I remember as a young 20-something seeing those Stephen Jones designs and thinking, "Why does this guy hate boats so much?"
By that time I had some books like Skene's and a few others, along with a copy of IOR Mk IIIa of which I had programmed a significant amount into my TI 55 calculator. I knew Jones was trying to fake out L and I appreciated his intentions, but I was just, "No!"
It seemed to me that he (and a few other designers) were on a mission to prove that hull shape simply didn't matter for racing sailboats. Or more specifically that sail area was much more significant than hull shape. And of course there would always be some outlier conditions where that was indeed the case. But the question remains: "Why?"
Same goes for Milgram and Cascade. Can you imaging what would have happened if Cascade was actually successful? God bless Wylie and his good-looking and well-mannered Wyliecats, but Cascade was neither.
The TI 55 quote is, I believe, excellent.
Design was driven by the Ton cups where the standard of sailing was excellent, therefore a faster boat for a given rating was a key to a buffer over the opposition.
Many designers in the smaller classes, and for sure the young innovating ones, had limited access to computing power, TI 55 was a common tool.
One key rationale was to increase sailing-length to improve beam-reach and downwind speed while ensuring the lowest % of measured sail-area (RSAP) compared to the actual sail area (see catboats and cascade).
Quite simple: pile-up unmeasured sailing-length and unmeasured sail-area. Less was to be lost in disruptions than what was gained in raw-power
At least this is what I remember from those days and it proves your point.
The light brigade came in (45° South QTC '75) and a totally different sailing and handling behaviour allowed smaller boats to win: a 7.3 m boat beam reaching faster than a 7.8 m one.
Soon the "calculators" thought that it should be possible to use the same tricks as on medium dspl yachts to draw a larger "light brigade" for a given rating, and it was back to square one.
So: Why ? many youngsters figured that a ton-cup success was a guaranteed entry into a nice job, they had to use any potential weapon be it ugliness.