How Do We Know What We Know ? - Sail Magazine

How Do We Know What We Know ?

By Kimball Livingston, in ValenciaIt was Ken MacAlpine day in Valencia, with the chief measurer of the AC class taking questions that grew out of the "deflecting keel" buzz. There's a lot of smoke, but not much heat.The speculation has been that Alinghi (and/or others not excluding BMW Oracle) might be trying to use any of various means to control what I'll call keel
Author:
Publish date:

By Kimball Livingston, in Valencia

It was Ken MacAlpine day in Valencia, with the chief measurer of the AC class taking questions that grew out of the "deflecting keel" buzz. There's a lot of smoke, but not much heat.

The speculation has been that Alinghi (and/or others not excluding BMW Oracle) might be trying to use any of various means to control what I'll call keel sag—these keel struts are long, and the bulbs are heavy—and perhaps to counteract it in such a way as to increase stability. Or perhaps several design teams have been sniffing at the options. The question and interpretation are made public, but the team remains anonymous.

ThierryMartinezAlinghiKeel


MacAlpine said, "I think the team that asked the questions was looking to see how far they could push it. And no, I don't think there's a loophole."

If you just like sailing, and you really don't care what goes on inside the America's Cup Beltway, bail out now, and go with my blessings. Better yet, go sailing.

It may be that one of the gurus heard something I didn't, but it certainly sounded to me as if MacAlpine was stomping on the speculation. He said:

"Fixed means fixed. We believe the words are clear. There is no legal way that a keel can be induced to weather except through hydrodynamics."

That is, if you can make the passing water do it, OK. If it takes a device, no way.

To a question from the floor as to whether mast and keel could be linked, the response was, "No."

Is there any part of "No" that you don't understand?

MacAlpine added, "This was an extraordinarily complex set of questions, the most complex we have ever seen, and they had to be considered one by one. But we believe the rule is watertight without the interpretation. The terms of the ACC rule pretty well exclude everything from moving except the rudder and a trim tab. The rule specifically outlaws any device that changes the shape of the boat."

Could somebody be hiding something?

"The measurers have looked at the insides of all these boats. It there was any linkage it would be obvious. And you cannot use lateral movement of the mast to affect the keel."

To every probing, insinuating inquiry from the floor, the MacAlpine formula was, "Read the interpretation."

You really don't have to, unless you're into this kind of thing, but you can find Public Interpretation 22 right here. It's the one about keels and deflections.

And you can find Public Interpretation 23 right here. It has to do with lateral movements of the base of the mast, either active or passive, resulting in a mast "not in its normal position for sailing" but presumably at an advantageous angle as a result. Unless I'm in need of remedial English, I believe that got squashed too.

I've heard it alleged that all things must pass. Ivo Rovira took this lovely photo of SUI 100 en route from Switzerland to Spain. That time has passed, and come June, so will the rain and the calms. Please?

snowIvoRovira

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more