In part 1, we looked at the two different one-design approaches, single manufacturer one-design SMOD and the measurement controlled MCOD. In this part 2 we look at how the opening of single manufacturer classes could be conducted, with benefits to the sailors in mind.
Six of the current eight Olympic classes are "single manufacturer one-designs", in practice monopolies of their rightsholders. Only two classes, the Finn and the 470 are measurement controlled one-designs, open for anyone to build and sell, as long as they comply with the rules.
We were asked about research on an old web site of ours... there's material that could be of interest still today. This is from wind tunnel tests we did some 25 years ago.
For London 2012, WB-Sails made a big research & development effort, mostly centered on Star sails. With the Star out of the Olympics, our R&D focus between 2012-2016 has been much on the Finn, but also on the 470. These two are the only Olympic classes left for which independent sailmakers are still allowed to design sails.
The X Sail Racing Team's boats AUDI e-tron and AUDI Ultra scored a double victory at the X-35 World championships in Denmark: e-tron won Gold, and Ultra Silver. A sizable R&D work preceded the design of the World Champion sails.
The computer was used to design and simulate 24 different configurations. The main focus was on the jib shape, sail trim and in particular the effects of in-hauling the jib - the mainsail design had been updated late in the summer 2014. The influence of the jib entry on the width of the "groove" was explored, as well as the effect of waves in the sail air dynamics in general.
"This is like an old marriage"Freddy Lööf and Anders Ekström re-united in Star Sailors League after 6,5 years. They finished second in the final, winner-take-all race, after convincingly winning the 9 races qualifier. In the qualifier, they were 20 boats, the final was between 4 top boats from semi-finals only.
Olympic Champion Fredrik Lööf did a great comeback in Star Class after a two years break. He finished second in Star Sailors League in Bahamas with his good old crew Anders Ekström. They won Olympic Bronze together in Qingdao in 2008. Iina Airio talked with Freddy after the regatta:
Here at WB-Sails, we live and breathe racing. In fact, the loft was founded after we realized that we need better sails for our own campaigns. Since 1975 a lot has been learned and many things have changed, but the principle of hard work – blood, sweat and tears – remains.