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Old 23-02-2013, 16:38   #31
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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
The reason people like Donradcliffe are getting hung up on this is simple. It has to do with the number of hulls the boat has.

I find it amazing that a boat that has to have a 150hp diesel runing full bore for the entire trip is more acceptable as a "sailing" record, than a completely sail and human powered trimaran.

Wonder how much fuel Wild Oats used to set it's "Sailing" record?

Congrats to Langman and his team of SAILORS.
Don't all canting keels use electric power to work? Does this mean that all the finishers of the vendee globe except one are a bunch of posers and not real sailors? Bonus points if anyone knows which one!

Is it ok if the electrical is powered by a hydro generator but not by diesel? How much of the battery capacity must be renewable before it's ok? Since a canting keel is mostly just ballast, do the water ballast pumps have to be manual as well to be a real sailor?

For a long time, the rules have been strict on sail handling being manual only, but canting keels have been different for some reason
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Old 23-02-2013, 18:22   #32
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

All I know is that if a boat that loses an engine has to retire from a Sailing Race, for that reason alone, then its not really a sailing race boat is it.

this happens occasionally in the Hobart race, boats have an engine problem and have to withdraw. Surely that by definition makes the boat engine dependant?
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Old 23-02-2013, 20:54   #33
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All I know is that if a boat that loses an engine has to retire from a Sailing Race, for that reason alone, then its not really a sailing race boat is it.

this happens occasionally in the Hobart race, boats have an engine problem and have to withdraw. Surely that by definition makes the boat engine dependant?
Yes. A boat had to drop out of the vendee because he ran out of diesel. I still think it's a sailboat. Most sailboats require electricity and many require diesel to make electricity.

Just saying it's not all so cut and dried.
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Old 23-02-2013, 21:24   #34
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

Its not just a comfort factor with some of these motor sailers, its the need to have a motor running permanently to drive the canting keel systems, no motor, no ability cant (quickly) and the boat is then required to operate at a much reduced power level.

Perhaps we should have a class of boat called MMMB (monohull motorised moveable ballast) and let them pretend they are sailing everywhere.
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Old 23-02-2013, 21:48   #35
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
Don't all canting keels use electric power to work? Does this mean that all the finishers of the vendee globe except one are a bunch of posers and not real sailors? Bonus points if anyone knows which one!

Is it ok if the electrical is powered by a hydro generator but not by diesel? How much of the battery capacity must be renewable before it's ok? Since a canting keel is mostly just ballast, do the water ballast pumps have to be manual as well to be a real sailor?

For a long time, the rules have been strict on sail handling being manual only, but canting keels have been different for some reason

Pretty much a completely incorrect post, as far as the Sydney-Hobart race is concerned.

Wild Oats XI and most of the other canting keelers in the Sydney-Hobart use hydraulic power to operate their keel AND their winches.

If the diesel stops they can't sail the boat, simple as that.

Using diesel to generate power for COMMUNICATIONS is fair enough. But when an enginel (especially 150horsepower of it) is required to make the boat go, then it's not a sailboat IMO.

Or to put it another way - give me a couple of hundred horsepower plus maybe $50k and I could build a "rotating keel" boat that would beat Wild Oats to Hobart 9 times out of 10.

Will push-button boats destroy the Sydney-Hobart yacht race?


The 628 mile Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race has long been regarded as one of the world’s greatest blue water classics, a supreme test of seamanship and sailing ability. But if Sean Langman is right, that well-deserved reputation, built upon 65 years of fierce competition, may no longer be entirely justified.

Langman, one of Australia’s most experienced and respected yachtsmen, is disturbed by what he sees as the unfair mechanical advantage enjoyed by the multi-million dollar Super Maxis, the so-called “push-button boats”, that use their diesel engines to generate the computer-controlled hydraulic power they depend upon.

Sean Langman explained his concerns in an interview with Bruce Stannard.

Early New Year’s Eve fireworks were bursting over Sullivan’s Cove as Sean Langman’s gaff-rigged 28-footer Maluka ghosted across the line to finish a distant last in the 2012 Sydney-Hobart Race.
The 80-year-old Maluka, the oldest wooden boat in the fleet and by far the smallest competitor, had been at sea for five and a half days. Langman’s amateur crew included his 18-year-old son, Peter, his daughter Nicki, his mate Shaun ‘Kiwi’ McKnight and his wife Erin and Josh Alexander. Far from being downhearted at coming last, the Maluka mob wore grins like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.
Having savoured the heady wine of close camaraderie and high adventure at sea, they came ashore as salt-caked heroes, laughing and joking and more than willing to turn around and do it all again. Their shared experience – in essence The Spirit of the Race – is one that has been cherished by Sydney-Hobart crews since the inaugural fleet set sail in 1945. It is the magnet of participation that draws crews back to the event year after year.
But now, as the Hobart approaches its 70th anniversary, there is a growing sense of unease in some quarters over the issue of stored power in the bigger boats. At the pointy end, the race has come to be dominated by professionally crewed Super Maxi yachts, multi-million dollar high performance vessels whose hi-tech canting keels and sail trimming winches rely entirely on hydraulic power generated by diesel engines that run throughout the race.
Does the use of this push-button stored power constitute an unfair advantage? Is this sailing or is it a weird hybrid form of power boating? Sean Langman believes it is time that these and other questions surrounding the Super Maxis were laid open for discussion.
In this context it’s worth reflecting on the truly astonishing performance history of Australia’s fastest ocean racer, the 100ft Super Maxi Wild Oats XI.
In her first season, 2005, she won the treble: line honours, handicap honours and set a new race record. In the 2007 Hobart Race she equalled Morna’s 59-year-old record by taking line honours three times in a row. In the 2008 Hobart Race she broke the record, winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive line honours. In the 2012 race she again won the treble: line honours and the handicap trophy and also established a new race record of one day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds.
One might have thought that such an amazing string of successes would have been sufficient accomplishment for even the most ardent yachtsman. And yet at the 2012 trophy presentation, Wild Oats’ owner Robert Oatley and his professional skipper, Mark Richards, made it clear that they were already focussed on winning the next race and the next; a never-ending string of victories that would go on “forever”.
“Winning,” Richards said, “is what it’s all about.”
They were remarks that set me thinking about the ways in which Australia’s premier ocean race has changed since the inaugural fleet set sail in 1945.
Sean Langman, a Hobart Race veteran and one of Australia’s most respected yachtsmen, is far from happy with some of those changes.
“There is,” he says, “a false perception in high-end competitive sailing that says that if you’re any good you progress toward the super maxi kind of boat.
“But believe me, I’ve been there, and, having done that, I’m able to say without hesitation that push-button Super Maxi sailing is the least rewarding experience I’ve ever had.
“For those of us who know the exhilaration, the exultation of going to sea in a purely wind-driven vessel, the idea of having a noisy diesel engine revving away, all day, every day, during a race seems totally out of whack.
“The rate of the engine’s revolutions changes according to the output required of the hydraulic drives. Each time a new function is required, a new button is pushed and the engine revs its head off.
“It’s not a constant background drone. It’s a sudden dramatic screaming that generally coincides with manoeuvres, which is when the crew’s anxieties are at their highest. If you are of a nervous disposition it can be pretty unsettling.
“Wild Oats XI has a 150hp diesel that runs 24-7 during the Hobart Race. Without it, it is virtually impossible to sail the boat. If the engine stops they’re out of the race. No engine, no sail.
“I think this is wrong for the sport. If people want to use this sort of power for purely cruising purposes, I can accept that, but not for racing.”
Langman explained that the power transfer system is computer-controlled and programmed to give priority to areas such as shifting the canting keel and in a gybing manoeuvre to the mainsail winch. Through these manoeuvres, he says, the engine can be overloaded and stall. And when that happens there is no hand-winding system as back-up.
“On a Super Maxi,” he told me, “the crew spend the majority of their time praying.”
Really? Praying for what?
“They’re praying that the engine keeps working,” he said. “You’re on a sailing boat and yet you rely completely on machinery to go on sailing. I find this to be such a negative part of the sport. You might as well be at home sitting in a shower, tearing up $100 bills.”
And what was the essential difference between a boat that takes a day and a half to go from Sydney to Hobart and one that takes five and a half days?
“The difference lies in the personal experience of being at sea,” he said. “It takes three days before your body gets into the routine and you settle down and really start to appreciate the experience of being at one with the boat, with the wind and the water.
“Some people have said to me, ‘five and a half days at sea must have been horrible’, and yet after the Hobart race everyone on board Maluka felt wouldn’t it be nice to keep on going. With six people on a 28ft boat, you end up pretty close.
“And that for me is what it’s all about. It’s not going from A to B in the quickest possible time. It’s about those priceless shared experiences. The great thing for me is that my kids wanted to join me on Maluka. They weren’t pushed into it and they certainly weren’t paid. They went for the kind of experience, the kind of challenge that was once at the heart of the Hobart Race.”
Langman says every participant in the Hobart Race should cross the line with a feeling of elation, a sense of achievement. But he says he had precisely the opposite feeling when he skippered the Super Maxi AAPT in the 2005 Hobart.
“There was no sense of achievement at all,” he said. “Instead of a feeling of accomplishment, I felt gutted. I felt that I got away with cheating. I’ve put my hand in the toaster several times and each time I’ve been gripped by the same hollow sensation.
“Going back to a little gaff-rigged wooden boat is such a complete contrast. It’s just you and your crew. That’s sailing pure and simple and, to me, that’s what the Hobart Race should be all about.
“At the heart of the race should be the belief that you are on equal terms with the other competitors. You should all be out there fired by the belief that you have an equal shot at winning. But if there are some boats with an unfair mechanical advantage thanks to their hydraulic power, albeit one allowed under the rules, then that makes nonsense of the whole event. It’s no longer what any objective person would describe as a race.
“The unfortunate thing in our sport is that the power base lies not with the administration but with the lobbyists directed by the high-end owners. In Australian ocean racing the rules have changed around the canting keel boats, around push-button sailing. It’s been quite astonishing to see the way in which things have been changed to reflect the desires of certain owners to win at all costs.
“I don’t want to in any way belittle or diminish the achievement of the Super Maxi guys. They’re racing under rules that they helped to create. It’s just that I don’t agree with them. I’ve made my position known to them but they don’t want a public brawl.
“One of them told me, ‘if someone throws a rock at our house we don’t throw a brick back. We say nothing.’ My reply to that is that if someone throws a rock at your house they’re probably doing that for a reason. You should look at the reason why instead of simply saying we’re right and everyone else is wrong.”
Sean Langman stresses that he is not against speed. To prove it, his ORMA 60 trimaran is about to challenge the Sydney to Hobart world record set by Bob Miller’s 147ft ketch Mari Cha in December 1999. Mari Cha made it in one day 18hours and 37 minutes.
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Old 23-02-2013, 22:25   #36
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

Can only laugh at the people on this forum who refer to Sean Langman as a wanker. The man is such an accomplished sailor. Want to see a wanker, take a look in a mirror guys!
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Old 23-02-2013, 22:44   #37
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Your 2nd last post shut em up, 44CC!
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Old 23-02-2013, 23:05   #38
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

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Because the Sydney to Hobart race is restricted to monohulls only and does not have a multihull division.
Surely, they should allow multi-hulls to participate - they add a whole new level of visual spectacle. It sounds like those French trimarans would clean up line honours, while the old monohulls would have still have a chance on handicap.
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Old 24-02-2013, 00:37   #39
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Ok, that is just freaking crazy. I'm ok with an electric motor for the keel, but hydraulics for sail handling? What's the freaking point? I'm now fully understanding where you guys are coming from in questioning wild oats and that type of boat.
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Old 24-02-2013, 03:34   #40
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

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Ok, that is just freaking crazy. I'm ok with an electric motor for the keel, but hydraulics for sail handling? What's the freaking point? I'm now fully understanding where you guys are coming from in questioning wild oats and that type of boat.
+1, I had no idea and I agree that a boat that loses performance when an engine fails is effectively partly engine powered.


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Old 24-02-2013, 14:42   #41
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

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If these guys had started 5 minutes behind the real racers and set a record, I would say they had a fast boat. There are half a dozen boats in the real race capable of a 600 mile day, given perfect conditions. Just look at the polars--these boats all do 25k broad reaching and 12k on the breeze.
Team Australia AVERAGED over 20 knots for the whole trip.

While you might not, I would say it's a fast boat. Although admittedly an ORMA 60 isn't REALLY fast by multihull standards.
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Old 25-02-2013, 04:57   #42
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

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Can only laugh at the people on this forum who refer to Sean Langman as a wanker. The man is such an accomplished sailor. Want to see a wanker, take a look in a mirror guys!
44Cruisingcat - mate, love your comment that's gotta be right up there with the best of em.!
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Old 25-02-2013, 06:07   #43
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pirate Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

Come on guys... real racing... one man and his boat has been priced out of existence by big money...
The few survivors like... 'The Jester Challenge' do not attract any publicity other than local... regardless that the race conditions are as bad as in any race and the racers are unsupported by land staff/high tech equipment.. in fact thats the very reason we hear so little about great achievements by Joe Bloggs... for nothing other than 'line honours'... in nothing more glamorous than an old cruising boat... under 30ft to boot...
Media craves $'s to justify its existance... and the glamor that big money brings is like $)-(!T to flies...
if the yachting media devoted 1000th of the coverage the S-H race or any other corporate sponsored event many might become aware it even exists and is a respected event in the EU... alternating course every year.
Yup... the death knell sounded when Knox Johnson crossed the line and the crowds and enthusiasm brought em swarming...
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:49   #44
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Re: Team Australia Sydney to Hobart Record Attempt

good on him for knowing its more fun to come last with style and your family around you than first.

and yup, stupid rule in the SH allowing any kind of motor help apart from safety related IMO + bring on a multihull div. are there any petitions or such like opposing the current rules or would the voices of many an ordinary sailor fall on deaf ears?

to gauge reaction we could start a poll here?
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Old 26-02-2013, 03:27   #45
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I would enter my cat if i was allowed to
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