ok so it looks like the conditions were good for the 2 older boats who also had great crew and knew what to do with it .. what I take from this is that all the advancements in hull design and everything are pulling small %'s out of the air but the majority of it is still around the crew and conditions.
Ding, ding, ding...this is the correct answer! (By the way, some of you don't know what "elapsed time" means: Hello, the Hobie 33 beat most of the fleet, boat to boat, without regard to any PHRF handicap rating!!!)
Applying rocket science to sailboats does not necessarily produce a rocket, but is does produce an extremely expensive sailboat.
While technological advances such as carbon fiber and computer assisted design have greatly increased the cost of new sailboats, they have not greatly increased the speed potential of monohulls in all conditions.
The 70s and 80s were the heydey of sailing in the U.S.: all the recent technological advances have not produced a better Hobie 33 or a better J/24. If so, such boats would have won the race.
A simple fiberglass, aluminum and lead sailboat with a symmetrical spinnaker and a good crew can still smoke the fleet in the right conditions.
Not only is racing nonspinnaker a contradiction in terms, it is also like kissing your sister, drinking decaf coffee or lite beer, or paying to go on a sailing rally. Sure, there are people who do it, but you gotta wonder why... Here are the most common reasons:
"Oh, we are just racing for fun..." What is not fun about a spinnaker?
"I don't have the crew to race with a spinnaker." Um...I sail solo and fly a symmetrical spinnaker. How many people do you need?
"It is too complicated." So, you don't really know how to sail? Even after all your ASA courses? A spinnaker is a basic and essential sail on a boat, especially if you race.
"We ran out of money and can't afford one because we spent too much money on the boat, and no one will finance a spinnaker set up." Finally, the truth...
Excuses, excuses, excuses...
Here are some videos of the fast TP 52 "Irie" that took line honors (yes, the TP 52 is a testament to what high tech can accomplish - yes, I like it, but it costs half a million dollars):