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

8:16 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

The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI














Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay








Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT