Feb 4, 2014

A-Class Worlds: Takapuna latest Report, advance Flying on current Rules

Arno Terra had a chat with his pals PJ & Mischa Heemskerk currently in NZ and he sent me this report on the sailing tests being taken at Takapuna,  mixed with some of this thoughts on the rules.
The idea is not to generate controversy but inform to the sailors on what is going on at the Worlds venue.  Also check some I had from Mike Drummond at www.a-cat.org/?q=node/353
Report sent by Arno Terra:
"Hi Martin, I had a long talk with Mischa and PJ this morning.

Breaking news: Foiling A-class 2.0 is a fact.
Mischa, Glenn and Nathan are pushing the class to new heights.
Yesterday Glenn and Nathan were flying in a stable mode just 20 cm off the water. No flying bursts like Mischa showed in Barcelona but clean flying in anything over 7 kts of breeze.
The TNZ boys and Nathan have mounted longer rudders with wider T-foils which are mounted on the bottom. This improves the pitch control dramatically and the jumps which were so common in Barcelona are gone.

It is great to see how class development emerges so bottom up. Pushed by great sailors who are driven by competition.

The flying is seen both on the Exploders (both L and J) and the DNA's.
PJ has announced that he will lauch an after the Worlds upgrade kit for a

ll new boats. He is very enthusiastic about these developments and the new DNA will have the longer rudders and special rudderstocks in which the rudders can be lifted vertically.

We have to see which daggerboards are the way to go. The J-boards of the Exploder are slightly wider and thicker and provide therefore some more lift.
The L-boards work fine too but the weather board has to be pulled up else the lift is too much as earlier predicted.
Advantage of the DNA boards is that they have less drag in light winds and in stronger winds you prefer also less lift. A Exploder type of Jboard will fit in the new boats as well as the case is already made wider by PJ.

The future for the class looks bright with all these new developments. We as a class have created together the A-class 2.0. Some people remain still sceptical but only because they are without a boat which can fly right now.

The rule discussion can be solved easily by the A-class General Meeting (AGM).
Flying is possible within the current rules. Nobody wants to insert cases which can easily be banned by the either the Jury or the measures. These cases add unnecessary complexity and are cumbersome for the sailors.
The cases can be declared illegal as the measurer cannot put in the daggerboards from the top with all other items in place. It is clearly a workaround but a workaround which is outside the rules. The definition of what put in from the top means is taken out of context here.

I would like to suggest a new rule though: The four foil rule, which means that the weather board has to be kept down while flying.
Let me explain; Competitive foiling is a fact now. Foiling is fun and can be done by most sailors. Raising and lowering dagerboards during the race in tacks and jibes makes the boat harder to sail and therefore less accessible for new sailors. We want a bigger class and not a smaller class with just pro-sailors.

I think the J-boards will come out as the best solution as the J-boards get rid of some lift once the boat rises. The L-board might be competitive too but the extra handling will take its toll too.

Current developments are the best advertisement for a simple box rule. Yes the class is going through a phase but it will come out faster and better. Developments and inventions are shared and innovation is not dominated by one brand.
The last Aemerica's Cup has changed sailing forever and it is great to see that technology on small affordable boats.

I have said it before 'Once you have been flying there is no way back'. PJ and I started the DNA project to make these wonderful boats available to a broader range of sailors. It is now time for step two; Bringing flying boats to more people. Doing it yourself is so much more fun than watching YouTube video's."