Builders Development Status II: Dario Valenza & Paradox V3 Launch

- The IACA would like to note that articles regarding builder development are most welcome and give a great insight into current developments within our class.

This specific post regarding Dario Valenza and the Paradox A Class is most informative, as are the majority of his articles-.
The article contains references to class rule 8.2 and also reference to a Racing Rules of Sailing (believed to be RRS 52)
Please note these are Dario’s personal thoughts on how he feels our rule 8.2 should apply and do not represent the current thoughts of the IACA Technical Committee. -

Editor: Following the series of developments inside current rules, I contacted Dario Valenza from Carbonic Boats / Paradox A-Cat.
Dario has been making several tests and he will release Paradox V3 soon. Arno Terra, former DNA team, is now collaborating with Valenza on optimizing the future V3 launch.
Bimare & Vision teams were invited to send their developments news.

I asked Dario for a report and he put together some points as a Q&A about our new developments.
Paradox Developments by Dario Valenza /

Q: Where are you at with development and what can the market expect?
A: Tooling for our V3 platform is well underway and our foil testing continues. The new hulls emphasise handling. They are designed for a wide range of trim angles so pitch attitude can easily be adjusted for best foil lift without degrading hull performance. We have concentrated on windage reduction of the whole platform, streamlining the cross-structure, sealing the trampoline to the hulls and lowering the profile as much as possible. Good dynamic range also helps reduce wetted area in light winds but still allows easy ‘unsticking’ for transition to foiling.

The new boat will have an updated version of our rotating bearings in the hull and deck. These can be swapped out easily and quickly to accommodate any new foil shape, an important consideration in preserving the value of the platform. The rotating bearing is a correct mechanical solution that supports the foil well through a range of angles. Having a plain opening shaped with filler is proving problematic structurally for other manufacturers since it point-loads the foil. And it is restrictive because the foil can only match the opening in one position. Finally we have added a precise single-action rake control mechanism to the top bearing. We are using a wormdrive which is more accurate and faster to adjust with one hand than traditional ropes and cleats. Like our cassette rudder concept, I think these innovations will become standard once people understand the benefits.

Customer deliveries will start in the first half of 2015. The boat will be offered with a development of current Z boards. We are working hard on area, angles, sections and tip treatment of these simple foils. As an option and next step we are working on a system with flaps actuated by wands. This version would fit directly into the same openings with no modifications necessary.

Q: You have started a new collaboration?
A: Yes, Arno Terra is now a development partner. He brings great experience and a deep passion to the team. His input will be comprehensive. Current focus is the Z foils and updated rudders.
We are also collaborating with the University of New South Wales on theoretical analysis projects.
Our manufacturing has also moved under one roof which should make a big difference to timing and quality.

Q: You seem to have tried many ideas that others have stayed away from so far. What are your views on the situation with the Rules?
A: I was very careful to stay out of the politics before the vote at the last Worlds. Generally my philosophy is that well defined fair rules energise the design process and force creative solutions. I did comment after the vote that in my opinion Rule 8.2 is counterproductive. I will go further and say that it has done the Class no good because it is poorly worded and ineffective. Interestingly it is the only rule which imposes a ‘non dimensional’ restriction. Instead of limiting a length, area, or weight, it refers to a specific type of feature that happened to be popular at the time the rule was written. Every other rule in the Class assumes the boats will change radically so only restricts dimensions. 8.2 unimaginatively refers to a transient feature.

But I still do not advocate a change. Instead I would suggest that people read Rule 8.2 ‘with fresh eyes’ and realise it objectively allows pretty much any foil configuration that could be desired.
Here is a clue: If I said that “all sailors who own a boat and pay the entry fee will be scored in the race”, what would you take that to mean? Would it be different to “all sailors who own a boat or pay the entry fee will be scored in the race”? Only one word has changed. But ‘and’ means you must both own a boat and pay the entry fee. ‘Or’ means the fee is optional.
In this case only appendages that are movable AND retractable come under Rule 8.2. Ones that move but don’t retract need not comply with 8.2. So there is no need to worry about how the appendages are inserted.

Q: What about wands and flaps?
A: The Class Rules don’t prohibit this kind of system. The ISAF rules are yet to be tested, but on the face of it there seems to be nothing against two interlinked appendages. In fact we already have a situation where one rudder changes the angle of the other rudder using water pressure transmitted through a pushrod. Actually RRS Rule 42 specifically allows the use of ‘wind and water’.

Q: What about the argument that it is a form of automation?
A: Well, there is no rule against that. Most boats have ‘auto ratchet’ blocks. These have a mechanical sensor that adjusts internal moving parts in response to changing wind loads. Countless other parts of different boats move of their own accord as wind/speed changes. What is not allowed is stored energy as distinct from muscle power. As long as the boat moves because the crew has used her muscles to haul in the sheet, all other adjustments flow from there. The mast bends. The battens flick. The angle of heel adjusts… There is nothing conceptually different about having a foil that reacts to the oncoming water in response to sailor inputs. It has less of an impact than the way a sail automatically twists and flattens when a gust hits. In fact, the parallel is very apt. Now we have something we can think of as a sail under the water that gets flatter as the flow speed increases.

Q: Do you think such developments are good for the Class?
A: The beauty of the A is that anybody can tinker, experiment and develop their gear. My hope is that a more open-minded objective view of the rules will allow everyone to play and have more fun. We will go faster in more safety and remain relevant. The incorrect assumptions about what is allowed have caused people to leave the class in droves. Either by buying Moths or by keeping their A, making it foil properly, but not turning up to official events out of fear of being rejected from competing. Naturally there is a vocal minority that is so resistant to change they are happy for people to leave. But this is counterproductive. It is time these assumptions were revised so the Class can get on with evolving. The best way forward is to open our eyes about the rules as they are.
I share what I do because I know that many followers might decide to take inspiration and apply what I have learned to make the next breakthrough. That person probably would not have bought one of our boats. Those who want our product will buy it. Others will be inspired by it. The A is such a beautiful machine precisely because people have been free to design any shape that fits in the box. And my hope is that it will continue in that spirit. So I urge everyone with the creative spark to go out, experiment and reclaim the Class.