Since I didn't watch the BT version with Cayard (probably should, but I do like Nathan & Draper's comments).. Too bad the three of them couldn't be on the same show.
- Did Oracle really remove an accumulator? If so, Burling needs to drive all over him to force maneuvers and kill the oil pressure
- Oracle does have trouble getting up on foils in the light stuff, so I could see how NZL could pull off that hook.
- Did Draper really say that Ashby has something of an "app for that"? I think he said Algorithm that sets wing parameters... like you were saying about "following the dot" He also said Tuke was controlling the ride foils.
The guy who washes the wing at night likely has more sailing ability in his pinky finger than I will ever get during my life, so major props to all the teams (FRA included). This has been the most exciting cup series I've watched since the 80's. No one has really run away with things (well, except for NZL lately but I don't think it's due to groundbreaking design like AUS II or the USA trimaran).
There were plenty of nail-biter races (SWE/NZL comes to mind most often), and deltas of 30 seconds are considered "runaway" victories.... Hell, I remember deltas of 5 minutes or more being a close race in days of yore...
And whether the AC developed these technologies or not, I do hope some of it trickles down to the rest of sailing. Automated ride height, wing foil controls, and even basic foil shapes should make sport boat/multihull sailing more fast, safe and fun.
I didn't hear about them actually removing anything other than the stairstepper but I suppose it's possible. I heard in one of the rule press conferences from Saturday that the class legal boat weight is X +/- 100kgs and they're limited to only making 100kg changes at a time (I think I have that right but you may want to double check that before you put down any money on it!). So, they are limited in how much they can remove...but getting 200lbs out of the boat is quite a lot of stuff being chucked overboard. IF Oracle wasn't sailing right near the minimum weight to begin with, this is another example of them just not being prepared in my opinion.
I still think they're all still guessing a good deal at what control systems they have employed. Remember, though, the rules are very clear: data systems and control systems have to be mechanically and electrically isolated. All wiring has to be clearly labeled and both systems have to have their own electrical disconnect. A computer cannot read a sensor and make an adjustment. A computer can recommend an adjustment and the sailor can react to that recommendation but it has to be on a different device. A computer also cannot recommend an adjustment and perform any mechanical guidance to making that adjustment. All control input has to be "manual" although "manual" can include some degree of firing off timed sequences of control motions (I'm not 100% clear on if that timed sequence can include more than one action per control input but I suspect that it can).