Friday, July 11, 2008

Foiler 18vs "Normal" 18

Thomas Jundt sailed the 18 europeans with his 10 year old 18 with foils -not Mirabaud. I thought their chances were pretty poor sailing a 10 year old wide 18 converted to a foiler. In no way is this ideal or representative of the utmost in bi-foil technology. A skinny hull would be faster especially in marginal conditions. If "rules" weight would make the "new" foiler 18 artificially heavy -then fuck the rules-the point is to demonstate the technology-not antique rules.

Let me summarize it-as I understand it: when there was wind the foiler kicked ass. A foiler as light as the newer 18's would have probably kicked ass on and OFF the foils-particularly with a big lite air spin.

Thomas sent me an email and here is what he said about how he went.

In none flying conditions we are slower (the second race) :

- a bit slower upwind, the additionnal drag of the foils seams not to be too penalizing

- but much slower downwind, our head sail was a 20 sqm code 0, way not enough against the 65 sqm assymetrics

My conclusion :

- dispite the fact that our boat weighs 220 kg compared to the newest ones at 155 kg (class rule minimun since 2005) we are competitif when foiling (wind at least 10 knots)

- the additionnal drag of the foils seem to be acceptable when non flying

- in non foiling conditions downwind without the big assymetric you're dead

- a new boat 155 kg, with foils in the hands of a trained crew would beat everybody by a big margin in most conditions

- unfortunately, foilers seem not to be welcome in the class



I'm not sure that with all the rancor there is-like outright hostility to Thomas at the Euro's-the 18 foiler class will develop. The Moth class has shown that seahuggers and foilers can co-exist in the same class. It would be a shame if the 18 class doesn't embrace foilers-a new class may result that will be much faster than the current boats. If thats the way it has to be -so be it.......

The potential speed of the FOILER 18 is huge! According to Rhoan Veal A Moth in the right hands can beat current 18' cats(that have repeatedly beaten 18 skiffs).

"Each race of our division started 5 minutes behind the F18's, but by the end of my three laps, I had nearly caught and passed most of them. The highlight was passing them one at a time (to windward and leeward) on a reach with their kites up! Only a few of the top guys on a Tornado and Hobie Tigers stayed ahead, but they wern't anymore than 2-3 minutes in front. Needless to say I am feeling extremely confident with my Mk4 Prowler now that I have all the configuration and teething issues sorted out. It took 8 months, but I think Moth development is a case of one step backward, and two steps forward. "

Anecdotal evidence for sure, but when combined with what Thomas Jundt says shows that a FOILER 18 designed from scratch as a foiler would beat the crap out of ANY boat its own length.

A few people I've talked to think a the next big area of foiler development will be a two handed foiler. I agree if it is designed from scratch as a foiler-and not a coverted I14( or converted anything). Converted 14's on foils (and Mirabaud):