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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Handley Richard

Changes for next VOR

18 posts in this topic

What will be the changes between this race and the next race?

 

Will the boats be canting keeled?

Will composite construction rules change (especially in the hulls)?

How many more times can the race course cross the equator?

Will the race track have any southern ocean sailing?

 

I am interested in your thoughts...

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I expect a big revolution with even more points attributed in 2 In Port races over 2 days before leg starts.

 

Then a more boat friendly course avoiding the Southern Ocean:Sail across the Med, ship through Suez Canal. Stop where the money is: Middle East, China, Japan. Sail across to California, inshore in SF bay = max exposure. Sail to Panama canal - ship across, race to Antigua, US east coast then Europe.

 

Boat to be even lighter than now with canting keel still, wardrobe to contain just 2 kites and 2 headsails to keep costs down tongue.gif

 

Oh and there will be only 3 boats competing!

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I like your thinking. With less sails the crew could be reduced, then there could be about 4 media crew members on each boat.

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Then a more boat friendly course avoiding the Southern Ocean:Sail across the Med, ship through Suez Canal. Stop where the money is: Middle East, China, Japan. Sail across to California, inshore in SF bay = max exposure. Sail to Panama canal - ship across, race to Antigua, US east coast then Europe.

 

 

I really hope you're wrong.

 

If they do that course then they may as well call it a Clipper Open 70 and have crew who have paid to play.

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I like your thinking. With less sails the crew could be reduced, then there could be about 4 media crew members on each boat.

 

I seem to recall that when the Vo70 rule was first introduced to media, there was talk of primarily furled sails which prevented people going forward.

 

I would love to see the boats go back to the 60 foot length which could be handled with less crew, get into more places (due to shallower draught) and be run at a lower budget than the 70’s

 

It is funny that the 70’s were introduced to help cap costs yet the budget of one team could have run a few earlier challenges with the 60’s

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I like your thinking. With less sails the crew could be reduced, then there could be about 4 media crew members on each boat.

 

why not sell places on board to the average punter while yer at it?

 

o wait

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Will the race track have any southern ocean sailing?

 

Global warming is making the Arctic Ocean navigable in summer. I can reveal therefore that the next race will include a leg from Sanya to Boston via the North West Passage, eliminating the need for Antipodean diversions and allowing focus on the primary markets of economic concern to our sponsors.

 

arcticmap-nwpass3.gif

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What will be the changes between this race and the next race?

 

Will the boats be canting keeled?

Will composite construction rules change (especially in the hulls)?

How many more times can the race course cross the equator?

Will the race track have any southern ocean sailing?

 

I am interested in your thoughts...

 

From what I've heard, the teams are unhappy about the gates, and restriction zones. Something about forcing the navigators into less than favorable positions. Ie- if they had been able to go wherever they wanted it would have enabled them to take routes that would have been more favorable (less sea state/better angles).

 

I for one hope that the vor rule remains non-one design, and that all the fucking whiners out there shut their damn colective mouth. It's extreme sailing- it is not supposed to be easy, and it's not supposed to be for your average web-sailor/arm chair/fair weather weekend warrior, etc.. It's for professionals, who have the experience, understand the risk, and are willing to sign up for the adventure of their lives (maybe more than once). Their experence and knowledge gets transferred into the safety equipment and safety practices, etc... That we all use- thank Hans, rambler, and everyone else who has had the misfortune of an offshore accident; that we all might learn a thing or two and remember their importance next time we venture into the ocean.

 

60'ers with less crew? They would just find more specific sail combinations (thus negating the "easier sail handling"). This edition has already seen the advent of square headed storm/staysails. You simply can't do this race with less crew- not unless you allow the winches to be powered. And with all of you already bitching about the engine running for the keel canting, that wouldn't go over well. "we want a pure race!! But we also want a race with less crew"- fuck off and get real.

 

Realistically- you tell the teams what foam to use, and they will employee someone to figure out the best way minimize it's use if it's disadvantageous weight wise; if you leave it open, every designer entered this go around has experienced core delam- you better believe that they would solve it on their own- their reputations are staked on it. Same goes for the rigs- this is the first go with the 3di sails, and the designers are learning that the lower stretch in the sails are translating to more load in the rigs- I guarantee that the next gen rigs and rigging would (on the teams own) better capable of handling the loads. It's called the learning process, and we all benefit from the ac teams, vor teams, and grand prix (Bella mente, wild oats, etc...) teams for pouring their money in pushing the envelope for us.

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To my mind, the best change would be to move back to longer stopovers. IIRC they were introduced to cut costs, but they've made it much harder and more costly to recover from major equipment failure, and have also contributed to boats missing legs and in-port races. Whilst I'd like to see the rate of catastrophic failure be much lower, I don't think it's going to go away completely. There will still be occasions where boats limp back to land; lengthening the stopovers will increase their options for getting back into the race in time for the next leg.

 

There's also a strong commercial argument for this; missing the Brazil stopover would have been (even more of) a disaster for Sanya if it had been one of their primary sponsor markets...

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I expect a big revolution with even more points attributed in 2 In Port races over 2 days before leg starts.

 

Then a more boat friendly course avoiding the Southern Ocean:Sail across the Med, ship through Suez Canal. Stop where the money is: Middle East, China, Japan. Sail across to California, inshore in SF bay = max exposure. Sail to Panama canal - ship across, race to Antigua, US east coast then Europe.

 

Boat to be even lighter than now with canting keel still, wardrobe to contain just 2 kites and 2 headsails to keep costs down tongue.gif

 

Oh and there will be only 3 boats competing!

 

And 14 people watching ...........

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To my mind, the best change would be to move back to longer stopovers. IIRC they were introduced to cut costs, but they've made it much harder and more costly to recover from major equipment failure, and have also contributed to boats missing legs and in-port races. Whilst I'd like to see the rate of catastrophic failure be much lower, I don't think it's going to go away completely. There will still be occasions where boats limp back to land; lengthening the stopovers will increase their options for getting back into the race in time for the next leg.

 

There's also a strong commercial argument for this; missing the Brazil stopover would have been (even more of) a disaster for Sanya if it had been one of their primary sponsor markets...

 

 

Without any breakages the short stopovers would have worked out well so find out how to stop the boats breaking should be priority no 1...but that is pretty damn clear anyhow.

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Without any breakages the short stopovers would have worked out well so find out how to stop the boats breaking should be priority no 1...but that is pretty damn clear anyhow.

Boats have always broken in this race (and pretty much any other race TBH). Even the BT Global Challenge, with one-design, supposedly bombproof steel boats had major gear issues at times. The options open to the organisers are:

 

1. Pretend that next time none of the boats will break, accept that there will be major expense and risk of missing legs if it does, and potentially see teams walk away because they can't justify this risk to their sponsors.

 

2. Make allowances to enable a team to get back into the race after a major drama. This has been happening ever since the race switched from overall time to points-based results.

 

A look back at recent races suggests that adopting the second strategy is a much better way of keeping the race interesting. If the race organisers hadn't gone down this road results would still be on elapsed time, and we'd now be looking at a one-horse race, with the leader possibly about to be disqualified from the whole event...

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.................. or not as it turns out.

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A friend last night suggested that the tight limit on the boats should be changed.

 

It seems that the boats are "locked down" at the start in order to keep costs down. This makes it hard to see what the top boat has discovered to be a performance benefit and be able to copy it. The teams are restricted to make new sails (tight limits) and maybe not being able to change ballast or other items makes for a boring race. Telefonica certainly have something pretty special, I bet the others wish they could change their boats to match.

 

They could mode for a North /South equator crossing and then for a South/North equator crossing! lol

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Handley,

 

Ask your friend whether he/she prefers arms races or yacht races. His scheme turns the event into a big-money boat building competition. The current rules place all competitors in a reasonably sized box and let them take one shot at a boat. It's remarkably even handed on the design side. How could your friend's proposal make it "more" fair?

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More bodies on the boats for the in-port races? Use some of the shore crew to make it easier for the 'real' crew who would be heading offshore within 24 hours.

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Actually I think the current formula works pretty well with two exceptions.

 

The race goes to China and the Middle East for one very simple and very good reason and that is exactly the same reason there is a Dubai GP in F1 and a Shanghai GP in F1.

 

Move away from the current route and you might as well consign the Volvo to the history books. Camper sees China as a huge potential market and Telefonica and Groupama are already there and Puma has almost 30 stores in Shanghai alone.

 

In the last race at least one sponsor went from hot to trot to cold as a grave when Shanghai fell off the stopover radar, I know because we were negotiating directly with them and they were not a small company and had huge plans for entry into China.

 

Insufficient ROI (Return on Investment) = no sponsors -= no race, simple Econimics 101.

 

FYI the VOR Sanya Stopover was the biggest corporate weekend in the history of the Whitbread/Volvo with around 12,000 corporate guests. No large sporting event can survive without the corporate dollar - or yuan or yen or whatever.

 

The two exceptions I mentioned earlier are the rigs and the hull problems.

 

As even Knut Frostad said the rigs should not fall down - some envelope or other was simply pushed too far. I would not suggest any reason as i down want a pile of hurt for being libelous.

 

Regarding the hulls, it strikes me that as the hulls are a carbon pre-preg sandwich and the problems all seem to relate to delamination perhaps the (lightweight and strong)carbon wasn't impregnated with enough of the (heavy but sticky) resin in an attempt to maximise stength while minimising weight.

 

Perhaps someone here might be able to thrown a bit more light on this as although this seems logical to me as a sailor perhaps an engineer or boat builder could back this idea up or blow it out of the water.

 

Well at least in 3 hours or so they will be off and at least into kinder sea conditions this time, i wish them all luck and fair winds.

 

See ya on the water

 

Shanghai Sailor

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His thoughts are more to do with good event vs cost reduction. The balance has to be somewhere. At one extreme is going back to maxi yachts and HUGE budgets (RIP VOR). The other extreme is one design, single handed, fixed keel, 40 footers or better still - just a virtual race (again... RIP VOR).

 

Having the ability to take one shot seems to result in that Volvo habit of the yacht to win the first leg winning the race. So may as well save heaps and finish the race in Cape Town. Oh wait... commercial return... so lets start in middle east and finish the one leg race in China! Wasn't there talk years ago about a Volvo Pacific race? That would be a cool way to service those markets.

 

Oh, and it is not about being more fair. It is about keeping the race interesting for us who love to watch.

 

Handley,

 

Ask your friend whether he/she prefers arms races or yacht races. His scheme turns the event into a big-money boat building competition. The current rules place all competitors in a reasonably sized box and let them take one shot at a boat. It's remarkably even handed on the design side. How could your friend's proposal make it "more" fair?

 

 

 

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