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April 3 - “America’s Cup: Past and Future” by Tom Speer -- With Meeting Minutes Appended

posted Mar 20, 2018, 3:36 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc   [ updated May 6, 2018, 2:37 PM ]
Our always interesting and informative member, Tom Speer, will present an inside look at the America’s Cup: Past and Future.  Tom was a member of the Oracle design team for several campaigns and so has a very interesting inside view of the America's Cup.  Of particular interest will be a look at what the Kiwi's will be doing to define the future America's Cup campaign.

Northwest Mutlihull Association April 3, 2018 Meeting Minutes/Notes     


As always the first order of business was a nice gab session as we consumed the pot luck goodies for dinner.  Its a good mix of home made and last minute store bought food that stretches the palette.  Yum.  Again, not enough time to talk to everyone.  So many good interesting people to visit with.


Commodore Jeff started the short meeting with a reminder of the club benefits, (besides seeing all the cool people here): Ballard Sails winter discounts on new sail purchases!  Winter is now gone so maybe no longer applicable, check and see.  But they will measure your sails for free if you are new to racing and need a PHRF certificate.  Also our Fisheries Supply discount.  He then extended an invitation our many talented members to volunteer on whatever committee that interests them; Cruising, Racing, Rendezvous, Website/tech work, Social, Speaker wrangling, etc….  Let Jeff know.  He also called for members to send him pictures and write ups on your sailing adventures.  Even if they are from long ago.  We have a rich history and newish members like me love to read more of it.  By the way, I noticed there is a lot of new content on the site, entertaining race write-ups, a print version of Matt and Tricias presentation to the club of sailing their 42’ Ouremer catamaran from Tahiti to Seattle, (click “view more” in the first column then scroll down the March 3 entry), etc..…  If you haven’t dropped in in that last month then go have a look.


Jeff mentioned the invitation of the Hobie Fleet to race with them this Saturday the 7th around Mercer Island.  The I-90 bridge clearance is only 29’ so just the smallest Farrier (or other) boats will be able to sail with the Hobies.  They will provide a different course for taller boats to sail 1/2 way around the island then turn around and come back to the finish while the small boats will continue on the circumnavigation.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of interest except for a few Wetas as the popular Blakely Rock race is going on at the same time.  I wish I’d thought to have a show of hands of any others who planned to sail with the Hobies.  dang  (edited the race was cancelled due to gale winds forecast)


We then went around the room introducing ourselves as usual.  Many new faces:  An F24 trimaran owner  from France who was in Seattle for a job interview and just happened to see our meeting announcement.  I didn’t get his name but he would join the club if he gets the job!  Rick S. had an old F27 mainsail for free if someone wanted it.  Brandon from Olympia is looking at buying an F31.  We had quite a few long time members show up, maybe to visit our presenter Tom Speer who is also a long time member.  It is always interesting to put names on faces and talk to those that I’ve heard about but I’ve never, or rarely meet up with. 


David M. wanted to know who and when are folks planning to cruise up north.  This started a discussion on how to meet up.  Maybe a graphic or calendar on the website where folks can add their cruising plans and time frame via our web administrator.  Or specifying a time, date and channel to monitor on VHF.  Or using the Puget Sound Cruisers Club protocol of Channel 69.  (A former PSCC commodore was with us tonight).   I guess we should have delegated the Cruising Committee to come up with something, hopefully they will. 


Mark, our Treasurer, gave us his short report of $7400 in the account which is a little up from last month and puts us in good position for coming seasons activities.  If you haven’t joined up this year please do so to support the cause.  Info on how to join is on the web site.


Dan our Cruising Committee Chair mentioned a survey for members to fill out but it has some bugs and they need to be ironed out first.  He will keep us posted for when it is ready.


The meeting over, our main event began with Tom Speer’s recap of the Americas Cup and what the future holds.  The following is a bit of a ramble of some things I remember (not guaranteed to be accurate)  He started with an interesting history of the cup mentioning that the boat America which first won the cup in 1851 was a blockade runner for the confederates in the civil war and ended up in a shed in 1945 when a snow storm collapsed the roof and it was declared non salvageable.  Then he ran down the ~6 or 8 boat configurations/rules over the next century.  The AC 34 in SanFrancisco won 2 Emmy awards for the lay line, etc, overlay graphics.  Much harder on a waterway than a football field’s first down marker.  They used a GPS accurate to within 1 inch!!!!  It also allowed the game changing way penalties were detected and assessed. He gave a recap of just what Oracle did to make the amazing came back from an 8:1 deficit in 2013.  The rough 72’ catamaran mold was built in SFO then shipped to Janacke Industries in Sedro Woolley where is was machined to perfection then shipped back to SFO where the boat was molded.  There was lots of technical talk of how stability was achieved in foiling and with tangents to of the origin of foiling, ultimate limits of speed (due to cavitation) etc.  Fascinating and every sentence brought up another question in my head which was exploding  trying to understand and keep up.  Tom ended with his thoughts on the new monohull boat for the AC36 in New Zealand in 2020.  He mentioned that the final rule announcement came out just a few days ago so he was able to give us some of his initial analysis of speed and limitations.  There was a comment that it is more like a catamaran as it has main foils on each side….  The foils swing ~90 degrees (my guess) from fully out to the side to tucked up under the hull, like a twin bilge keeler,  I wanted to ask if it could take the ground on a low tide, but didn’t want to interrupt.  Ha ha)  The foils will be weighted with ballast to conform to the rule to provide stability.  They’re tucked under the hull when not sailing, otherwise it would roll over due to the limit on beam.  He took questions for a long time after his video laced presentation with much interesting, wide ranging, high speed sailing discussion.  I asked what the sailors thought about the mono hull and he said they are all multihull converts and are generally not happy with the new boat but they are pros and will give full measure to their employers.  Well those are the random thoughts that came to mind as I typed, I wish I could remember it all.  I hope he stays up on the next AC, (he did say he’d be open to consulting) so we can hear what he has to say about that contest.


Next month May 1 Ginny and Steve Ladd will tell us about their 2012-2014 cruise of in the rivers of South America and how that has led them to their next boat, which is a proa in progress.  I hope you can make it then.  As I will be gone in June I’ll also add that on June 5 Spike Kane will tell us about his amazing R2AK race on his F27 Trimaran.  I hope you can make it to both presentation to hear these inspiring people.  See NW Multihull Association website for location and details.  Guests are always welcome.

Eric Lindahl

206 525-8472

9562 Lakeshore Bvd. NE

Seattle, Washington 98115