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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8580 Posts

Initially Posted - 12/18/2020 :  12:33:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone been seeing this?

https://www.sailmagazine.com/racing/video-americas-cup-world-series-day-two

NASCAR racing without motors! I'm not sure of the point of monohulls instead of cats, except (apparently) a bigger loss if they drop down off the foils, and less distance to scramble from one side to the other on tacks...

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5482 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2020 :  12:59:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The A Cup has always been a race based on technology. The challenge was to develop better hull, keel and rudder shapes and better, stronger, lighter sail fabrics and rigging. When the organizers thought they had exploited the traditional monohull to it's limit, they tried catamarans and foils. Now they're trying monohulls with foils. It's very much about experimentation with yacht design.

For most of us, racing is all about racing skill. We can't afford the cost of designing and building exotic boats. In the A Cup, skill is only part of the equation. It's mostly about designing a faster boat. That's really not different from Nascar or Indy or Formula 1 racing. To win, you need both a fast boat and good driver.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4656 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2020 :  17:40:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve your observations are spot on. I’d like to amplify on one point. You not only need a good driver but he or she needs to be a very capable leader of the entire crew: the navigator, the foredeck person, the grinders and the rail-ballast people. The chemistry is very important.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5482 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2020 :  19:29:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks like the length and beam dimensions of the AC72 catamarans and the new monohulls are identical. The AC72 cats appeared very flimsy. Lacking rigidity, maybe it was difficult to prevent excessive flexing of the structure. I suspect one reason for going to a monohull might have been to provide a more rigid platform.

Another benefit of a monohull over a catamaran is it's superior ability to sail close to the wind. I suspect the race organizers are searching for the best, fastest and most robust platform. If they find the ideal combination, in the future we might see smaller versions racing around the bay, or even crossing oceans at high speeds. Wouldn't that be cool!

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8580 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2020 :  22:23:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've long been in favor of the technology competition, and never worried its cost--who cares if Larry Ellison wants to throw a few dozen millions into a sailboat race. But we shouldn't discount the on-the-course skills involved at these speeds. Going back to Bermuda and forward to Auckland, we see that the tactics and execution are perhaps more critical now than ever, since at these speeds and with this mode of sailing, one little mistake can cost you half a mile. One "dumped" tack or a mistake in the starting area can instantly result in a "horizon job"; or a later mistake by the competition can cause a breathtaking reversal! You never see anything like it in traditional sailboat racing, or even NASCAR. Basic boat speed advantages might turn out to be the secondary issue, since once these boats are foiling, the fancy hull designs have no effect. It's only when they dump that the hull comes into play, and then it's probably too late. The penalties from a boat-handling or tactical mistake are magnified by the speeds involved and the penalties from dropping into the water where the rest of us sail.

BTW, NASCAR is not really much of a technology contest--the cars are limited in numerous ways, more like one-design sailboat racing--largely to keep them "safe" on the legacy tracks they use--205 mph is "safe", but 220 is just too fast for those circuits and for cars mocked-up to look sorta like the ones people buy. (When are they going to switch to mock-F150s vs. mock-Rams, or mock-Tahoes vs mock Explorers? ) The AC has constraints aimed at a different objective: to attract more than maybe just two organizations in the world to afford to be part of the competition. (This time it still turned out to be only four to begin with, competing for the final two.)

So will foils become part of all things sailing, and maybe all things in all kinds of boating in the future? Foiling now dominates from Moths up to AC-75s. Multi-hulls have been slowly gaining on mono-hulls, both sail and power... Maybe foils will pass them by--hull configuration might only be important for getting the vessel up onto its foils (pointy bow and flat belly). How about a nice day-sail at 25 knots, smoothly above the waves, where you point the boat and a little computer figures how to keep you up there? (I can predict the reactions.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8580 Posts

Response Posted - 12/18/2020 :  22:44:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Milby

...Another benefit of a monohull over a catamaran is it's superior ability to sail close to the wind.
But neither the AC-72 cat nor the AC 75 mono is sailing with a hull in the water (unless something goes terribly wrong). At their speeds, the directional stability and lateral resistance is all from a single midship foil and a foil on the rudder, slicing through the water like a meat cleaver through butter.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8580 Posts

Response Posted - 12/21/2020 :  11:07:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
https://www.sailmagazine.com/racing/36th-americas-cup-initial-thoughts

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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