I am not sure this is a recent report.
The conclusions seem very strange. They are not consistent with other findings.
I have not read the report, but given the strange findings, I don't think it worth the time and cost of paying for the details.
Practical Sailor has some very good information, but the anchoring articles are very inconsistent in my view. Some are good, but many are terrible. I think the magazine needs a revision of its contributing authors in this area.
I have. It book is primarily a compilation of articles written over a considerable time period. Some is new, and some of the reports are older, including anchors of older designs; I'm not sure that is bad, since they are still around and this gives a reference point for newer designs. Additionally, some of the material relates more to rigging methods, chain and connectors. There is a LOT more to anchoring than performance numbers from a test method that can never exactly duplicate the real world. That said, I've certainly mined them (3 books) for information. Data is always useful, and more experiences always help. Considering the cost of learning by hard knocks, books are always cheap.
I think terrible is a stretch. Anchors tend to be an area where opinions run high. What you are likely seeing is a range of views based on a range of experiences. I certainly don't agree with all of them, but I respect that different boats and different cruising areas require very different answers.
Let me give an example. There was a big test in mud near Solomons Island, MD a few years ago. Lots of data, carefully witness and recorded. You could nit pick through the numbers and reach many conclusions, but I'm pretty sure only a few are truly supported by the data:
* Anchors don't hold much in soft mud.
* More surface area helps.
* Layers do weird stuff to anchors, and you can't judge the layers from the surface.
* Anchors can take a long distance to set in soft mud. All of them took 30-60 feet.
* The angle of the fluke matters; shallow is better in firm bottoms, steep is better in soft bottoms. It is no more possible to pick a perfect geometry than it is possible to use chef's knife on a tree, or a chainsaw on a tomato.
Excellent anchors under performed, and mediocre anchors did relatively well. Anchor testing on poor bottoms is a bastard, which is why very few people even try. How many tests have you read on very soft mud, weeds, or rocks? You won't because it is agony.
I don't believe ANY brand-specific statements can be supported, based on the amount of scatter in the data and the variable nature of the seabed.