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Unlimited Hydro

post of the week

Unlimited Hydro

From Anarchist GMT in the America’s Cup Anarchy Forum.  Weigh in here.

OK, I could go on about the fact that while Ellison hides behind a desk and his crew hide behind helmets, Bertarelli builds an amazing boat, skippers it himself (sans helmet), and flies the hull the first day out. Come on! Anybody with an ounce of personal pride and a love of sailing (hold on a minute, I’ll get to the engine), and especially multihulls has to love that balls-to-the wall, in-your-face response by EB. This has to be point to EB by any rational assessment.

I could also go on and on about the stupid Indian, all the idiots that have a name starting with H and all you other blind rabid BMWO supporters that can’t see past the nose on your face and spin victory out of defeat. You created and supported a stacked deed and deck that now works against you. You wanted the engine gone, said it was going to have to go ,and instead it stays. To be so wrong so often and to have to spend so much time spinning victory from defeat must leave no time for work. How do you do it?

But, no, this post is not about either of these things. This post is about the engine and why while I originally thought it a bad idea, I now think it’s good. And I don’t mean good for the AC, or good for LE or EB or either of the teams; I mean good for the multihull cause.

You see, I love multihulls. They are without a doubt the most efficient (ie best) way to take what nature gives and travel over the water. The designs approach art and the sensation of sailing them approaches flying while monohulls are more like plowing. I do not hate monhulls (indeed race on some) but multis have always been the fastest, most pretty beasts on the water.

But the monhull crowd wanted what we had so they first went to sportboats with crew hiking like fools to stay up-right and then when they wanted more they decided to cheat. They put engines on their boats to sling a windward hull they call a canting keel across the bottom of their hull. They quickly trim their sails with powered winches. Powered only by man and the wind went out the window much to my dismay. The results, though a bit smelly if downwind, are impressive when they are not sinking as in the the next to last Volvo. Indeed, designs have improved and the cheater boats do amazing things. They are becoming – dare I say it – multihull like in their abilities. The gap has narrowed. BUT THEY DO THIS BY CHEATING THE CODE OF POWERED BY MAN AND THE WIND ONLY.

Well, for me this is not about the man – EB or LE. I say its time the multihulls show what we can do with an unlimited budget and unconstrained rules. Sure I will always prefer to own and sail without a power assist but at the same time I want to see what an all out, balls-to-the-wall multihull would be like. I want to see speeds and designs that will make a VO70 look like a model T Ford.

So I say thanks to the NY courts.   I can’t wait to see the multis that get built and what they can do.