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AC36 is over.

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    Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 11:44am
Well, it's over. I have been up at 3am every day of the AC finals to watch the online racing live.  And this morning was the last. Now I can get some normal sleep.

In the end, the right team won, however much I was rooting for LR to win (selfishly becaue I would want the next AC in Europe - though rumours abound on that topic ....)

Overall impression is that the boats surpassed everyones expectations and produced some amazing racing. Race 9 was superb and showed off match racing CAN still happen in these F1-type boats.

Could some things have been better? Yes, of course. The expected sronger winds never materialised for the AC finals, and so some of the racing became predicatable once the start had happened. Whatever type of boat sailed, it would have been the same. 

I enjoyed following all the campaigns, the boats, the teams, the people and the spectacle that is the AC.  It is strongly rumoured that the next AC will use the AC75's again and it will be interesting to see how a AC75-V2 version will perform after the lessons learned from this series.

I have no time for the curmudgeons who want to go back to lead mines - go do it - there are plenty of leadmine series for you to watch through your rose tinted specs trying to remember an era that never, in reality, existed in any case.  We move on, F1 cars move on, AC boats move on.

Bring on AC37. :-)
(and more Mozzy insight ;-)   )
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 12:39pm
And sailing becomes so much more accessible. I wonder what the viewing figures were.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 1:38pm
I  kind of agree with you Chris - personally I found the racing to be a bit dull but the spectacle of these huge foiling boats was good viewing even if I did enjoy geeking out on the analysis more than the racing at times. Personally I would prefer to watch team racing in fireflies at the Wilson Trophy over the Americas Cup as I think it is way more interesting, more technical, requires way more skill / guile / understanding of the rules but I personally have no issue that both kinds of sailing exist and if the AC boats bring in a new audience to our sport then all power to them frankly! The idea of getting up in the night to watch that was way past my level of interest, especially when I could watch on youTube and just fast forward to the start and know the outcome in most cases!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 1:39pm
Originally posted by H2

The idea of getting up in the night to watch that was way past my level of interest, especially when I could watch on youTube and just fast forward to the start and know the outcome in most cases!
My partner and friends said that, but then where is the fun in that  Wink   Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 3:28pm
Not only did watching on Youtube avoid missing out on sleep, it meant that you can skip a lot of boring chat, that I had no real interest in.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 3:55pm
Royal Yacht Squadron represented by Ineos Team UK has been announced as the next Challenger of Record. Even a potential showcase match around the Isle of Wight - that would be incredible.  Clap  




Edited by Chris_H - 17 Mar 21 at 3:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 4:39pm
The boats are incredible and the right team certainly won. I watched on catchup all the Ineos races and watched the last few of the final the same way. In all I only watched two races that where interesting by which I mean any significant actual racing after the first few minutes. These generally resulted from the boats being equal speed on the day and conditions shifty on the day. 

What this cup has taught us again is that technology is critical winning the cup and winning it first or second time isnít a reality, LR have been at it for 20plus years. This creates a bit of a dilemma, any new teams wanting to enter have a serious amount of catch-up that even with the resources Ineos has simply wasnít enough. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 4:50pm
The AC75s are an amazing ground breaking boat, and I think have re-established the AC as the Formula 1 of sailing, with both its good and bad aspects.

For me there has always been a fundamental mismatch in the whole concept of the AC, in that match racing should be between matched boats - if either boat has any speed advantage at all it stops being a match race and becomes a boring procession.

We saw this in both the RR and the Challenger Finals, but by good design or by chance the AC did deliver some decent tactical sailing. As a whole I think it was streets ahead of the last round, and with a few tweaks the next event could be fantastic.

My suggested few tweaks:
1. Make the boats closer to being a one design. How about the foil package being part of the class rules, perhaps with large foils for < 10kts and smaller foils for above, with the race committee declaring which are to be used before each day's racing? Closer racing and cheaper boats might encourage other teams to enter - a challenger series of just 3 boats was a bit disappointing.
2. Wider race course and starting area
3. Return to more normal rules on fouls. Unlike cats these boats are able to do turns instead of the arbitrary slowing down which seems inconsistent and unfair.
4. Allow competitors to carry and offset penalties, then we get some match racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 4:59pm
As an aside, I would like to have seen Jimmy Spithill and team race on-board NZ. Jimmy is by far the better match racer IMHO than Peter Burling (not minimising Peter's skills), but Jimmy (and Ben) are sublime match racers. They would likely have been unbeatable as a combination on the NZ boat
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 21 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by tink

The boats are incredible and the right team certainly won. I watched on catchup all the Ineos races and watched the last few of the final the same way. In all I only watched two races that where interesting by which I mean any significant actual racing after the first few minutes. These generally resulted from the boats being equal speed on the day and conditions shifty on the day. 

What this cup has taught us again is that technology is critical winning the cup and winning it first or second time isnít a reality, LR have been at it for 20plus years. This creates a bit of a dilemma, any new teams wanting to enter have a serious amount of catch-up that even with the resources Ineos has simply wasnít enough. 
I think INEOS could have won at this second try, they just got stuff wrong. Also not being CoR or Defender with a new rule is a bit of a back foot. 

I also think what this cup lacked, but with a retention of class may be possible, is more second tier teams. Those who either want to enter on a lower budget with hopes of securing more funding for a future tilt or those hoping to just get the required exposure from being part of the event and associated with it, rather than winning. 

This cup had four well funded, out to win teams. Which is about as many as we ever really get. But with a new class and no hand me downs in design packages or actual hardware it just wasn't possible to do. Plus the class was totally unproven. So there was a real chance of teams just not getting a working boat made. 

Course C was great for racing. I think there were many more than two interesting or close races. Pretty much all of the round robin was good to watch. Unfortunately the semi finals was a walkover with AM limping round. And then the light and predictable sea breezes kicked in. 

The first four races of the Match were a bit of a tactical stalemate after the start, and I think the courses could have been a bit wider. However, they did keep the racing close and allowed racing to continue into this week, which has then provided us with some of the best racing of the cup. 
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