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Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: samc99us] #287374
06/20/17 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by samc99us

I'm not quite sure I buy all of this. Do you have a link to the MC interpretation request? .

I do. Post it in just a moment . . .


Philip
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-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287375
06/20/17 09:45 AM
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The most current AC Class Rule is version 1.9 I believe. The process involves teams asking for an RFI to get an interpretation on a design implementation to use legally within the class rule (RFI#70 & #72), or to further clarify specific wording in the rule (i.e. RFI#6).

The AC Class Rule that comes into play here is 15.xx. RFI#6 early on clarified what was manual control vs. electronic control from an electric signal for control surfaces.

NZ RFI'ed (request for interpretation) 3 specific design configurations within (RFI#70), in which, in my opinion, each one leading the MC down the rabbit hole with RFI#70. They received a favorable ruling on the 3rd design, which changed the wording to "control surfaces" which was different than the first 2 design configurations, which specified "daggerboard control". The entire interpretation was focused on the "air gap" which MC ruled was separate from control 15.3.

NZ immediately RFI'ed for ruling on RFI#72 and received ruling the same day as RFI#70. RFI#72 further favored NZ with the legal ruling to questions a,b,c,d, and e. This gave NZ legal authority to manage other control surfaces, ie. wing elements, etc. They also received a favorable ruling for audible signals to headsets based on sensor data.

FYI, MC earlier ruled against Blue Tooth.

Again, NZ played this brilliantly.

Here are the links (will open a new tab to a google cloud document):

AC Class Rule V1.9

RFI#6

RFI#70

RFI#72


Philip
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Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: samc99us] #287376
06/20/17 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by samc99us

Those races were sailed in a different wind range where ETNZ has less of an advantage, if any, compared with the other boats. They designed a weapon in the 8-12kt breeze range.


I thought so too, so I went and checked. Wind for QRR 2 R 12 was 9.7 Knots. Wind for AC R4 was 10.3 knots. So, QRR 2R 12 was within their weapon range during the qualifiers.


Philip
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Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287378
06/20/17 11:08 AM
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Philip
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Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: P.M.] #287379
06/20/17 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by P.M.

Way to kill my productivity!

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: Damon Linkous] #287380
06/20/17 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon Linkous
Originally Posted by P.M.

Way to kill my productivity!


Dude, slow down on the productivity already. Whatever you just did to the color scheme here has left me partially blinded...

Mike

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287381
06/20/17 02:56 PM
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so what you're saying with the "fly by wire" reference is that anyone can steer the boat? Awesome! I want 2 smile


Jay

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: P.M.] #287382
06/20/17 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by P.M.
...
So technically, a computer (touchscreen interface and software) CAN be initiating movements with the touch of a finger and NZ successfully pulled it off.



From my perspective (as a part-time industrial controls engineer and full-time robotic application engineer) by requiring a finger to touch a keypad to make something move is the human initiating the motion aka "manual operation". The human pushes a button, the board comes up, human pushes another button, the board rakes to the side, button push and wing eases out, etc. If, however, Ashby just taps a button that fires off a series of mechanical motions on the boat to, perhaps, move all the foils through an entire tacking series, or the boat can be put into a mode where it reads it's flight height and automatically adjusts the foils to maintain level flight, that is the computer initiating motion in an automatic mode. I suspect the later is not AC legal.

Again, though, I don't know the details of how this plays out in the rules - just pointing out what industrial applications of control systems consider human vs. machine controlled.


Jake Kohl
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: Jake] #287383
06/20/17 04:58 PM
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I don't have the time or desire to become a rules expert on this America's Cup iteration but here is the general control system rule quoted below. They generally require "direct manual input" for all controls but there is a confusing bit that does allow "internally generated timing signals initiated by manual input". There's an "and/or" that precedes that statement and I'm not clear if that means you can press a button to fire off a series of timed motions to, perhaps, cycle the boards up/down/in/out/fore/aft through the tack as long as that timing was initiated manually or if it all means that one button press can only move one thing but you can press a button and have that motion delayed by some period (to allow you run across the boat or something). I don't have the time or desire to read it all at the moment ;-).

The rest of it has to do with feedback systems that verify that the cntrol surface met the desired position. For instance, they cannot place a gauge on a wing flap to read back it's exact position. However, 5.3 (which I didn't include below) does allow them to place some measurement/feedback devices on the daggerboard rake and have that display the position of the daggerboard.


Originally Posted by AC Rules V1.9

Control Systems in General

(a) Except as provided in Rule 15.2(c) and 15.3, systems and devices used to adjust the
control surfaces may only use direct manual input and/ or an internally generated
timing signal initiated by manual input. Any input or feedback used by the control
systems to adjust the control surfaces is not permitted unless specifically allowed by the
AC Class Rule.

(b) Except as provided in Rule 15.2(c) and 15.3, control systems used to adjust control
surfaces shall not use positional information of the control surface or any part of the
control system, whether that positional information is measured, inferred or indicated by
any method, including electronic counting, indexing or pulsing (e.g. stepper motors and
indexing actuators are not permitted).

(c) A system controlling a hydraulic valve or drive clutch may use feedback from the internal
state of that valve or drive clutch (e.g. to drive a cam or spool to a target position),
providing that the feedback provides no information or indication as to the state of the
control system outside that valve, drive clutch, or drive clutch actuator.




Jake Kohl
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287384
06/20/17 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by P.M.
...
So technically, a computer (touchscreen interface and software) CAN be initiating movements with the touch of a finger and NZ successfully pulled it off.



From my perspective (as a part-time industrial controls engineer and full-time robotic application engineer) by requiring a finger to touch a keypad to make something move is the human initiating the motion aka "manual operation". The human pushes a button, the board comes up, human pushes another button, the board rakes to the side, button push and wing eases out, etc. If, however, Ashby just taps a button that fires off a series of mechanical motions on the boat to, perhaps, move all the foils through an entire tacking series, or the boat can be put into a mode where it reads it's flight height and automatically adjusts the foils to maintain level flight, that is the computer initiating motion in an automatic mode. I suspect the later is not AC legal.

Again, though, I don't know the details of how this plays out in the rules - just pointing out what industrial applications of control systems consider human vs. machine controlled.



You are correct, and that is why it passed the rules. So the computer tells Ashby where to point his finger (just follow the dot) and then flight is automated.

Maybe Oracle can force an anomaly on the software in the pre-start or something. Remember when NZ blundered the jibe on the finishing leg and almost lost to SWE? I think that was the software. PacMan ran off the touchscreen and Ashby crapped his pants.


Philip
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Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: P.M.] #287385
06/20/17 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by P.M.


Here are the links (will open a new tab to a google cloud document):

AC Class Rule V1.9

RFI#6

RFI#70

RFI#72




Damn you philip! ;-). I really didn't want to get into this but this is really interesting stuff:

So, #6, I think they're basically looking to see if they can use a pressure sensor to shift gears on the cyclists stations (assuming this was TNZ). The pressure sensor would read the hydraulic pressure that they've accumulated and adjust the gearing on the bikes accordingly. Higher pressures, lower gears. In addition, by using that pressure sensor to directly control flow from one or more accumulators, they can stage the accumulators so some are automatically low pressure accumulators and some are high. I've often wondered if they run two (or more) hydraulic pressure systems on the boat...some motions need low pressure high volume of flow and other need high pressure low volume flow. It would SUCK to be peddling like hell to get the tippy-top of pressure built up in the accumulator but then lose all that pressure with a big vertical board motion that took a ton of oil but didn't really need much pressure. The measurement committee basically said that any gear shifting had to be performed manually and referred back to 15.1 that does allow for some automatic pressure control devices - but it's limited to a few specific device types.

#70 is complicated and fascinating. What a terrific and clear response by the measurement team too. It basically says the earlier suggestion of having a tablet with dots moving on it and an operator just following those dots is ILLEGAL. The feedback systems and the control systems have to be physically AND electrically isolated and that is not isolated. It does say that they could have TWO tablets with one above showing the correct position for the fingers and the operator touching a second tablet in response to what the first one was telling him - but they could not be on the same device.

#72 is similar to #70 but is fishing for the exact level of what is considered "manual input". The measurement committee again had a very clear response and drew the line at attaching electrodes to peoples hands and having the computer shock them to make involuntary finger movements to push buttons....seriously. That was one of the questions. ;-)


I really don't think there are any magic bullets in there except that #70 actually says the "follow the dot" thing that was suggested that Ashby was doing is clearly NOT permitted. The data systems and control systems are required to be clearly labeled and completely isolated from each other. It looks like a solid approach to keep computers from driving the boats.


Jake Kohl
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287387
06/20/17 05:58 PM
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Jake, only an automations person would call that manually controlled (speaking from experience here too). That will never pass the sniff test for Joe Six Pack, let alone the average sailor of sheet-controlled boats (99.99999+% of the world).

Not saying it's illegal (any more than the fossil-fueled engines from a few regattas back), but is really stretching what sailing means to most people. Foiling is one thing, using computer-aided motors is something else entirely.

Mike

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: Will_R] #287390
06/20/17 09:05 PM
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[quote=Will_R] Like Outterideg, he's also been the Moth world champion; those boats are more like a cat than a mono.
/quote]I think you're right about the fact that the best sailors can normally pick up skills like apparent wind sailing. It's also arguable that the common implication that there is "apparent wind sailing" and "the other sailing" is overdone. Even in Lasers people like Tom and Ben are working wind pressure a lot, even when they are just playing around in big breeze. Tom is also a keen windsurfer so he's used to going downwind faster than most cats a fair amount of the time.

Although my experience in foilers is very limited it's hard to agree that Moths are closer to cats than they are to fast monos. How many cats fall over instantly if you're not actively sailing them? How many cats heel to windward? How many fast cats have that sort of mast bend, massive vang tension, and no mast rotation? How many fast cats are sailed when hiking and with that level of mainsheet input?

The foiling Moth feels closer to a foiling Laser or International Canoe than it does to a cat, from my very limited experience.

Last edited by garda; 06/20/17 09:30 PM.
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: Jake] #287391
06/20/17 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by garda


The "apparent wind champions" don't seem to have done any better than the "slow boat champions" over the last couple of ACs, and the only "multihull sailing champion" is long gone. Perhaps these guys are good enough to be able to develop new skills?


Sure they are good enough but the America's Cup has always had a trend to bias toward the "in crowd" mentality to a fault. While they have certainly invested in time, training, research, and design, I don't think they explored all the possible aspects of reaching out to existing multihull talent when they first switched to multihulls and we saw a lot of early rookie multihull mistakes. Regardless, Ashby, has demonstrated a real mastery for making fast boats fast. We'll never be able to put a number on how efficient NZ's wing trimming method is vs. Oracle's and we'll probably never even get a technical breakdown of the trimming system. In that vein, my opinion about Ashby is just opinion.

Who you are talking about "multihull sailing champion" that is long gone? Practically everyone in the America's Cup has come up from monohull and dinghy sailing with the exception of the French Team who, nationally, have embraced big multihull racing more strongly in the past. I don't think their performance is reflective of their talent but is more a reflection of their lack of funds.
Has the AC always favoured the in-crowd? Eons ago they pulled in people like Charlie Barr (a Scot) to drive defenders. The French pulled in Elvstrom in the '60s (although he dropped out due to nationality issues). Ted Turner came in from the wrong sort of boat and the wrong part of the country. Dennis Connor was a blow-in from California Star sailing. The second Endeavour challenge had a bunch of dinghy sailors. The second British 12 Metre challenge had a dinghy sailor driving. Ben Lexcen was an outsider in design terms, as was Bond. Key guys in Aus 2 like Grant Simmer were not even in the 'in crowd' in Sydney dinghy sailing.

In the early days multihull experts like Loick Peyron were called in - his team got last first time around. This time one of the world's great sailors, Cammas, got last in the ACWS on ONE DESIGN boats and last in the real AC. In the ACWS, when there was no design advantage because the boats were one design, the result was the same as it was in the cats last time around - teams with backgrounds in Etchells, Lasers and Finns dominated. That's only to be expected in some ways - monos make up about 95% of the racing scene, and slower monos like Etchells, Lasers and Finns make up a very big proportion of the rest. It's only logical that the type that has by far the largest pool of sailors will end up with the largest pool of talent.

It was interesting that when the AC was moved to foiling cats, people like Outteridge, Slingsby and Burling got into cats and/or foilers. Tom is apparently too heavy to keep up downwind in Moths, but he did very well upwind. Maybe the lesson to be learned is that good sailors can move from one extreme to the other pretty easily, and that if multihull sailors want to be asked into the afterguard of AC boats they should also do some cross-training to show how good they are?

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: garda] #287392
06/21/17 05:20 AM
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I didn't spell this out very well but when I mentioned earlier the lack of using multihull (or boats that sail strictly on apparent-wind - like the moth) familiar sailors, I was talking mostly about Oracle & Alinghi. I was also talking about AC33 - the point at which they switched to mulithulls and stuck with their traditional AC crowd. Certainly there has been some influx of skilled life-long apparent-wind sailors and yes, definitely, the more traditional sailors are capable of, and have, adapted. Most big name French sailors ARE multihull sailors so that makes sense that teams derived in France would turn to guys like Loick (my favorite!) and Cammas. Oracle did invoke Melvin & Morrelli to assist with the boat design in AC33 but let them go (or was it just Melvin?) shortly after they helped develop the rules for AC34. New Zealand wisely snatched up Pete Melvin shortly after that and he played a sizable role in their foiling development.

What we HAVE seen, though, in AC33, AC34 we saw some wrong application of monohull tactics in multihull sailing and we saw some multihull handling mistakes than many of us made when we first started sailing multihulls (but, notably, I don't recall seeing Groupama making any of these types of errors). We've still seen a little bit of this in AC35 but not nearly as much - they are mostly past the inexperience curve.

My point is, the main AC teams in AC33 and AC34 discounted multihull experience and stuck with their in-crowd. As far as the in-crowd, yes, DEFINTELY, they are stuck as the in-crowd. Ted Turner had to practically beat, scream, pay, and yell his way onto the helm of an AC campaign and if you judge one single fact alone, just look at the number of Australian and New Zealander sailors that make up practically every team. Yes, there is still a good bit of an in-crowd going on.


Jake Kohl
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: Jake] #287393
06/21/17 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jake
What we HAVE seen, though, in AC33, AC34 we saw some wrong application of monohull tactics in multihull sailing and we saw some multihull handling mistakes than many of us made when we first started sailing multihulls (but, notably, I don't recall seeing Groupama making any of these types of errors). We've still seen a little bit of this in AC35 but not nearly as much - they are mostly past the inexperience curve.


THIS is my biggest concern when taking monohull sailors and putting them into major multihull regattas (AC, Olympics, etc.). There are VERY, VERY few people who can successfully make this transition.

I won't speak for Jake, but when I hear a comparison of monos to cats, I think the folks with the best (only?) chance are apparent-wind sailors (49ers, Foiling Moths, etc.). As Garda mentioned, it's not so much about boat handling, but IMHO is all about race strategy and tactics.

EDIT: I'm certainly NOT saying that smart monohull sailors can't learn this, it just takes a long time. How long depends on a lot of factors, but I'd measure it in cycles rather than months or even years.

Mike

Last edited by brucat; 06/21/17 09:34 AM.
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: brucat] #287395
06/21/17 08:50 AM
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I totally agree Mike. As far as tactics go lately, the splits that Oracle have been doing at the bottom of the course on the first transition from downwind to upwind are either old-school monohull thinking or knowledgeable desperation. Either way, I don't think there is any situation where I would want to split from my competition if I'm within 1 boat length of them rounding the bottom of the course on the first upwind leg of a relatively long race. This is a habit that has taken me a long time to build and it serves me well - basically, it requires managing my panic - managing my strategic risk. At the speeds THESE boats can achieve, you only need the smallest opportunity to pass. Additionally while in the lead on a boat as efficient through the wind, you can't physically hold a boat behind you like you could with the AC monohulls. You hold a boat down on faster-than-wind boats by making sure you have as good or better pressure and angle and sail higher faster. Oracle was either making panicked, ill-advised, strategy decision from the outset of races 3 and 4 (I didn't see 1 and 2) or they knew they had a major upwind speed deficit and just started rolling the dice at the beginning.

I know I'm heavy in arm-chair-skipper mode here, and, admittedly, I've most certainly never made any money sailing... but even with a known speed deficit and sailing from behind, I would work hard to keep myself in as close touch with the opponent boat to see what we can figure out to deal with our speed problem or stay tight to capitalize on a mistake. If nothing else, the data that you can record while sailing in tight quarters with your opponent can help define exactly how much of a problem you need to overcome. The data you record while sailing on opposite sides of the course from your competitor isn't quite as sound since the wind and water differences start to get less predictable between the boat conditions.

In old school monohulls, passing was harder. The splits were more strategically sound because you will likely tack several more times upwind and you have a chance to try and manipulate the timing that your opponent tacks to cover so that you can work the wind phase in your advantage. With only three or four tacks upwind now, and going from edge to edge of the course during those tacks, being in phase with the wind is critical. I really think they should round the bottom of the course with the best chance to be and stay in phase with the wind ~almost~ regardless of what the competition is doing. Anticipating shifts just a little better than your opponent (who is placing a good deal of his focus on you) is not too hard to do and very solid gains are available.

It's very unlikely that any of these teams are going to pick the wrong side of the course when given their preference. I probably would NOT allow them to choose first what side of the course they want and then take the longer way to get to wherever my opponent didn't want to go. That smells like almost certain death...aka, taking a flyer. Flyers are the equivalent to an American Football hail mary, and when have you ever seen a team try a hail mary (the kind where everybody bunches up at the longest point the QB can throw the ball) when they first get possession? It hardly ever happens - and for good reason. It's poor risk management EVEN IF you expect that your chances to win are low at the outset of the match.


Jake Kohl
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287398
06/21/17 12:38 PM
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I would agree with you Jake. Splitting the course hasn't shown to be very effective in most of the round robin or semi-final matches.

If I recall, the few times it did work was because one side was favored after a wind shift and the leading boat had picked the wrong side.

So, if it is true that Oracle didn't have the speed to drive up and over NZL, perhaps your right that Spithill should have stayed right on NZL and tried to rattle their cage or force an error.

Dropping off the foil, dipping the windward hull, or any number of smaller tweaks could have cost NZL the lead if USA was sitting right there to capitalize, rather than on the other side of the course.

Heck, seeing the (albeit few) gaffs NZL pulled and how quickly leads changed (against SWE and USA) I think splitting the course just doesn't make as much sense anymore...


Jay

Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: David Parker] #287401
06/22/17 03:29 AM
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Well the guy who is calling the splits is a world-class "apparent wind" sailor - 7th in one Moth worlds, a heat win and a bunch of seconds (and lots of broken kit) in 2015. He's got top 3 in heats in the A Class worlds but is too heavy for the class (IIRC). And the guy steering the boat into the splits was 6th in the A Class worlds and has been extremely competitive against guys of the quality of Steve Brewin and Outteridge in other regattas.

If they are so cr*p and "old school" tactically then how did they do well in the worlds against those who specialise in Moths and A Class?

If the tactician was influenced by his "old school mono thinking" then he'd do the usual thing that Laser sailors do, and stick with the opposition. By the way, you may find that saying "not too hard" to pick shifts better than Ashby and Burling is incorrect.

Yes, sticking with the opposition while you try to analyse the speed deficit is one option. These guys are so good, and have so many people off the boat watching them and recording stuff, that it's understandable that they take a different choice. It's also much, much harder to get leverage on a very tight course if you don't split at the leeward gate.

I can't see how the number of Aussies and Kiwis in the AC is proof of the "in team" issue. How are a guy from a litle lake in inland Australia and a guy from a small-boat club in a mining suburb somewhere on the Australia coast part of the "in team"??????

Last edited by garda; 06/22/17 03:56 AM.
Re: 35th America's Cup [Re: brucat] #287402
06/22/17 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by brucat
Originally Posted by Jake
What we HAVE seen, though, in AC33, AC34 we saw some wrong application of monohull tactics in multihull sailing and we saw some multihull handling mistakes than many of us made when we first started sailing multihulls (but, notably, I don't recall seeing Groupama making any of these types of errors). We've still seen a little bit of this in AC35 but not nearly as much - they are mostly past the inexperience curve.


THIS is my biggest concern when taking monohull sailors and putting them into major multihull regattas (AC, Olympics, etc.). There are VERY, VERY few people who can successfully make this transition.

I won't speak for Jake, but when I hear a comparison of monos to cats, I think the folks with the best (only?) chance are apparent-wind sailors (49ers, Foiling Moths, etc.). As Garda mentioned, it's not so much about boat handling, but IMHO is all about race strategy and tactics.

EDIT: I'm certainly NOT saying that smart monohull sailors can't learn this, it just takes a long time. How long depends on a lot of factors, but I'd measure it in cycles rather than months or even years.

Mike


Santiago Lange went from 9th in the 1996 Olympics in a Laser to 10th in the 2000 Games in a Tornado and then to medals. Fernando Leon was 4th in 470s at the 1992 Olympics, 6th in the Olympic keelboat in 1996, and won Gold in Olympic cat in 2000. So people from "old school mono" classes can get into apparent wind classes and do as well or do better than they used to within a cycle.

As noted, if people using "wrong tactics" could get 6th and 7th in the Moth and A Class worlds (which Spithill and Slingsby have done) then the Moth and A Class guys must be pretty bad. Personally I reckon the top A Class guys and Moth guys are fantastic, and therefore the people who can get up with them must not be using "wrong tactics".

Spithill was as high as 4th in the 2008 Australian A Class titles and 6th in the worlds in 2009, before AC33 was sailed. That's hardly the effort of someone who was going to go on and make multihull rookie mistakes.

Last edited by garda; 06/22/17 04:34 AM.
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