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Women's Skiff: let the battle start


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#201 Tcatman

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:06 AM


Just curious, the cat sailors are engaged in civil war over the merits of boats and what the target audience should be.

What is the difference with you skiffies, Dare I say... the ladies are playing nice about the boat... while the men are still involved in the cat battle and are fighting to hold onto their niche in the Oly's.

I don't hear a peep about which boat did the best out of these trials for the ladies.... Wow. You could get dizzy with the spin campaigns in cat world.

Here are some possible reasons...
First of all, the girls don't have much to fight about yet.

The really mean bitches that sail 470s haven't yet made their lovely presence known in skiff circles so as of now, we all get along. Skiffs in general are a pretty cool group of sailors to be around. Hopefully that culture will continue but with the addition of international coaches there will be some ugly moments, I'm sure...

The cats each have existing fleets and histories that are adding to the fire of that debate. Not to mention the impact of the Tornado being removed in the first place. That is a lot of drama.

The female skiff sailors have less vested in this process. Female skiff sailing is still maturing around the world. But I know there are many skiff sailors sitting on pins and needles waiting to see what boat is selected, so they ARE interested.

I think there is one aspect of the boat selection that women skiff sailors are not vocal enough about - how an increased upper weight range will impact the team make up. I am not sure why more sailors aren't concerned about this (maybe they are expressing their concerns elsewhere). I guess the reasons are:
1) they feel comfortable fielding a team member that is at least 150lbs, 5', 9" AND has the agility needed to sail a skiff.
2) they don't believe a powered up boat with a heavier team will sail faster
3) haven't figured it out yet

Note: There were skiff sailors at the trials who posted their comments on their blogs and fb pages. I am friends with them so I followed that dialog through the trials so there is info out there...

Thanks for the candor! :D I think you nailed us cat sailors... nice job btw.

5'9 150.... that's a basketball team player...My sister could play now... agile... not so much.

I will say... we have very few high level crews in cat sailing on the spin boats. Just a few woman have emerged to speak to the sport... they tend to come from the big boat classes like Tornados (carolijm and Na...Gabler) so I hope the committees have a lot of new input.

Good luck

#202 soling2003

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:02 AM

I did find out from talking to one of the girls who was there involved with the trials how political some things were. Some were blatant and other things you would just say ...hmmmmmm, I wonder why that was?
It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

#203 SimonN

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:47 AM

I get the impression that the big difference is that there is no class that feels that they are the "incumbent" and as such, has the "right" to set the agenda. I find it particularly interesting that we haven't seen a big debate between the women saying that the weight band that ISAF is suggesting is wrong. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place, but it seems to me that the range is considered acceptable.

At any trials, there is a lot of politics being played. At the mens skiff trials, almost every other manufacturer did all they could to support a wispering campaign that the 49er was simply too hard to sail, which increased as it became clear that the 49er was actually something rather special. Of course this led to a "legendary" moment, when Julian Bethwaite set out single handed in 12-14 knots, sailed upwind, tacked, sailed a little more, bore away and hoisted the kite followed by a couple of gybes. Everybody was watching. I think he made a point! In the end, the 49er was a very clear winner. I hope this trials also produces a clear winner, but at first glance it seems that there are a number of boats pretty close to each other. I suspect the business plan of a couple might hurt their chances, but others eem to offer all that is needed from a builder, so I hope there won't be any controvacy with teh final decision.

#204 skiffman

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:38 PM

The chat I heard was that the 49erFX was the best by quite a bit, but ISAF were concerned about the cost which is a joke. There's loads of second hand boats around to start with, then if anyone actually thinks that the price these other woman's skiffs are coming out at is going to last then they are kidding themselves. They will all end up increase with price especially with the 49er being the price it is for basically the same piece of kit.

Anyway, I just hope that the girls get the boat they want to sail which ever boat that is. I thought it would end up being the 900 but apparently it's not quite as good as it looks?

Has anyone done the rough somes of what you would expect the right weight would be for the FX, basing the calculations on the normal 49er crew weight of 155kg? It must be about 125kg????

Is the big news not that the kite surfers stole the show blasting around in 6 knots higher and way faster than anything else on the water

#205 narecet

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:28 PM

They say the sailplan was designed for 120 kg; as a crude look, it has 92.8% the sail area with an "about 10%" shorter rig, so it might need only about 83% the righting moment. That would come out to 129 kg "working like" 155. But for sure I'd go with what they figured rather than that. Or, it's not as if a 49er crew has to be absolutely all of the 155 kg.

#206 skiffman

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

Thanks, the 155kgs is probably the normal average for the top 10 in the world but it did go up with everyone expecting Perth to be windy.

My crew Alain sailed the FX and really liked it, but noticed the lack of grunt. Especially in the 7-11 knot range, although it still picked up and went with the lighter crew on board. I keep saying that we want one just to go blasting on the 25 knot plus days!

#207 mustang__1

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

Thanks, the 155kgs is probably the normal average for the top 10 in the world but it did go up with everyone expecting Perth to be windy.

My crew Alain sailed the FX and really liked it, but noticed the lack of grunt. Especially in the 7-11 knot range, although it still picked up and went with the lighter crew on board. I keep saying that we want one just to go blasting on the 25 knot plus days!


any chance it'd be faster than a regular rig 49er 25kt days due to less drag? the #2 rig?....

#208 narecet

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:22 PM

The shorter rig also means the same righting moment can support more driving force. At some point, it has to be as you say, the reduced rig will be faster.

#209 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

The chat I heard was that the 49erFX was the best by quite a bit, but ISAF were concerned about the cost which is a joke. There's loads of second hand boats around to start with, then if anyone actually thinks that the price these other woman's skiffs are coming out at is going to last then they are kidding themselves. They will all end up increase with price especially with the 49er being the price it is for basically the same piece of kit.

Anyway, I just hope that the girls get the boat they want to sail which ever boat that is. I thought it would end up being the 900 but apparently it's not quite as good as it looks?

Has anyone done the rough somes of what you would expect the right weight would be for the FX, basing the calculations on the normal 49er crew weight of 155kg? It must be about 125kg????

Is the big news not that the kite surfers stole the show blasting around in 6 knots higher and way faster than anything else on the water


It's interesting that you heard the ISAF's concern regarding the FX was price. That seems illogical because It's one of two boats where used equipment actually exists in ample supply around the world...

My guess as to what the concerns regarding the FX are
*identifying the true optimal racing weight
*Identifying the minimum required weight to safely boat handle up to 25kts
*capsize recovery
*launching

#210 JimC

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:08 PM

There would be something very wrong if the 49er wasn't the fastest boat round the track in most conditions, being much the biggest, but whether that translates into "best" I don't know. It depends of quite what the parameters are...

#211 misconseption2348

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:26 PM

I tend to get the impression that ISAF doesn't want to pick another "smaller version" skiff for the womens events. It's kinda like saying yeah you can come play, but only if we de-power the boats for you because you are girls. Not exactly the message they want to put out there, so unfortunately I think the XX and FX are not going to be selected. It worked for the Radial but only because of the extreme popularity of the laser and a big enough weight discrepancy. Cost wise, while there are lots of 2nd hand boats around, how good are these boats? Most 6-7 year old 49ers that have been raced are not in great shape. In addition bigger boat, means bigger gear, more expensive to repair and replace, more expensive to transport. Initial upfront cost of the boat is marginal in any campaign. Same goes for Carbon, but it is sexy enough that it might get the nod as it is easier to market a carbon boat to the masses. Newest, best tech, for the best female sailors, blah blah. So I don't know which they will go, just what I'm thinking.

#212 Reht

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

I don't know that it's so much of a "you can only play if we tone it down", it's just that on average women are smaller and not as strong as males. This lends itself to needing smaller equipment and lighter loads, if you're going to use a platform developed for guys it's going to be just unreasonably big for girls. Put a fleet of girls on 49ers in 20-25+knts and see how they fare, I'll bet that most of them will have trouble just because the loads are too big and they aren't big enough to push the boat.

A platform developed specifically for a lighter crew will be a lot more sail-able in heavy conditions, but we have no idea whether that's even a major point for ISAf in this decision. Honestly, we don't know the details on how they're deciding, whether it's sailing proficiency of the boat, availability to the world, cost, sexy looks, or something else. It's a shame that we have to wait another few months before anyone reaches a decision, the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

#213 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:55 PM

...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.

#214 narecet

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:07 PM

I tend to get the impression that ISAF doesn't want to pick another "smaller version" skiff for the womens events. It's kinda like saying yeah you can come play, but only if we de-power the boats for you because you are girls. Not exactly the message they want to put out there, so unfortunately I think the XX and FX are not going to be selected.

I'm understanding I think your line of reasoning, but not the application.

Isn't a yet-smaller-overall, definitely-slower-than-49'er women's-only skiff much MORE of a "we had to weaken down because you are girls" boat?

It seems to me that the 49er FX being right about as fast the regular 49er is a tremendous statement that the women can handle just as serious a boat as the men. Boats like the Arup are saying, we have to weaken the requirements way down.

#215 Reht

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:36 PM


...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.


So even less time (what, 1 year? a year and a half?) Is it just me or does that seem like a bit of a joke...

#216 olivers

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

Much as I respect the 49er FX, I wonder what it is like for two women in the target weight range to launch in difficult conditions and right after a capsize in big waves?


A 49er hull is a big beast both on and off the water to wrestle around.
If you can't right it reliably, it will be a major liability when learning to sail it -- unless you have the lots of money for a coach to shadow you ...

I look forward to the evaluation sailors' feedback ...



#217 Tcatman

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:45 AM



...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.


So even less time (what, 1 year? a year and a half?) Is it just me or does that seem like a bit of a joke...

I think a factor in selection will be fleets to hit the water just after Weymouth because of the time constraints. That was a message we got from US ISAF selection person. I have no idea what that means for skiff world. ... with cats... it puts the burden on Nacra 17's to make a case.

#218 SimonN

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:09 AM



...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.


So even less time (what, 1 year? a year and a half?) Is it just me or does that seem like a bit of a joke...

The boat will be decided on in May and it will be 2 years until the first opportunity to qualify a country for the games. There will also be the opportunity to qualify after that. The usual process would see about 1/3rd or 1/2 qualify in 2014. This is no different from what normally happens. What else would you suggest? There is no point in choosing earlier as everyboidy will be tied up with the 2012 games.

#219 JimC

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:12 AM

Boats like the Arup are saying, we have to weaken the requirements way down.

Or alternatively they are saying "we are taking you seriously and giving you something up to the minute, designed specifically for the job, rather than saddling you with a half-arsed lash-up of a 15 year old design..."

You can spin anything anyway you like, but I know which I would rather sail... Small and light are as far as I am concerned major virtues in boats, full stop.

#220 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

and that's an interesting spin Jim- the Arup Skiff wasn't 'specifically designed for the job' either. It's a Cherub, for the Cherub class with another logo on some sails.

Nothing wrong with this approach, it could well be applied and be the best of the bunch, I doubt it though.

#221 Reht

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:08 PM




...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.


So even less time (what, 1 year? a year and a half?) Is it just me or does that seem like a bit of a joke...

The boat will be decided on in May and it will be 2 years until the first opportunity to qualify a country for the games. There will also be the opportunity to qualify after that. The usual process would see about 1/3rd or 1/2 qualify in 2014. This is no different from what normally happens. What else would you suggest? There is no point in choosing earlier as everyboidy will be tied up with the 2012 games.


Decided on in May, when will all the boats be delivered to sailors around the world? Say there are 20 teams who want boats right from the start, will there be 20 ready for shipping immediately or will they then have to wait a few months before the boats are built and shipped? Going for <3 years from no time in a boat to full speed is certainly possible I have no doubt, but you better not have a job, a luxury few sailors can afford. Why couldn't they choose a year or two ago? There's no equivalent event at the moment, the girls who would be first in line to get the boats are just waiting right now (or sailing an equivalent boat in anticipation). Sure the 470 girls might be concentrating on the Olympics, but I would hope they're not the only ones who are going to sail these skiffs.

#222 narecet

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

On your conceptual point, fair enough Jim!

If the up-to-the-minute alternative, taking advantage of what's been learned in 15 years and let's say tailored specifically for the job, wound up being the slightest bit faster than the "half-arsed lashup of a 15 year old design," or even virtually as fast and bringing new advantages, then I wouldn't have posted what I did.

But unless the Arup is somehow way faster than other Cherubs, that's hardly the case.

#223 skiffman

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:47 PM

The 49er can be righted by 80kgs in 25 knots and big waves, you simply can not right it with the rig pointing downwind. I mean even at 155kgs we can not do that! Sorry for the rant but the amount of people that say the 49er can not be righted is unreal. It's not that hard you just can not do it in the same way as you can in other boats.

Not that I think the FX should get it, I think that from what I have heard from the girls (not all the girls there but some) it's the nicest to sail and fastest in most conditions. I always thought the 900 would be the best option being a scaled down modern 49er, I think once you have raced with those solid wings it's very hard to ever choose racks, especially in a one design.

In the answer to will it be faster than a normal 49er (with 155kg onboard both) in 25 knots, I do not know, but I am sure that at some point it will be. Whether that's 22, 25 or 27 etc. Pretty sure that it would go like stink!

#224 misconseption2348

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:58 PM





...the girls will have 3 years to get a boat, get up to speed, and go before they face qualifying regattas.

BTW: Country qualification for the 2016 games happens in 2014.


So even less time (what, 1 year? a year and a half?) Is it just me or does that seem like a bit of a joke...

The boat will be decided on in May and it will be 2 years until the first opportunity to qualify a country for the games. There will also be the opportunity to qualify after that. The usual process would see about 1/3rd or 1/2 qualify in 2014. This is no different from what normally happens. What else would you suggest? There is no point in choosing earlier as everyboidy will be tied up with the 2012 games.


Decided on in May, when will all the boats be delivered to sailors around the world? Say there are 20 teams who want boats right from the start, will there be 20 ready for shipping immediately or will they then have to wait a few months before the boats are built and shipped? Going for <3 years from no time in a boat to full speed is certainly possible I have no doubt, but you better not have a job, a luxury few sailors can afford. Why couldn't they choose a year or two ago? There's no equivalent event at the moment, the girls who would be first in line to get the boats are just waiting right now (or sailing an equivalent boat in anticipation). Sure the 470 girls might be concentrating on the Olympics, but I would hope they're not the only ones who are going to sail these skiffs.

Remember that everyone is going to have to play catch up. The only people with the real advantage is going to be those who are currently sailing skiffs. A month or two or three isn't going to make a huge difference after 2-3 years of practice. These girls will be training as much as they can, within physical and financial limitations. To say that they are not going to be up to full speed is ridiculous. Every girl I've talked to who wants to campaign this disciple has already begun sailing skiffs of some sort on the side in preparation, mostly XX as that is whats around. Yes it is a short cycle but people will find something to sail while they are waiting for their new boat to get there, then it will take some getting used to the new systems and new nuances of the boat. But everyone will be starting at the same point.

#225 Reht

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

Remember that everyone is going to have to play catch up. The only people with the real advantage is going to be those who are currently sailing skiffs. A month or two or three isn't going to make a huge difference after 2-3 years of practice. These girls will be training as much as they can, within physical and financial limitations. To say that they are not going to be up to full speed is ridiculous. Every girl I've talked to who wants to campaign this disciple has already begun sailing skiffs of some sort on the side in preparation, mostly XX as that is whats around. Yes it is a short cycle but people will find something to sail while they are waiting for their new boat to get there, then it will take some getting used to the new systems and new nuances of the boat. But everyone will be starting at the same point.


By no means am I saying it's impossible, on the contrary, it's totally doable, but it will require a big time commitment. As you said, the girls who want to take part in this event have already found substitute boats, so why couldn't one have been chosen a year ago? Whereas a month or two won't make a big difference on 2 or 3 years, an extra year would have...

Sorry, I'm just not very impressed (to say the least) with how this is being handled through ISAF and definitely think they've voluntarily left it later than ideal...

#226 narecet

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

It seems to me like not so much time since the decision on what events would be held. Might not the manufacturers have needed about this much time to come up with new boats? Or if they'd had less time, couldn't the rush have reduced the number of options or resulted in some of them not being as well sorted?

#227 SimonN

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

By no means am I saying it's impossible, on the contrary, it's totally doable, but it will require a big time commitment. As you said, the girls who want to take part in this event have already found substitute boats, so why couldn't one have been chosen a year ago? Whereas a month or two won't make a big difference on 2 or 3 years, an extra year would have...

Sorry, I'm just not very impressed (to say the least) with how this is being handled through ISAF and definitely think they've voluntarily left it later than ideal...

This is far longer than they normally give. Usually the classes are decided at the November meeting after the games so when the 49er was selected, it was November 1996. This is 6 months sooner. So not only are you having a go at ISAF for choosing teh boat earlier than they have ever done, you don't say how it could be done sooner. You really cannot choose the boats any earlier because all you will do is kill the existing Olympic cycle.

As for the big time commitment, what do you think this is? Weekend racing at the club? In case you didn't realise, Olympic sailing si a full time job. Again, it is worth looking at the past. When the 49er was chosen, it was assumed that skiff sailors would have a huge advantage. In fact, the best skiff sailor in the world won the first 3 world championships. But when it came to the olympics, gold was a Laser sailor, silver was a 505/Enterprise sailors and bronze was an FD sailor. And none of them got their boats until April/May 1997 because there was so much demand. This time around, sailors could hav eup to a year more than those guys got to get up to speed. I am not really sure what your complaints are about.

#228 Reht

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:27 PM


By no means am I saying it's impossible, on the contrary, it's totally doable, but it will require a big time commitment. As you said, the girls who want to take part in this event have already found substitute boats, so why couldn't one have been chosen a year ago? Whereas a month or two won't make a big difference on 2 or 3 years, an extra year would have...

Sorry, I'm just not very impressed (to say the least) with how this is being handled through ISAF and definitely think they've voluntarily left it later than ideal...

This is far longer than they normally give. Usually the classes are decided at the November meeting after the games so when the 49er was selected, it was November 1996. This is 6 months sooner. So not only are you having a go at ISAF for choosing teh boat earlier than they have ever done, you don't say how it could be done sooner. You really cannot choose the boats any earlier because all you will do is kill the existing Olympic cycle.

As for the big time commitment, what do you think this is? Weekend racing at the club? In case you didn't realise, Olympic sailing si a full time job. Again, it is worth looking at the past. When the 49er was chosen, it was assumed that skiff sailors would have a huge advantage. In fact, the best skiff sailor in the world won the first 3 world championships. But when it came to the olympics, gold was a Laser sailor, silver was a 505/Enterprise sailors and bronze was an FD sailor. And none of them got their boats until April/May 1997 because there was so much demand. This time around, sailors could hav eup to a year more than those guys got to get up to speed. I am not really sure what your complaints are about.


Not complaining, but since you asked. It's a new event, how would it kill the current cycle if it had been chosen 6 months ago? The ones who are on track for the current Olympics aren't going to swap out, the crews looking forward to 2016 can get started sooner (don't tell me that extra time isn't a benefit). ISAF choosing equipment ahead of time just allows the production to get started sooner, it allows the crews to get into the boats sooner, the boats aren't going to interfere with qualification for the current games, and if you're afraid that a new boat in the future games will steal away the spotlight from the Olympics then there really is something wrong with what's in the Olympics currently. By October-November time the year before the Olympics if you're in the running for the games you know it, no new crews are going to join the scene, only crews that aren't selected will drop out and at least with the class selected they'll have somewhere to go if they want to attempt another go at the games.

There's a huge difference between crews who have sponsorship easily accessible to them and who are struggling to make ends meet on the budget front. The number of companies large enough to and willing to support a full fledged campaign is very limited, spending more time searching for money than sailing is not ideal, but it can easily happen. You can't tell me that since those first games with the 49er the skill level at the front of the fleet hasn't improved, people have figured out how to get that little bit more out of the boats. More time with the boats will allow that little bit extra to be found before the games.

Just because the system has been one way for as far back as someone remembers doesn't mean it's the best way.

#229 BalticBandit

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:16 AM

When the 49er was chosen, it was assumed that skiff sailors would have a huge advantage. In fact, the best skiff sailor in the world won the first 3 world championships. But when it came to the olympics, gold was a Laser sailor, silver was a 505/Enterprise sailors and bronze was an FD sailor. And none of them got their boats until April/May 1997 because there was so much demand.


Not quite accurate. Charlie and Jonathan had
been racing I-14s in the USA's "pro circuit" some years previously
had a succesful 18 campaign some years previously

and were on the podium at various points in the class in those first few world champs. To say they were not skiffies is a bit inaccurate.

#230 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:36 PM

What if ISAF were to impose a weight limit on the selected equipment for the women's skiff?

#231 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

Country qualification for the 2016 Olympics will be held in the fall of 2014 in Spain.

Assuming ISAF announces the selected equipment this May, that means there are roughly 26 or 27 months until the 2014 world championship (actual dates have not yet been announced). I have heard that RS can produce 1 boat per-week and that ISAF would have power to allocate the first 100 boats.

As I do the math, if RS were to be up and running their production line at full capacity starting June 1st of 2012, there would be just 104 boats total manufactured in the entire world by the time for the 2014 event.

I have also heard from sailors who were at the trials there is suspicion the two RS900S boats which were at the event were hand made - rather then being produced from a finished RS900S exclusive mold. This makes me wonder if a mold(s) exclusive to the RS900S even exists. This would have a serious impact on the production capabilities and timeline for delivery of the boat world-wide.

I understand the RS900S boat showed other signs it is still being developed and is not in a finalized form. Things like:
no inserts though the wing fittings,
unfinished bottom side of wings - i.e. no mold,
and the masts having been wrapped with reinforcing material after manufacturing - i.e. mast is not finalized).

All of these kinds of issues would add delay to the delivery and mean the first year of sailing these boats would be a trial and error for the sailors - i.e. buy two of everything because it will break and/or be redesigned by the mfg and you will have to buy it again when the new stuff comes out.

#232 17mika

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:37 PM

Mhhh. I believe production timing is abit faster... I think for insatance that there are quite a lot of rs100 around in not a lot of time

#233 narecet

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:55 PM

When people want to buy at the price offered, successful manufacturers like RS generally manage to meet demand.

But it might well be that there would for a while be a wait time.

#234 BlatantEcho

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:16 AM

The notion that RS isn't able and ready to pump out 900s quickly is nuts. They are one of the more organized and professional dinghy manufacturers around.
They kick out hi-tech boats rapidly and quickly distribute them via a global network of dealers.

I'm sure the 900 is as complicated as the 800, and I have no idea if they have all the tooling built (but I imagine they do)
Either way, they are clearly not making the 900 without serious plans to produce and support it if selected. They have that part of the business locked down.


Either way, I hope it comes down to the Aura and RS900 personally, those boats look the business.

#235 SimonN

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:57 AM

Country qualification for the 2016 Olympics will be held in the fall of 2014 in Spain.


Help me out here. I have searched everywhere for details of this and everything i have found says that qualification hasn't yet been announced. So I made a phone call to somebody who should know and they too, are unaware that it has been announced. Where did you read this?

I find it very strange that they would cahnge the qualification system from what they used this time, seeing it isn't yet competed and it would be more likely to examine any issues with it after rather thanb during the process. if they do the same as this time, 75% of the qualifiaction will be doen at the ISAF world championships in 2015 and 25% at the respective class world championships in 2016. So please give us a lead to where you have got your information.

I have heard that RS can produce 1 boat per-week and that ISAF would have power to allocate the first 100 boats.

Whoever told you this is simply wrong. Maybe they misheard. Try a boat a day. :)

The rest of your post is very negative about the RS900. Any agenda here? ;)

#236 Reht

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:39 AM

I have heard that RS can produce 1 boat per-week and that ISAF would have power to allocate the first 100 boats.

Whoever told you this is simply wrong. Maybe they misheard. Try a boat a day. :)


It'll take a few weeks to ramp up, but a boat that complex at one per day would be pretty amazing, I can see 2-3 a week, but one per day they'd have to be running pretty hard (might it also require multiple molds? I don't know what their layup schedules would be like for such a boat)...

I know I heard about one of the boats that they are waiting for a decision before they invest in the manufacturing process. I'd be surprised if RS has already invested the money to get the production line ready for the 900 as it would directly compete with the 800...

#237 SimonN

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:36 AM


I have heard that RS can produce 1 boat per-week and that ISAF would have power to allocate the first 100 boats.

Whoever told you this is simply wrong. Maybe they misheard. Try a boat a day. :)


It'll take a few weeks to ramp up, but a boat that complex at one per day would be pretty amazing, I can see 2-3 a week, but one per day they'd have to be running pretty hard (might it also require multiple molds? I don't know what their layup schedules would be like for such a boat)...

I know I heard about one of the boats that they are waiting for a decision before they invest in the manufacturing process. I'd be surprised if RS has already invested the money to get the production line ready for the 900 as it would directly compete with the 800...

Agreed with a lot of what you say. The numbers thing was more of a statement than a fact. Having said that, I think that the first year of the 49er as an olympic class saw more than 1 per day. It was spread over a number of builders but there is no reason why that couldn't be under one roof. Of course it would need multiple moulds.

The problems of production of a new Olympic class are the same whether it is one builder or multiple builders. The more you need to build in a short period of time, the greaater the investment in equipment, moulds, space and labour. The risk is that it is simply to satisfy short term demand and as such, that level of increased proiduction will potentially put up costs. It is an interesting balancing act that the whichever builder is chosen will need to get right in conjunction with ISAF. I am sure that having experienced this with the 49er, followed by the slower than expected supply of the Elliots for match racing, ISAF will be on top of this one.

#238 mustang__1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:07 AM



I have heard that RS can produce 1 boat per-week and that ISAF would have power to allocate the first 100 boats.

Whoever told you this is simply wrong. Maybe they misheard. Try a boat a day. :)


It'll take a few weeks to ramp up, but a boat that complex at one per day would be pretty amazing, I can see 2-3 a week, but one per day they'd have to be running pretty hard (might it also require multiple molds? I don't know what their layup schedules would be like for such a boat)...

I know I heard about one of the boats that they are waiting for a decision before they invest in the manufacturing process. I'd be surprised if RS has already invested the money to get the production line ready for the 900 as it would directly compete with the 800...

Agreed with a lot of what you say. The numbers thing was more of a statement than a fact. Having said that, I think that the first year of the 49er as an olympic class saw more than 1 per day. It was spread over a number of builders but there is no reason why that couldn't be under one roof. Of course it would need multiple moulds.

The problems of production of a new Olympic class are the same whether it is one builder or multiple builders. The more you need to build in a short period of time, the greaater the investment in equipment, moulds, space and labour. The risk is that it is simply to satisfy short term demand and as such, that level of increased proiduction will potentially put up costs. It is an interesting balancing act that the whichever builder is chosen will need to get right in conjunction with ISAF. I am sure that having experienced this with the 49er, followed by the slower than expected supply of the Elliots for match racing, ISAF will be on top of this one.


well if they do use the 29erXX there are plenty of boats around for training or race ready used boats already in place - all you would need to do is order a mast and sails. The 49erFX follows that to a smaller extent, but in my limited experience with an old rig 49er (and being chick size @130lbs) it really is a lot of boat.

#239 sosoomii

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:28 AM

I'm no RS apologist but I have absolutely no doubt that they can deliver enough boats in enough time with enough quality. It is what they excel at and they probably currently sell mire boats than Mackay, Ovi, hartley and Arup combined.

#240 l4k

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

Next cycle the ISAF Worlds is in 2014 in Santander ESP, rather than in 2015 which would match previous cycles. Not clear how this will fit into the qualification process, but it would be surprising if at least some places weren't allocated at this event.

#241 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:21 PM


Country qualification for the 2016 Olympics will be held in the fall of 2014 in Spain.

The rest of your post is very negative about the RS900. Any agenda here? ;)


Yes. Here is my agenda. I want:
  • A skiff that is sorted. Not a boat that's not yet really tested and will have growing pains for the next two years
  • A skiff that a team which weighs a total of no more then 285lbs can (assuming they are at very high level of fitness and with a very high level of skill) train and race in 25kts
  • A skiff that my team mate and I can launch from the dock at my yacht club by ourselves
  • 30 boat fleets in Europe by the fall of 2012
  • 60 boat fleets in 2013


#242 JimC

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

Yes. Here is my agenda. I want:

Reckon that excludes all of 'em...

#243 SimonN

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:42 PM



Country qualification for the 2016 Olympics will be held in the fall of 2014 in Spain.

The rest of your post is very negative about the RS900. Any agenda here? ;)


Yes. Here is my agenda. I want:
  • A skiff that is sorted. Not a boat that's not yet really tested and will have growing pains for the next two years
  • You clearly know little about RS. Of all the builders around, when they launch a product, it is not only fully developed, but it is usually better developed than others can do
    A skiff that a team which weighs a total of no more then 285lbs can (assuming they are at very high level of fitness and with a very high level of skill) train and race in 25kts
  • Which is the upper weight of the ISAF range, a range the 900 has been designed for. My spies in the UK say the boat has been out all winter with girls sailing it in all conditions.
    A skiff that my team mate and I can launch from the dock at my yacht club by ourselves
  • Again, I cannot see an issue with the 900
    30 boat fleets in Europe by the fall of 2012
  • I am not sure what you mean by "fleets" but there will be a lot more boats sold than that in the timescale. From what i hear, you will see half that many sold in the UK alone60 boat fleets in 2013
Again, no issue

I should add I have no relationship with RS, except i have done business with them over the years both as a customer and as a class association official. I have never experienced anything that would give me concerns that they couldn't deliver. Having said that, I believe that there are at least 3 other bids that would deliver enough boats to the required quality and as such, ISAF is able to choose based on other factors other than ability to deliver.

#244 skiffboy

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:39 PM



Country qualification for the 2016 Olympics will be held in the fall of 2014 in Spain.

The rest of your post is very negative about the RS900. Any agenda here? ;)


Yes. Here is my agenda. I want:
  • A skiff that is sorted. Not a boat that's not yet really tested and will have growing pains for the next two years
  • A skiff that a team which weighs a total of no more then 285lbs can (assuming they are at very high level of fitness and with a very high level of skill) train and race in 25kts
  • A skiff that my team mate and I can launch from the dock at my yacht club by ourselves
  • 30 boat fleets in Europe by the fall of 2012
  • 60 boat fleets in 2013

Hmm, I also think there are 4 bids equally capable of almost satisfying you.

and the 900 is probably the most likely to stay upright at that dock...

#245 narecet

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:49 PM

Are there really going to be (I don't know) 120 women skiff sailors in 2013 wishing to sail as women-only teams on ANY one skiff, even if picked as the Olympic skiff?

That's not to say, even if there are not that many, that 60 boats can't be sold. Of course whatever boat is chosen can and likely will be marketed and sailed as a youth and mixed-crew boat as well.

#246 skslr

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:51 PM

I believe RS will not bring the RS900 into production if it is not selected as the RS800 already successfully covers the Non-Olympic-Hopeful market.

So if they only developed the RS900 to a level where it sails like a potential production boat that is fair play to me.

Two girls launching a RS900, 49er FX, Auro whatever from a dock in real, gusting&shifting 25 knots would be a bigger concern....

#247 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

and the 900 is probably the most likely to stay upright at that dock...


Do you say this because you think the RS900S is easier to launch from a dock then the others skiff candidates?

#248 SimonN

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:18 PM


and the 900 is probably the most likely to stay upright at that dock...


Do you say this because you think the RS900S is easier to launch from a dock then the others skiff candidates?

Any skiff worth considering will not be "easy" to alunch. No skiff should ever stand up without the constant attention of the crew. When the 49er first came out, 5there was even a guide written about how to launch, hold it and push off. It was not uncommon to see capsizes on launch and recovery. The issue shouldn't be ease but whether the girls can manage it. For instance, I would say that a 120 kgs girl crew would struggle with a full rig 49er but the FX, I would hope not, but expect it to need respect.

#249 Presuming Ed

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:34 PM

"Falling over at the dock" isn't quite up there with Lesbian Robot's NYYC post, or "cupholders" in SA lore, but it has a certain.... SA-ness about it.

#250 Presuming Ed

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:26 PM

They're tank testing the Aura: https://www.facebook...30374554&type=1
Attached File  474248_266232120132135_263807930374554_590874_16243261_o.jpg   175.36K   28 downloads


Attached File  465652_266232166798797_263807930374554_590875_1178108394_o.jpg   241.12K   27 downloads

#251 High Flow

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:47 PM

i was at the 49er worlds at lake garda in 2009.
the day before the practice race, a lot of teams we went out for training.
there were 20 to 25 knots full on the ramp (ok that's a guess, but it was more wind as we saw during the whole week and i'm talking about riva del garda!).
ah yes, and did i say waves? ok it's a lake but they were large enough.
unfortunately the ramp at riva is rather narrow and on one side the land stretches out for about 200m parallel to the ramp, so there is only one side to go.
on that free side of the ramp there is a 10m long pontoon, which might help sailors onto their boats in other classes but definitely not in the 49er!
so it's get on - get gonig - tack - get away - as fast as possible. all right against the wind and waves.
Anyway, we watched a couple of boats going out and in.
they all had problems. it needed at least one extra person to hold the boat. two were better. there were capsized at the ramp. one boat (i think is was some danes) drifted under the pontoon and capsized. somehow nothing broke.
all boats came in with the main lowered.

i guess in these kind of conditions girls will have problems too with whatever boat they get in the end. there will be no (releasable) way around it.

did i mention that we didn't go out that day? we were just this bad amateur team trying to sniff some words-air.
i was shitfaced that it might be like that all week, and we would have to tackle it somehow, but luckily it was never quite as bad.
but what didn't make it better was that there were at least three boats on the ramp getting in the water at the same time. and about 60 others waiting for you to get your ass out of the way.

launching the boat is always what i am most afraid of.
get on, rudder down - fuck it's stuck, centerboard down - fuck it's stuck too, tack - fuck fuck fuck - tack back again, going backwards - FUCK, nearly capsizing, having to jump right out onto the other wing - somehow nothing really dramatic ever happened.
there is more adrenalin in launching than in any other maneuver on the 49er. at least for me!

#252 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:14 PM

launching the boat is always what i am most afraid of.
get on, rudder down - fuck it's stuck, centerboard down - fuck it's stuck too, tack - fuck fuck fuck - tack back again, going backwards - FUCK, nearly capsizing, having to jump right out onto the other wing - somehow nothing really dramatic ever happened.
there is more adrenalin in launching than in any other maneuver on the 49er. at least for me!


Launching can be entertaining... This is why I am not a fan of making my center board trunk so tight that my girl crew can't move it easily. It's one thing to sail a skiff with a big 180lb male crew who jumps in and pushes the board down:) - I like that too. I know there is a big performance loss when the CB trunk is not wicked tight but it makes launching so sketchy....

#253 skiffboy

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:23 PM


and the 900 is probably the most likely to stay upright at that dock...


Do you say this because you think the RS900S is easier to launch from a dock then the others skiff candidates?

No, I was being facetious. Launching anything with a respectable amount of performance from a dock in any conditions can be (and usually is) a bitch. Launching anything with a respectable amount of performance anywhere in a strong breeze can be (and usually is) a bitch.

Ability, experience and an extra pair of hands will greatly help both of those situations. Designing a boat to compensate for any lack of those three attributes will end up with greatly reduced performance.

Don't be scared of the other boats. They may take a bit of getting used to after your 29er but I'm sure you'll be OK.

#254 Beckett

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:38 PM

Hey, thats good news! I had heard there was a suggestion that the trials be scrapped and the 29erXX be selected without opposition. That, I believe, would be a mistake.


DITTO




#255 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:10 PM



and the 900 is probably the most likely to stay upright at that dock...


Do you say this because you think the RS900S is easier to launch from a dock then the others skiff candidates?

No, I was being facetious.


I had hoped so.

#256 JimC

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:42 PM

Rumour reaches me that the XX was not popular with the girls, but my source is far from neutral.

#257 GybeSetŪ

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:53 PM

so not even a report from a biased source

but a rumor from a Biased source

i'll file that info in the round lower filing cabinet marked 'to be shredded'

#258 Speedskater

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:54 AM

So just what does dock launching mean? In the past we would crane launch both the 29er and the Fireball at the dockside in 10 feet of water. While at other clubs we would ramp or beach launch.

#259 sail_like_a_girl

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:14 AM

Launching a skiff on a dock usually goes like this:
stern into the water first
either push or pull on one side to get that wing on top of the dock and secured with their body weight while the person holding the bow lifts the boat over the dolly strap and places the bow in the water.
The tricky part is the push / pull moment.
The really heavy moment is dealing with lifting the bow over the dolly.

I have never used a crane to launch a skiff so I have not experience there.

#260 l4k

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:17 PM

Do people really have to launch dinghies straight off docks as described above? Can we not start some sort of appeal to fund basic slipway provision for these poor third world countries??

Seriously though, it makes you glad to live in the UK where there are many hundreds of clubs where dinghy sailors can happily push their trolleys into the water, float their boats off and go sailing...

#261 olivers

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

It is very common to launch skiffs off floating docks in marinas here on the west coast of the US.


Of the favorite apparent wind venues for the 29er class, I'd suggest more than 80% are marina dock launches (San Fran, San Pedro, Coronado, Seattle...) -- the only one that is not is the Columbia river Gorge which is a beach launch. As sail_like_a_girl says, with docks typically floating 10-12" above the water level, being able to get the boat in and out of the water with the target crew weight is an important criterion.

i still remember my first experience of launching my 49er on a steeply shelving beach between docks was very tough, and I'm 6'

Lack of decent launch facilities, made worse by hard to launch boats makes getting the fleet out in a timely fashion very tedious for all concerned.

#262 SimonN

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:54 AM

This "dock" problem really isn't something that can be taken into account when choosing a skiff for the Olympics. Skiffs are light, over canvassed boats and that is exactly the type of boat that is difficult to launch. We saw that with the 49er when it first came out (launching beaches at regattas were like war zones!!). I would imagine that the better suited a skiff is to Olympic sailing, the more difficult it would be to launch off a dock. The only good news is that i cannot see a heavy boat being selected!

#263 bruno

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

06 14 worlds, best fun was watching the poms'n'aussies launching and landing at the docks, more crews valiantly diving in to swim their skiffs on an off than i've ever seen, and the little men standing in back, yelling and waving, germans were pretty funny as well. made up for getting smoked on the course by them a bit.

#264 High Flow

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:34 AM

06 14 worlds, best fun was watching the poms'n'aussies launching and landing at the docks, more crews valiantly diving in to swim their skiffs on an off than i've ever seen, and the little men standing in back, yelling and waving, germans were pretty funny as well. made up for getting smoked on the course by them a bit.


more details please!
what was so funny about the germans coming in?

#265 cantp1

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

i was at the 49er worlds at lake garda in 2009.
the day before the practice race, a lot of teams we went out for training.
there were 20 to 25 knots full on the ramp (ok that's a guess, but it was more wind as we saw during the whole week and i'm talking about riva del garda!).
ah yes, and did i say waves? ok it's a lake but they were large enough.
unfortunately the ramp at riva is rather narrow and on one side the land stretches out for about 200m parallel to the ramp, so there is only one side to go.
on that free side of the ramp there is a 10m long pontoon, which might help sailors onto their boats in other classes but definitely not in the 49er!
so it's get on - get gonig - tack - get away - as fast as possible. all right against the wind and waves.
Anyway, we watched a couple of boats going out and in.
they all had problems. it needed at least one extra person to hold the boat. two were better. there were capsized at the ramp. one boat (i think is was some danes) drifted under the pontoon and capsized. somehow nothing broke.
all boats came in with the main lowered.

i guess in these kind of conditions girls will have problems too with whatever boat they get in the end. there will be no (releasable) way around it.

did i mention that we didn't go out that day? we were just this bad amateur team trying to sniff some words-air.
i was shitfaced that it might be like that all week, and we would have to tackle it somehow, but luckily it was never quite as bad.
but what didn't make it better was that there were at least three boats on the ramp getting in the water at the same time. and about 60 others waiting for you to get your ass out of the way.

launching the boat is always what i am most afraid of.
get on, rudder down - fuck it's stuck, centerboard down - fuck it's stuck too, tack - fuck fuck fuck - tack back again, going backwards - FUCK, nearly capsizing, having to jump right out onto the other wing - somehow nothing really dramatic ever happened.
there is more adrenalin in launching than in any other maneuver on the 49er. at least for me!


Greatest, most accurate post ever on SA, especially the description of getting off the ramp!

That day was a good 20 to 25 kts in the afternoon with EPIC waves. Was the 2nd windiest day of our two weeks in Riva, after the rainy Northerly day during finals racing.

My fear for the girls is that BIG lift of the bow off the dolly, especially if it's a 49er. The 49er has a really heavy bow. Ever launched at US Sailing Centre Miami with something above 10 kts vaguely coming out of the East? Oh boy!

PS - from reliable sources I hear that the 49erFX was well reviewed by the girls. Wasn't actually at the trials so I can't say how it actually did, but I hear that a few nations will be backing it. We'll see what the monkeys on ISAF Council decide in 1 month's time!!

#266 BalticBandit

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

Dock launching a 49er is actually easier than ramp or beach launching. Sternplug in (always check). Bend the Mast on. Walk the Dolly wheels to the edge of the dock. lift the bow letting the stern slide into the water. Lift the bow over the dolly "strap"/Axel and put it into the water bow towards the wind. on a 2 man skiff, the crew has grabbed the shrouds as the bow goes in and lifts the wing/racks onto the dock. if its racks, you use a tiedown on the edge of the dock to keep the boat in place as you rig Jib then Main. If not, one crew hooks into the trap and holds the wing/rack onto the dock while the other hoists. Once hoisted Rudder goes in, then daggerboard.

Ready? push the bow away from the wind, crew steps on board as the front of the boat falls away from the dock. Skipper steps on tiller in hand as she starts to sail away. Bob's Your Uncle.

Return? Come into the dock bow upwind, heel so the wing/rack clears the dock and then lower that. "All Stop". One crew gets off and hooks into the trap to hold the boat on the dock, other crew lowers sails, then pulls blades. Lift the bow onto the dolly. grab the shrouds and using the dolly strap as a guide, haul the boat bow skyward until you can lever it down onto the dolly over the strap. Shuffle the hull into place. move away from the water on the dock and then finish derig.

No worries about grinding your blades against the bottom (or ramp), No worries about trying to control all that canvas with blades only partly down. No worries about having to reach back and shove down that rudder which is in a "zero play" gantry. easy peasy.

#267 RobG

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:53 AM

If you believe the front page, the choice is between the Rebel and 49erFX. The Rebel is about 35kg lighter, and the racks must make it a bit easier to manage in a blow. Pity the Arup seems out of the mix, it's around 20kg lighter again.

#268 JimC

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:11 PM

That's not the feedback I have from my source, which reckoned the RS900 did well but who knows... Realistically I fear the Arup people started about a year too late, which is a shame because, apart from liking short light boats as a matter of principal, I also like what I understand about their take on having open builders *and* tight manufacture controls. Much better than single supplier if it can be made to work - and I think it could be.

#269 skiffboy

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

I, for one, have found the front page to be an infallible source of information. At least, for a blog.

#270 Arup Skiff

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

Realistically I fear the Arup people started about a year too late, which is a shame because, apart from liking short light boats as a matter of principal, I also like what I understand about their take on having open builders *and* tight manufacture controls. Much better than single supplier if it can be made to work - and I think it could be.




You are correct in all points, most accurately that the Arup Skiff is the only option that would allow you to race boats that are built in your home country. This would enable skills to be developed locally and a country's investment in sailing to remain there. Arup Skiff can offer this as it is the only Women's Skiff bid that is not tied to a UK or New Zealand manufacturer. More information and video from Santander can be found on http://arupskiff.wordpress.com/.



To handle the initial supply, Arup have a chain in place to use the purchasing draw of Olympic selection and ability to contract with suppliers to deliver a regatta for the first 100+ boats in just over 4 months from selection. After the initial production run the class will own some moulds and Arup steps aside to let ISAF and the sailors control their class. Arup really are giving this away, anyone will be able to download the master geometry CAD file or order a set of tooling to be shipped to them worldwide. The fees from registering boats for international racing will be sufficient to drive the class, so unregistered copies are welcomed. A by-product of this is that each component will need to be tagged and the vital statistics of weight and stiffness recorded for all components on every boat raced under ISAF, making the whole kit thing a step more transparent than the current " it has got a badge" system (information will be published on a web site). The Arup Skiff was the only all carbon/foam, T-foiled entry and our price for the first 100 boats is second cheapest. As Arup do not want the mark-ups on replacement sails and parts the Arup Skiff will be the cheapest to competitively campaign by far.

The Arup Skiff boat is a production version of Kevin Ellway's 2011 E6 Cherub design and the prototypes taken to the trails were street legal Cherubs. These were privately commissioned, built by Aardvark, Bloodaxe, C-Tech and Dynamic Sails. The Cherub class has 60+ years of development behind it, so a rich vein of iteration and design to base the Arup Skiff on. The latest Cherubs are quicker and easier to sail, but the ISAF criteria are to find a platform to identify the world's best women sailors and generate TV viewing figures, not find the fasted way of propelling 130kg of crew around a W/L course. Kevin's SK4 is a very neat solution for the latter question.

The Arup Skiff entry is focused on offering a lightweight, low cost, high performance sailing dinghy that delivers a spectacular television viewing experience - check out the video for proof. Whilst the women at the evaluation trials found the transition from the 470 to the skiffs challenging, we know that with time Arup Skiff crews from 100kg to 150kg will master the new challenges and handle all conditions competitively. The technology used in the Arup skiff will require new techniques which are not to be learnt in a couple of hours sailing and all countries will start the journey to 2014/2016 from the same point. Arup believes that best sailors in the world deserve the most advanced equipment. Exciting developments in the sport of women's sailing will follow the 'Excellence, Excitement and Challenge' the Arup Skiff offers.

Arup have a history of logistically challenging projects outside the normal scope of structural engineering, see www.arup.com for more of them.
Any questions on our bid please email or PM (you can verify that this really is not 3rd hand :-) )




#271 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

I like the out of the box thinking with Arup- christ sailing needs a shake up or two, so very welcome. But in practice, don't you think that there'll end up being three-tier competitors:

- countries/teams with the financial and technical resources to run closed-shop, not for sale development for internal use
- countries with the financial resources to buy best of breed jigsaw boats- 'best' components sourced international- sails from NZ, hulls from UK, foils from France etc
- countries with limited financial resources buying off the shelf or developing basic 'off plan' boats

Just my thoughts of how I think a well intended programme could get manipulated by the wealthier nations... I certainly wouldn't want to see the olympics turn into an engineering challenge, with pop-up huts around each boat. Maybe the gold old fashioned profit margin, with a careful overseeing eye from ISAF isn't such a bad option?

btw- the front page spoiler, wtf? I heard the Arup was the show stealer that put the proverbial cat among pigeons.

edit- shame the Rebel video felt the need to digitally speed up the footage, it makes it look lame and it really didn't need to do it.

#272 JimC

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:10 PM

I like the out of the box thinking with Arup- christ sailing needs a shake up or two, so very welcome. But in practice, don't you think that there'll end up being three-tier competitors:

Not, I think, if you fundamentally change the way one design control works. With traditional multi manufacturer one design a few dimensions are published, and the builders only responsibility is to meet those dimensions. That means there's any amount of variation possible.

However with the SMODs there's been reasonable progress with the principle of measuring against the existing population- you measure a whole bunch of kit with any parameter the measurer chooses, and if the item under challenge doesn't fall within the variation found in all items then its out. That only works with the SMOds because the kit is to a greater or lesser extent, built against a construction manual, and if you follow the manual then the construction falls within the range.

So the way *I* see it the principle would be to publish the construction manual, and builders are required to certify that they have built against the manual. If there's a suspcion that the XYZ team have some special hardware then a measurer has the right to figure out a system of measurement that would expose that difference, and measure a whole basket of kit from different suppliers against that previously unpublished parameter. If the XYZ team's kit doesn't fall within the basket then its out, even though its been measured in at any number of previous events using different measurement methods. Plus, if a manufacturer has certified kit which hasn't been built according to the manual then they lose their license to build for the class. So if you develop special kit it can be ruled illegal at any time, and of course all your competitors will be keen to help out the measurers in finding ways to expose the differences. But this is me speculating on what the Arup Guys have said in public, I could be talking complete nonsense. Plus I think for the games themselves they've suggested that competitors be reqired to use kit from one particular supplier, so there'd be the risk of turning up at the games and finding none of your tuning settings work.

This completely turns the way people think about one design on its head, its quite a new principle, and I've spectacularly failed to communicate what I'm thinking earlier in the thread. Feedback from the Arup guys on whether this is the lines they are thinking on would be welcome.

#273 BalticBandit

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:04 PM

Not, I think, if you fundamentally change the way one design control works. With traditional multi manufacturer one design a few dimensions are published, and the builders only responsibility is to meet those dimensions. That means there's any amount of variation possible.

However with the SMODs there's been reasonable progress with the principle of measuring against the existing population- you measure a whole bunch of kit with any parameter the measurer chooses, and if the item under challenge doesn't fall within the variation found in all items then its out. That only works with the SMOds because the kit is to a greater or lesser extent, built against a construction manual, and if you follow the manual then the construction falls within the range.

So the way *I* see it the principle would be to publish the construction manual, and builders are required to certify that they have built against the manual. If there's a suspcion that the XYZ team have some special hardware then a measurer has the right to figure out a system of measurement that would expose that difference, and measure a whole basket of kit from different suppliers against that previously unpublished parameter. If the XYZ team's kit doesn't fall within the basket then its out, even though its been measured in at any number of previous events using different measurement methods. Plus, if a manufacturer has certified kit which hasn't been built according to the manual then they lose their license to build for the class. So if you develop special kit it can be ruled illegal at any time, and of course all your competitors will be keen to help out the measurers in finding ways to expose the differences. But this is me speculating on what the Arup Guys have said in public, I could be talking complete nonsense. Plus I think for the games themselves they've suggested that competitors be reqired to use kit from one particular supplier, so there'd be the risk of turning up at the games and finding none of your tuning settings work.

This completely turns the way people think about one design on its head, its quite a new principle, and I've spectacularly failed to communicate what I'm thinking earlier in the thread. Feedback from the Arup guys on whether this is the lines they are thinking on would be welcome.

The problem with this approach is that it encourages the kind of "equipment protests" we've seen at the old 12 Meter AC champs where disqualifying a boat or an aspect of the boat becomes part of the game. And I don't think the Olympics wants any part of that. They already have that nonesense in things like Winter Oly luge sleds and such.

Furthermore with MMODs, there are other ways of mfging a boat under tighter controls. Essentially you have a MFG handbook (as you suggest) with precise layup schedules that include weight and density specs and you have a SMOD for the mold. IE every MFG has to buy the hull, deck, rack molds from a SMOD.

The problem with the ARUP approach is that it works great if there is a market incentive to conformity (ie I'm Airbus and I'm sending out a CAD spec for engine mount bolts) with large liability to the MFG for divergence. Except that in an Oly class dinghy the "market incentive" is towards divergence (think pStar and Buchan's innovative use of MFG tolerances to optimize Starboat hulls decades past) with NO adverse liability to the builder for customization. Given the limited production run nature of Oly class boats, I could see a well funded program setting up a "national manufacturer" just to be able to customize their own hulls. And there are a host of details in building a skiff that you cannot unearth with just external measurements that can affect performance.


Where I think the ARUP approach may work well is in perhaps building the next generation of mass market skiffs. More and more the price of CNC devices is falling (I recently visited a local skateboard shop that had one just for their local made boards), so I could see someone setting up a business where they would build custom dinghy hulls for MULTIPLE fleets in a "build on demand" model. But in an Oly class, I think the potential opportunities for "stretching the rules" are too tempting.

#274 JimC

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

with NO adverse liability to the builder for customization.

Well, that's something for the CA to sort out, but a loss of certification could well be an adverse liability, and if it were linked to some kind of contractual obligation to build according to the manual or you are liable to refund all purchasers.. there are ways and means... Its soon evident if a manufacturer is playing games with tolerances if you measure a bunch of their kit. It could even be mandated that a random sample of one builders kit has to fall close to the mean of all manufacturers. This is where the philosophy comes in: as you say with the traditional one design there is no penalty for building a better mousetrap, and there is nothing wrong with exploiting the tolerances. This would be different.

#275 mustang__1

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

Arup Skiff, both 9er designs are boats that can be sailed in your own country and it wont involve importing a brand new boat for a class that may or may not last past the olympics. In fact, the Arup Skiff - as a cherub, has no class at all here in the states (none). I dont know about other parts of europe.

#276 Arup Skiff

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:46 PM

When the 9ers became olympic men's and ISAF youth boat fleets were imported to many parts of the world. The same will happen with any Olympic women's skiff class chosen. As for the measurement rules, the description Jim and Baltic are both fairly accurate,

We added a measure to avoid the arms race. For major competitions the Arup Skiff clas will democratically choose a supplier from a shortlist provided by/agreed with ISAF. So for the Olympic regatta boats will be allocated by drawing lots. There will of course have to be a suitable spare boat allocation. There is a funding mechanism for all this, helped by the class will owning some moulds from inception.



The CAD file is the master geometry, not plugs or moulds. This allows CNC hull measurement jigs to be generated at random to ensure things are made to the spirit of the rule not just to the known jig spots. Using the web site to track the repairs/longevity of each component in addition to the tag identification and initial vital statistics will also help measurement teams. With the SMOD method every competitior is already pushing the limits, often by buying a small fleet and cherrry picking. Maybe it is time to accept that pushing the kit is part of the sport and set the rules up to account for it? Reducing the costs and leveling the field for those with smaller bugets has got to be good for the sport?

Attached Files



#277 SimonN

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

I like the fact that Arup are trying to make the major flaw in their case seem like a strength ;)

It doesn' matter how hard you try, the more builders you have, the more variation there is in the product and the harder it is to get any degree of conformity. When the 49er came out, the moulds were all from the same plugs but it took 2 years until the builders were building boats close enough to each other. And that was with the main people flying back and forth from Europe to Oz and everybody working hard to gain that uniformity. This is why in 2000 you couldn't use a boat older than a certain age and boats were microchipped to keep track of what was going on. I gave some small assistance to Dave Ovington with this and was surprised how, with the same moulds, components and build manuals, plus the other builders on the end of the phone, you could get so much difference. And I think that everything I have seen from the Arup camp has underestimated this. I also don't think that the selection committee will underestimate this, because Dick Batt was one of the people who ended up having to police the situation.

Getting this right is important. If you accept the variation, people will need to buy many different boats. The solutions offered by Arup don't tackle the problems of cat 1 events where it is simply not possible to have supplied equipment. Depending on selection policies, having the right boat could make a difference.

The Arup idea is bold and it would be great if it could succeed, but for olympic level, I just don't see it working. Sorry.

#278 JimC

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:49 PM

I like the fact that Arup are trying to make the major flaw in their case seem like a strength ;)

I think its core to the approach - perhaps more important than the actual boat design to be honest. Don't forget that the 49er was a long time ago now. Since then ISAF have been put quite a lot of effort into their In house certification initiative, and in many was this is an extension of that work. Can it work? I don't know, but I'm quite excited about the concept. Even though I don't sail one designs I think they are critically important to our sport, but in recentish times we've seen a lot of problems developing.

The classic example of course was the mega expensive Shirley Robinson Europe mast - indeed a lot of issues with Europe measurement where tightening the one design rules did very little to reduce the amount of development gong on, but a lot to increase the costs of individual components. If this proposal works then that problem is sorted, because there's no point in spending hours and hours tuning the mast bend by sanding the inside of your carbon mast if all it does is to change the bend away from the main body of the class so it ceases to measure. The tolerance exploiting Star (and all the other tolerance exploiting boats before) is another example of this issue.

Another problem for a lot of countries (or it was a few years ago anyway) is that they really resent having to go abroad for SMOD boats. It used to be all over some countries submissions to the ISAF annual conference. If local builders can be encouraged that will be a big benefit for the sport. I was, incidentally, mulling over the possibility of a starter kit for builders. A 20ft container would hold a huge number of assembly kits of hull shell, deck shell and all the rest of the stuff Laser cut to size. Add glue and local labour and it gets very cheap to ship a fleet into a country.

Then we're just seeing a horrible mess with the Laser with limited numbers of suppliers. That issue is resolved too with this concept, where the association is much stronger than the builder.

But like you say, this is very new and its a big challenge, and in many way its out of the experience of the Sailboat industry. I certainly wouldn't like to have to manage it (nor could I!). So the only way it could work, I think, would be if the process were led by a major international engineering consultancy who have an awful lot of experience of the problems of arranging international engineering projects. There aren't that many such companies, but amonong the ones with the biggest reputation is...

#279 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:00 PM

irrelevant- Arup Skiff is dead, far too complicated and unstable (having owned a Cherub, I'd concur)... FX & RS900 get the nod to the next stage.

http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/SkiffEvaluationPanelReport-[12446].pdf

http://www.turnturtle.com/?p=2729

#280 BalticBandit

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:03 PM

Jim all your points about SMODs are true. But Simon's points about the 49ers are as well. And the use of CAD files as the source of arbitrary/random measurement templates doesn't solve the issue of "manufacturability tolerances" that necessarily have to be in the rule. For example epoxy resins have a CTE (coef of thermal expansion) of anywhere between 15-100 http://www.ami.ac.uk..._cte/index.html (a CTE of 1 means that you have 1ppm lengthening for every 1deg C of temp change), so unless you are going to put in rules about temperature at the time of measurement, you are going to have to have measurement tolerances and builder tolerances.

And if I am a well funded team, I CREATE A BUILDER FOR MYSELF (that's the understanding I have of the genesis of the pStar boats) and then tweak the tolerances to match my requirements. If you "fine" the builder - well it just goes bankrupt - its purpose was to only build the boats for me
If you let me have financial recourse against the builder... welll that's kinda silly - me suing myself for building a boat to my specs

and if you go to having a certification process from the ARUP designers - you are right back into the "licensed builder" model of the 49er....


I do like the idea of a "provided boat" for the Olympic regattae funded out of the licensing fees of boats. But this brings with it its own issues. Do you "round robin" the hulls and rigs? so that things "stay fair" in case there is a dog of a boat? obviously even with 20 entrants, you aren't going to have enough races to complete a full round robin before the Medal round.
Plus such a round robin means each team has to spend time re-rigging the boat with the lines and strings they prefer.
If you don't "round robin" what do you do with protests about a "dog boat" (things like undetected delam that results in a soft boat are quite possible)- yes this can happen with Lasers as well, but they aren't pushing the materials the way skiffs are.

And what if your funding is not enough to provide a "regattae boat"?




Its an interesting idea, but it also is fraught with problems.

#281 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

a two horse race now....

#282 skiffboy

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:06 PM

Now that makes for some interesting reading, thanks JWL

#283 olivers

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:25 PM

I'm disappointed not to see much discussion/science about the test conditions and crew weight/height distributions vs. the target demographic.


What is exciting in 8 knots at Santander would probably be downright survival or un-sailable in 18+kts at our favorite skiff venues.

#284 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

FWIW I think Dick Batt and his team appears to have done a very cmprehensive evaluation and the boats would have been expected to bring suitable pilots that meet demographic criteria.

#285 skiffsailor_aus

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

Well I just read the stuff on the ISAF site about the boat selections & found some of it interesting. There were many comments made by the sailors that some of the boats were too tippy & too difficult to tack/gybe. But aren't these guys meant to be the best sailors in each respective country? Shouldn't they be able to handle a tippy boat that is a challenge to manouvre?

I mean, I'm a woman & I sail an Aus Cherub and I am no-where near Olympic level but I would get an ARUP without any hesitation - they look awesome! So why can I, who is not that good by any stretch of the imagination, handle a tippy boat that is difficult to gybe/tack, and yet the best sailors in the country can't? I have trouble understanding that.

To me, the olympic skiffs should be a challenge to sail. If they want to sail a tactical boat, that's where the laser comes in - the skiffs should be challenging and spectator-friendly.

Why would they want to go to the olympics and sail a 'bus'? To me that is totally not the point of skiffs at the olympics.

#286 JimC

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:23 PM

There were many comments made by the sailors that some of the boats were too tippy & too difficult to tack/gybe.


Strange isn't it: all the stuff which seemed to imply that boats that are steady and stay on track like on rails is a good thing... Quite alien to me, and obviously to you as well... But the object of the exercise isn't to find some kind of super boat, but to find a boat that a reasonably number of the worlds top women sailors want to sail at the games... I don't see how you'd get a better random sample of top end women's sailors than the means they used for the trials, so weird as you and I find it, we'd better accept that's what they seem to want...

#287 Tcatman

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:52 PM


There were many comments made by the sailors that some of the boats were too tippy & too difficult to tack/gybe.


Strange isn't it: all the stuff which seemed to imply that boats that are steady and stay on track like on rails is a good thing... Quite alien to me, and obviously to you as well... But the object of the exercise isn't to find some kind of super boat, but to find a boat that a reasonably number of the worlds top women sailors want to sail at the games... I don't see how you'd get a better random sample of top end women's sailors than the means they used for the trials, so weird as you and I find it, we'd better accept that's what they seem to want...

No.. Your assumption was that the team of pilots were selected by ISAF to be representative of something (elite skiff sailors, elite woman sailors, Emerging countries. Major sailing nations... whatever). I think the pilots were nominated by the MNA's with money and history and ISAF took what they got... So... what you get with this kind of sample.. ... sailors with opinions from the wealthy nations!

the more interesting point you highlight is.. What is the philosophy behind the Skiff discipline. I can't find a statement of philosophy at all.. for cats or skiffs. EG. on the multihull board... TCat has worn us out with his philosophy that the boat should be the ultimate performer and that of course was the T.

You would say... boats that are steady and stay on track like on rails is NOT a good thing... the skiff should be YYY.

To me, this has always been the essential problem with these trials.... WHAT Olympic Philosophy for the discipline was to be WAS NOT SPELLED OUT. While I think this is an obvious fail... the cynic in me would say... ISAF is being clever and this is the clever way to keep their options open for the ultimate political decision.

I just hope they land on the philosophy square and make that clear in the why we pick XX boat!

#288 Lake Shark

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

it was interesting to read the review of the ARUP apparently it was quite a handful in 15 knts as both boats had to be towed in. also the women didn't like any of the boats with racks, isn't that kind of a hallmark for skiffs aside from the 49er.

dissapointing to hear that the aura didn't handle well and they couldn't get the bow down. that is one hot looking boat

#289 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

The Arups were modern UK cherubs- I'd guess hull weights around 35kg and built very much along 'if it doesn't break it's too heavy' philosphy. I owned a similar weight, similar construction cherub although thought to be 'more forgiving' design- it was a total PITA, not to mention depreciation nightmare.

I am not at all surprised that world class sailors can spot a dud when then sail it.

#290 IC Nutter

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

the more interesting point you highlight is.. What is the philosophy behind the Skiff discipline. I can't find a statement of philosophy at all.. for cats or skiffs. EG. on the multihull board... TCat has worn us out with his philosophy that the boat should be the ultimate performer and that of course was the T.

You would say... boats that are steady and stay on track like on rails is NOT a good thing... the skiff should be YYY.


This is an interesting point. If I was designing a skiff, I would not be thinking "How can I make this boat as difficult to sail as possible". On the contrary, I would be trying to make the boat as fast as possible, but also as easy to sail as possible, because the easier the boat is to sail, the harder you can push it and the faster you can get it around the course. Skiffs are difficult to sail as a consequence of being no compromise speed machines, not because they have difficulty built in. The *best* skiff should give the most speed for the least effort.

However, if you are choosing a boat for a competition designed to test the skill of the athletes, is there a case for choosing a boat *because* it is difficult to sail?

#291 SimonN

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:50 PM

This whole "too difficult to sail" issue was also around when the mens skiff trials took place. However, whiloe many were questioing whether the 49er was too difficult, I don't remember anybody being towed in, although there was lots of swimming. And the other difference was that Julian Bethwaite proved to everybody that the boat was managable. From what I understand, the sailors at the trial were pretty decent and they managed the 49er derivative OK. That seems a pretty good benchmark to me, so it seems to me to be totally reasonable that they decided that the Arup was too hard to sail. You have to draw the line somewhere.

#292 Andrew P

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:23 PM

1335185445[/url]' post='3683928']
This whole "too difficult to sail" issue was also around when the mens skiff trials took place. However, whiloe many were questioing whether the 49er was too difficult, I don't remember anybody being towed in, although there was lots of swimming. And the other difference was that Julian Bethwaite proved to everybody that the boat was managable. From what I understand, the sailors at the trial were pretty decent and they managed the 49er derivative OK. That seems a pretty good benchmark to me, so it seems to me to be totally reasonable that they decided that the Arup was too hard to sail. You have to draw the line somewhere.


I would counter that with the observation that they might have perceived the racked boats to be too hard to sail for the skills set that the mna group have/had at the time of the trials.
As a I14 sailor used to racked boats, I understand that the wider winged platform of the 49 er hull gives improved comfort and security initially, but becomes a problem in more extreme conditions and waves.
I hope that the lack of familiarity with the more extreme alternative doesn't lock the girls into a poison chalice in the longer term. My concerns would be mass and Windage of the 49er platform during non harbour launches for the target group.

#293 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:09 PM

The Rebel got some fantastic praise for the sailing- that wasn't solid winged and would have probably got through to the next phase if the business-end had been accepted (FWIW I couldn't see an issue with JIT direct sell for the volumes involved here)

So if the Rebel was liked, but the Cherub not... Well I'd put it down to them being simply too difficult. From what I saw of the footage, they were good sailors out there. Plus the Cherub did take it's own contingent, so could have quite easily 'proved' how sail able they were once it was windy in their much hyped 'favourite conditions', but the boats had been towed in by then according to the report.

#294 RobG

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:24 PM

From what I saw of the footage, they were good sailors out there. Plus the Cherub did take it's own contingent, so could have quite easily 'proved' how sail able they were once it was windy in their much hyped 'favourite conditions'


They did, in the video posted on the ISAF Women's Skiff Evaluation thread, where the Arup comes off the line very well and keeps up with an RS900 up and downwind on the windiest day of all.

but the boats had been towed in by then according to the report.


That, as the thread above points out, was not true.

I would have expected the choice to come down to the Rebel and Arup, but it seems larger, heavier boats are the go.

#295 High Flow

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:32 PM

That, as the thread above points out, was not true.



#296 SimonN

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:34 PM

I would counter that with the observation that they might have perceived the racked boats to be too hard to sail for the skills set that the mna group have/had at the time of the trials.
As a I14 sailor used to racked boats, I understand that the wider winged platform of the 49 er hull gives improved comfort and security initially, but becomes a problem in more extreme conditions and waves.

I don't think that the reason why the boats weren't liked was just because of the racks. I think that it was the overall package. In the case of the Rebel, I suspect that racks and netting would have felt very strange compared with the solid wings. It took me a while to get totally comfortable with the netting on 18's when I first started sailing them. However, I much prefer the racks on an I14 to the solid wings on a 49er, but you cannot go out so wide on racks as you can on solid wings unless you have nets or a big gap, which I consider a poor compromise.

#297 GybeSetŪ

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:26 PM

I would counter that with the observation that they might have perceived the racked boats to be too hard to sail for the skills set that the mna group have/had at the time of the trials.
As a I14 sailor used to racked boats, I understand that the wider winged platform of the 49 er hull gives improved comfort and security initially, but becomes a problem in more extreme conditions and waves.
I hope that the lack of familiarity with the more extreme alternative doesn't lock the girls into a poison chalice in the longer term. My concerns would be mass and Windage of the 49er platform during non harbour launches for the target group.


we've had skiffs in Sydney for over a century and they were designed to sail, not launch

look at the current Moth, is that a good "launcher"

separate note: what is a 'harbour launch' and what are not "harbour launches" ? http://www.google.co...iw=1024&bih=677

#298 barney

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

look at the current Moth, is that a good "launcher"

excellent... There's a lot of footage on youtube demonstrating different techniques...




#299 I'moutahere

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:45 PM


I would counter that with the observation that they might have perceived the racked boats to be too hard to sail for the skills set that the mna group have/had at the time of the trials.
As a I14 sailor used to racked boats, I understand that the wider winged platform of the 49 er hull gives improved comfort and security initially, but becomes a problem in more extreme conditions and waves.
I hope that the lack of familiarity with the more extreme alternative doesn't lock the girls into a poison chalice in the longer term. My concerns would be mass and Windage of the 49er platform during non harbour launches for the target group.


we've had skiffs in Sydney for over a century and they were designed to sail, not launch

look at the current Moth, is that a good "launcher"

separate note: what is a 'harbour launch' and what are not "harbour launches" ? http://www.google.co...iw=1024&bih=677

Ever tried sailing a skiff off the beach on Port Phillip, or Adelaide?

#300 I'moutahere

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:17 PM

thanks for explaining the highlighting the point, bro was just at McCrae nats.

you can one design a boat for this?

YES !, add a sail

JS you've stumbled on the winning formula if the girls do that speedo thing !


And McCrae is somewhat sheltered.




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