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CT249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 10:53am
The issue is that, as a proportion of sailing craft, there arguably weren't "plenty" of solo craft faster than the Contender when it was developed.  There was a small number of early As, with very little class racing; Quickcats in parts of Oz; and that was about it.  The 1965 Dinghy Annual treated cats with respect and it looks like there were 40 cats that may have been singlehanded out of 20,000 class racing boats in the UK.  That means they were .0002 or so of the UK smallboat racing scene when the trails that chose the Contender were announced.  That is NOT a very significant number. There were also very few Canoes.

In contrast, today there are probably far more very fast singlehanded cats, foiling windsurfers and foiling kites than there are very fast dinghies.  The A Class is (IIRC) more popular than Moths and Wasps combined, and the foiling boards and foiling kites are more popular again.  

So when the Contender etc came around, there weren't many faster singlehanded sailing craft. These days there are many singlehanded sailing craft that are faster than singlehanded dinghies.  That may mean that things have changed and that if pure speed for person is the aim, dinghies are no longer the obvious avenue.

I roll tack our cat too, and so do the world champs and Olympic medallists I race against in cats. They still tack significantly slower than many dinghies, just as my J/36 and Int Canoe tack slower than my Laser - apart from everything else I'm the club handicapper and therefore have been discussing the issue of tacking speed etc with the guys I handicap and who got 1 and 3 in the last A Class Classic worlds.  The only two races we did with the F18 we finished between them. As you say, it's rather pointless racing cats against monos (or boards) but since our fleet is so small we cannot split them. As the only person who races singlehanded dinghies, doublehanded dinghies, cats and boards in the club I have absolutely zero reasons to be biased against any one type.


Edited by CT249 - 15 Mar 20 at 10:57am
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catmandoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote catmandoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 11:23am
Ffs , there were zero contenders when they started !! There were already cats ! .
The unicorn started same year as the contender , my first contender was no 54 , my first unicorn 1071  even my second contender 372 and second unicorn 1043 ,

Tbh I wish as an irregular poster I hadnít bothered trying to point out your generalisations and pontification . Iím happy I know what Iím talking about . No wonder thereís only 10 regular contributors to this forum .


Over and OUT on my part Iím back under my rock . 
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ian.r.mcdonald View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 1:53pm
In these very difficult times, I was about to suggest a blanket "nice" filter on all posts. There is enough upset and worry going on in the real world for us all without adding it on here.

But I suspect I will get little support.

See you!


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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 1:57pm
Keyboard warriors  appear to be gaining the upper hand, they are probably perfectly reasonable people face to face, spleen venting and no respect for other posters, if you disagree, explain why.
Robert
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 3:21pm
I'm bemused to know what the fuss is about. What on earth is wrong with politely disagreeing?

That, in general early catamarans weren't great is unsurprising, as early dinghies weren't great either - arguably a good deal worse, but in the 1960s racing beach dinghies were getting on for 100 years of development and beach catamarans about 10. The Unicorn was surely pretty much the first good singlehanded catamaran class - certainly one of few pre 1970 catamarans still sailed, and according to the class website it was developed 1966/7, so its a close contemporary of the Contender, and certainly wasn't around in very large numbers when the Contender was designed.

Looking at a 1973 PY list then of the multihulls I think only the Shearwater, Tornado and Unicorn are still about in any numbers - but if you were to look at an equivalent list from say 1910 there'd be even fewer dinghy designs still about!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dougaldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 20 at 7:42pm
Jim - am working on a multi-part series about the cats though if travel gets any more difficult I can see this getting stuck 2/3rds finished. You're spot on....the first generation cats were, in the main, pretty dire.  One of my early crewing jobs (before I reached the point where I could pick and chose) was on a Rivercat - a horrible little thing that all but waterboarded the crew. This was the era of the solid bridgedeck and the thinking that a 'dinghy rig will do'. Thankfully it all changed for the better and quite quickly too....as we have seen in other genres, there is nothing like a set of Trials with the prize of International status to spur on development.
With regard to the single handers, if you take a snapshot of the scene in the spring of 1965, before the Trials took place, then another at the end of 1968, when the final decision was taken to adopt the Contender, you can see that a seismic shift had taken place.... in the boats, in the rigs, the fittings and in the way the boats were sailed.
Back to the cats....I've most of the story about what happened between the Australis and the Unicorn but need to go and interview a sailor who was there competing at the Trials.....this is one that I'd love to bottom out as the Australis was such a pretty boat and was damned quick too (quicker than the Unicorns....at first) and a sweet boat to sail....but oh so fragile!
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 20 at 8:41am
Should be an interesting read. All I know of it comes from the Reg White/Bob Fisher book and Catamaran sailing to win, by Max Press and Chris Wilson, an Aussie book I assume you have? It focuses more on the C class, though, in terms of development.
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Dougaldog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dougaldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 20 at 10:11am
Rupert.... a good book but written by people who, whilst they were there, could well be seen as 'part of the story' - in short, they had their own perspective, an important aspect when the  inevitable 'horse trading' went on. Watch this space!

D


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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 20 at 10:22am
Absolutely! The differences in opinion of what happened between the 2 books is pretty interesting.
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