It is a design competition as much as a sailing one. The designs always push the edges of the rules and thats why the MC has historically provided "private opinions where a team can submit a design approach and get a ruling on legal or not without showing their cards. Perhaps you feel the teams should freeze their designs several months in advance and publish all design data in order to make sure all competitors benefit for t their investment and IP.After having paid NO attention to the last cup (where?/when?/who?) or the lead up to this one, I happened to be in SFO 2 days prior to the beginning of this series and decided to take a walk down to the pier to check things out and from what I saw became interested enough to decide to watch the first race and was surprised to be absolutely spellbound enough so I started scheduling everything else I do so I could be free at 4:00 ET. It's nothing like the sailing I do or even the small amount of racing I've done, but I couldn't take my eyes off it and found myself becoming quite peeved at the commercials that always happened when some drama on the course was unfolding. What a show!!! I'm an airline pilot but can still enjoy and appreciate what the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds do.
The above story about the stability augmentation system being responsible for the dramatic increase in USA's fortunes makes sense because the USA boat went from being noticeably slower than NZ upwind to much faster and I just can't accept that much of that difference was due to the USA crews learning curve being about 5X steeper than the Kiwi's learning curve was or that making a few physical changes to the boat could result in so much difference. On TV they mentioned that USA removed some weight but there's no way the small amount of weight removed could make that big a difference either.
If USA had a stab aug computer fine tuning their foils for them then I find it very disappointing and feel like that's something whiich should have been sorted out prior to the start of the regatta in time for both teams to have one if they so chose. I don't buy the USA argument that it's OK because muscles/grinders provided the power to actually move and tune the foils because using that rationale the next time around we could have nothing but a team of grinders running both a generator to provide electric power and a hydraulic pump to move the control surfaces, with the electricity powering a computer coupled to hydraulic servos powering the movement of the all the control surfaces including the foils, with a skipper/tactician app that would make decisions when to tack, where the best wind is, etc.
I cheered for Spithill/OracleUSA throughout the series but now I feel really bad for all the Kiwi's, especially if they lost due to the USA boat giving fine tuning control of their foils over to a computer.
Not going to happen and no reason to do it. OR had no obligation to share with TNZ any more than Ben Lexan was obligated to share winged keel data with the defender.
If you are a pilot, then you know stab aug predates the 747 by several decades so take sail works story with a grain of salt.