a recent DNA and Exploder and the Exploder twisted less under load than the DNA. Is this significant? I doubt it because the difference wasn't great, but it was there. The reasons suspected for this is the greater area of all the mouldings on the DNA means that the amount of materials need to be less in some areas, although the counter to that is that DNA's tend to be noticeably heavier than Exploders. The next issue is build quality, although that term might be a little unfair. Maybe it should be robustness of the construction. Fact 2 - 100% of F1's imported to Australia have suffered from delam issues although the sample size is small. This can be an issue with lightweight prepreg. This statement doesn't comment on manufacturing quality because the delam could have occurred for a number of reasons, but I believe that there is little doubt that the Exploder is more robust. I think you need to be a lot more careful with the DNA compared with the Exploder, although this is relative because neither should be dragged up the beach on their arse! On pure looks, the DNA wins with all its smooth curves and fairings. Some like the sloping tramp with its ridge down the middle while others say it makes them feel as if they are going to fall off. I suspect you get used to it. The latest Exploders with their solid tramp and hidden mainsheet traveler look pretty good in the photos. The boats have very different ideas on how they are fitted out but which you prefer is just personal choice. The other thing that is personal choice is how much you are prepared to pay. Last time I checked, the DNA was AU$16,000 more expensive for a platform. Then consider second hand values and how much depreciation there will be. That varies depending on where you are, so I cannot comment. I personally cannot understand anybody spending so much more on the DNA, but admit they are cool boats.
  5. A Class Sailor

    dutch ac entry

    Stop talking out of your arse. I saw Caroljn at the event. She was there because she lives in Australia and wanted to go sailing with her friends. In terms of the AC, you can read nothing into Caroljn sailing that event. She said that if they can get the money, she is still in with the team. There is a completely different discussion to be had about whether they will get the money or not. Caroljn wouldn't say very much, except that they aren't out yet and that they do have enough sponsorship agreed to make it worthwhile continuing to look for more but not enough to go full on yet. My guess is that they have over half the money they need and I get the impression that they are still giving themselves another month or 2. I personally don't see them getting up, but that is not based on anything than gut feel.
  6. FFS! The Laser class is not a SMOD. You have rocks in your head and have it buried in sand if you think that. There are 3 different manufacturers and most agree that the product varies a bit between those manufacturers, even if it is very subtle and most cannot spot or benefit from the differences. IIRC, there was a time when 5 different factories produced Lasers at the same time. All the proposed FRAND rule would do is return to a similar situation. There is not going to be a large number of new builders starting to make Lasers with no way of controlling the quality. Any new builder will have to prove they have the capability and systems in place to ensure the boats are built to the manual. I know of at least 2 companies that have the systems in place and the experience that would probably exceed the current builders and would lead to calls for the existing builders to be brought up to that standard.
  7. A Class Sailor

    The new sailing twin skin setup

    No way. Besides it being against the rules, why would they? It would make every boat/rig obsolete over night, meaning everybody would need to buy a new mast and 2 mainsails costing 100's of thousands while giving little added benefit. I believe you are mistaken, because of a key factor. There is a huge difference between a foiling boat that does 3 times wind speed and a conventional "leadmine". On foiling boats, a 20% improvement from the rig will probably give a 5% increase in performance. On a leadmine, you will be lucky to get 1% improvement. I am sure some will try it, but in very limited circumstances. All handicap systems would kill off double skin mains because of being so punitive on rating. On one designs, or a box rule class like the TP52, there has to be a significant speed increase to justify the cost and the risk of disenfranchising the existing fleet. For new one designs, why make the class more expensive for marginal gains? this leaves a very few opportunities. There are a few true development classes with open enough rules to allow this type of rig, but I cannot think of any bigger than the A Class where it has been tried and despite some promise on certain points of sailing and in certain wind condition, it was found to need more development than people were prepared to pay for because the demand would never be high enough to justify the development costs. The same applies to the Moth, where again it was tried but showed even less potential. There are very good reasons why the double skin rig is a reasonable choice for the AC, but just like the solid wings of the last to cycles, it is hard to see a real trickle down, although to be fair, we have seen trickle up to the AC so is it really trickle down as Glenn got the concept from development work that has been going on for a number of years.They really did have to find a solution to the problems you get doing foiling tacks and gybes that had made the solid wing so good and which become a lot harder with a conventional rig due to drag as you go through the wind and the challenges of maintaining flow across the rig (having a sail flap in the middle of a foiling tack is not good!). In the end, I come back to a very simple equation. No amount of development is going to change the need for double the sail material, hardware and labour to make the sails, plus a mast that has to be significantly more expensive than a standard rig.This is why it will not trickle down.
  8. A Class Sailor

    The new sailing twin skin setup

    Put some of this into perspective. The 20% improvement is possible, maybe even more, but what you need to be considering is what percentage improvement that gives to boat speed and on a conventional boat, 20% improvement in rig efficiency would probably give you only a few percentage points gain in speed because hulls have a bigger impact on speed than rigs. Then consider the cost. It doesn't matter how much development is done, it is still going to cost something close to double a standard rig. Mast cost is a function of size, in this case sectional size, and for the double skin rig need to be significantly bigger section than you would need for a conventional rig, plus you need 2 tracks. Then you need the equivalent of 2 mainsails instead of 1, including 2 sets of battens, 2 sets of track sliders or bolt ropes while the only saving might be that you can use a slightly lighter cloth for each skin. Then there is the additional hardware needed to make the 2 skins work together. For arguments sake, let's say you are correct that development reduces costs so instead of double, we look at 50% more than a standard rig which I personally cannot see happening. Would you pay 50% more for a couple of percent improvement in speed? If you race with it, you will get stung on handicap anyway and if you use it in a new one design class, everybody will have it anyway, so what's the point? There might be some mileage in a very few development classes, but that isn't going to drive the cost down. It's already been tried in the A Class with little success, because our current rigs are so refined and nobody is going to spend tens of thousands developing something for a fairly small market. The double skin rig has its place and it is easy to understand why they have gone for it for the AC. That doesn't mean there is a logical tricle down for the mass market.
  9. I believe they make more on these boats, after taking into account the finance costs and the charter fees, than they would if they received an order for a similar number of boats to a sailing school or holiday company. There is no way they make a loss. Do you really think LP would have done it for a loss? No way!!! I keep hearing this but see no evidence of it and those involved deny it. People make the mistake of looking at what a "training sail" is being sold for by a small sailmaker and thinking that applies to a big sailmaker and an distribution set up that involves buying significant numbers at one time and holding stock. It's very easy for a small sailmaker to do a Laser sail cheaply. All tghey need is a sewing machine, because they can order the panels cut out by a plotting company and don't even need to order a whole roll of sailcloth, so they can make to order and not have money tied up in stock. The problem comes when you place an order for, say, 500 sails to be delivered in 6-8 weeks. You can't cut sails out one at a time. They need to be bulk cut and that doesn't come cheap. You need a bank of machinists. The capital investment in the plant adds significant cost. You need to buy the cloth and component parts in bulk, in advance. The savings for bulk don't pay for the plant and up front investment in materials. Then there is an issue of quality. People complain about inconsistencies in Laser sails and that is from plants that are ISO9001 certified (which costs a lot to get). Start bulk manufacturing without that sort of standard and process in place and you get a nightmare in quality, as has been seen in the past with other classes. None of this comes cheap and none of this is included in the price of "training sails" and we haven't even started talking about stocking and distribution costs. I suspect that it might be possible to reduce the cost of sails a bit but I would be very surprised if there really were big savings to be had.
  10. A Class Sailor

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    Yes they did, for a very limited period of time. The simulator is in the UK and IIRC, each team got a week, so something less than 3% of the amount of time ETNZ used their simulator for before launching their boat. For the boats to behave this well with crews who have had so little practice suggests the boats are rather well sorted.
  11. ^ This is not complicated. LP has suffered from cashflow problems for years. I know some of their suppliers have waited for a long time and imposed cash terms on LP. So what LP does is take orders from the USA with cash up front to fund their business. As they are always behind, they spend the pre-payments on European orders hoping to make enough money to be able to build the US boats. Well, that's the simple version. Add to that all the holding companies and the money that shifts between them to pay for royalties on things like use of the trademark - yes, one Rastegar pays another for the right to use the trademark. The boats are actually built by another. I was also told last weekend that ILCA has been working with a top lawyer in the UK to find a cast iron case to get rid of LP. This started some time ago as LP continually broke promises, disrupted supply and simply refused to play ball with the rest of the Laser community. It seems there are numerous breaches, but the others were of a nature that if push came to shove, LP could rectify them to ensure they didn't have their contract torn up. It seems that this time, the lawyers are confident that there is no way back for LP. I don't know enough detail for the legal eagles on here to be able to confirm this, but I trust my source. My feeling is that quite deliberately at this stage, we haven't heard everything about the ILCA case while what we are hearing from LP should not be trusted. I was also told that the other builders, trademark holders, association and other key memebrs of the wider Laser community who know what is going on are very confident and are in the process of negotiating new builders. They have been overwhelmed by how many top quality manufacturers have made approaches. It rather flies in the face of the idea that this was a move for PSA to take over markets such as the USA. My bet is on more builders in more countries which should drive down costs and improve reliability of supply.
  12. A Class Sailor

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    More selective memory trolling from the ETNZ fanboys. The reason why their boat did so well out of the box was that they had been sailing for months and months on their simulator and their boat behaved on the water in the way the simulator had predicted. Blair had many hundreds of hours experience in flying the boat. The guys "flying" the F50's this last weekend had about 10 hours training. For the teams in the AC50's to sail them as well as they did, it to hundreds or even thousands of hours training on simulators and/or the boats themselves.
  13. A Class Sailor

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    It is funny reading the stupidity that some write. I particularly like the claims that ETNZ would do better and that they would beat these teams in their AC50. The only way that would happen is if they were training 6 days a week for a year like they did for the AC. With limited training, there is no reason why they would be any better than the top teams. We have seen this with Pete and Blair in the 49er. With lots of training, they used to be unbeatable. Now, with less training, they haven't looked so good. The reason why the F50's aren't getting as much flight time as the AC50's is nothing to do with the boat and everything to do with the amount of time on the water for the sailors. If they sailed as much as the AC teams, flight time would be the same. I personally believe the event is far more interesting for the reduced flight time. Where was the excitement in 100% flight time? What we have now is that mistakes lead to coming off foils and this makes for more place changes and more tension, plus some spectacular moments. I hope the organisers keep limiting training time so that no team gets to fly 100% of the time. Racing would be so much more boring if all teams were always airborne. What tells us that these boats are step up from the AC boats is that novice teams are getting round the course in conditions that were worse than anything experienced in Bermuda despite very little practice and even while using a new flight control system that they had little time to learn. Based on the big wind day in Bermuda, if the AC fleet had raced in those conditions in SF, there would have been carnage.Who knows, there may have even been a pitchpole.
  14. A Class Sailor

    Larry's AC50 Circus

    Australia weren't late on the water and their preparation was fine. It was agreed that the less experienced teams would be allowed more practice time than the top teams in order to help them catch up and produce better racing. Australia and Japan both had the same amount of sailing time. Japan were given the least time training in Sydney because of the perceived advantage Nathan had being the only AC skipper and then having done most of the development work. Because of being on home water, the Australians got more time on the water than they would have at another venue and that extra time showed. The reality is that many believe that in equal boats, it would be hard for any team to beat Nathan and Gooby.
  15. A Class Sailor

    How many challengers will there be?

    Seems like a lot of time being wasted for teams that probably won't make the start line