SimonN

A Class Worlds - Who's getting excited and other gossip

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As is becoming a tradition, I stick my head back into this cesspool as the A Class Worlds in Weymouth is fast approaching. I admit to being excited as I get on a plane in less than 24 hours (even if I don't get to Weymouth for another few days).

Of course we are in for the now traditional battle of DNA vs Exploder. I haven't heard of any new DNA developments but rumours abound about new rudder foils and main foils for the Exploder - Z27's or will they be Z28's by the time we arrive! Solid tramps now seem to be on all new boats and the Exploders are more uniform in layout and foil position than previously having settled on the "Australian" configuration (or have they?).

This year we are without Glenn Ashby and his TNZ friends, but we are still expecting a very competitive event with most of the regular suspects in attendance. Mischa has been showing good speed in Europe, but there has been little competitive sailing in Australia so we don't know if progress has been made down under. With Darren Bundock busy on Olympic coaching duties, the next best Aussie based on the last worlds is Stevie Brewin. Will he get his mojo back, because it was certainly missing in Queensland. Rumours suggest he has a new rig and maybe even a boom.

Stories from Poland suggest a concerted effort and they should be on the pace, and that Dave Shaw should now be sailing for Poland seeing that he has done more A Class sailing there than at home. They have just had their nationals as they all get race ready and it turned into a really close event decided by just one point. We also need to consider Manolo (sp), Bruce Mahoney and whoever else i have forgotten.

Then we need to think of the Classics, which many think will be a straight fight between Landy and Scotty Anderson but I am sure there will be others in contention particularly if we have a lighter wind event.

The long range weather forecast doesn't tell us much about the worlds, but for the early arrivals, it looks like it is going to be "fresh to frightening". Being England, we could get a little of everything and conditions could have an impact on the results. But of more concern to me, temperatures in the middle of the English summer seem very similar to those we have been training in during the Australian winter. Call me soft, but the winter wetsuit is packed.

So who's going, who will win, what other rumours have been heard?

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I’m excited Simon. Just did the first 14 hours and having a couple of days at the Taj before the next 8. 

See you for a warm pint on Thursday?

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Not me.. unfortunately, it'll be fun.

Interesting to see how much better the fastest have gotten in upwind flying. We can't really make it work in Denmark, guess sails has changed as well? Or some other secret technique?

And also how settings on rudders has evolved. More gains to come I guess. And then the Z-20-25-30 + all kinds of winglet-designs, spooky.....have no clue on what DNA's are doing, they are a little less informative.

The former worlds winners must be favourites, but it could be fun if some others could shake things up a little..

 

 

 

 

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Very excited to see some footage of the racing! The new exploders look great! From pictures it doesn’t look like the Z27 is too much different to the Z22 - I’m sure there’s more to it than meets the eye. 

Interesting to see Dave Shaw’s boat is for sale - looks like a fantastic buy! 

 

@ Lars As a relative newcomer to the class I’m also finding the upwind foiling challenging in terms of VMG... Any advise from the more experienced among us would be sincerely appreciated! 

 

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Simon I’ll dip in to the cesspool and take some of the heat for you. 

Its puzzling to see very little representation from two quite close countries particularly in the Classic discipline. 

A lot of people worked very hard to establish it to provide for those countries and others who were vocal about foiling taking over. 

Its been established on a trial basis and was very successful at the last Worlds. 

Its now time to put your complaints in to action and attend events. 

Use it or lose it people. 

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I am still a few days away from arriving but been keeping in touch with team mates. The new boats seem great and I am excited to sail one. Having tested Z27's already, i would say they are an evolutionary step, rather than the quantum leap we saw with either the Z10's or 22's, but improvement is improvement so it will be interesting to see this against the opposition.

Upwind foiling is all about practice, practice and more practice.It needs real feel to know how to build speed while appearing to lose ground but knowing it is worth it for what you gain back once up to speed. In the end, the faster you go the higher you can point. The other problem is that the boat has to be set up perfectly, but that the settings tend to be very personal. In our training group (Stevie Brewin, Darren Bundock and myself), we all run different foil settings to suit our styles and our weight. Sometimes, half a degree on or off the rudder rake is worth 2-3 knots of boat speed, other times it seems to make no difference. I wish I could write a guide to set up, but if I did, most would say it doesn't work for them. My advise is to try to be very analytical. What is the boat's attitude, how is it behaving etc. Then think about what you need to change to improve that.

WnW - I agree with you about turnout from certain countries in the classic division. I hope it is just a reaction to the additional travel that crossing the channel involves because it is clear that a lot of people consider the issues of distance and minor inconvenience very differently to how we see it in Australia.Maybe they are all snowflakes scared the weather won't be nice......

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People who bitch and moan about change and then don't support their class by travelling give me the shivering quits.  It is one of the reasons I changed classes - to the A Class Classic.   How ironic.  If Weymouth was anything less than a couple of days drive away, I'd be there in a heartbeat.

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On 8/18/2019 at 2:36 PM, SimonN said:

I am still a few days away from arriving but been keeping in touch with team mates. The new boats seem great and I am excited to sail one. Having tested Z27's already, i would say they are an evolutionary step, rather than the quantum leap we saw with either the Z10's or 22's, but improvement is improvement so it will be interesting to see this against the opposition.

Upwind foiling is all about practice, practice and more practice.It needs real feel to know how to build speed while appearing to lose ground but knowing it is worth it for what you gain back once up to speed. In the end, the faster you go the higher you can point. The other problem is that the boat has to be set up perfectly, but that the settings tend to be very personal. In our training group (Stevie Brewin, Darren Bundock and myself), we all run different foil settings to suit our styles and our weight. Sometimes, half a degree on or off the rudder rake is worth 2-3 knots of boat speed, other times it seems to make no difference. I wish I could write a guide to set up, but if I did, most would say it doesn't work for them. My advise is to try to be very analytical. What is the boat's attitude, how is it behaving etc. Then think about what you need to change to improve that.

Thanks Simon, and yes agree - practice is the key, and setup is very personal; after all there are too many variables with these boats.

Looking forward to seeing action from the coming days! 

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Ouch! Who was that?

The American's will show up in force with Classics at the Worlds in 2020. St. Pete is a very good classic venue. Too many of us have been burned with delayed container shipping (that never arrived in one case) and the cost burden of attending a Worlds I think to make it happen. There was a last minute push but without 4 and really 8 boats in a container it doesn't work...

Lots of good tips posted above on the foiling, I am curious to see how the rigs/sails go and what rudder winglets are fast, as well as what the deal with the new DNA's is.

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That’s great to hear that the US fleet has embraced the hard work done to establish the classic fleet. Of course not 100% of people will agree with each minor detail of the solution but it is pleasing to hear they have risen above that minor niggling and will support the event and the overall class. 

It is a little disappointing that only three sailors from the two countries hosting the next two Worlds are attending the Weymouth Worlds. We have to support each other. 

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I was planning a late entry, but I weren't allowed to buy Stonehenge and Scotland, so I stay away. Won't go to Florida either, out of discussion that I can buy the Keys..

And it's my broken mast. Upwind battle in 25-30 knots, capsized, mast broke while hitting the water. To much cunni for that manoeuvre..

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Ouch, sorry Lars!!

WnW, I agree, especially with the FRA entries and their relatively close proximity to Weymouth. I think that Brexit kept folks away with the unknown unknowns of shipping; the Aussies have always been the best at figuring that out...

I would be there and we thought long and hard about it (I have a top level platform sitting in Weymouth) but with other sailing commitments on the 2 man boat this fall it just wasn't going to happen.

Right now it looks like the DNA is coming on very strong but there are 2/3 eXploders in the top 5 as well. My understanding of equipment is:

1) Brewin: 2019 eXploder aussie config, straight track, Z27's, custom rudder winglets, tapered FF mast, Brewin sail.

2) Mischa: 2019 DNA, tapered FF mast, Mischa sail

3) Bruce: 2019 DNA, tapered FF mast, Mischa sail

4) Dave Shaw: 2019 eXploder aussie config, straight track, Z27's, eXploder seagull winglets (I think), tapered FF mast, Brewin sail.

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On 8/19/2019 at 6:14 PM, WetnWild said:

That’s great to hear that the US fleet has embraced the hard work done to establish the classic fleet. Of course not 100% of people will agree with each minor detail of the solution but it is pleasing to hear they have risen above that minor niggling and will support the event and the overall class. 

It is a little disappointing that only three sailors from the two countries hosting the next two Worlds are attending the Weymouth Worlds. We have to support each other. 

I think most of the Americans used up their travel funds going to Australia (I know that was my situation).  We sent 2 containers down there.  I expect us to be there in force at the 2021 worlds in France.

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Muricans are good at writing letters, usually excuses these days.  C'mon Lonesome Bruce ol' Buddy, holder & lone displayer of the Stars & Stripes.  

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The British Nationals are done and dusted and now we are into that strange period before it all starts to get very real. Here is my assessment.

The first thing to consider is the forecast, which is suggesting we will have a fairly light worlds and currently there is little to suggest the early part will see upwind foiling. That could turn thing upside down in terms of who is favorite. The other factor is that a number of the top Exploder riders only arrived yesterday, and in particular, the top Polish guys from the Polish worlds. Expect to see them mix up the results a bit. Then there are people like Manolo who was sailing but didn't sail through the finish line in any race.

In terms of boats, there seems that DNA continue with their well known product. The big visual advance is with the latest Exploder. Jakob has gone the extra mile to give it to produce a very slick product. Anybody buying a new Exploder is going to be blown away by how well it is fitted out and how slick the systems are. This takes away all the issues of how to fit a boat out and will ensure everybody has a well sorted product. Things like the low profile traveller are beautiful. Some might find the solid tramp a bit to get used to, but I like it. The good news is that if you already have a well sorted AD3, you are not going to be outclassed, but the new boats are an object of desire!

Of course, the real difference is in the foils. The reality is that the Z27's are an improvement in the right hands, but we are not talking the sort of jump we saw from the 10's to 22's. They are not going to make everybody foil upwind who cannot do so at the moment. There are also mixed views as to whether they are actually easier or more difficult to use. My view is in the right hands, they are faster but mid fleet, you probably won't notice the difference enough to justify going from 22's to 27's. If you are battling at the front and can foil upwind and make gains, then you probably would change. Which brings me to another key point - upwind foiling. More people are doing it, but from what I have seen, it is still only a few who make it pay. Landy, on a classic, reported yesterday that he was gaining 300m on a beat in practice against many so called upwind foilers and this is because they sail so low. Of course, the guys who can do it properly are probably going as high or higher than the best non foilers, but many need to work on their height.

At the front of the fleet, the first day showed that Stevie Brewin has probably found a new upwind mode and in breeze, is back to the sorts of speed difference we saw in Sopot. It's early days and with less wind, the results got mixed up a bit, but in "proper" conditions (13 knots +), Stevie has so far shown some real pace. What's the difference this year after the disappointment of Hervey Bay? Some of it has been due to a solid training block, but he has also worked very hard on a new sail and it really shows. Everybody who ordered a sail is very happy after the British Nationals and this is resulting in potentially a few last minute swaps to Brewin Sails before the event starts, as people are rushing to try this new sail. Stevie's new offering has a 400mm head and a boom, it carries a lot of power and shape low down at all times and has a top that is very adjustable from very full to bladed out. Of course I am biased, but where we made little progress after Sopot going into Hervey Bay with the rig, this is a big step forward.

Team DNA have been out training hard over the last few days and I am not sure if they are testing anything new or simply trying to find an extra gear with current equipment. It's pretty impressive to see 8-10 of them launching and training together and clearly DNA customers are getting great on the water support.

My prediction? I am not going to make one, because I am biased and do not want to jinx anybody.

Finally, a word about the classic fleet. We haven't seen the "big" showdown yet, because Landy has been keeping his ammunition dry and hasn't lined up against Scott Anderson, who has been the class of the field so far. Landy and his son Andy are working hard and I suspect that if Andy overcome his youthful inexperience, we could see a great 3 way fight at the front. Having said that, the lighter winds forecast might bring a few others into contention.

 

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Well that gets the drops out of the way.

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57 minutes ago, WetnWild said:

The biggest news is Andy beat Landy. 

The Master becomes the Apprentice ;)  I told him he needs to man up and start foiling haha.

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Not much to say really. Very light winds. I have never done an A Class race in such light conditions (and wasn't really sure what to do!). Didn't trapeze for 2 whole laps. Almost everybody didn't foil at all. I say "almost" because those that did got bitten hard. Mischa was 1st round the top mark, foiled off, gybed and came back at such an angle that he found himself at the top mark again, or at least that is how the story will get retold forever more! Really feel for him, because I have never seen anything like that and lots of smart arses say he should have gybed and gone low non foiling, but if a sailor if Mischa's quality doesn't spot it, it tells you what the conditions were like.

The Classic fleet had even less win with a glass out at one point. WnW has already posted the big news of son beats father/coach, but the anticipated contenders were all within a couple of places of each other so they all have a "counter" in the bag

Forecast for today isn't promising and we might not get any racing.

 

 

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I am surprised the races were competed in such light air. Championship rules require the breeze to be above 5kts: http://www.a-cat.org/sites/default/files/2017.04.03-IACA_championship_rules.pdf

However, we sail in those conditions regularly in the U.S. St. Pete will have 1 or two non trapezing light air days. It is challenging to know when to foil and when not to, especially in a mixed fleet as the gybe angles for foiling really make it questionable vs. a C-board boat going right down the middle of the course!

That is a tough first day for Mischa especially, and I think we all feel for a top competitor who got strung out in 60th, but that is also the challenge with sailing!

Hopefully the forecast improves!

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Another light day on the water.  I hear all the people who say that the race should be binned if the wind drops, personally I think dealing with the conditions is part of the sport, I would rather get enough races in to allow discards.

Everyone is racing in the same conditions, the winners are the ones who make best use of the breeze present.  The PRO here is watching things closely, if the wind has an “inversion”, he will stop the race, if it’s just lighter patches, easily spotted, and missed, he is letting it run, the only people complaining here are the ones with poor risk management, or bad gear changes, or have optimised for heavier conditions, or have eaten too many pies, most are happily racing away in glorious Weymouth.  The heavy air artists will have their chance later in the week.  That’s why it’s a series of races. Y’all should be here, it’s lovely.

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Today the Classic fleet were off first. They went out and came back in without racing. Went out again and got 2 races in. 5-8 knots seems to have been the conditions with young Andy Landy ending the day in the lead. Landy himself had a mixed day with a double figure result pushing him down. Scott Anderson won a race. The top 4 boats are 3 points apart after 3 races. WnW has all his scores in the top 10 and is in contention whenever I have seen him

In the foilers, we had one race, with a second started and abandoned half way down the first run with little to no wind. In the first race, we had 5-8 knots. About 8 boats went round the top mark close, some decided it was too light to foil and another, led by Manolo, got up on foils and were launched. Manolo was never headed. Behind was a battle with Mischa recovering with a right hand flyer up the second beat and good downwind speed to come second. Dave Shaw was 3rd and Bruce Mahoney 4th. Stevie Brewin got up to 5th but got big weed on the last run to finish 5th.

Leaders lapped the tail enders in a 45 minute race. Half the fleet struggled to foil while the front of the fleet foiled top to bottom.From my position, I see those struggling sailing the wrong angle to start, not building speed, stepping back too soon and heeling too much while over sheeting the sail. But what do I know?

23 hours ago, DtM said:

You missed Simon at 45th

Seeing you are so keen on my results, I was 11th. Should have been top 5, but I slipped and fell off in a gybe when in 3rd and just behind Manolo. I blame the boat builder. I showed him my seniors card but he still didn't fit handrails and walking frame  :D

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9 hours ago, SimonN said:

Seeing you are so keen on my results, I was 11th. Should have been top 5, but I slipped and fell off in a gybe when in 3rd and just behind Manolo. I blame the boat builder. I showed him my seniors card but he still didn't fit handrails and walking frame  :D

A good jump up the scoreboard and I bet you didn't think you would be in front of Mischa after two races.

Go Simon  

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Some nice technical summaries by Simon above but one thing only briefly mentioned deserves more attention. 

The boom is back. For foilers that is. Of course the more discerning sailors of the Classic fleet never abandoned the boom. 

But more seriously, the foilers tried without booms but have now concluded that a boom allows just a little bit more sail shape control.  Particularly with the short tracks and when easing there is a tendency for the sail to bag up down low. 

And even more seriously, Simon has yet to optimise the use of his Seniors card. I found mine very helpful to smooth out wrinkles when applying the event stickers to the boat. The Measurer has found his useful to put in the slot to keep the lights on in his room. 

And finally a quick competition. I shall supply a carton of Coronas to the be delivered at the next World’s in Florida who can spot the mistake in Simon’s stickers. So start trawling through the thousands of photos on Facebook. The Measurer is excluded from this of course. 

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21 hours ago, maxstaylock said:

Another light day on the water.  I hear all the people who say that the race should be binned if the wind drops, personally I think dealing with the conditions is part of the sport, I would rather get enough races in to allow discards.

Everyone is racing in the same conditions, the winners are the ones who make best use of the breeze present.  The PRO here is watching things closely, if the wind has an “inversion”, he will stop the race, if it’s just lighter patches, easily spotted, and missed, he is letting it run, the only people complaining here are the ones with poor risk management, or bad gear changes, or have optimised for heavier conditions, or have eaten too many pies, most are happily racing away in glorious Weymouth.  The heavy air artists will have their chance later in the week.  That’s why it’s a series of races. Y’all should be here, it’s lovely.

I know the PRO has lost sleep over ensuring you guys get enough races in and races of appropriate quality. He's very focused on getting it right for the event and the competitors as he knows how much goes into it for everyone.

Happy racing all, may your races start in 5.2 knots and end in 18 knots with flat water and sun shining.

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