Originally Posted by brucat
At the risk of knowing this will likely have the same type of reactions as the nationality debate...

I think having grinding or pedaling stations just to run hydraulics is a complete joke. The boats should be manually controlled. I don't care if you call me old-fashioned, but the event should be about testing sailing skills, which includes moving sails (grinding stations are supposed to turn winches, not pumps, on a sailboat). Having computers tell you where to put the sails, and machines to put them there when an operator pushes a button, just isn't in the spirit of a sailing competition.


On the computer thing, you'll have to define that term... Tacticians and skippers have been using various implements (even back to quadrants, speed logs, telltales, and sextants) to gauge performance and determine all sorts of variables (COG, VMG, AWA, etc). So are we going back to the stone age here, or only back as far as (insert some tech era here)?

And should we step all the way back to "human power" only, as in dropping any force multipliers such as winches? So we're back to blocks and belaying pins?

If the winches were controlled via mechanical linkage vs. hydraulics, would that be acceptable?

Conversely, if future designs went full "fly by wire", and the grinders were actually cranking generators for electrical power, would that be okay?

What's the difference between "kissy-face/onion breath" grinder and the "butt-to-nose" cyclors? Do the current grinders need some awesome sailing knack, or can they just be deck apes?

I liked the biker gang concept because they can use their hands for things other than cranking. I would have figured a recumbent bike setup to be more efficient, though.... but it might be hard to switch tacks from a seated position.