View Full Version : Alinghi vs. Formula - who would win?

27th June 2007, 03:52 PM
Hi there

Watching the 3rd Race of the America's Cup on TV yesterday I just asked myself who would win the race between a professional Formula Windsurfer (such as AA) and a America's Cup Race Team (such as Alinghi) on a down- and upwind course. Yesterday there was 7 to 8 knots windspeed and the sea was quite bumpy. Today 10 knots are announced.

Maybe the answer is simple but I have no clue.

Andy, Switzerland

27th June 2007, 05:01 PM
I saw the first race on TV in 12-14 kts of wind and the Americas Cup boats were only doing around 10 kts boat speed in the upwind and downwind legs. In these conditions a Formula board would have much higher board speed (I think 15kts+ upwind and 20kts+ downwind). However, I think the difference would be the big boats would point far higher upwind and far lower downwind compared to Formula and so would not have to cover as big a distance. I would love to see it.....

Steve GBR135

27th June 2007, 05:40 PM
Team NZ would Win!

27th June 2007, 07:32 PM
Micah B did report on this at the previous cup. Once planning he reported a significantly better upwind VMG. Downwind wasn't conclusive but seemed to suggest the big asymetric gave such an angle advantage that the boat had an edge. I wouldn't fancy those pre-start manovres thought :-)

Actually the conclusions were broadly similar to a 18ft skiff shoot out. So I guess that confirms monos have inherent speed limits upwind, but can plane back very deep.

29th June 2007, 05:38 AM
A formula board would go better in these conditions: once planning there would be no match!

3rd July 2007, 05:22 AM
I'm pretty sure that a Mistral one-design with a 7.4 would beat a formula board in windward-leeward races in the winds they've been racing in!

3rd July 2007, 05:31 AM
Well, they are racing in low winds but not bellow 10 knots, we saw very few regattas beyond this limit..
Once a formula board goes gliding there's no race ;)

3rd July 2007, 09:47 AM
The IACC boats will beat a formula board quite easily both upwind and down in anything under about 12 knots. That shoot out a few years back with Micah was with the Amcup boats not even really tuned up, and showed that the formula boards get much lower angle upwind, resulting in similar VMG once planing despite higher speed. Additionally, the time lost in tacking and the effect of a wind shift or loss of pressure on the boards means they cannot hold the same sorts of decent angles upwind; instead they end up getting knocked while the amcup boats can take the lifts all the way to the top mark. Upwind the IACC boats are doing about 10 knots tacking through 70 degrees; I understand formula boards are doing about 18 knots tacking through 110 degrees with dead stops virtually at each tack.

Downwind IACC boats DO NOT plane. Ever. They are 20 tons! They go downwind far deeper than a formula board and gybe through at a guess 60 degrees, doing speeds around 11-12 knots. Even in 20 knots, they probably only get up to 13-14., but start going deeper and deeper.

In summary, I think you would see a point around 14 knots constant, where the formula boards would start to walk away, provided they were not tactically affected/covered by the massive sails of the IACC. Below that, IACC.

Of course, IACC boats are technologically advanced within their rule, but certainly not the most high tech boat; a somewhat optimised Open 70 in 14 knots+ would stomp over an IACC and that would be a more interesting race to see; the open 70s are friggin beasts of a boat - canting keel, big wide shape similar to a formula board, planing reaching and downwind - and a lot cheaper.

3rd July 2007, 01:50 PM
What are the facts? What VMG does the IACC boats do up- and downwind in 10 knots? And in 14 knots?

3rd July 2007, 08:42 PM
If these numbers aren't published somewhere for America's Cup boats, someone could probably figure them out from tapes of the races. Then, the formula guys could do a virtual race by strapping on a GPS, and sailing upwind in the same wind speed.