Yes, I agree with Palmetto that the AC should be the top in sailing research in what regards racing boats and I don't like the level of conservatism on this forum where most people don't follow or like sail races but when they express an opinion about the biggest sail racing event they suggest it should be raced in good old designed boats.
The AC has to be a success not only in what regards sailing development but also in what regards commercial success and sustainability. They should not look to the stock cars races as a model, but to F1.
As for the conservatism on SN, I think it's definitely there...but what I like about this forum is that it's SAILnet...not just CRUISERSforum. Though those of us who love racing are in a minority - we're still brilliant...and right...and here.
As for the Nascar/F1 analogy - you're absolutely right. I honestly think the ACWS was the absolutely best thing to come out of all this. That is a sustainable event that is really exciting to watch. I think it will continue as its own event.
But what makes it so fun to watch is THE BOAT. Yes it's great to see Coutts or Peyron or Spithill or Barker, etc. work their crews and strategies - but it's the boats and their speed that create the dazzle. The acceleration of those things is amazing. And screaming along at 25+ knots (and, yes, the crashes) is what FINALLY makes sailing fun to watch for most people.
So those arguing for "the good old days" in slow-ass monos...well the past is the past for good reason.
Think about what these 72s are doing! They are reaching speeds in excess of 40-FREAKIN'-KNOTS!!! AND THEY ARE FOILING!!!
This is a sailboat going as fast or faster than many motor powered vessels!!!!
They are doing the right thing with the technology. I have no doubt. It's just that, like the Wired article (and Coutts) said, they've jumped a little too far too fast and need to get it under control. But they don't need to abandon it.
Push on lads!