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AC36 is over.

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Mozzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 5:30pm
Originally posted by ohFFsake

The AC75s are an amazing ground breaking boat, and I think have re-established the AC as the Formula 1 of sailing, with both its good and bad aspects.

For me there has always been a fundamental mismatch in the whole concept of the AC, in that match racing should be between matched boats - if either boat has any speed advantage at all it stops being a match race and becomes a boring procession.

We saw this in both the RR and the Challenger Finals, but by good design or by chance the AC did deliver some decent tactical sailing. As a whole I think it was streets ahead of the last round, and with a few tweaks the next event could be fantastic.

My suggested few tweaks:
1. Make the boats closer to being a one design. How about the foil package being part of the class rules, perhaps with large foils for < 10kts and smaller foils for above, with the race committee declaring which are to be used before each day's racing? Closer racing and cheaper boats might encourage other teams to enter - a challenger series of just 3 boats was a bit disappointing.
2. Wider race course and starting area
3. Return to more normal rules on fouls. Unlike cats these boats are able to do turns instead of the arbitrary slowing down which seems inconsistent and unfair.
4. Allow competitors to carry and offset penalties, then we get some match racing.

I guess match racing as we understand it now has become this tactical play based around quite complex rules. But, I don't think that has historically been the case (or but for a very brief time actually the case with Cup boats).  
However, we did see some pretty textbook match racing with tacking duels. Loose V close cover, protecting sides of the course. Bouncing opponents in to bad shifts. 

I actually think they don't need to go more one design to reduce costs or performance gaps. I think the fact that there will be mutual shared learnings from this cup on what a AC75 should be, the boat will naturally converge in design somewhat. It's always going to be expensive to win though. 

I also think the big improvement from the cats with one design hulls is that the technology has largely been very visible. Last time we only got a glimpse of a foil at launch and everything visible during racing was near enough identical to the eye (cylors apart). 

I agree on 2 (although could maybe be condition specific?) and definitely agree on 3 and 4. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 5:37pm
I am not overly convinced about 'much wider' courses. Wider - Yes, Much wider - Not sure. You want to keep the boats more together, not doing wide splits and flyers. A 'taller' course would be better IMHO. This would mean more tacks, more crosses, more distance.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 6:06am
Think LR could consider themselves unlucky not to have got to 5-5 at one point - a dodgy tack in no breeze and one shift lost then 2 races

Interesting if it comes to a neutral venue - it would probably generate far more interest from challengers and viewers

Got to feel for the people in NZ who were hoping for 10 teams and all that goes with it. With only 3 challengers the amount of sailing to watch was fairly pitiful

Not sure there's anywhere in the UK suitable for these boats - far to choppy. The GP cats struggled in the Solent at times

All in all, bearing in mind the complexity of these boats, I'm still amazed that races were competitive





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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 6:58am
You not going to get more teams when the development is so expensive and speed difference can be so great if they’re not sailing in their ideal conditions. They need to be brought more one design and share data (like sail GP) if they’re going to attract more teams. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 7:06am
Cats next time, get rid of these annoying, nodding, three legged dogs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 8:17am
I admit, I was more impressed by these boats than I thought I would be, if only because the foils gave them small turning circles compared to either a cat or a long monohull. But the 2 minute highlights were enough to watch for me.
How about replicas of the original boats for the next one, all of them, plus allowing America to cheat again? Not that she needed to, given her speed advantage.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 9:24am
If they do have a "hype race" around the IOW they could always have a second start 10 minutes later and invite all the J class yachts to race round after them

Plot twist: Breeze drops below 8kts and the J's overtake them...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 9:41am
Originally posted by tink

You not going to get more teams when the development is so expensive and speed difference can be so great if they’re not sailing in their ideal conditions. They need to be brought more one design and share data (like sail GP) if they’re going to attract more teams. 

Foil cant, rudder, pitch, heart rates, heading, course (leeway) are all shared publicly. It's been pretty open data wise. All down to 20hz. 

I think one design ruins the build up, nothing to really talk about, and makes all the boat look the same with no identity. This time there were large visual differences between sails, hulls and foils and even the way the teams crewed the boats that could be discussed. 

I also don't think development is off putting. The risk of the the whole concept failing and initial design cost and development for a new class is. 

But next cup other teams will know the class and design is proven. And they can just pinch a lot of the design off this cup. Back when the AC had lots of challengers, realistically only about 3 or 4 tops were doing it to win. That's the same as this cup. But other teams will pitch up if they can compete in the same arena.

Bermuda we had ETNZ, BAR and Artemis as serious challengers.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 9:56am
I still think the foils and mechanism should be a fixed package. There are still plenty of other areas where development can take place.

The issue with foils seems to be that they are massively expensive to design and develop and have long production lead times, so teams have to commit to fundamental decisions early in the campaign based on assumptions about factors like venue weather conditions.

It seems clear that this time LR optimised for light airs, ETNZ optimised for breeze and they were both largely stuck with those choices. I think we got lucky in that the boats ended up fairly well matched, it could just as easily have turned out as LR winning by a country mile in the light days and the opposite when (if) the breeze came in, with only the occasional "crossover" day yielding a match.

As things are there still seems potential for this to happen next time around, and in a match race format we'd have better racing if the foils were like a "control tyre" in motor racing.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 21 at 10:00am
Originally posted by ohFFsake

I still think the foils and mechanism should be a fixed package. There are still plenty of other areas where development can take place.

The issue with foils seems to be that they are massively expensive to design and develop and have long production lead times, so teams have to commit to fundamental decisions early in the campaign based on assumptions about factors like venue weather conditions.

It seems clear that this time LR optimised for light airs, ETNZ optimised for breeze and they were both largely stuck with those choices. I think we got lucky in that the boats ended up fairly well matched, it could just as easily have turned out as LR winning by a country mile in the light days and the opposite when (if) the breeze came in, with only the occasional "crossover" day yielding a match.

As things are there still seems potential for this to happen next time around, and in a match race format we'd have better racing if the foils were like a "control tyre" in motor racing.


If foil development had reached maturity, I would agree that a one-design would help on costs. However, I believe they are still a long way on the development curve. The difference in foils between this cup and the last is quite big and may well be big again next time. Its good to see how these paths work out. 


Edited by Chris_H - 18 Mar 21 at 10:01am
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