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  #201  
Old 05-15-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

Agee it's likely old rules are not appropiate to this design but time will make it apparent.
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  #202  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

Minnewaska & Casey - I did not say that there should not be a root cause analysis; and some mitigation of risk. But to say that the entire AC72 fleet should be scrapped is a bit extreme don't you think?

I'd say that the boats should sail in less wind (like in the previous AC monohull events) but it's rare that the winds are lower than 25kts in the summer afternoons here on SF Bay. There have been days where Oracle did their practice sail on the South side of the SF Bay Bridge, likely because wind conditions were too high on the central bay; and we are still early in the sailing season here.

I don't really see much difference between an AC-72 flipping over or the larger offshore racing cats that have done so out in the middle of the ocean somewhere. At least these boats have trained rescue crews on chase boats. A 40' fall into water would not be fatal but falling against the wing sail could be. Spithill broke ribs when the 45 tipped over; so I'd assume injuries could be worse if someone fell onto the wing of the 72's. Tethers could be another safety consideration; but I don't think someone sailing a boat that has the potential to flip over would want to be clipped to it either.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 05-16-2013 at 01:42 AM.
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  #203  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm trying to think of another sport where some major teams and/or high profile professionals are saying their event or sport has become too dangerous.
That would be NASCAR where back in the day they installed restrictor plates to keep the cars under 200MPH. Now they limit a bunch of parameters to keep the speeds down.

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
That's distinct from someone who may think its time to reduce danger they've been accepting all along. This is the case of professionals in the sport saying this new evolution has gone too far too fast, without sufficient engineering around safety.
AC72 crew dogs are the fastest sailors on the planet. They know the risks and wouldn't have it any other way. Hell, if I was 30 years younger, I'd be right there with them begging for a crew slot. These guys have the "right stuff".

As for these boats.... I think they have to tweak some more. AC72s all have engines, not to power the boat but to run the genset which in turn poweres the computer equipment necessary to sail these boats. I think they went a boat too far. I'd like to see multihulls in the America's Cup, but controllable boats which don't require a genset to manage the boat.
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  #204  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
...
I reckon that if safety is to be enhanced it should be through placing a limit to windspeed. If a boat can do double the true windspeed then sailing it in 30 knots plus with a sail that can't dump wind is a little crazy (IMHO). They should cancel all sailing if the true windspeed exceeds , say, 20 knots.

....
There is a limit on the windspeed (30K?) like there was a (a lower) limit for AC monohulls. That cannot change know, it is part of the race rules and the boats were supposedly designed to be able to sail on those conditions. If some can't...well, good for the one(s) that can i(f the wind blows withy that strength on racing days).

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Paulo
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  #205  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
.....But to say that the entire AC72 fleet should be scrapped is a bit extreme don't you think? ....
This is what many on your side of the discussion continually suggest is the opposing view, but it isn't. No one advocating a safer platform is suggesting such a draconian solution. Misrepresenting or exaggerating the opposing point of view should be left to politicians. It devalues one's own point of view.

In fact, unless we have a serious engineer among us that is familiar with the intricacies of the cat/wing, we aren't going to figure out the exact solution. Neither would we have figured out the solution to the failed shuttle launch, race car deaths, car accident deaths or even football concussions.

What we can do is process the input of many professionals who suggest this is too risky (being very different from objecting to any risk) and the instability and the injury rates that have been proven by example. Then insist they figure out how to make it safer and remain exciting.

That's how race cars became safer, while more capable, at the same time. Goodness, even passenger cars are safer and more capable.

It can be done.
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  #206  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by TropicCat View Post
That would be NASCAR where back in the day they installed restrictor plates to keep the cars under 200MPH. Now they limit a bunch of parameters to keep the speeds down...
Good example. So, why can't AC do something to limit its risk?
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  #207  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Good example. So, why can't AC do something to limit its risk?

They can and they should. I propose they eliminate the computer control. Let them handle the fixed wing manually. If it means they have to reduce the wing area, then they should reduce it.

The idea that they will attract NASCAR type crowds to America's Cup races because the crowds will come for the crashes, is fool hardy. Who has the numbers....? Only 3% of America has been on a sail boat...or knows someone with a sail boat? Only 5% of them have been on a catamaran???

They will never be NASCAR.
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  #208  
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Good example. So, why can't AC do something to limit its risk?
What risk? In many races around the world (AC series) with many boats with many accidents and many sailors involved nobody got seriously injured. Regarding the development of the bigger boats only two accidents and an unfortunate dead.

Racing in any discipline that involves speed has risks and people die accidentally doing that. People die too crossing roads. Racing has a bigger risk than crossing roads it all has to do with what is an acceptable risk, for crossing roads and for racing. One accidental dead in all AC campaign, included all the races on the AC series don't seem to me the alarming and excessive risk you seem to believe exist, in what regards racing. Facts do not point that way, at least yet.

Maybe the substitution of automatic PDFs by manual ones can be enough to prevent or diminish greatly rare accidents like this one.

One thing is for sure the AC is not anymore a race where old millionaires could be part of the crew and even steer the boat while racing, like on the other editions. This one is for athletes on the top of his physical and mental abilities and that is one of the changes that this AC brought to the sail races. It is a good one. Racing at top level should be like that: something a "normal" sailor could not dream of being able to do something about one should ask: "How the hell can they do that?".

That is what happens on all other speed racing sports and in that aspect Chief is right when he refers racers going downhill at 100km/h around bends on a bicycle: "How the hell can they do that?" and also regarding risk, to understand that the risk exists but what would be a deadly one, if you or me where on one of those bicycles around bends at 100km/h, it is a manageable one when on that bicycle is a top racing cyclist. That does not means that if he loses control and go against a tree he would not be as dead as me or you only that the chances of that happen are a lot smaller (but they exist).

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 05-16-2013 at 07:54 AM.
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  #209  
Old 05-16-2013
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
What risk? In many races around the world (AC series) with many boats with many accidents and many sailors involved nobody got seriously injured. Regarding the development of the bigger boats only two accidents and an unfortunate dead...
I am surprised that you are willing to make a statement like that without a shred of statistical support.

The first thing you do in assessing risk and safety is to normalize the number of accidents and injuries on exposure hours. OSHA specifies a total recordable case rate, which is the number of injuries per 200,000 man hours. It is a very good metric, because 2000 hours is a typical number of hours worked by a full time employee in a year. So the TRC rate gives, on average, how many injuries would be suffered in a year by a workforce of 100. It's a very nice way to put it. In addition to TRC for injuries, you can do the same calculation for near misses, first aid cases, and fatalities, and stack them to develop a safety pyramid with near misses on the bottom and fatalities on the top. Typical benchmark pyramids exist that can predict how many fatalaties you might have in the future based on your history of less severe injuries. Unfortunately, AC72 has already started to fill in the top of the pyramid.

It would be pretty straightforward to calculate a TRC and fatality rate for a common class of monohull racing, and then do the same for the AC72s so far, and compare the rates. Then you get a much better picture of how safe/unsafe the AC72s are relative to other boats.

It would be a lot better than simply saying "only two accidents and an unfortunate dead." I suspect that a calculated TRC would show these boats to be much more dangerous than any predecessors.
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Re: Another America’s Cup entry destroyed

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
....One accidental dead in all AC campaign, included all the races on the AC series don't seem to me the alarming and excessive risk you seem to believe exist, in what regards racing. Facts do not point that way, at least yet.
The discussion is about a boat that has sailed for only a few months, not the risk associated with every race since the beginning.
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