sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Dean Barker claims new rudder regulations are unsafe
America's Cup: Dean Barker claims new rudder regulations are unsafe


'Emirates Team New Zealand practice sailing NZL5 in San Francisco.'    Chris Cameron/ETNZ©    Click Here to view large photo

There is one week to go until Emirates Team New Zealand will line up for their first official race of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Writing on his blog on Kiwi Yachting Consultants, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, skipper Dean Barker gives his views of the controversial rudder issues.

Well again a long time between posts. It would be fair to say though there has been a fair amount happening in the last couple of months.

Skipper Dean Barker pictured in the America’s Cup World Series, Naples -  Linda Wright©   Click Here to view large photo
I have been in San Fran now for about 6 weeks. It has been great to get settled up here and get some good quality sailing on San Fran Bay. It certainly has not disappointed as a venue with great sailing breeze and a dramatic sailing venue between the city front and Alcatraz Island.

I arrived in SF 2 days after the tragic Artemis accident where Andrew Simpson lost his life. I think most people were still heavily in shock and it certainly had not sunk in at what had transpired. It just did not seem conceivable that Bart had gone.

A Safety Review Committee was immediately convened to see what if any safety measures could be put in place to make the boats safer for the crews and the racing would be in sensible wind limits. It quickly became clear that the Review Committee was not empowered to enforce their recommendations having interviewed up to 30 members from the different AC teams. However Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, took the Review Committee's findings and released his own 37 Safety Recommendations which he imposed on the Teams.

We are 100% in support of the Safety Recommendations which are in fact that. Nearly every single one of the 37 did in fact increase the safety of the crew and racing conditions. However within the Safety Recommendations there are two which change the AC72 Class Rule and have absolutely no justification in making the boats or racing safer.

There has been a lot of discussion in the media centred mainly around the issue of the rudder and rudder elevators.

Emirates Team New Zealand practice sailing NZL5 in San Francisco. -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©   Click Here to view large photo

In the AC72 Class Rule you are allowed to build rudder elevators which are not allowed to exceed the maximum beam of the yacht, nor extend aft of one metre forward of the stern plane of the yacht. The AC72 class was never envisioned to fully foil, however through 1000's of hours of design and testing we made a decision that our first AC72 would be a fully foiling yacht. To do this we needed to increase the engineering of a number of components of the boat to accept the extra loading as a boat comes clear of the water. We also took design compromises to allow us to build a boat which would foil in a stable and reliable fashion. The compromise was often straight line speed, but a compromise we felt necessary for safety and the ability to push the boat hard.

The Safety Recommendations included a number of points regarding the rudders and rudder elevators. The main ones were imposing a minimum rudder length of 2.1m, introducing a minimum elevator area of 0.32m2, removing the maximum beam rule which effectively allows the elevators to extend outside the beam of the boat, and insisting the elevators must be symmetrical in plan view.

We agree with imposing a minimum length of rudder even though this made one of our set of rudders illegal. We also thought it was sensible to impose a minimum elevator area. However we are completely opposed to allowing elevators to extend outside of maximum beam and having to be symmetric.

Allowing the rudder elevators to extend outside of max beam is incredibly dangerous and introduces serious risk for the crew. If a crew member was to fall overboard from either hull while the boat is foiling there is a much greater chance they would be struck by the longer elevator and this would lead to a serious injury. As the rule is currently written, with the elevators limited to maximum beam, the chance of injury is greatly reduced.

Emirates Team New Zealand practice sailing NZL5 in San Francisco. -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©   Click Here to view large photo

The second point we are completely opposed to is having to make the elevators symmetric in plan view. We took a clear compromise when designing our boat to position our rudder bearings to allow us to build an elevator to the size we felt necessary. With the existing class rule it is possible to build an elevator well in excess of the imposed minimum area. From day one of sailing our AC72 yachts we have sailed with asymmetric elevators. We have now done well over 60 days with these elevators and have never had a structural issue with either rudders or elevators. It is completely unnecessary to impose the requirement for the elevators to be symmetric in plan form. There is no logical argument to say that asymmetric elevators are not safe.

We have sailed with our current elevators for the bulk of the sailing we have done. With the Regatta Director trying to suggest that these are not safe, and having to build brand new, untested elevators at this late stage only introduces new risk.

As a twist the Regatta Director has now said that it is fine to either use symmetric elevators which extend outside of the maximum beam, or use asymmetric elevators. However if you choose to use asymmetric elevators these now have to pass an engineering load case, although symmetric do not. We comply with this last minute regulation, but this is the only load case ever asked for, and nothing like this exists in the Class Rule. In my opinion there are other load cases which have a much greater bearing on safety, but these have never been questioned.

If the Regatta Director wanted to help with the understanding of safety, I think all teams could benefit with a report on what led to the capsize of Artemis. There has been a lot of speculation as to the cause but there has never been a report so that the other teams can understand potential issues. Really it can only be a crew error which resulted in the capsize, or a structural failure, and understanding this would help all teams.



The AC72 Class Rule is not an unsafe rule. There are choices each team needs to make and these are a balance between performance and safety. You can make an incredibly safe AC72 which would probably have a compromise on performance. So the rule encourages a certain amount of risk vs reward. The boats are incredibly powerful, complex and amazingly fast. The faster you go the more risk there is. This is the same as with motor racing. Imposing real safety measures have greatly reduced the chances of further crew injuries. However there is a line which needs to be drawn between safety improvements and class rule changes which have no bearing on safety.

The great news is we get to go racing on the 7th July. This is the first race of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Selection Series. We race Luna Rossa in this race and will race them five times during July. We will also compete on the Artemis race days, although it is not clear when they will make it to the start line.

We have a busy week ahead with final preparations, but looking forward to the racing getting underway.
Dean


by Dean Barker

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111427

7:16 PM Sun 30 Jun 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup
2013 Kiwi Yachting

Related News Stories:

08 Jul 2013  America's Cup: Aerial Images of the Day from ACEA Louis Vuitton Day 1
08 Jul 2013  Louis Vuitton Cup: Luna Rossa can do the foiling gybe, too - Video
08 Jul 2013  Louis Vuitton Cup: Images of the Day from ACEA - Louis Vuitton Day 1
08 Jul 2013  America's Cup: Louis Vuitton's Images of the Day - July 7, 2013
08 Jul 2013  Louis Vuitton Cup: More images from Day 1
08 Jul 2013  Louis Vuitton Cup: ETNZ wins first race by default - Image gallery
08 Jul 2013  America's Cup: AC72's alone - Brilliant concept, awful implementation!
08 Jul 2013  Emirates Team NZ - First Race of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup + Video
08 Jul 2013  Louis Vuitton Cup: Fastest Louis Vuitton Cup Race ever sailed + Videos
08 Jul 2013  America's Cup: Ma'am there is no second - Louis Vuitton Cup opens
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading for the speedway to Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean race fleet are now all around the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha, and have continued down the Brazilian coast. Currently the first three yachts, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are all travelling at 17kts, as they travel around the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Join the crew of the ORMA60 TeamVodafoneSailing as they slash 20 minutes off their previous record for the PIC Coastal Classic on Friday. The Coastal Classic is a 119nm course from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Originally conceived as a drag race between multihulls and monohulls ... [more]  

2014 Optimist World Championship - The first stage of the OptiWorlds Argentina 2014 schedule has finished today. The fleet was divided in three equal parts: the first third is gold, the second one is silver and the last fleet is bronze. This individual regatta continues next Tuesday. ... [more]  

2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the race to the Equator late on Thursday and were in good shape to make the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha at the head of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as their six rivals were still playing catch-up despite finally escaping the Doldrums. ... [more]  

After more than 17 years with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Jerome has decided to pursue other professional challenges. ... [more]  

2014 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Stamina and determination were key factors for the competitors racing in day two of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup today. The 14 international guests and 26 young Bermudians finished five races on Bermuda’s Great Sound. This is a test of endurance for any sailor especially young ones. ... [more]  

With less than a day left to reach the turning mark at Fernando de Nonoha, 220nm off the coast of Brazil, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has retained the lead she built in the Doldrums. She is unlikely to be headed, although the second boat on the water, Team Brunel is projected to be less than an hour behind at Fernando ... [more]  

2014 International Masters Regatta - Anyone heading out to San Diego Bay this weekend is likely to witness some of sailing’s most legendary skippers show exactly why they’ve earned the reputation as the best in the business. Established in 1975 by Don Trask, the International Masters Regatta features the best master sailors from around the world and is being hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club ... [more]  

One flight of the Quarter Finals was sailed Friday afternoon following the completion of the Qualifying Rounds and the selection of opponents and draw for boats. The Quarter Finals set Ian Williams against Marek Stanczyk, Taylor Canfield against Steffan Lindberg, Eric Monnin against Pierre Morvan, and an all Swedish pairing of Bjorn Hansen against Johnie Berntsson. ... [more]  

What could be better than racing for three days with over 2000 of the world's best sailors? How about racing for four days! The St.Maarten Heineken Regatta is proud to announce that their pre-event, the Gill Commodore's Cup, is accepting entries in all boat categories (excluding Lottery Class). ... [more]  

The seventh day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the light winds continue, despite a promising forecast for today. In the late afternoon a few of the sailors took part in a tow-in training session as there is scope to run a tow-in contest tomorrow, with the forecast looking glassy. ... [more]  

Picture postcard perfect conditions returned to Bermuda for the third and final day of Qualifying at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. After yesterday’s torrential rain, Hamilton Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and breeze that by lunchtime was gusting up to the mid-teens. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leaders pass Fernando and head for Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race Control reports that the lead boats in the 40,000nm race have rounded, or rather passed, the turning point off Fernando de Noronha. They are now proceeding down the Brazilian coast, to round the back of the South Atlantic high pressure zone , and have what is expected to be a fast ride to the Leg 1 finish in Cape Town. ... [more]  

Melges 32 Gold Cup on the horizon by International Melges 32 Class Association
With a fleet and sailors as diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club kicks off in just two weeks, featuring eighteen ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from nine different countries. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Keeping a good watch by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Peter Dimech, Principal Race Officer and Race Chair spoke about the storm that raged through the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet. “The remaining yachts racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by today and tomorrow. Whilst the wind speed has decreased, the sea state is still significant and we are keeping a close watch on the yachts still at sea. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Alvimedica. I’d hate to come across as being impossible to please but after days of wanting out of the doldrums, days of struggling with routines, with sleep, with a lack of regularity and consistency to our schedules, and of course--predictability to the weather—we’re 'out' and still trying to find it ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 13 onboard Team SCA. I’m unsure if I should be nervous, excited, stressed, or thrilled today. As today I get to have fish guts smeared over me only to then become officially apart of King Neptune’s kingdom. ... [more]  

There was a shakeup at the top on day three of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. ... [more]  

The opening day of the 105-boat China Cup International Regatta saw old rivalries renewed in the Beneteau 40.7 class, as Vatti Sailing stole victory from Vanke Longcheer in the opening Simpson Marine Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica Navigational Strategist, Anderson Reggio, explains the issues ahead of the crews in the remaining half of leg 1 of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. After the Equator and Fernando, the weather looks to be shaping up to be pretty standard for the South Atlantic. The St Helena High which typically dominates this body of water is the main driver for breeze in the short term. ... [more]  

The next landmark, or ‘sea mark’ if you will, for Leg 1 is crossing the Equator, as Team Alvimedica continue to make their way south to round Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Crossing this latitude is not like crossing any other on their way around the world, but has special significance for sailors who have never crossed the 0° parallel of latitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Mapfre cruzará el Ecuador hacia las 13:00 aproximadamente. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup - A front slowly crossing Bermuda brought with it an overcast sky and rain squalls. Nonetheless, despite squelching their way ashore completely soaked, the Group 2 crews enjoyed the morning’s stronger breeze, the wind less shifty having veered into the southwest overnight, blowing down Hamilton Harbour rather than across it. ... [more]  

RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - In second place, Adam Larson of Bermuda has seven points and had a great day on the water today. Larson, whose family is still without electricity after Hurricane Gonzalo, said he has been getting to bed a lot earlier these days and feels that the conditions also favored his performance today. ... [more]  

As predicted in last night's preview in Sail-World, the ORMA 60 TeamVodafone Sailing has set a new course record for the 119nm course in the PIC Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, is the first skipper to qualify for the Quarter Finals in the 2014 Argo Group Cup. Canfield lost his first match in day one of racing against Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing. Since then the number two skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour has sailed to seven straight points. ... [more]  

The forecast for day six at the La Torche PWA Grand Slam offered a slight possibility of producing some racing, but unfortunately the wind never really materialised meaning the sailors spent another day on hold. Throughout the day there were gusts of up to 10 knots, but the wind failed to improve beyond that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team SCA. This morning the boat was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, shortly after sun up we were hooning along in 20kts in a torrential downpour, by late afternoon we were sailing backwards, and who knows what tonight will bring. ... [more]  

The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up in the Volvo Ocean Race. On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up. First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals - Three American greats to compete
America's Cup: Airbus and Oracle Team USA forge technology partnership
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Another dramatic day
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie confirmed as overall winner
Argo Group Gold Cup - Near perfect start for GAC Pindar
Volvo Ocean Race - A nightmare for sailors
The 2014 Severne Starboard Aloha Classic is coming...
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Artie's heroic return
Argo Group Gold Cup - Slender lead for Marek Stanczyk
Ben Ainslie Racing foiling on the Solent + Video *Feature
METS names DAME Award nominees
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A day of rest for wave sailors
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A day of reckoning for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race - Playing the Doldrums lottery
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng Race Team takes on the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica, somewhere in the windless ITCZ
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory
Volvo Ocean Race - Another perspective from Team SCA
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Success in San Francisco
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - Intense racing + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas   
The first sail that changes lives   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature   
34th Student Yachting World Cup La Rochelle 2014 - Fifth race day   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Match racers defy Gonzalo   
Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo   
DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza   
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT