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Sep 22, 2010, 3:55 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3176 - Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Valencia, Spain (September 13, 2010) -
The America's Cup is back on track. It may not be a track to everyone's liking but a "new era" was promised by the boss of the defending team, Russell Coutts, in his BMW-Oracle base in Valencia today. The boats will be "cool", he said as he showed an impression of a 72-foot catamaran with a wing sail. They will be fast at over 30 knots, said design consultant Pete Melvin, and there will be an annual America's Cup World Series producing a world champion team.

"This will be a competition for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation," said Coutts, who added that the rules surrounding the revamp of an event which can trace its history to 1851 on the Isle of Wight were established a new, level playing field. His view was endorsed by the team which represents all challenger interests, Mascalzone Latino, with its Italian president Vincenzo Onorato saying that the rules protocol is "the fairest ever written."

The opening skirmishes, scheduled to be staged next summer, will be in specially built 45-foot catamarans using wing sails. From 2012, the regatta programme will move into the new AC72s built by teams which have been given an extended window, from 1 November to 31 March, to register.

The identical 45-footers, being built in New Zealand, will then be used for a Youth America's Cup on a new circuit attracting entries carrying national flags from either national sailing bodies clubs, or America's Cup teams. That will be decided by an overall race director, expected to be announced soon.

The new organisation is relying heavily on a development programme which promises spectacular television pictures. But the boats will once again rely on manpower, rather than engines and hydraulic winches, to handle the sails. Coutts envisages a crew of 11, instead of the previous 17. There will also be limits on testing training, as in Formula One motor racing, in a bid to cut costs by a target 20 per cent. -- Stuart Alexander, The Independent, read on: http://tinyurl.com/Independent-091310

DETAILS: Said to be the fairest rules ever for the America’s Cup, here are the bullet points and complete protocol for the 34th Match: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-091310

BOB FISHER: Commentary from an esteemed America’s Cup journo: http://www.sail-world.com/USA/Fishers-View:-Its-catamarans-in-2013/74615

BONUS MEDIA: To watch a replay of the press conference, to see a conceptual video of the new AC72 class, AND to listen in on a conference call that BMW Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts hosted with a group of sailing journalist, follow this link here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/10/0909/




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Sep 22, 2010, 3:57 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3177 - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

* From Frederic Berg:

Voila! One hundred forty-five Scuttlebutts later and a lot of armchair advice, BMW Oracle got it right - use the fastest boats on the planet. I look forward to the new era of sailing and can't wait for hard wing technology to trickle down to boats we all can afford. Exciting stuff!


* From David Fuller, YachtSponsorship.com:
After months of consulting the world’s best marketing and television experts, BMW ORACLE delivered an uninspiring and televisually dull product launch of the AC72, a multi-hull catamaran with a fixed wing that will be the yacht for the next America’s Cup to be held in 2013.

Russell Coutts told sailing journalists in Valencia that the Defender of the America’s Cup had consulted with experts from Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and NASCAR about how to make the America’s Cup more appealing to a new audience. Yet the event to launch the vision of the Cup’s future featured Yacht Club Commodores signing contracts and a rotating 3D model.

Most soap powder product launches are more inspired and inspiring than this unrehearsed, amateur production. BMW-ORACLE have set themselves up as being an organisation that understands the “Facebook generation”, but there is no way that brands like Zynga (Google it) would announce a new global product in such a lacklustre manner. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/YS-091410


* From Gunther E. Hering, Hamburg, Germany:
The America’s Cup was buried Monday by Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison in cooperation with the Italians. Catamarans are not suitable for match racing, just for straight line speed. The nationality clause was not reintroduced (Russell - read the Deed of Gift!) The whole thing has been turned into a permanent circus and a job program for professional sailors. This is not sport, just commercial entertainment. Sorry - count me out!


* From John Irvine:
To quote Yogi - “Include me out!” Catamarans? Humbug!


* From Howard D. Paul, Burlingame, CA:
So why am I not surprised it is Catamarans. Yes they go fast but there won’t be any tacking duels or jibing on the opponents wind. Boring! So why? Simple. BMW/Oracle has already spent millions on R&D so it is simple to downsize the boat. They already know how to sail one. It is their “Fair Advantage”.

Mark my words: It will not be in San Francisco. There is no allegiance to the Deed of Gift which clearly states a friendly competition between countries. Why would it be in the U.S. at all? The CEO is from New Zealand, the helmsman is Australian - the name of the team alone says it best: BMW/Oracle. The America’s Cup is DEAD!


* From Adrian Morgan:
So, all the Alinghi mulithull gurus have jumped ship to BMW Oracle, and before the multihull announcement was made. Head start? More like flying start, or perhaps jumping the gun. As I said in Seahorse magazine in March "And now, surprise surprise, they're considering multihulls, now they have a hefty head start and all the technology and expertise. Level playing field? Not in our lifetime, or indeed ever."


* From Gregory Scott, Kingston, ONT:
It has long been established that to set yourself apart in politics, finding a 'wedge" can be a ticket to notoriety. Now notoriety comes in many forms. Starting a campaign with the words: "This will be a competition for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation," as Russell Coutts said Monday, lacks a certain nation building quality. To insult the significant percentage of the remaining marketplace for sailing, that are still actually interested, seems to be foolhardy.

Oh it will no doubt create notoriety, but if any of the myriad of articles noting the decline in sailing are in any way true - then this is the final nail. Having grown up in business around marinas and yacht clubs, the Facebook Generation isn’t paying the bills. The slips are full of Flinstoners and they aren't coming to Russell's party.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The last time I checked, most of the comments on the Scuttlebutt Facebook page have not been in support of the catamaran vision. So much for slogans.



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Sep 22, 2010, 3:58 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3178 - Thursday, September 16, 2010

* From Peter Wormwood:
I invite all of the critics of the decision to use a multihull in the America’s Cup to actually sail on a true high performance multihull before rushing to judgment. It may save you the embarrassment of having to eat your words.


* From Jim Fulton:
Although Russell Coutts says he wants to appeal to both the Facebook and the Flintstone generations, I'm afraid that he will succeed with neither. While it's good that the AC72 will be able to race in lighter and heavier air than current designs, I don't believe that the boats will be fast enough to appeal to non-sailors or maneuverable enough to appeal to knowledgeable fans. Think NASCAR at 35 mph.


* From Mal Emerson:
While it is not good form to alienate anyone, particularly the "Flintstone" generation, I suspect many if not most of the negative comments are coming from those that have never even sailed a high performance multi much less match raced one. While I don't like the emphasis on the financial; I realize it's a necessary evil and think AC 34 is off to a good start. The multi formula has the potential to keep the complexities of match racing and throw in some of the excitement of motocross. I, for one, am for giving Russell and company the benefit of the doubt and am certain that the America's cup demise is being grossly exaggerated.

How many sailors does it take to change a light bulb? Three: one to change the bulb and two to brag on how good the old one was.


* From Andrew Troup, New Zealand:
Now that the Little America's Cup is to be upsized to regular (and it's an open question if it will make it substantially more popular than it was in "Little" guise) maybe it's time for those who do not mistake change for improvement to set up a 'Big America's Cup’, ie business as usual. If this doesn't happen, it seems entirely possible that the finals of the last monohull competition may never be surpassed. Maybe Louis Vuitton will step up once more?







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Sep 22, 2010, 3:59 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3179 - Friday, September 17, 2010

* From Paul Henderson, an old Finn and FD sailor:
The America's Cup is sailing’s Wimbledon or Masters Golf as it is the one event that non-sailors pay attention to. When the AC went from J-Boats to 12s, the same demise of the America's Cup was predicted but instead it grew in stature. Then the 12 was replaced with the ACC rule and the same complaints came that this was the end of the Auld Mug, but what an event Valencia was with more interest than ever.

Now there comes the same negative complaints about catamarans and a new format that I strongly support. Sailing critics sometimes act like rowers who "sit on their after portholes and look backwards". The best sailors look forward for the next shift in the wind and I believe Team Oracle has done this and moved into the modern era. Well done! Bring on the Challengers!


* From John Rumsey
With regard to Wormwood's comment (in Scuttlebutt 3178) about how exciting sailing the 72-foot Cat will be, no doubt sailors will love it but watching it from on the small screen will not keep the Joe or Jane 6-pack from clicking the channel changer to go to America's Got Talent. Perhaps some babes in bikinis on the trapezes might help as it has for woman's volleyball.


* From David Latta, Seattle, WA:
Am I alone here -- what makes the viewing of the AC cat match race interesting??? It's a technical challenge, yes, for engineers but for viewers or monohull sailors and match racing sailors I don't think so. The sport is being taken out of match racing where the skills of the sailor’s ability to anticipate the competition, the wind, the sea, the boat, and sail handling in very close proximity are gone! To be replaced by Ph D engineers in shells that may never get close to one another.

The fun or challenge is between the designers and the technologist, not the racing community, the sailor or the uninformed public. This show is for themselves, not the market - hardly a forum to generate revenue, only debt and disinterest. But it's time for a change, as change is popular today with Keynesian top down thinking so it's only fitting the AC race the change in SF, WA DC or in Europe's southern countries. With of course the same results, debt, disinterest and boring.


* From Bill Elmer:
All this blather about multi’s not being appealing reminds me of the late 70’s when Bill Lee came up with Merlin followed by the SC 50’s The wags all said the boats were too light and would fall apart in short order. I think that not one SC 50 has been lost in all these years. So if “fast was fun” that must mean that “faster is more funner.”


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Sep 22, 2010, 4:00 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3180 - Monday, September 20, 2010

* From Robert Sweet:
Perhaps some of your readers don't remember the Golden Age of America's Cup racing - a couple of 12 meters bobbing up and down in a Newport calm. B-O-R-I-N-G! Second only to losing the Cup as a means of resurrecting public interest was the fact that the next series actually took place in the ocean in real wind - it was fantastic. I don't care if they race in one hull, two, three, or whatever - just do it on real water and in real wind - THAT'S A RACE. And isn't that the basic idea.


* From Lee Smith, Long Beach: (re, Paul Henderson letter in SBUTT 3179)
A real golfer or tennis player probably would opt for playing his game vs. watching the Masters or the US open anyway. If he did juggle his schedule to do both he would at least relate to pros playing golf or tennis on more or less the same court with more or less the same equipment as him. Speaking for myself I don't relate to the Americas Cup in catamarans any more than I'd relate to it on ice yachts.


* From Alex Arnold:
While I mourn the passing of the monohull in the America's Cup and believe it will negatively impact the public's interest in the Cup, one needs to view the latest "Video of the Week" before proclaiming that small screen viewing of cats won't be good. WOW! (Here is the link: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/10/0917)


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Sep 22, 2010, 4:01 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3181 - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

* From Alan Veenstra, Chicago:
I view the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) selection of catamarans for AC competition as nothing more than a continued mockery of the world's oldest sporting event. While the technology associated with catamarans was vital in rescuing the AC from Ernesto, must we continue down a path that limits competition to billionaires from a handful of technologically advanced countries? Must we cheapen the image of our sport in order to attract an audience better suited to the momentary shallowness of the latest reality show? Catamarans are marvelous, but such large platforms are more akin to drag racing than to yacht racing.

Technology is a marvelous benefit of AC competition, but now it seems to be the only one. Not only is it prohibitively expensive (thereby limiting competition), it diminishes the role of sailors and tactics in the joy of competition. If allowed to continue we can dispense with the sailors all together. Radio-control boats anyone? How about computer simulation by Pixar? Instead of starting lines, will we see AC boats revving their winged masts as vertical lights countdown from red to green? And to attract an even larger audience, perhaps we can rename the event to 'AC: Smack Down on the Bay'.

I suggest that GGYC designate an AC vessel between 50'-80' that conforms to an international rating rule for offshore yachts. Not only would this encourage a broad field of international competitors, the afterlife of such boats would bolster offshore fleets worldwide. And more important, we would put real sailors and tactics back into the world's oldest competition.


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Sep 22, 2010, 4:02 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3182 - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

* From Paul Henderson, former ISAF president:
The sport of sailing has always had a conflict between "Talent" and "Technology". Over the years ISAF has slowly but consistently moved the Olympic Events more and more towards "Talent" and away from "Technology". Once there were 8 and 6 Metres, and now there are Lasers and Windsurfers. The reason the Tornado was displaced is because of the cost and I am sure that for the 2016 Olympics in Rio a new and more simple one-design Cat will be installed.

The America's Cup has always had a high level of cutting edge technology and the new concept keeps up that tradition. Sailing has a very broad spectrum of equipment and formats. During acute times of trying to govern our wonderful diverse sport, I wondered how easy it would be to lead a sport like Hockey where everything was the same.

Once Ernesto Bertarelli said to me that sailing was a pyramid and the AC was at the pinnacle. I responded to him that the sport of sailing was more like the Himalayan Mountains with many challenging peaks to climb all important. Let’s revel in the unique diversity of sailing for it will never be monolithic.


* From Cameron McIntyre
Two interesting articles in #3181, “Facebook or Flintstones” and “What will happen in 2011?” made my mind wander.

I am not sure I am onboard the America’s Cup for the Facebook generation concept; that idea seems like "New Coke" to me. I suppose if the powers that be have done the marketing research that indicates there is a new audience out there, so great, but I have a hunch the strategy is more of "If I build it, they will come".

My ponderings continue with the MedCup, which is still seeing strong international focus despite economic conditions. This leads me to reiterate comments that have been made before: are the Cup holders really reinventing the wheel to improve the AC and international sailing, or are they creating a platform that benefits their experience and technology? Has the AC become a custom regatta to be designed and redesigned by the current Cup holder? If the "Cat Cup" is a bust, what's next?


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Sep 23, 2010, 6:26 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3183 - Thursday, September 23, 2010

* From Damian Christie, Melbourne, Australia:

So much for a "fairer" America's Cup! BMW Oracle and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, like prior US Cup holders, have waived the rules to rule the waves and Mascalzone Latino is just another "CNEV"!

Wasn’t the main reason Oracle challenged Alinghi to a one-on-one duel for the 2010 Cup because it didn't like Ernesto Bertarelli’s strong arm tactics with regard to the rules after the 2007 defence? Yet with the boot now on the other foot, the first thing the new US trustee does is strong arm a timid Challenger of Record to get exactly the kind of America's Cup it wants!

I don’t disagree with the choice of a catamaran per se. What I object to is that Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison - in cahoots with Vincenzo Onorato - have made a unilateral decision about the Cup boat without consulting the other prospective challengers, including Team New Zealand and Team Origin. It is clear that the other challengers favoured a return to monohulls. Given that under the Deed of Gift the Challenger of Record (not the defender) traditionally nominates the vessel, then in the spirit (if not the letter) of the Cup competition, all the challengers should have been heard. Instead, they have been denied that fundamental choice.

Whether in catamarans or monohulls, the America's Cup will never be treated credibly worldwide while the defender - particularly a US defender! - continues to write the rules to its advantage.


* From Kerre Woodham, NZ Herald Columnist:
I'm not a great yachting fan. I didn't understand the hysteria of the America's Cup, where people who didn't know their stern from their starboard went out and bought red socks to contribute to a campaign run by millionaires that employed millionaires.

It seemed a nautical version of a swinging-dick competition and when the battle went off the water and into the courtroom, that was just about it for me.

The only thing I really liked about yachting were the yachts. The sleek, streamlined monohulls were miracles of beauty and technological precision. Except, of course, NZL 82 which almost came to serious grief in 2003.

Now with news that the America's Cup is to turn into a sprint between catamarans in a bid to woo the younger generation, any vestiges of charm the America's Cup had for me is gone.

I'm not the generation they're trying to attract but good luck in trying to get the cynical, media-savvy, and broke Facebook generation propping up any jingoistic America's Cup campaigns. -- http://tinyurl.com/NZ-Herald-092210


* From Mike Taggett:
After hearing for months how much "consensus building" was going to happen with the next edition of the America’s Cup, it would be interesting to get candid feedback from the dozen or so syndicates about the final result. Did a majority really support a multi hull? Or is the bottom line that Oracle BMW has a distinct and major advantage and thus Larry said "Multihulls it will be". It really is a sad result. Can you do a poll of them? Sooo....no sail changes, no tacking duels, no close in tactics. I am neither a Flintstoner nor a Facebooker. I am an aficionado of the spirit and decorum of one of the coolest, classiest, most historic and yes, sometimes boring sailing events. I have to say I hope someone else wins and returns it to the elegance of well executed monohulls.


Mal
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Sep 23, 2010, 8:44 PM

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I'm sorry but I simply can't believe the sour grapes being expressed over the plans for America's Cup 34. The boats will be cheaper, faster, more difficult to sail and have the potential of being quite exciting even to the uninformed observer. The Deed of Gift is being followed to the letter. Anyone complaining of the fracas of 33 or comparing this to that absolutely needs to read the Deed and as much of the court proceedings that they can stomach. It all speaks for itself as to what happened. The Deed specifies an agreement between Challenger and Defender (two separate entities Mr B). If universal consensus were required; there would never be an AC 34. Reaching an agreement is not surrender, conspiracy or collusion.

The Cup has always been a mix of technology and sailing prowess; not one design. The IACC is a wonderful boat but compared with either boat planned for AC 34 and its lead up; it is downright archaic. Multihulls are sailboats; they sail like any other sailboat; they just perform to a much higher level. They tack, jibe, have a wind shadow etc just like a mono hull. The smaller boat series will likely work out the kinks in what this level of a multihull match race should be.

Those thinking the boats are freaks really need to try one. Again, they are sailboats. Beach cats are cheap and it's easy to get a ride. I wonder how many of the purveyors of sour grapes have actually sailed a high performance cat; raced one? Folks talk of straight line speed but no tacking duels, no close racing, none of the excitement of monos. They are right about the speed. I suspect it will be every bit as close as the monos, maybe not in distance but, with the added speed, in time. Maneuvering can easily be forced if needed with a narrowed course, it may happen anyway. Let's not judge until we see.

Folks who think the defender is stacking the deck need only look to the Extreme 40 and the C class races that BOR has participated in to see they are far from the multihull experts. They sailed very little and not so successfully. They did no design work, no building, almost no match racing. There are a bunch of teams, or parts there of, that are way ahead in multihull experience. AC 33 was such an aberration, included so little actual two boat sailing (2 races, period) and has been so overtaken in technology, even by the C class wing; that I suspect the experience is near worthless. Even so, the defender always has an advantage in that he at least figured out how to win once.

Having said all that; I understand. Change is difficult. The unknown is mistrusted. Pilots complained when they removed the top wing, the propellers, added hydraulic controls, fly by wire and so on. Some embrace change and excel. Some question the need but investigate and participate when it is inevitable. Both take some modicum of courage. Unfortunately some just yell sour grapes and, with no real reason given nor understood; tuck their tails between their legs and skulk away. There, in my opinion, is the only real mistake.

I would urge those with doubts to study the history of the Cup. It is rich, interesting, and controversial. It's not just the 12's and the IACC boats; it's much more. Boat designs come and go but the Cup lives on. Read the Deed of Gift. As old and seemingly out of date as it is, it has kept the cup alive and some would say well since 1851 (no quibbling about it being written later). Its legal status is unique and nearly bullet proof. Read the court documents from Fey's "Big Boat Challenge" of 1988 and from AC 33. With a knowledge of Cup history and the Deed you'll see the Cup leap forward in 1988 and can easily envision the same happening as a result of AC 33 in much the same way and for much the same reason. The general framework is in place; the nuts and bolts are not. Give it a chance to develop before condemning it. Sail a cat; preferably a high performance one with boards. "A" cat, F-16, F-18, Inter 20, etc but even a Hobie 18 will do. A Hobie 16 or a Prindle 16 or 18 or several others without boards tack like sand barges so ignore that particular characteristic. Any of these, however, can show you the vision of a 70 foot version with wing sails and a crew of 11 at least as well as a go cart track can give you the vision of formula 1 or a local 18 holes the Ryder Cup. 15 knots is not 30 but it's not 8 either if you get my drift. If there was ever any interest in the 12's or IACC boats and the big cat will be 3X as fast think NASCAR at 600 not 35.

I apologize if I come across too strongly but finally and perhaps most importantly, if you take some of this to heart and are a sailor of any sort, you will enjoy it. The die is cast, embrace it, revel in it, participate in it. Be assured, no matter if the thing rolls up in a ball of flame, and admittedly it could, you will enjoy it more for as long as it lasts and, who knows? Russel, Vincenzo, et al may just be on to something.
Check Six .......Mal




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Sep 24, 2010, 8:24 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3184 - Friday, September 24, 2010

* From Mike Esposito, Chicago:

While I dislike the boat selection by the America’s Cup Defender and Challenger of Record, who, when they were faced with a choice between apples and oranges, they went bananas. I’m also prepared to step back and see if they are right. After all, they aren’t going to change their minds no matter how much others whine, they don’t really want input from anyone older than 29 (if that old) from outside their own compounds and, really, since the old AC audience didn’t rally enough viewership, who needs them, right? Go with the kids.

The folks that the old time racin’ sailors should address are the Louis Vuitton people, who seem to be pulling the plug on a very nice series to jump back in bed with the Auld Mug. Maybe it’s not too late to save good, close monohull racing under their banner, while the AC runs off to its silly battle of the oddities. Think of the LV series as NASCAR and the AC as the Indy Racing League. There’s still an IRL, right?


* From Ray Tostado:
Given the length and width of the S F Bay, then factor in the commercial traffic and the, likely to be banned during event, pleasure boats; no, 35 kt boats are not the best selection. These are open water racers and after the first million "ohhhs and ahhhs", as to their technology, very boring to watch.

I want to see crews making mistakes; challenging each other with rapid tacking duels. What happened to the "mano a mano? There is no authentic America's Cup in existence today. Give it back to NYYC, let them draw up new rules, race it in Newport and let the billionaires play their own games in some virtual coliseum.


* From Lucia Nebel White, 87 year old Star boat sailor:
It was a sight to behold last Saturday when we watched the Twelve Meters cruise around Newport Harbor. These boats were so beautiful, and also other Yachts , Schooners, Yawls, Ketches - big vintage motor boats , a "Rumrunner" and even a small Tug boat. It was like a painting with the light coming from the West.

Please let the Twelves race for the America’s Cup again. Return the Cup, with grace, to the New York Yacht Club --- to which it was given in 1887 by George L. Schuyler , in the Deed of Gift . Put it back in the Trophy room at 44th Street - and let the billionaires and advertising men have their own Cup - which is more in keeping with their style.


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Sep 27, 2010, 3:51 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3185 - Monday, September 27, 2010

* From Manfred C. Schreiber:

Mike Esposito, you are so right (as usually) with your comment in Butt 3184 regarding us "...old folks, who needs them," viewing the AC. And I am calling Bruno Trouble and the people at Louis Vuitton. Please give us more! The boats and the action on the water are just right. And I am prepared to visit one of the next events and I can assure you that all my friends in the sailing community like to watch, yes inhale the action on the water as being presented by "you guys" in the best possible way. Thanks LV for sticking with it for so long!



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Sep 27, 2010, 3:52 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3186 - Tuesday, September 28, 2010


* From Chris Boome, San Francisco:
Didn't Larry Ellison's team ever read Gary Mull's article written about 20 years ago? If they had, they would have realized that Alcatraz is merely an Island and that in 2014 the tides will be high enough to tow it to South Hampton Shoals and thereby opening up the bay for the AC.

* From Ken Guyer:
To say I am disappointed would be a massive understatement. I have followed the Cup since the Intrepid years. My greatest memory in sailing will always be the time I got to spend with Team Dennis Conner. I have to admit with all the fighting between the billionaires, I really did not pay much attention to the last one, but did get to watch the Oracle boat for many months in San Diego. Special boat and incredible to watch under sail, but NOT an America’s Cup boat by any stretch of the imagination.

So Larry Ellison, in cahoots with Coutts has now stolen one of the oldest sporting events and altered its history for greed. They liked not having to actually compete on the water last time. It was enjoyable to design a monster machine, go out on the water and just go sailing on a fast boat and then claim to have won a cup that was deeded for a design and sailing competition among nations. This is a mono hull event, always has been, always should be. Let the multi hull sailors go out and create a multihull event and maybe a hundred plus years from now it will have the stature of the America’s Cup.

So they went to MLB, Formula One, and NASCAR to find out what should be done to increase the marketability (read money) of the Cup by reaching a TV audience as large as these sports. Pretty dumb, I could tell them over a brew in the local pub, it ain’t gonna happen, just a fact of life. There is no comparison. I have never had a lot of respect for Larry Ellison and his egotistical sailing antics. The man claims to be an American, yet he does not seem to have much faith in American sailors. This race is in multi hulls for just one reason, Ellison thinks he has the design lead over everyone else and he wants to use it to his advantage while pretending to “care about the Cup” by wanting a new era of fairness and openness. BS.

Sorry Russell, I remain a member of the Flintstone Cup lovers. I was looking forward to seeing who could design a mono hull in the 70’ range that would be fast and exciting and maneuverable for match racing. In my humble opinion you blew it big time, but then you really are in it for the money now aren’t you.





Andrew Troup
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Sep 28, 2010, 12:49 AM

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The choice of boat to maximise TV revenues was a classic 'no brainer'

The formula is entirely in keeping with the entertainment age:
"leave the thinking to us; all you have to do is watch" ...

And watch, it has to be said, in the slack-jawed, sensation-seeking, intellectually dormant mode our advertisers have come -- not just to expect, but to require.

It's no accident that Ellison revealed that he was delegating the choice of boat to the 15yo demographic: it's an open secret that Nirvana for marketers is a world peopled by adolescent mindsets with adult income streams.

It's fine for adolescents to have high impulsivity, short concentration spans, to wobble between self-involvement and judgemental idealism, and to approach every purchase thinking at about the maturity level of 'If I want triple chocolate icecream for breakfast there's no-one anymore who can stop me'....

But the tragedy of recent decades (starting perhaps in the rock'n'roll era) is that marketers have gradually succeeded in prolonging these once temporary phases of slightly guilty defiance.

Today these behaviours and mindsets are increasingly worn as perpetual badges of honour.

Marketers have successfully coopted mainstream media, and exploited chinks and foibles of human nature, to largely achieve their aim of parleying the classic excesses and glorious vices of adolescence into life-long life-styles, for the benefit of exactly no-one but their clients..... and this is another infinitesimal step in that direction.


Manfred
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Sep 28, 2010, 1:09 AM

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Ken,
thank you. Well appreciated though I am calming down slowly on my disappointment. But I doubt that I am coming to the event as there would not be much to see. Cheers Manfred


Mal
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Sep 28, 2010, 6:28 AM

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For those waxing nostalgic over the America's cup moving into the 21st century; why not go back to the J boats? They were much more impressive than the 12's or the IACC boats.

70 foot cats being wrestled around a course at 30 kts ...... no not much to see here ..... you must be kidding! I have watched a number of Cup matches. Just to be on the same water was a thrill but I must admit that even when on the water with the boats I spent a lot of time watching it on a screen in the instances where it was available. It was a thrill at 9 kts even when the races were totally one sided.

Ken, I also watched the big tri sitting and sailing and my take was quite the opposite. I think it looked maybe even sailed much more like an America's cup boat than recent boats. Think Ranger not the 12's.

Some of the posts here remind me of what every generation has said about the previous one, probably long before recorded history; myself included. The pinnacle of any sporting event will always be purely a spectator event for the vast majority of the population. That doesn't mean that it separates itself from the mass of folks that participate at a lower level; nor does it limit their participation. The only folks truly alienated are those locked in to the way it used to be with little vision of the future. Just look at the bikes that come out (of the garage) during the Tour De France. While I agree that we are becoming a world of spectators; what in the world does that have to do with the boat chosen for the America's Cup?
Check Six .......Mal




The Publisher
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Sep 29, 2010, 4:58 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3187 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

* From Bill Tyler:
I have to say I agree completely with the remarks by Ken Guyer in 'butt 3186. I had high hopes for a return to "normalcy" under the auspices of Ellison and Coutts - a return to what we knew as the America's Cup. Unfortunately they seem to want to bastardize the event - granted in a less onerous way than Bertarelli and SNG - and create something in their own image. And where will THAT take place??


* From Sue Reilly:
It is funny reading Ken Guyer’s comments:

“They liked not having to actually compete on the water last time. It was enjoyable to design a monster machine, go out on the water and just go sailing on a fast boat and then claim to have won a Cup that was deeded for a design and sailing competition among nations.”

Wasn't Dennis Conner the first one to bring a multihull to the Cup?




The Publisher
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Sep 29, 2010, 4:59 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3188 - Thursday, September 30, 2010

* From Tyler Carder:
It is truly remarkable how many people are whining unpleasantly about the plans for the next America's Cup, though it is often hard to figure out if their opinionating is based on ignorance, some gilded and glowing misconception of "how great things used to be", or a long-standing monohull bias against anything sailing that has more than one hull. For whatever reason, to those of us who love multihulls, who exuberantly welcome the new changes to the America's Cup, who think watching a pair of dog-slow lead-bottomed monohulls waddle around a racecourse is deathly dull, their reasoning is utterly comical, no matter how well-meaning the intentions of these doubters may be.

Alan Veenstra's complaints as reported in Scuttlebutt were particularly amusing, if at the same time deeply insulting. When he says that, by not using big winged cats in the next AC, "we could put real sailors and tactics back into the world's oldest competition", one has to ask who he thinks will be sailing the AC cats? Can he really believe that all the people sailing cats and tris around the world are not "real" sailors? And apparently, all those pseudo-sailors in multihull races are not using "real" tactics? Hunh! That must come as a real surprise to great talents like Glenn Ashby or Jimmy Spithill, Fred Eaton or Magnus Clarke, Mitch Booth or Loick Peyron, or all the thousands and thousands and thousands of others who happily sail and race multihulls.

For many of us, even those like me who spent over forty years sailing and racing in monohulls... after tasting of the multihull fruit, we would find it hard if not impossible to ever want to sail or race in a monohull again.

So Mr. Veenstra's question "Must we cheapen the image of our sport in order to attract an audience better suited to the momentary shallowness of the latest reality show?" is just an outright slap in the face to those of us who think the next AC will be the most fascinating in a hundred years. Mr. Veenstra should be thankful; first, that the AC will finally represent, and highlight, the fastest and most exciting future of sailing (like it or not); and second, that Scuttlebutt asks us to "save our bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere", cause there's a whole sputteringly angry bunch of cat and tri sailors down here in Florida ready to unload a bushelful of "bash" on the misinformed and ignorant Mr. Veenstra....

("Cheapen the image of our sport"...! My ass!)


JollyRoger
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Sep 29, 2010, 5:39 PM

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In Reply To
The choice of boat to maximise TV revenues was a classic 'no brainer'

The formula is entirely in keeping with the entertainment age:
"leave the thinking to us; all you have to do is watch" ...

And watch, it has to be said, in the slack-jawed, sensation-seeking, intellectually dormant mode our advertisers have come -- not just to expect, but to require.

It's no accident that Ellison revealed that he was delegating the choice of boat to the 15yo demographic: it's an open secret that Nirvana for marketers is a world peopled by adolescent mindsets with adult income streams.

It's fine for adolescents to have high impulsivity, short concentration spans, to wobble between self-involvement and judgemental idealism, and to approach every purchase thinking at about the maturity level of 'If I want triple chocolate icecream for breakfast there's no-one anymore who can stop me'....

But the tragedy of recent decades (starting perhaps in the rock'n'roll era) is that marketers have gradually succeeded in prolonging these once temporary phases of slightly guilty defiance.

Today these behaviours and mindsets are increasingly worn as perpetual badges of honour.

Marketers have successfully coopted mainstream media, and exploited chinks and foibles of human nature, to largely achieve their aim of parleying the classic excesses and glorious vices of adolescence into life-long life-styles, for the benefit of exactly no-one but their clients..... and this is another infinitesimal step in that direction.



Yes Mr Troup The Cup has changed thanks to those pesky kids and their rock and roll. Nothing more needs to be said.

RJ


Mal
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Sep 29, 2010, 7:10 PM

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If the wind is above 6 kts; the vast majority of the races will be sailed on one hull anyway. What's the beef?
Check Six .......Mal


johnc7777
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Sep 30, 2010, 9:04 AM

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I would rather see it raced on Mono's but I am just happy that they are having a race. I would be
delighted to see then race in SF. I would be Ecstatic if they raced it in Pugeot Sound.


The Publisher
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Oct 3, 2010, 8:19 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3189 - Friday, October 1, 2010


* From Geoffrey Emanuel, Southlake, Texas:
The choice of multihulls is entirely in keeping with AC traditions. Every boat built for the America's Cup, including the original cup winner, was, at a minimum, a major advancement over the status quo yacht design, if not a radical departure from the norm of the era. Examples include the 144 foot Reliance, the 1903 defender, labeled at the time a "racing freak." She featured a ballasted rudder, dual speed winches below decks and a cork-decked aluminum hull. Ranger was considered a "radical departure" for the J-Boat era in the 1930s, a class which as a group advanced nearly every aspect of naval architecture, yacht construction and sail handling systems.

If the America's Cup doesn't continue to foster revolution in yacht design, what other event would?


* From Les Abberley, 12/US-26 ’74: (re, Ken Guyer’s letter in #3186)
What is the America’s Cup? Judging from your scathing Butt guest commentary, spare me a moment, and please consider historical fact.

Back in the day, when goods needed delivery overseas, it was all about boat speed. First to market, got highest price. Even the harbor pilot’s boats raced to beat the others to the cargo ship.

Billionaires owned these ships that carried the goods manufactured by other billionaires, who sold the goods to other billionaires who distributed them. When a London tea Barron had to sign a distribution deal in New York he had no corporate jet to fly….it was the corporate “yacht’ that carried the business team overseas.

So the Cup was born from commerce and boat speed, the crews were international professionals.

The current billionaires funding the defense & challenge in the Americas Cup today are no different. The boats have changed simply because of boat speed and cats and tri’s are faster. They also hold all the speed records for long distance sailing…..just like back in the day.

Larry Ellison is a can-do guy, and he gets it. In addition, he’s surrounded by the best of breed in every discipline including sailing! Watch him guide his team to make the Americas’ Cup in San Francisco a spectacular event in every way: design, engineering, sailing skill, speed, sponsorship, media, race fans and momentum that will reignite a huge A-Cup passion and prestige.

Check it out, and if you continue to disagree, get a life and become a baseball fan.


The Publisher
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Oct 5, 2010, 9:06 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3190 - Monday, October 4, 2010


* From Bill Spalding Skaneateles, NY:
There seem to be very few letters supporting the AC Multihull choice. Those of us that sail multis know why they made the choice. If you don't know why they chose the multi, go sail a performance multi for a season or just a series. You will know.

"People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it's more fun to go slow than it is to go fast." - Dick Newick


* From Noel Sterrett:
Multihulls are much faster (and hence much more exciting) than monohulls, right? Here are the stats:

- The "AC34 Monohull Class Rule Concept Document" lists target boat speed at 1.0x TWS upwind, and 1.4x TWS downwind.
- The "AC34 Multihull Class Rule Concept Document" lists target boat speed at 1.2x TWS upwind, and 1.6x TWS downwind.

The difference is only 20% upwind and 11% downwind! On TV, that's much ado about nothing. But a lead of several years in wing development, now that's something. Here are some comparable videos to show we have, and what we could have had:

Stuck with this: http://www.extremesailingseries.com/video/trapani
Could have had this: http://tinyurl.com/2eusu5k


The Publisher
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Oct 5, 2010, 9:11 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3191 - Tuesday, October 5, 2010


* From Richard Johnson, Pinole, CA:
I've been involved in Yacht Club Racing Activities for about 30 (plus) years, mostly beer can stuff, and I have a mono-hulled yacht berthed in my Club's marina. We have about 200 boats in our marina and about 4, perhaps 5 are multi-hulls. I believe that this is fairly representative of most marinas here in the SF Bay Area. Our Club conducts a number of race events during the year and yes, there are some multi-hulls entered but they are in the minority. Yes, they are faster that a mono-hull but it appears to me that as of today, the mono-hull is the choice of the majority of yacht owners. For several years, I have enjoyed the pre-start activities in the AC and thought this was all lost in the most recent contest. If it were up to a vote of the Yachting Community, I believe mono-hulled boats would be their popular choice. There are people who like Drag Races, an event that is over in 1320 feet and there are those who enjoy watching contestants turning both left and right. Just a thought.


* From Katrina Johnson:
Thank you Noel Sterrett for showing just how perfect multihulls are. I showed his two video links (in Scuttlebutt 3190) to 14 non-sailing friends. I asked them two questions: Which looked most exciting and which event would you like to go to?

They all said that the cats were exciting, the monos looked like nothing and they wanted to go the cat event!

The AC is an event at one end of the sport. It has always been for rich people. If you can't afford it don't play, if you want a level playing field go race one designs and if you are a professional sailor, shut up and just get on with the job you are employed to do. Slagging off multihull sailors is not clever and shows ignorance and to the outside observer does nothing but damage to the sport!

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I think Katrina has nailed it. The opinion of sailing enthusiasts is perhaps not the primary opinion, as this group will ultimately become sufficiently interested because it is their sport. The plan for the 34th America’s Cup is to grab the attention of the significantly larger, non-sailing population. The goal of this event is commercial viability, which requires a large viewership to warrant commercial support and media attention. This event will resemble nothing we have seen before. With boat speed of 40+ knots, how can it?





ms
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Oct 6, 2010, 9:43 AM

Post #24 of 50 (128235 views)
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From Jim Champ (re, Scuttlebutt 3192):
Exciting match racing is where yachts are evenly matched with finishes mere seconds apart. As in AC32. So how many races in AC history have been straightforward boat speed processions, and how many exciting match races? Someone was waxing lyrical about the great days of the Js and 12s on another forum, so I looked up my books.

I'd say perhaps one race in the Js, one or two in '62, a couple in '70, one or two in '80 and two or three in '83, (and really only the last race in 83) were really spectacular match races. If great matches are what you think make a great AC its clear that the 12s and Js didn't deliver... I don't have a reference to hand for the IACC class, but note that through the IACC era the losers only won three races, two of them AC32 which yes, was probably the closest AC series, but the chances of that being repeated are historically minimal no matter what boats its sailed in. – Read on:

To my mind there are few things quite so boring as a match race in which the guy with boat speed is ahead at the first cross and continues to extend for the rest of the race. And I bet you that over 90% of AC races have been like that.

So clearly whatever is special about the AC its not close match racing... Personally I think its the clash of billionaire egos that make the AC: particularly the fact that most of them are definitely going to lose, which doesn't happen often to billionaires.


The Publisher
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Oct 6, 2010, 4:43 PM

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* From Noel Sterrett:
I must apologize to Katrina Johnson (Scuttlebutt 3191) for being ignorant and damaging the sport. Clearly, if I were more clever I would do as ordered and shut up.

But I just want to reminisce about the AC33 for a moment. I recall watching with a certain awe as Jimmy Spithill stood many stories up balancing the huge sleek winged creature as it sped ever so smoothly at nearly 30 knots through the calm water. Unfortunately, I can't seem to remember much more about the race except who won.

However, I'm sure the AC34 will be entirely different. BMW/Oracle only has a head start of about 2 years, 150,000 man hours and $200 million spent over all challengers (except in part Bertarelli) in winged multi-hull design/development/building/racing (clearly that lead played no part in their wing/multi choice). So I'm delighted at this early date to be completely confident that although they will crush the challenger with a runaway win, it will be really exciting and memorable to watch them sail at 40 knots. And I'm looking forward to another rout in AC35 at 50 knots (even more memorable).

Until then, I'm stuck watching slow mono-hull dinosaurs in boring races like the Volvo.



The Publisher
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Oct 6, 2010, 5:03 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3192 - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

* From Rich Aaring, Eugene Oregon:
I am beginning to like the America's Cup in shallow draft catamarans and in San Francisco Bay. Imagine a Start Line and Leeward Mark off the Berkeley Marina and a Finish Line and Windward Mark off Crissy Field. Alcatraz as an obstruction. Lots of terrific vantage points. This could be really good.


* From R. Geoffrey Newbury:
Noel Sterrett wrote: "Multihulls are much faster (and hence much more exciting) than monohull, right?”

Faster, yes, but more exciting only when you do it. We should not conflate competing with spectating. If this America’s Cup is intended to be some sort of media 'must-see', I can predict 'Epic Fail' from here. Exciting match racing for the spectators is all about a close contest between the racers. Exciting match racing is where yachts are evenly matched with finishes mere seconds apart. As in AC32.

Absolute speed is irrelevant when racers are competing for the inches of position which means the advantage, a safe leebow or inside line at the chicane. That makes for a contest. AC33 was actually decided by the designers, but no-one knew whose designers were right. Having the faster boat, Oracle had to avoid capsizing or breaking down.

The best AC contests have been those where the designs and technology were mature and therefore almost equal. Then it became a battle of men not machines. We do not watch football for the technology; we watch to see teams compete physically and mentally against each other on a level playing field.

It is clear that Oracle has chosen multis for its advantage, but in doing so it will hurt the contest for the Cup as disastrously as the last fiasco did.


* From David Redfern:
I thought the Ryder Cup was like a great match race. And I've never played golf, but couldn't stop watching every minute. Brilliant!


sailwatcher
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Oct 6, 2010, 5:40 PM

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Although I don't love catamarans, I'm going to enjoy the upcoming AC, and that which leads up to the AC. I like the promise of speed, but with a challenge to the boatsmen. I want there to be a fairly steep risk of some sort of tactical failure. I don't remember specifics, but in one of the AC 33 races, I seem to remember Alinghi getting caught in a no-air area, and the sails deflating for a bit. I like moment like that. As much as I like speed, that alone will not make it interesting. The teamwork, and failures in teamwork, are a huge part of what I like to see in sailing. I love seeing everybody work.

Also, I doubt anybody else noticed this, but 11 is the number of a soccer (football) side. That's significant o me just because I'm a fan of that sport. It's a number that will stick with me. I don't recall the number of crewmen on an AC33 boat, but 11 just seems like a good number.

But yeah, I'm not sure I have much of a point. But here's to a good blend of boat performance and physical vigor of the sailors.


Mal
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Oct 6, 2010, 9:08 PM

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Noel, you don't remember the "dial up" and penalty in the first race, or the big tri in irons while the cat ran away. You don't remember the penalty or the missed lee bow opportunity and the over standing of the layline in the second race; EB's erratic steering, draggy winward rudder, sail changes a pass in the first race, 2, I think, in the second. All this in two races. All of AC 2000 had less "memorable sailing action" if you will than that and with what were far more evenly matched boats.

I am certain BMWO's advantage going into AC 34 is far less than it would appear. As Jimmy has said, their wing was crude even compared to the "C" class which has been sailing with wings since 1974, over a quarter century. The relatively simple wing on BOR seems to have been thrown together as an afterthought; I believe when BMW found they didn't need the huge center ama to house the mass of humanity that would be needed to handle the sail. A motor would do that job. They knew that a cat would likely be faster. They did some computerized two boat testing but otherwise they really didn't have a good base for multihull sailing. They only sailed two races and it showed. Bertarelli and a host of others were and are much more experienced in that area. 2 years, 150,000 man hours and $200 million sounds like a huge head start but it doesn't really represent any sort of lead. Most all of what they accomplished in aerodynamics and construction techniques has been common knowledge for some time. The decision to build a wing was responsible for the win; not great advances bought by the hours and dollars spent.

I think that a smart team well populated with multihull and high performance sailing experience can easily mount a successful challenge; likely with less of today's dollars than a successful challenge in IACC boats would take. BMWO is indeed a favorite if only because they had the money and moxie to pull it off once but I really don't think they are the runaway the majority seem to think. I still really hope for a challenge from within the States resulting in a defender series but I have no idea where it could come from. Too bad Warren and Bill aren't avid sailors.....
Check Six .......Mal


Noel
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Oct 7, 2010, 8:55 AM

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Yes Mal, I do remember the start and the over standing, which seemed to be related to the difficulty of tacking a giant multi, and I wanted BMWO to win so I watched "USA" nervously hoping nothing would break. I imagine the experience as a contemporary version of the flight of the Spruce Goose.

I think the advantages of each design are well known. For me, the key points are:

Absolute speed is NOT exciting (it's for records). The argument that multis are more exciting because they are faster is, in my opinion, utterly without merit. Absolute speed is irrelevant in a match race. In virtually every competitive sport, only relative speed matters. In any case, as I pointed out earlier, the AC34 design spec listed multi speeds that were faster by only 20% upwind and 11% downwind. Clearly not enough to be noticed on TV or by spectators.

Action is exciting. A mono can tack or jibe quickly (turn on its' keel), allowing close quarter duels, with close quarters crews close to and often drenched or in the water.

Crashes are exciting. A mono can often survive the unexpected (knockdown/broach/bow down). A winged multi, as witnessed in the recent Little AC, cannot. One exciting moment, and it's game over go home.

Close contests are exciting. There is a shortage of experienced top level multi designers/builders/sailors, which is another reason BMWO has such a lead - they've already hired them.

Cutting edge technology is fascinating. Neither the wing or the multi in AC34 were new concepts. There is, I believe, more opportunity for radical change in monos than multis. The canting keel is an example of recent mono development which has radically changed the sport. Remember the intrigue surrounding Australia II's keel?

I'm not anti multi. I just love a close race, and I don't think multis have a chance of living up to the hype, particularly since their prime advocates seem to be fixated on what is irrelevant in a close match race: absolute speed.

Cheers,

Noel


Mal
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Oct 7, 2010, 3:45 PM

Post #30 of 50 (128052 views)
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Good points all Noel I totally understand and, to a degree, agree.

I really think the multis are closer to what you're looking for than you think. The 20% of which you speak is a two edge sward. If 20% is minimal then so be it, for good or bad your point or mine; there is no big difference. Even the cats are nowhere near record speeds.

Something happens at the performance levels being discussed that potentially makes the matches more uneven with both the mono and to a much slighter degree, the cat. The mono has a huge drag rise as it climbs over its bow wave and planes. If the boats are close and one boat manages to defeat the displacement rule (1.34X the square root of the water line length in kts) and plane the race is instantly and totally one sided. Uffa Fox was likely the first to put this to good use. The speed that is a result of that formula is where all boats experience a very large drag rise and if one can and one can't get over its bow wave, it's a rout. This one sided event can easily happen totally by luck. A gust here a freak wave there, whatever; planing is a reality for one and not the other. This characteristic of the high performance mono, combined with the light weight that would be required by the previously stated target speeds is what makes gibing a piece of cake and tacking miserable as the mono falls off plane in the tack. I would contend that this phenomenon would limit maneuvering, or the will to, of the mono as much as and maybe even more than the cat.

Watching a power boat attain a plane is a good though grossly exaggerated illustration of this planing effect. Much less power is required to maintain it than to attain it.

The cat cheats this rule by having very narrow hulls. The drag rise is there but it is not nearly as steep nor limiting. This huge disparity will not happen with the cats as it does with the monos. The cats do have a phenomenon that affects them similarly but not to nearly the extent of the displacement rule. They fly a hull or they don't. If one can and one cannot a similar disparity will occur. Flying a hull is critical as it reduces hydrodynamic drag by 1/2; well, not really, but it's close and you get my drift. The multi's will likely not be raced if the conditions are not conducive to flying a hull.

To be fair, the cat has it's own problems. In order to cheat the displacement rule yet handle extreme forward thrust at a long (high) moment, it has to have not only long hulls but flotation over a long length. This causes it to tack relatively like a sand barge. While it doesn't fall off plane like the mono, the tack is excruciating. This slow turn vs the faster turn in the mono is counteracted by a much faster acceleration by the cat due to its lighter weight. That acceleration my well even change the rules, but that's another thread.

Both the drag rise and the reduction of drag with heel are exhibited in both boats just much more so in one than the other.

Crashes are a little less exciting to me; I just plain don't want them to happen. I came near weeping when Steve went through his wing. Again, however, you can't use 20% as not much one place and a whole lot elsewhere. The "C" is a great place to see what is possible technology wise but those boats are 25' and have no minimum weight. Where weight is minimized, the least misstep is usually game over. The new boats have a relatively high minimum weight and if USA 17 and A 5 survived; I think survival to at least IACC standards is doable. I agree with your Spruce Goose analogy; I was feeling the same thing.

I would weakly argue that maximum speed is not the goal just something above the 8 to 10 kts seen with the last AC boat and only 20% more than an improved mono would be. As far as the designers all being employed by BMWO; I think you're selling the rest of the world short. USA 17 has even been called a French boat by some. Multi hull expertise is far more advanced in Europe than here in the States.

If you're not anti multi you seem to be in a minority here. I'm hoping that the doubters will be pleasantly surprised.
Check Six .......Mal




Noel
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Oct 7, 2010, 6:04 PM

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Mal, I think your point about planing is very interesting. I just think it tilts the other way. In my experience, getting a boat to plane is more skill than luck. So a team with an inferior boat could still win the match with skill (Turner). Now that's a story.

I agree that 20% doesn't mater either way. But pure speed is the main argument the multi side is selling.

I suspect many are confusing pure speed with the the feeling of vulnerability that the multi exudes. For it to perform properly, the fragile looking frame must raise a hull. The raised hull makes it appear to be in a tenuous and delicate balance, and that balancing act creates for the spectators (and crew) an elevated sense of anticipation. Ever watch cycle racers slide their knee on the tarmac in another type of delicate balance? This, in my opinion, is the strongest argument for the multi as "exciting".

Your tacking argument, like the planing one, actually favors the mono for a similar reason. If tacking from planing is different than tacking when not on a plane, crew skill becomes even more relevant. And for a match to be compelling, it must be about the crew, not the boat. When spectators can name the crew as they do baseball players, sailing will graduate to prime time. I'm not sure that's such a good thing, but it's what Ellison and Co. say they want.

Cheers,

Noel


Mal
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Oct 7, 2010, 8:39 PM

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If the boat were not designed to plane normally; I would agree. As it is with the design speeds; I think it would likely be more of a factor with the lower levels of design winds crew skill or not. Think flying Scott vs Eideen ft skiff. As to the tacking your point is valid but maneuvering is indeed interesting and the bigger the speed penalty for maneuvering the less likely it is to occur. The more skilled crew will work harder to avoid it. The penalty for a mono coming off plane is (my guess only) more severe than the sand barge tack and superior acceleration of a multi.

Some of the early matches were indeed won by the slower boat by the sailors skill. The AC is both a design and a sailing competition. Aside from the David and Goliath aspect; the superior team beating the superior boat is a kick for me as well.

I personally think expense is as much a reason for the multi as speed though the term "race" always has a certain hint of speed. As you said; the multis look rather precarious but they can be quite sturdy yet lighter and cheaper than a mono even with and because of a minimum weight limit. Draft 2.0 of the AC 72 class rule is resplendent with cost limiting rules in terms of materials and building methods. Multis also look quite complex but really are structurally simple; likely more so than a mono. They can and indeed must be (by class rule) able to be disassembled and be packed in specified sized shipping containers considerably smaller than what would be required for a mono hull. Draft 2.0-4.11 is quite specific. The weight and shipping would have been considerably higher and much more expensive with a mono. The second draft of the class rules even gives limits on disassembly and re assembly times and intemates that the technology for the necessary joints will be open technology and perhaps even standard hardware. Lighter than monos, limits on construction techniques and materials and more easily shipped than a comperable tech mono equals cheaper. Admittedly, however, though included in "cheapness" rules in terms of density and CG; the wing is still a bit of a wild card to me.

Ah the old days with no conflict; watch the last bit if you don't have time for more.... http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4578655n during the lead up to the contest you mentioned.
Check Six .......Mal




Noel
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Oct 8, 2010, 5:24 AM

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Great clip!

Your point on shipping costs is well taken, but otherwise the same type of cost limiting rules could be applied to monos. And then there's the wing, which blows everything else out of the water. Cost is not related to excitement. So I really think cost arguments are a smokescreen.

My bet is that the clincher in the decision was head start advantage. While others are still weighing a challenge, BMWO is already building:
http://www.sail-world.com/Australia/Americas-Cup:-First-wingsailed-AC45-well-advanced-at-Warkworth/75460

Now I could get excited about a 72' Moth!

Cheers,

Noel


Mal
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Oct 8, 2010, 12:04 PM

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Yeah many if not most of the cost savings could easily apply to monos. The other big exception besides the shipping in a mono is the fin and bulb and its attachment; pretty expensive stuff. Indeed the wing is likely to be the king of ko$t.

The intention of the boat and wing being built now in New Zealand is to get every one up to speed. The AC 45 will be a one design designed to pass the sailing tech to everyone while the kinks are being worked out of the race format for high performance cats. They will then be turned over to youth organizations after being used in the AC lead up series in 2011. The youth are then to compete on the same circuit. BMWO is not getting any technological advantage there. If anything, they are giving it away. The New Zealand factory is building a one of to get sailing ASAP and may be building up to 30 (no way) female molds so that the boats can be built in other locations. The first run of 10 will follow the first one of.

There is good evidence to refute the other claims of conspiracy connected with the choice of multi hulls for AC 34. Those conspiracy theories just don't hold water. As has been said and is easily verified the USA 17 wing was crude considering the state of the art wings used in the C class cats. It was built late, maybe because they didn't anticipate the engine and built a tri; maybe to delay showing the hand they planned from the beginning (if you like conspiracy; I don't think so). They gained little from the building and nothing in the sailing of USA 17. They did little and gained nothing from the competition in 33 except to prove to themselves and others that it could be done and not to much was at that time known about how to do it. Europe and Canada are well ahead of BOR in both cat and arguably wing design and there are a bunch of folks around with an excellent knowledge of low speed aerodynamics which is in itself a relatively well developed science. As seen in the "C" the difficult design constraint is minimizing weight and the AC 72 rule has eased that problem with minimum CG and density requirements.

In summary there is good reason to raise the BS flag on the theory that BOR and ML chose the cat to benefit a lead presumed to be held by BOR already.

Let's see, if the 72 ft Moth were built to scale; it would foil about 40 feet above the water. That's about where Spithill was in AC 33.....
Check Six .......Mal


Mal
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Oct 12, 2010, 2:44 PM

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Those boring multi's nothing but straight line speed; nothing to see here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrB2OCbuq7w&feature=player_embedded
Check Six .......Mal


The Publisher
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Oct 13, 2010, 5:27 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3193 - Thursday, October 7, 2010

* From Keith MacKeown, Co. Cork, Ireland (re Scuttlebutt 3191):
Where exactly in the Deed of Gift are the words 'commercial viability' and 'media attention' used?


* From Ian Bruce (re, Scuttlebutt 3192):
Make no mistake, I am an avid sailor – Finns, 14s, Lasers, Stars and even two Olympics. I am not a golfer. The two best sporting events I have ever watched were the AC in Freemantle (still watch the tapings I made at 3 am) and the Ryder Cup last weekend.

I watched the first race of the last AC and never tuned in again. I watched men walking around a soggy landscape in Wales at 3 knots between tacks and never left the screen for nearly three days. But talk about suspense! Any lessons here?


* From Jim Champ (re, Scuttlebutt 3192):
Exciting match racing is where yachts are evenly matched with finishes mere seconds apart. As in AC32. So how many races in AC history have been straightforward boat speed processions, and how many exciting match races? Someone was waxing lyrical about the great days of the Js and 12s on another forum, so I looked up my books.

I'd say perhaps one race in the Js, one or two in '62, a couple in '70, one or two in '80 and two or three in '83, (and really only the last race in 83) were really spectacular match races. If great matches are what you think make a great AC its clear that the 12s and Js didn't deliver... I don't have a reference to hand for the IACC class, but note that through the IACC era the losers only won three races, two of them AC32 which yes, was probably the closest AC series, but the chances of that being repeated are historically minimal no matter what boats its sailed in. – Read on: http://tinyurl.com/26shyl6


The Publisher
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Oct 13, 2010, 5:28 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3196 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

* From David Barrow:
It is interesting to view all of the various comment regarding the new format for the America's Cup and I guess as Mr Ellison currently owns it he can call the shots. Either he will be hailed as a visionary who brought sailing to a whole new generation, increased interest in participation, showed the good side of our sport. Or, the villain who was in a fantastic position to influence globally the sport he obviously loves only to lose the plot in self interest and profit. Some thing tells me, and I so hope I am right, that Mr Ellison is made of sterner stuff and only time will tell.

One thing that they are hopefully considering is how to embrace the youth element and whether it is feasible to hold an academy event under the same umbrella. One idea could be for each team to sponsor a youth team sailing, in a parallel event, in a smallish mono hull, keeping the cost down, but showing latest technology, canting keel carbon mast etc. Maximum age 18 on a fixed date, crew must all be same nationality, 3 - 4 crew one boat per country. Other countries could enter if manageable. The boat should be original, the youngsters would certainly have an event to aspire to. Just a thought.


The Publisher
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Oct 13, 2010, 5:30 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3197 - Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Fom John Arndt, Latitude 38:
During my recent visit to a sunny, crowded and successful Annapolis boat show I spoke to lots of folks in the sailing industry about the America's Cup. What amazed me most is how many diehard sailors who make their living in sailing had almost no idea about what was going on with the Cup and weren't really interested. Certainly some folks from more race oriented companies had a little better idea about what was going on but, overall, almost nobody knew there was a possibility the Cup could be held in Europe and many, but not all, had some awareness of the catamaran decision.

While not interested in the Cup currently, the added realization the America's Cup might be 'defended' in Europe caused any interest to plummet. This combines with the nationality issue. Beyond endless lawsuits and controversy I'd say it's universal that the loss of nationality requirements is one of the main reasons people have lost interest in the Cup. If it were to be held in Europe I think the BMW/Oracle PR team is going to have an almost insurmountable job trying to get the American public and/or American sailors to maintain any interest in the Cup.

Finally on the multihull there again seemed to be almost universal dismay amongst past Cup fans, but also more willingness to give it a try. Most sailors have a hard time imagining fast, furious and interesting tactical situations emerging from multihull drag races though most are willing to be proven wrong. Only time will tell. At least, if the Cup is held in San Francisco, the boats will be penned in and they simply won't be able to get too far away from each other.

I'd say the Cup is noticeable in most people's peripheral vision but to get back on center stage it's got some real work left to do. The only way that's going to happen for Americans is if the Cup is held in America. Beyond that it would be much better with nationality requirements for the sailors and we'll all just have to hope the catamaran thing works. That's what I heard on the docks in Annapolis and I'd have to agree on all points. Like Craig’s commentary (in Scuttlebutt 3196), I'm optimistic it can work and believe we could see a fantastic Cup match on San Francisco Bay that's fun to watch and good for sailors and sailing. On the other hand, if it's not, people may spend less time watching and more time under sail.




- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


The Publisher
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Oct 13, 2010, 5:31 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 3198 - Thursday, October 14, 2010

* From John Harwood-Bee:
John Arndt’s observations re interest in the 34th AC (Scutt 3197) are not confined to North America. Speaking to many sailors at the Southampton Boat Show here in UK and in subsequent conversation with sailing friends, I have found considerable disinterest.

Few if any of my acquaintances believed there would be a British challenge. The non participation of Team Origin was anticipated long before it was announced, many believing (Team Principle Keith) Mills was only looking for a timely excuse to get out.

Amongst non-sailors there was a total lack of awareness and/or interest in a possible British challenge or the cup in general. Obviously there are some diehard fans of the cup but unfortunately not enough to justify some of the more exaggerated claims made about its popularity.

Perhaps it would have been better if the ‘Auld Mug’ had been returned to NYYC until such time as the Deed of Gift is more correctly adhered to. I admire Ellison’s determination to prevent Bertarelli’s hijacking of the event. Unfortunately I fear that the damage done to the AC’s reputation in that debacle will take some time, and an excellent trouble free next Cup, before many in the sailing fraternity and certainly the general public start to take interest again.


* From Walter Keller, Houston, TX:
It is a given that the vast majority of sailors, racing or otherwise, are club and recreational weekend sailors. And, among all of these sailors, it is the one-design races attract the most action, interest, and attention.

The Cup has become a contest for billionaires racing overly exotic, outrageously expensive boats with over-paid crews. Those boats and their teams bear no resemblance to the sailing craft we enjoy messing about in. We find it impossible to vicariously place ourselves on their boats. Our attention wanes and we long for a return to the serious one-design Cup racing we once understood. And, multihulls?

Where are today's Ted Turners and Gary Jobsons?



The Publisher
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Oct 13, 2010, 5:32 PM

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* From Mark Weinheimer, Doyle - Inner Banks:
It seems that everyone assumes that there will be no “match racing” between big, fast cats simply because they are fast. Match racing is best between boats of the same speed - whatever it is. Any of the races in previous Cup racing between mismatched boats was boring. In Fremantle, the Cup venue often touted as the most exciting, there were many races with several minutes between the boats - no opportunities for tacking duels there. In fact, a vast proportion of the races were won by the boat that rounded the first weather mark in the lead. Fast boats actually change this equation as a small increase in wind pressure results in big gains in boat speed - the leader will have to stay close to the competition to avoid missing a wind line that could give the trailing boat a huge speed advantage.

The racing between Alinghi and BMW Oracle was boring simply because of the obvious speed/ technology mismatch - not because they were both multihulls. With the protocol requiring wings as part of the one design, that problem is eliminated. For this cycle there may well be an advantage for the Defender, but that will sort itself with time and experience. The AC45 cats will accelerate everyone’s learning curve and the ability of designers to work with multiple teams for at least a while will spread the knowledge base quickly. Squeezing the last tenth of a knot out of a 20 - 30 ton mono is vastly more expensive in computer time, engineering and testing than optimizing an 8 ton cat that will have many of the original parameters in place by rule.

I have to wonder how many of the naysayers have ever seen close racing on performance multihulls let alone participated…if you think gybing in front of another boat at 20 knots isn’t exciting, you haven’t done it.





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