May 11, 2015

Nacra F20 Power in the Low & Midrange: Matchup vs FP II, 8-12knots.

Image from Feb in BA, Cruz & Mariano foiling in 5-6knots. Update: Pete Melvin's coments on the F20 light weather performance at the end of the post.
Summer long gone here in BA, but we are lucky on being able to sail the whole year,  also climate has been really good last months,  till past 2  weeks when we 'suffered' a 'cold' front ,  of course nothing like Northen Europe Cold..

On Sunday we had light winds with only some F18 training, on Sat we went out will all the toys: 2 Nacra F20s, the FP & 4 As & an F18.
I was on the A training so I watched the informal match ups from time to time, but far away to report  first hand. It was 12kntos decreasing to a light 9-8knots when we all came back.

Once in land again, I talked with crews.
The Nacra F20 confirmed what we've saying for a while on size/power logic,  in the low range is all for the F20 upwind & downwind.
12knots  good foiling conditions the Nacra boys reported a total massacre and the FP guys confirmed than in 8-9knots there is nothing to do, but maintained they were doing par or better on 12knots...

As you can see.... there are always different opinions on the same situation. As when I published the first informal test video (discussions were on my pointst of view on the whole day, video simple shows facts)
In fact those sessions accelerated the new Spi design for the F20, Which was been used yesterday,  and the crews report a much better downwind foiling ride. 

Before the first test, the F20 here didn´t even used spi.
Although Fer van West was fully focused on foiling with spi when he came here for the Clinics

On yesterday's informals tests reality marks that the F20 has a real noticeable edge in lower

mid range to calm winds. Is a No contest in those conditions on the power I reported on the Nacra F20 many times.
This is a result of the rig power of the Nacra F20 and the emphasis the design team put in the non foiling or low range winds. I published several occasions Fer van West comments on the matter.

So nothing of a surprise, but a good reference that we wont see the FP against the Nacra 20 in an upwind / downwind course any time soon on venues without that much windy days average. (Carnac & Texel are strong wind locations)

In fact the new Box rules Formula I've been talking for a while on the 18 & 20' will need to race in a separate rankings on course racing without a doubt.

The door is still open for the FP to show performance above 12knots and breeze as video published and I reported on the first matchup we did here on +15knots winds.

But final word on above midrange will come on  the actual long distance racing, sadly none at Carnac, lets see if Texel  gives us a good  real regatta data to end the eternal  point of view discussions.

As an all rounder to race from 5 to 25knots the 20 has a more complete package, and Alex knows that and always told me:  "Well, we did a foiling boat , and we focused on flying".
Nacra went both ways and must prevail if Long Distances are held in mid to low range winds.

The Nacra guys here were all Smiles! "Lets Race" haha..   . So we will see more matchups coming soon.

Right there is where the new Formula 20, full carbon & refined that Roland Gaebler is envisioning will be a treat to the F20 as an all rounder. But today, the 5-25knots All Rounder Long Distance weapon of choice is the Nacra F20.

This put them (Nacra) like day 1, on a high bar standard on being the big powerful beast, as losing to a smaller boat is going to be hard to digest.

Lets hope for Texel to deliver at least the chance to see them racing together. Something that was not possible at Carnac on the Long Distance cancellation.

Update: Comments from Pete Melvin (Nacra F line designer with Design studio) on the article: "I would add that some of the light/med wind upwind performance advantage comes from the S-curve daggerboard shape. 
The reverse curvature at the top of the board allows the board to be more vertical when it is all the way down, improving upwind efficiency. The AC boats achieve the same thing with a mechanical system to move the board."
I have a pending new interview with Pete for a while now, it was going to be on the 62 rules, glad I miss to make it. I will prepare it next weeks.