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Doug Lord

Dr. Sam Bradfield

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Dr. Sam Bradfield has passed away. He was an inspiration to me and helped me learn a lot about hydrofoil sailing design. He had a way of explaining hydrofoils in a simple straightforward way. Sam designed an improved version of the wand surface sensors that regulate hydrofoil altitude. His basic system was copied and improved by John Illett and other Moth designers. After one summer where he used a trimaran platform of mine to test concepts for the 40' Skat, I designed a 56" radio controlled foiler, the F3, and a 16' monofoiler based on what I learned from Dr. Sam. He was an innovator, teacher and a great man.

Here is a page about him from foils.org: http://www.foils.org/bradfield.htm

Dr. Sams company website: https://sites.google.../HydroSail-Home

 

Here are just three of his boats, the 16' Rave, 40' Skat and the 18' Osprey:

post-30-0-08848700-1353281327_thumb.jpg

post-30-0-04613000-1353281357_thumb.jpg

post-30-0-02521600-1353281384_thumb.jpg

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I just hope he was able to hear and rejoice in the new of Vestas Sailrockets new record run. That would be such a great validation of his faith and enduring work into foiling under sail. I think that the Vestas record should be a tribute to Sam and all his brilliance.

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Sad news. Some of my finest sailing days were when I was going to school at FIT and Dr Sam was around.

 

I remember being a crash test dummy on the prototype Rave. I learned real quick to trust Dr Sams wands. I overcorrected on the rudder foil, pitched the bow down, snagged a crab trap and pitch poled it in the Indian River. Got some good laughs from the HydroSail team!

 

Condolences to all who knew him, especially Tom and Mike. Foil on Dr Sam.

 

Chris Duer

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I knew Sam well from his SNAME participation, and besides his quiet manner - which was truly remakable for a guy who got so much accomplished -, his real qenius was teaching my generation the importance of making numerical predictions of how things would perform back before there were VPPs; not because the numbers were spot on, but because making the calculation would teach one about the problem.

 

I once appeared in Court on the other side from Sam as a very special type of expert witness, and it was humerous to see his incredulity when I was qualified to testify based only on my pre-school experience what an "inexpert" person would likely have known about a technical matter because he was familiar with my technical work and we had worked together on a number of matters.

 

Sam, many of us will miss you a great deal.

 

Karl

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I just hope he was able to hear and rejoice in the new of Vestas Sailrockets new record run. That would be such a great validation of his faith and enduring work into foiling under sail. I think that the Vestas record should be a tribute to Sam and all his brilliance.

Well said, hope he had the chance see the advance in foiling over the last few weeks.

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I too was fortunate to work with Dr. Bradfield. One of the best guys you’ll ever meet, His enthusiasm and energy for sailing and seeing a boat go fast....very fast was his passion. We should all have his passion. God Bless you and thanks for the knowledge you taught me.

 

Chuck Nevel

FIT - Class of 1988

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Dr Sams magic wand controlled foils have left us all richer. To the father of foiling for many decades, Thank you. It would be nice if the AC foilers acknowledged his pioneering. PS does anyone know what happened to Scat?

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I had the opportunity to race against SCAT in the Miami-Nassau race one year. We were on Greenflash, a 42' Crowther catamaran that had been thoroughly tricked out by Dave Calvert. About half way across the Gulfstream the breeze started to moderate and we overtook SCAT who had just rocketed away from the fleet after the start in enough breeze to foil. As the wind came aft and dropped, she was left struggling to stay up on the foils and we just wore her down and as we came up from astern the helmsman decided to luff us up. We would have just passed her with a minimum of fuss well to windward but it was sad to make a fight of it and a luffing duel. I don't know who was at the helm (Phil Stegall?) but we finally just cracked off and went through her lee as it was hurting us both and she never got back on the pace. She was a stunning piece of work and if not so constrained by the narrow foiling window could have been a very competitive boat. Hats off to Sam!

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From a distance, Sam seemed to have the joy of following his bliss, for his own reasons.

 

Inspiration enough.

 

I can only wish him the universe now, and perhaps the controlling mathematics for fluid dynamics from you know Who......

 

Paul

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Dr Sams magic wand controlled foils have left us all richer. To the father of foiling for many decades, Thank you. It would be nice if the AC foilers acknowledged his pioneering. PS does anyone know what happened to Scat?

-------------------

Last I heard, from an unreliable source, she was sold to the Navy.

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There was a great article by Jim Trimaran Brown on Dr. Sam in the Oct/Nov issue of Professional BoatBuilder. Dr. Sam was to present a seminar at IBEX this past October, but he was too ill.

 

I only had the occasion to meet him once, but what a wonderful person he was.

 

Fair winds and fast sailing, Sam.

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As a "Rave" Trimaran owner - I've enjoyed a creation he helped design, for many years now. Always wondered how he was involved with the design.. if anyone has further insight, please share.

 

My personal 500m speed record still stands at 30 kts.. which is plenty fast for me. The boat is wonderfully designed, fast, and reliable... always shocked the interest in the boat was not greater, given it is a fun craft to sail.

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As a former Rave owner and sometime operator of several foiled vessels including the only(?) Hobie 16 T-foiler that Sam's company ever sold, I had a wonderful time doing this. Sam was both an institution and an inspiration.

 

One sort of wonders if the Oraclized designers of AC17 had paid closer attention to the experience of their predecessors in this science of foiling sailboats. A brilliant research chemist of my acquaintance has this cryptic notice in his office, "Two hours of effort in the library can usually be saved by four months hard work in the laboratory".

 

To Sam, fair winds and small whitecaps, enough to get the last hull out of the water.

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As a former Rave owner and sometime operator of several foiled vessels including the only(?) Hobie 16 T-foiler that Sam's company ever sold, I had a wonderful time doing this. Sam was both an institution and an inspiration.

 

One sort of wonders if the Oraclized designers of AC17 had paid closer attention to the experience of their predecessors in this science of foiling sailboats. A brilliant research chemist of my acquaintance has this cryptic notice in his office, "Two hours of effort in the library can usually be saved by four months hard work in the laboratory".

 

To Sam, fair winds and small whitecaps, enough to get the last hull out of the water.

-------------------------

Dave, I was just thinking that maybe they paid real close attention when you guys manually flew the Raves because I think that's how they fly the AC 72?

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