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Old 13th June 2012, 04:04 PM   #41
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AC45 versus kite duel : 2 sides of the same coin ?

1) the "fantastic" kite movie:

2) the full lenght uncut movie:

The kite was trailing behind the AC45 for quite a long time. Only at the very end can the kite overtake the AC45. Please, note that both AC45s did have their gennakers deployed, but were they reaching their top speed that is 3x that of wind speed (similar to that of a D35 by the way) during these moments while exiting the San Diego harbour? I don't think so. Was it blowing less than 10 knots ? Hard to say, but I doubt it... Note the color of water at the end of the movie: darker blue usually means windier.

Fair enough. That video doesn't constitute a proof by itself that a kite is faster than an AC45 and I hope that folks at the ISAF did reach that very same conclusion. Hope to see a match race conducted in proper conditions one day to settle the question once and for all.

Cheers !

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Old 14th June 2012, 10:42 PM   #42
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And the AC45's were going deeper, I don't think the kite had more VMG. Overall you make a strong argument that the ISAF cliam is exaggerated. Still whilst your Lake Geneva exotics may be faster, I guess if the kites prove the fastest Olympic class then they will get some cache from that. If we don't get them thrown out before that happens....heh heh. I think boats like the 49'er are kings of most lakes in light winds though, and the kind of performance target WS have in mind.

ps what a shame Alinghi didn't look so good at the Cup. Looked like they had an amateur at the helm. :-)
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Old 15th June 2012, 09:00 AM   #43
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An interesting interview of assisting ISAF advisor was Johnny Heineken, who is the current Kite Course Racing World Champion:

"While we were there to test racing formats, on a basic level we needed to prove how high performance we really are.

Most people still think of kiteboarding as a sport that needs 15kts and up just to sail upwind, and many of the ISAF folk and sailors were of this mindset. In our own little world we know that we are some of the fastest craft on the water. If I am close to keeping up with Jimmy Spithill and the boys on their AC45 on San Francisco Bay, I can sure as hell knock the socks off the 49ers and Tornados.

We proved this in all wind conditions, sailing laps around the skiffs and multihulls at the trials in everything from 6kts and up (to give you an idea, we were reaching at over 25kts in 7-9ks of breeze). Higher and faster was the name of the game, and everyone noticed, including the ISAF president who spent much of his single day on the water learning about the gear and tactical side of kite racing."

Source : http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0403/

So, it looks like that racing kites are indeed capable of doing almost 3x the wind speed and can challenge an AC45. Hats off, that's quite impressive I reck'on.

Cheers !


PS: the Swiss won the cup twice but made a wrong choice at the end and lose it. Fair enough. I'm thrilled to see the R&D going on about rigid sails and foils and very pleased to see the action and drama with the AC45 world series. So, I'm sure the AC72 match racing in the San Francisco bay will be fantastic to watch from 5 to 35 knots of wind !
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Old 16th June 2012, 10:18 PM   #44
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Wink relating the Olympics to "the average recreational" sailor /kiter.

An interesting read.
it will be interesting to see when the olympics come , the practical aspect of kiting at the games.

More specifically how an olympic incarnation of kiting ie: a four finned mini formula board if that be the choice ( the 2x 40 cm long race fins forward and 2x 36 cm long race fins on the back) will relate to the "all around recreational kiter"

Now specifically I say board versus the kite, as i think the kite technology will trickle down , theres still gains to be made , but I dont think the much if any aspect of the board will.
It could be possible that the olympic kit will be so outside what a regular kiters does it will be almost alien. Will that matter....time will tell, i dunno.

Now one could argue the RSX did not translate to the "all around windsurfer" . But an RSX was aspects of what was already on the market. Big rigs, cambers , high aspect deep fins, high carbon components and wide style boards have a place in many recreational quivers.
An RSX while not ideal or affordable represented aspects of "all around windsurfing" in many peoples kit.

But what is "All around recreational windsurfing". Better yet what conditions does one need to have to do it, and how accesseble is it . Well lets look at an ideal sailing craft.
1. moving in any wind strength. 0 to max wind ( there is an upper limit to any craft)
2. in any wind direction.
3.in any area with water depth , shallow is the limit here.
4. easy to transport, and rig and launch.and can launch anywhere.
5, self rescue at any time.
6 relatively affordable

So how does windsurfing fit in the above criteria? I would say it is the best of any sailing craft i can think of . It fits all the criteria 1,2,
3 fin depth minimum,
Kiters do not satisfy
1, zero wind to ?
2 is very problematic
4 cannot launch or recover in confned area..
5 nope ..very bad..
Windsurfers have one , ONE limit, water depth deeper the fin or semi retracted centreboard but how much of a limit is this?
how many dingies, foilers , catamarans, keelboats or specailty cats can fullfill the criteria and be inexpensive and yet can go relatively fast. Even a starbaord start can hit speeds many olympic craft cannot!!!
. This means a windsurfer is the easiest best simplest sailing craft to execute sailing , almost anywhere ,anyplace, anytime!

and the IOC drops it......

good luck to kiting , I do wish them well ( yes even after my long diatribe ) lets hope the wind blows above 6 knots, it probably will , lets hope its doesnt then die mid race, or worse yet before the a start ...if so mayhem...
and perhaps olympic embarrasment.

but be proud to windsurf!! not everyone agrees thats OK.
but look at the above its the best all around, go anywhere anywind any direction , any water, bang for the buck adrenaline wind powered safe sport going.

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Old 19th June 2012, 10:59 PM   #45
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would be nice to have two windsurf, two kite and six sailing classes... but this is absolutly irrealistic, the "sailing" give up another two classes for kite.

the selection of all the olimpic sailing classes show the sailors and the future of the sailing sport is NOT important for the decision makers. only politics, which classes have the best lobby. windsurfing lobby is catastrophy. who let to drop out windsurfing??? someone responsible for that...

rs:x was happy, they did not have to fight with any other windsurf aspirant in 2012 only against kite. (in 2004 11 boards fight for the olimpic class.) i think rs:x class though they dont have to do anything for keep the olimpic status.

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