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Posts Tagged ‘Foiling’

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Nacra and the designers of the foiling Nacra 17 have more egg on their faces after they cancelled the Nacra 17 medal racing day at the Aarhus “Test Event” last week due to a problem with the foil bearings.   The radical recall was necessary because of safety concerns for boards that were breaking during normal sailing conditions.  With the first-ever foiling N17 World Championship scheduled to go off in just three weeks, the latest snafu threatens to wreck schedules and budgets for the dozens of teams headed to the South of France for Worlds.

No one who has followed the life of the N17 (or any new foiler, really) could be surprised, as the Olympic cat has been plagued by design and build issues for most of its life.  The last cycle saw NACRA dealing with a faulty mast design early on, the Dutch builders replacing literally hundreds of masts with temporary tin rigs before supplying retooled carbon sticks a few months later.  This cycle has already seen one daggerboard recall thanks to faulty paint, but the latest bearing mess is the first problem that threatens to derail a major championship.  The silver lining is that only the 47 teams who’ve already gotten their foiling boats (or retrokits) are effected – a fraction of how many new masts needed to be provided back in 2013/14, but the black cloud won’t clear until the Class meets this week to decide on whether to cancel their Worlds.

We have a lot of respect for the risky step the builders, Class members, and World Sailing took when they opted to thrust the foiling option out into the world, and we expected plenty of problems with what, to many, was a rushed decision that led to an overcompressed design/build/test/build cycle for a type of boat that would have plenty of fixes necessary even if it wasn’t rushed.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Moths, Phantoms, GC32s, America’s Cup boats, A-Cats, and everything else that flies has had similarly unexpected tech gremlins; the difference this time lies in the abuse Olympians subject their boats to, and the production volume promised by the builder.

NACRA is clearly guilty of overpromising and underdelivering, but the sailors tell us they’ve done a good job providing repairs, replacements, and support as quickly as possible.  We also direct you to the Nacra 17 Class manager’s statement, which is comprehensive, detailed, and doesn’t shy away from any of the heat – wouldn’t you like your Class to talk to you like this when shit goes wrong?

What’s most interesting to us about the latest Olympic multihull brouhaha is how a select few sailing media outlets and shit stirrers have jumped on Nacra’s problems as some kind of karmic expression of just how evil multihull/foiling is.  A handful of ancient mariners – some of them running their own news sites – remain so angry that these newfangled catamarans and inhuman ‘flying’ boats have ruined ‘their’ America’s Cup, debased the cherished Whitbread, sullied their World Match Racing Tour, and reduced the beloved Star boat to irrelevance, and you’ll likely hear bitching and moaning from them until 12 meters are racing in the America’s Cup again.  In other words, we all have to listen to their shit for the few years they have left.

It doesn’t matter to these old timers that every young sailor wants to foil, and it doesn’t matter that people want to watch fast boats far more than they do slow ones.  These people don’t care about the sport’s future at all – they’d rather sailing continue its slow death as long as they still have some voice in it…

Thread about the Nacras is here.

 

August 14th, 2017 by admin

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Talented and shredded sailor chicks, tales of stolen cars and inter-squad rivalries, and a guy who can’t seem to lose as long as he has a female driver are the guests on today’s Adidas Morning Show at the 2017 49er/FX/Foiling Nacra Euros.  Check out Clean and the team, LIVE from the deck of the 1972 Olympic Sailing admin building as Day 2 of the event begins.  Check out Facebook for more action from the fleets.

July 31st, 2017 by admin

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The monster breeze that broke ribs in at least four sailors (and rigs on four more) on Thursday gave way to picture-perfect Garda conditions for the first day of post-qualifying action at the Worlds. Worlds social media/video host Randy Cunningham gets up above it all for a birds-eye view from an ultralight in this fun highlight reel from Day 4 of the Moth Worlds.  UK, Aus, and Kiwis own the entire top ten, with Cup sailors owning much of it…results here with racing beginning soon over here.  Photos by Martina Orsini here.

 

 

July 29th, 2017 by admin

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A couple of days of Lake Garda gorgeousness saw 149 sailors take the line at the Italian Nationals – a/k/a the Moth Pre-Worlds, which starts Tuesday.  A few unknown names like Burling, Outerridge, and Slingsby are enjoying the low-pressure environment, while Paul Goodison took five straight bullets to beat up on second place Rob Greenhalgh.  Check back tomorrow for some form guide action and a podcast with absentee 2x World Champ Bora Gulari about the fleet. Photo by Martina Orsini with results here and some good action over at the Moth Worlds facebook page.

 

July 23rd, 2017 by admin

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SA’er ‘Ezra’ gives us another disinterested review of the little foiler we dig so much.  Will it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.  Photo not of the reviewer…

I sailed Dave’s demo boat at the Wickford regatta this Saturday and had a blast. Conditions were SSE 15-18 gusting occasionally to 20 with a pretty good ebb against the wind, so some decent chop. The plan was to do some “match racing” with Dave but unfortunately in launching he dropped his rudder and it sank to the bottom (I guess he had forgotten to rig the rudder downhaul -apparently he had a late night the day before- which would have kept it in), so I headed out to the course solo. My impressions:

The boat is really easy to rig. We had to put the boat I sailed together, which consisted of sliding the 3 piece mast together, pinning the wishbones to the spreaders and sliding the mast into the step. Tip the boat on its side, insert foils from the bottom, attach the wand arm to the main foil, tip the boat back up (foils are held in the retracted position by cool little keepers on the rudder head and mast pod), rig the mainsheet and hoist the sail. Because the rig is so bendy, it is really easy to hoist the main even though it has a lot of luff curve with the stays released. Rig Cunningham and outhaul, slide the dolly under and you are good to go. Town Beach in Wickford is shallow for a good ways out, so I put about a foot of rudder down and sailed out to deep water, where I then dropped the main foil and the rudder and went on my way.

It was about a 2 mile beat out to the course. I did a commination of semi foiling and foiling to get out there. For such a short boat, it handled the chop well, although I had my ride height probably set too low so even when foiling I was punching through some waves. What really go me is how much bigger the boat feels than it actually is-the main foil is always working for you, even when “displacing”. Once I got up to the course area I had some great rips with a bunch of down-speed sailing in between (I am NOT in very good hiking shape right now and my hip flexors were screaming!). The boat is really very manageable when down speed-compared to my time sailing I 14s the boat is very easy in the between races milling around mode, even in good breeze and chop. Down speed tacks were the most challenging-it was easy to miss stays, but pushing the main out to leeward and backing the tiller would get you going quickly. I had 3 “near” crashes, the first 2 were nosedives into waves that happened just as I was building speed to foil-probably because I bore off to a reach too aggressively-in both cases I buried the bows to well past the mast pod (in fact I was sitting pretty far aft and was under water to my chest!), but I just held on and amazingly the boat just popped back up and kept going. The third ended my day-I was going nearly DDW, in the middle of the boat on my knees when a puff hit and the boat came up on the foils and promptly heeled to windward, pitching me off. I didn’t want to get separated, so I held on to the tiller extension, hoping the boat would flip or round up. It did stop, but not before I cracked the tiller. Dave jumped in, jury rigged the tiller and gave us a show of how to sail the boat properly!

The boat I sailed had literally been put together the day before, and the only breakdowns I had (apart from the tiller, which was serious user error, but which Dave says he is going to beef up) was a knot pulling through on one of the shrouds which I fixed on the water and one of the wishbones pulled out of its end fitting due to not enough plexus at the bond surface, which we electrical taped to finish the day.

I think the thing that struck me most about the experience and what I think sets the UFO apart is that the boat is so manageable. Yes it is demanding and physical when you are ripping, but when I got tired, I never felt a concern about being able to get back to the beach.

June 16th, 2017 by admin

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A sharp-eyed Anarchist found the Volvo Ocean Race’s tender proposal for the inshore foiling multihull portion of the VOR’s new format, and it’s as forward-thinking as we hoped.  Will the VOR’s next in-port series provide the kind of kick start to the sport that the Volvo Extreme 40 did back in 2004-5?  Read the full six pages here, or read on for the bits we found interesting:

“boats must be capable of close, foil borne racing in a wide range of conditions…winds of up to 30 knots.”  We likey.

“The design must be capable of stable foiling with minimal adjustment from the sailing team…a design that…provides a stable foiling platform…without complex and/or expensive, constant manual trimming. Stored energy may be considered, as well as the automation of certain trim and foil control.”  In other words, these boats will fly without input from the sailing team. It’s the ‘holy grail’ of foiling that some top foilers have been chasing for a decade; powered, automated, electronically controlled flying that removes most of the grinding and foil-driver positions from the boat.  Good for women and younger sailors, great for spectators.

“A ‘lake’ version should be considered – designed for sailing in considerably lighter winds”.  Because Hong Kong.  Also, because something’s gotta go racing in a series between VORs?

We will consider a solid wing, mast and sail, or a hybrid combination. Tenderers are encouraged to think ‘out of the box’ when developing their submission.  Who knows what you get when you ask designers specifically to ‘get crazy’?

Maximum cost expected c.750,000 Euros for each of the 8-10 boats of 32-50 feet.  Note the cost of the 33′ DNA TF-10 trimaran is not far off this number…

 

June 8th, 2017 by admin

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Gilles Martin-Raget was in the right spot at the right time to get this shot of Emirates Team New Zealand in the most stable position possible; on their side with a wrecked wing, destroyed fairings, and likely plenty more damage.  Burling pitched it into the piss at the start of their final race of the day after easily handling Sir Ben in the earlier race, and now we get to see just how their smaller budget has effected the New Zealand spares supply.

Artemis shit the bed a bit, dropping two more to Dean Barker’s laid-back bunch in a fun and expletive-laden couple of races that included a 30-knot squall and spectator boats on the race course.  In real breeze, the issues change completely with these boats, and with more dogs-off-chains stuff likely for the rest of the series, those that can stay in one piece may just find themselves battling for some Louis Vuitton jewelry next week.

Analysis and chatter here.  How to watch replays here.

June 6th, 2017 by admin

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On the 21st episode of the Sailing Anarchy Podcast, we go straight to the source for an analysis of the new direction announced last week by the Volvo Ocean Race.  First, Clean updates us on the Podcast’s status, tells us his story of hunting and killing a 300 pound alligator in Charleston, and gives us his view on the new Volvo plans.  Then VOR big boss Mark Turner explains the reasons for their decision to use foiling monohulls for the offshore legs and foiling multihulls for the inshore legs of the two or three races following the next one.  Listen for Turner’s views on what other options they considered, what the new 60 footer will look like and how it is expected to perform, how the new lease model will effect the organization, and why teams have had such difficulty finding major sponsors.  The discussion moves to the timetable for full flying boats to take over the race and safety considerations between mono and multihulls, and finally what kind of events would make up the more permanent annual racing schedule for VOR teams.

Next we spoke to Nick Bice, Director of Boats and Maintenance and founder of the Boatyard, about more technical matters: How, exactly, a new-rules VO60 can be converted to an IMOCA-legal Open 60, what kinds of differences does a Volvo require compared to a singlehanded boat, and a whole lot on foil control systems and logistics for a two-fleet race owned entirely by Volvo.  Clean and Bicey got deep into the subject of the continually shrinking crew component and the impact of this shrinking pool to ocean racing and the sport in general, and plenty more.

Finally, we spoke to pro trimmer and former VO70 crew (ABN AMRO2, 2005) and medical officer George Peet on the anniversary of his crewmate Hans Horrovets’ death about a race that remains very close to his heart.  GP and Clean got deeper into crewing issues with a general discussion of the state of professional offshore racing as well as the usual pull-no-punches analysis of the new classes with a guy who always tells the truth.  As a bonus, we got Bear – one of the nation’s top Moth racers – to give us his America’s Cup picks…

Enjoy, and subscribe to the SA Podcast for more great shit (iTunes, Stitcher) , including our full form guide and preview of the America’s Cup dropping today.

May 27th, 2017 by admin

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Bermuda and the America’s Cup may occupy the Louis Vuitton luggage buyers, real fans of sailing have one of the most interesting races in years on the calendar this summer, and the favorite has just picked his crew – which includes one lifelong Anarchist from France.  We’ll be speaking to charismatic Mini and multihull badass Benoit Marie soon about his role on Francois Gabart’s Macif in the upcoming Bridge Race, which will pit several “Ultim” maxi-trimarans against the 1750,000 horsepower of the Queen Mary 2 in a race between Saint Nazaire, France and New York City this coming June.

May 4th, 2017 by admin

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Fort 2 Battery Race founder Tim Fitzgerald has done it again, attracting another record fleet of kiters, mothies, and fast boat owners to the shortest race in all of sailing.  82 entrants will hit the line to the 6 mile race at full speed at 1400 today, and if you’re in town, join the massive spectator fleet (we counted some 150 boats watching last year) on the harbor.  For those who can’t make it, head over to Sailing Anarchy Facebook at 1300 ET/1000 PT for the full, bumpy, 40-knot live stream video of the prologue and race.

Here’s a video look at last year’s race from Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.

April 29th, 2017 by admin

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