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Old 01-28-2010
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paulk paulk is offline
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My understanding

is that the defender decided to pick a monohull different from the AC class that had been racing for the cup, and prepared a boat to that rule. Then he created a sham Spanish YC that agreed to his rules. These included his total control on such things as mentioned by WanderingStar and others, like moving the venue to Ras al Kaminah and setting a timetable that precluded competitors from having sufficient time to build boats capable of beating the one he'd already started. When essentially the one guy with enough money and fire to call him on this called foul, and went to court over it, the Judge threw the whole rulebook at the defenders. Their assertion that Ras al Kaminah was a viable, secure spot to race is a case in point. At about the time the issue came up before the Judge, Iran seized a British 60' racing sailboat for entering their territory a rather short distance from where the AC racing would have been held, and arrested the crew.
Though sailing big multihulls may be fascinating, the racing is likely to be quite boring. Neither boat is too maneuverable, so don't look for tight circling before the start. After the start, both boats will try to separate to get clear air and shift up to maximum speed as quickly as possible. Wow! Big multihulls zipping along at 20 knots or more! Why not just watch videos of Hydroptère, which is faster? Tacking multihulls is SLOW, so they'll both probably head straight for their laylines and only tack once each leg. Like in a drag race, once the faster boat has been determined, (probably at the first weather mark) the competition will essentially be over. Breakdowns or crew foulups could make the mix more interesting, but both boats have had time to be tested, and the wind range they've settled on shouldn't stress them to break too much. I guess we'll see in a few weeks.
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