Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Adaptive Reuse

(wikipedia)    Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for. Adaptive reuse is an effective strategy for optimizing the operational and commercial performance of built assets.[1] Adaptive reuse of buildings can be an attractive alternative to new construction in terms of sustainability and a circular economy.[2] Not every old building can qualify for adaptive reuse. 

Architects, developers, builders and entrepreneurs who wish to become involved in rejuvenating and reconstructing a building must first make sure that the finished product will serve the need of the market, that it will be completely useful for its new purpose, and that it will be competitively priced.[3] 

An interesting discussion has came up on Yachts and Yachting about the new C5 sail for the Laser.

It highlights the impossible dilemma facing the Laser class. How to adapt a 50 year old dinghy design to compete with modern dinghy designs and materials such as the RS Aero.

The easiest fix for the Laser is the sail and spars. The C5 simply slots into the existing mast step hole.

The new sail should be faster, unless it is detuned like the MK2 sail. But where does that leave club racing where some boats have the old rig and some the new.  Club fleets will be split with some willing to spend a fair bit to upgrade to a new sail, mast and boom.

Does a new rig fix the problem?  The hull is still 59kg twice the weight of the RS Aero, the foils are still old fashioned with heavy weather helm, the flat deck is still uncomfortable, the cockpit is still not self draining.

If we were architects or developers and this was an old building we would ask the question - is a renovation of the Laser an effective strategy for optimizing the operational and commercial performance of built assets.  For the ILCA the answer is yes, unlike a real estate, there is no land to sell or develop.

For sailors the answer is no, the Laser platform is not worth renovating.

And for Laser clubs, time to consider how to manage split fleets, maybe time to transition to a modern boat like the RS Aero.

C5 Sailing Rig from MainFocusProductions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Can Sailing Remain in the Olympics without the Laser - ILCA

Eric Faust, ILCA Executive Secretary, on behalf of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), has stated that it is surprised and disappointed by the announcement that the World Sailing Board has recommended to select new equipment to replace the Laser and Laser Radial Classes for the one-person dinghy events in the 2024 Olympic Games.

This follows the announcement by World Sailing on 4 October 2018,  that their Board’s Re-evaluation Working Party has recommended to World Sailing’s Board of Directors that World Sailing should proceed to select new equipment.  As a concession to the the ILCA, they include the Laser to be  included in an evaluation process.

The next step is equipment trials (sea trials) and evaluation. The boats to be evaluated are:

• D-Zero, presented by Devotti Sailing s.r.o.
• Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboat, presented by ILCA
• Melges 14, presented by Melges Boat Works Inc., NELO and Mackay Boats Ltd.
• RS Aero, presented by RS Sailing.

Following the trials and evaluation, a report will be made to World Sailing’s Equipment Committee who will then make a recommendation to Council on the final selection of the equipment.

Eric Faust goes on to makes an extraordinary and self-important claim. 

‘It is critical to our sport that the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are retained as the foundation of the Olympic sailing program.'

Considering the other pending changes in Olympic equipment on the World Sailing agenda, if the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are replaced, the obvious question is: Can our sport survive this level of upheaval and remain in the Olympics?

In advance of the upcoming World Sailing meeting, ILCA will be reaching out to our members, our district associations, and all the national sailing federations to help ensure that the correct decisions are made in the best interest of our sport.'

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Aero Shortlisted for Paris 2024

In May World Sailing invited Class Associations and Equipment Manufacturers to tender for the Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympics. World Sailing received eight bids which were shortlisted and announced on 13 July 2018.
  • Laser Standard and Laser Radial 
  • D-Zero, 
  • Melges 14
  • RS Aero
We will know the recommendation on 1 October 2018. Fingers crossed for the RS Aero.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hiking Strap Aero V Laser

It called the double friction method, an innovative hack of the Laser's hiking strap setup. 

The idea is to use 7mm main sheet laced through the eyelets at the back of the cockpit to create friction points allowing the hiking strap to be adjusted as needed on the water. A worn piece of main sheet is recommended as it has more friction. 

It is a clever adaptation of the existing eyelets, a work around for the original crude design.

In reality its a little too tricksy and most club Laser sailors just thread some cord through the strap and the eyelets and secured with half hitches.

The 21st century way to use a buckle and velcro.  This is the Aero hiking strap, adjustable in two places, too easy.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

No more duct tape

My tennis elbow has gone. Lateral Epicondylitis is very  common among Laser sailors especially and tends to get worse at regattas and for many it never goes away.  Sailors applying bandages, velcro straps and duct tape are common sights in the change room.  There are various theories. It could be caused by hanging off the mainsheet when hiking, or it could be the sheeting action and many blame the Laser’s heavy weather helm. 

Despite still sailing two to three days a week on my Aero, my Lateral Epicondylitis has now cured itself. It must be one or a combination of these things.

the black Aero sheet is much easier to hold
  • The Aero has to be sailed very flat. In 18+ knots and like all sail boats, the main sheet has to be trimmed constantly. It is much thicker than the regular Laser sheet and can be easily held with no gloves or regular yacht gloves. So much kinder on the hands
  • The weather helm is very light, the sheeting arm gets a rest on the next tack.

Having sailed both boats, my experience is that the Laser’s weather helm is the main culprit, my steering arm hurt the most. But the thicker Aero mainsheet significantly reduces the need to grip a skinny rope and this also reduces tension in the forearm.

Steve Cockerill says the Laser causes tennis elbow. Steve was interviewed by Yachts and Yachting following his win in the 2017 Aero Worlds. (full article)

Laser rudder rake causes heavy weather helm

Mark: You've come from a Laser sailing background. How comfortable is the Aero compared to the Laser?
Steve: I would say massively comfortable. When I was sailing at the Laser Masters' Europeans earlier this year my hips were giving me gyp, but I've just finished the Aero Worlds and I'm not in any pain. I'm tired, my knees are tired, my joints are tired and my back is tired, but I haven't got tennis elbow from steering upwind and I haven't got any pain in my hips. When you get in the right place and sit further back you get a nice, even amount of pressure on the back of your calves against the side deck, and with hike pads on you can really give yourself a nice hiking position. It really is very ergonomically designed for hiking and I've got to say I like it.

Unfortunately not everyone has access to an Aero and if you are still sailing a Laser and suffering tennis elbow here is one approach from a renown AUS Laser masters champion.

"I had bad tennis elbow a while ago. I got it from hanging off the mainsheet. It was so bad I couldn't even carry a coffee cup.  However I cured myself after about 6 weeks. Here is how:

I first received advice to seek a physio, tennis elbow is often caused by muscles higher up, ie not at the elbow. So I asked a doctor friend. He said he didn't know because he is a gynecologist :) but he did give me a vital clue that it is just inflammation.

Therefore no need to see a physio because I then knew how to solve it myself.

I noticed that it hurt when I lifted my straight arm up horizontal. So I started exercising to cure that by rotating my straight arms in small horizontal circles several times per day. Also I used duct tape on my forearm to keep the muscles from expanding. Plus I lie on the floor on my back straight legged and arms stretched above my head. I roll from side to side and I can hear the muscles and tendons cracking.

So I did those exercises plus duct tape when I sailed. I was still sailing 4 times per week but after three weeks of doing the exercises plus duct tape solved the problem and now my tennis elbow is 100% cured.

I still do those arm rotation exercise morning, evening, before, between, after sailing and I still use duct tape on my forearms.

So now I exercise the root cause. My arms and shoulder still hurt after a hard race but no tennis elbow. The rotation exercises crunch my back muscles which cures my sore arm and shoulder within an hour after racing.  

You could also ask a gynecologist just for completeness :)"

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Marc Jacobi 2017 RS Aero Worlds

Watch 2017 World champion Marc Jacobi (USA) in race #13 of the 2017 RS Aero Worlds in Carnac (Britanny, France).

Friday, June 9, 2017

RS Aero - No Speed Hum

Have you noticed that there is no speed hum with an Aero?

This is Peter Barton's reply to one of my recent questions about the RS Aero.  Peter looks after the RS Aero out of the UK, and usually manages to get back to me over night. There is a 10 hour time difference between Australia and the UK.  

This time I was following up an question posted in this blog from the Tijuana Taxi.

Great Blog Nick, well done on 2nd at the Nat's as well. One thing you didn't mention about the foils was the trailing edge, the designers have made this a mitre. When I first test sailed one I thought this had been filed to remove some dings, but on receiving my own boat the mitred edges were still present. I am pretty sure RS have not made mention of this in previous literature but my thoughts are by creating a laminar flow away from the rudder, cavitation is avoided and the boat steers even more effectively downwind than the Laser. I would be interested in your or anyone else's thoughts on this.

Hi Nick, Yes, that looked wrong to me initially too! I checked with Alex at RS who confirmed that the main reason is to stop/reduce the humming of the foils, it allows a cleaner re-attachment of flow, otherwise you get cavitation down the trailing edge which can cause the humming sound.
Peter Barton
Have you noticed that there is no speed hum with an Aero?

I tried to take a photo of the edge of my Aero centre boat, but my iPhone camera could not get it the edge in  focus, so here a shot of an Aero board next to an ageing Laser board.  Apart from having a clever trailing edge, they simply look so much nicer.  And there is no rattle or hum.