I have looked at this thread a couple of times and avoided commenting because I have posted this stuff before and I am getting cranky being boatless, so please humour me if I get out of line
. But the mention of "Altered" has got me in.
Firstly remember that "Altered" was truly as close to a A class in rig as possible, same mast,minimum weight and maximum luff length, with the majority of it's F16 weight in the platform.
I have found the major speed difference between the F16 and A's and even Taipans was when they flew a hull on trapeze and the F16 had both hulls in the water. This I believe was a factor of boat width and platform weight as much as anything else. My answer to these conditions around 7kts. upwind, was to sit on the side and point higher rather than to get on trapeze. This generaly improved my VMG and kept me close to the A's, at the same time I was actualy able to pull away from F18's that had one on trapeze and where pointing lower than the A's.
Other than these conditions I honestly believe the difference in speed upwind between F16, A's and F18's is not that great and the crew weights and tune of the rig has more to do with it than anything else. As over the years I have been competitive with what I would say where similar standard sailors in most conditions on the right day. Keep in mind I weighed 90kg. so I was able to use my weight and F16 width to advantage in 15 kts. plus against A's, I think a 65kg. sailor was mentioned in this thread which I think would be just to light to be competitive one up sorry
. What a 65kg. sailor realy needs is a lower aspect rig, pity you don't have Mossies in England
, they would be ideal.
I have no doubt from what I have seen in OZ in the last couple of years with the F18 development. F16's just need to sail more and tune more, if we can improve our speed as much as the F18's have we will be competitive no problems. I just keep reminding myself in the first season on "Altered" I use to beat Greg on the Capricorn in under 15kts. since then he has beaten me every time, what changed? To me it is obvious he learnt to sail his boat faster and improved it's tune in those conditions
We just need to sail more, boat handling and tuning is everything.
Don't blame your boat blame yourself. Then talk to people and work out why and fix it for next time
. Watch out for those F18 crews at Zandvoort, I pedict a similar result for the two ups to the "Alter Cup".