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Old 26-09-2013, 09:27   #691
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Re: Twenty Knots

All the grinders are doing is creating pressure. The computer would have to open and close all the valves because no human could do it accurately enough.

Is a computer adjusting a set of valves " adjusted only manually " ?
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:08   #692
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Re: Twenty Knots

Stored energy in a battery is allowed for powering instruments. If they do have a computer-controlled automatic system, then they would need to argue that a computer qualifies as "instruments". Probably easy to do, since they are all wearing android devices and tablets running tactical and navigation software.

Valves can be actuated electrically. As long as no stored power is used for translational movement, it is considered manually adjusted.

If they actually pulled this off, it is pretty creative. Those control systems have been around for 40yrs or more and available to anyone who could figure out how to incorporate them under the class rules.

Just like the Kiwi's did with foils.

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Old 26-09-2013, 11:20   #693
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Re: Twenty Knots

Well, the intrigue continues. It wouldn't be the America's Cup without it.
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:32   #694
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If they actually pulled this off, it is pretty creative. Those control systems have been around for 40yrs or more and available to anyone who could figure out how to incorporate them under the class rules.

Mark
So they figured this out half-way through the series and decided to incorporate it when down 8-1? If true, it seems like an admission that the Kiwis had the better sailors all along and it was, in fact, the only way they could beat them.

I'm sure I'm not the only purist who thinks grinders powering computers to do the trimming automatically is not what sailboat racing at any level is supposed to be about, but given Ellison retained the cup I guess we can expect more of the same next time.
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:42   #695
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Re: Twenty Knots

The only way we'll ever know who were the better sailors is if they are match racing. The AC is not about that, but about technology and rules. Has been for the last 2 or 3 decades anyway. It'd be nice if they decided to only run identical boats..... for us viewers anway. Run the Louis Vitton in year 2 and the winner of that is the boat design used for both the boats in the AC!
With the foiling this could be a fun sport to watch if the TV would cover it. Maybe 10 boats on a course, all identical, first boat to 5 wins. Can you say NASCAR...? If TV is dictated by people who are thrill seekers... I'd rather watch a big cat flip than a few cars smash into each other!
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:43   #696
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Re: Twenty Knots

Oh well, I don't think having a computer make all the decisions about when to open and close valves then doing all the opening and closing means " adjusted only manually ".
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:48   #697
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Re: Twenty Knots

Even Ellison seems to agree that this platform is not in the best interest of fostering international competition:

America
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:49   #698
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Re: Twenty Knots

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the Kiwis had the better sailors all along .........
I think the sailors were all at about the same level. You saw the drag race on leg 2 downwind where it was basically a dead heat the boat speed was about equal as well as the steering, tacks, and adjustments to wing, foils etc.

ETNZ came in race ready with good boat speed and tacking and won some races.

Spithill on the other hand was winning quite a few starts but couldn't overcome ETNZ's boat speed and quicker tacks.

Later, Oracle suddenly found some boat speed so Dean Barker was forced into trying to win some starts.

Dean Barker and ETNZ literally nailed the start on the last race. (and) They got and extra bonus when Oracle buried their hulls at the first mark.

(Btw, that really isn't a big deal for a racing catamaran since the days of the Hobie 16 which would have continued straight down like a submarine during a dive because the tops of the hulla are flat. Oracle, like most of today's catamarans, has narrow, rounded hull tops up front which pop right back up in that situation.


Once Oracle got clear though at the bottom mark on leg 2, it was race over, and it didn't matter who was steering ETNZ's boat.
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:52   #699
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If it is present, it is immediately controlled by the hydraulic grinders, not electric motors. Motors are specifically banned, as are any type of stored energy (battery, hydraulic pressure tanks, etc) used for moving anything other than opening/closing solenoids and other valves.

From the class rules:
18.1 Rigging, sails, rudders and daggerboards shall be adjusted only manually, and the use
of stored energy is prohibited, except:
(a) for springs, shockcord, and similar devices;
(b) low pressure hydraulic or gas accumulators of less than 6 bar which provide back pressure to a hydraulic system to prevent cavitation, but do no significant work themselves;
(c) batteries to power electric bilge pumps, provided the total capacity is not greater than 200 l/min; and
(d) batteries to power instruments and ACRM media equipment.

So it is possible that some type of control computer can be run off batteries, and it could control electric solenoids connected to hydraulic circuits that were powered by humans.

It would be a steampunk kind of thing.

Mark
My apologies, I just realized I left off a big chunk of that rule during the cut and paste. Here is the rest of it:

(e) for electrical operation of
(i) hydraulic valves. These operations shall only provide the input for the position of the valve;
(ii) drive clutches in winch systems.
The valves and drive clutches referred to in (i) and (ii) above, shall be commercially available and Competitors shall have had these approved by the Measurement Committee for use via an issued interpretation.
The operation for (i) and (ii) above, shall not receive external input from any source other than manual input. Any data acquisition system, associated sensors or electronics shall be physically separate and completely isolated from any electrical operation referred to in (i) and (ii) with the exception of the voltage supply. The manual input may latch the valve(s) or clutch(es), operate multiple valves or clutches, and /or provide variable position. Valves and clutches may be operated from multiple manual inputs.
These systems may be hard wired directly between the manual inputs and shall be hard wired between the manual inputs and the valve(s) or clutch(es). Wiring shall be clearly identifiable. Electrical energy used for this shall only be stored in batteries, including small capacitors.


It is this last part that is the important part. For one, it clearly states that any system put on the boat must be approved by the Measurement Committee, and they must issue an interpretation. Also, it seems that any control system cannot directly operate the valves - it must go through a human first.

So maybe Spithill was wired with shock pads like a monkey in a psychology experiment?

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Old 26-09-2013, 12:00   #700
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Spithill on the other hand was winning quite a few starts but couldn't overcome ETNZ's boat speed and quicker tacks.

Later, Oracle suddenly found some boat speed so Dean Barker was forced into trying to win some starts.
The question on everyone's mind seems to be "where did that new boat speed come from?"

Did they modify the boat, or did the sailors learn how to sail faster, or did computers do what the sailors couldn't?

Whichever it is, can't wait to see how this plays out.
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:08   #701
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
So they figured this out half-way through the series and decided to incorporate it when down 8-1? If true, it seems like an admission that the Kiwis had the better sailors all along and it was, in fact, the only way they could beat them.

I'm sure I'm not the only purist who thinks grinders powering computers to do the trimming automatically is not what sailboat racing at any level is supposed to be about, but given Ellison retained the cup I guess we can expect more of the same next time.
I don't think you can make any judgements on the sailors. Both teams had moments of brilliance, and both teams botched things at other times. For a while, both boats appeared pretty much even in capabilities. At the beginning, the Kiwi boat was definitely faster - at the end, it was not. I don't understand how you can translate that into crew skill. Were Oracle the better crew at the beginning with the Kiwi's admitting Oracle were the better sailors and they were winning because their boat was faster? Your point here makes no logical sense and it is a large stretch to attempt that connection.

All I can say about your last paragraph is are you making that statement with any proof yet, and where do you draw the line? No one yet knows the deal on this - that earlier post was from a blog where a guy was simply speculating out of his rear. No confirmed facts have come out yet.

Certainly, many other races have boats with automatic and computer controlled systems on them. None of the monohull water ballast or canting keel race boats could have satisfied the requirements of the AC72 class rule. The designing and building of the boats themselves requires computer power and highly automated systems. Your argument was made when fiberglass boats were introduced. It was made when geared winches were introduced. In fact, it has pretty much been made for every single past technological introduction - "the purity of the sport is being ruined".

You shut this out when foiling catamarans were introduced, so I don't see why you are concerned about anything now.

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Old 26-09-2013, 12:12   #702
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Re: Twenty Knots

Don't let these guys near a boat (AC72) for at least 24-48 hours.

On tape, on tape........

NBC TODAY Show _ Oracle Team USA:
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:22   #703
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Re: Twenty Knots

The whole thing has a John Henry vs the Steam Engine feel to it. It did look to me like while foiling the Kiwi boat was bobbing around a bit more and the USA boat seemed rock steady. This could be explained by the difference between humans making the fine adjustments and a computer. Like others have said, it will be very interesting to hear how this plays out. I am sure before Oracle comes completely clean, Ellison will tell his lawyers to make damn sure it is all legal.
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:30   #704
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Re: Twenty Knots

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The question on everyone's mind seems to be "where did that new boat speed come from?"

Did they modify the boat, or did the sailors learn how to sail faster, or did computers do what the sailors couldn't?

Whichever it is, can't wait to see how this plays out.
Understood, but I'm staying away from that one. The courts can decide it. I was addressing the point about the sailors you brought up.

Others have talked about the tactics of the KIWIs on the final race also. ETNZ sailed an almost perfect race but couldn't touch Oracle upwind. The first downwind leg actually told the story of the sailors since the boatspeed appeared to be about the same. It appeared sailors and boats were on about the exact same level. No gains made or lost really. Very exciting.
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:36   #705
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Re: Twenty Knots

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Did they modify the boat, or did the sailors learn how to sail faster, or did computers do what the sailors couldn't?
Yes, yes, and nobody knows yet.

First two answers the same for TNZ.

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