The Class is experiencing a transition where builders are developing to optimize their new foil designs, and sailors are trying to learn new techniques to take advantage of these setups.
This article intents only to depict current status quo and do not defines any thought of line, neither from the Class or their officials. As an Editor of IACA's website I've been very careful this year on developing articles due to the transition and rules discussions, but it is time to start showing again what is going on with Class development under current rules..
Past weeks we posted some comments from Jason Waterhouse on the Exploder and an interview on the Scheurer G7 devel process, plus news from the fleet being developed in Argentina. Now more containers are heading USA, a local Class that is showing a constant growth, as seen in their 60 boat fleet in this 2014 North Americans.
I have also contacted Lars Guck on US devels, and he will come back in the future with details on their work.
The Catparts Vision team is also working on their foils, and already made some new grounds in this year 2014 Dutch Nats. The Vision team had a good strategy, waiting to see what was going on with new solutions, and now that we are experiencing a somehow stabilized direction and refinement they have joined the foiling game.
In Australia, Dario Valenza keeps working on his Paradox V3, and some out of the box testing. Check his Carbonic blog for details http://carbonicboats.blogspot.com/2014/10/working-angles.html
We will contact Darío later to know more about his latest developments within current Class Rules.
Dario also set the Rudder cassette style casting, with his Paradox production set used by Ashby at 2014 Takapuna Worlds.
Now this alternative casting design is making its way to other builders as shown below.
On out of the box alternatives, non extreme but legal conf has aroused yet, even though the 'cassette' dagger cases were ruled legal at Takapuna, providing builders & designers alike a complex but more open way to test almost any kind foils.
Current design path seems to be refinement of J and 'Z' stepped boards and the use of 'cassettes' rudder castings.
On Rudder Castings: From personal experience and comments from last Dutch Nats, as the rudders blades are getting longer, the kick-up system might force the winglets when launching the boat from shallow waters to a point of breakage. This can be solved with the Cassette casting, but of course it has the drawback on no 'fuse' component on a possible bottom hit.
Jakub Kopylowicz from Exploder is also testing several versions of dagger foils, from 'Z' to going back to more standard Js.
Exploder has set till now the standard for T rudders blades, as the majority of builder are or started using their production rudder blades.
Below some comments from PJ Dwarshuis from DNA and Sandro Caviezel on his latest Rule legal devels:
"We are working on a 2015 edition of the DNA. A team DNA team effort: Mischa Heemskerk , Rudo Enserink and myself.
We are sharing ideas , testing them and producing at Holland Composites.
The first Z boards , one shot built in our new Autoclave are great. Coming out supers strong , light and with a perfect foil definition. We are really happy with the results after a lot of work/testing of the foils and the production method .
The new L rudders are on its way too, planning to test them end this week.
First boats fitted with them are the 8 US boats ' Gunboat Edition' which will be shipped in about two weeks .
We expect better control, stability and lower drag with the cassette L rudders, making the whole package the result of 18 months testing. Trying hard since the first time Mischa flew the first A cat in a race during the French Nationals in May 2013.
Flying A cats came a long way since then, every one being surprised by the results of the last Worlds in Takapuna and lately at 2014 Bordeaux Europeans.
We got now flying DNA's , Exploders, Paradoxes , Scheurers and more
In our opinion despite the naturally resistance in the class against this evolution to flying boats , I really think it contributes to the success of the class.
As the boats get better and better showing more control as seen in video below, I'm sure we will make more sailors to try and race this new sailing mode."
Also latest Scheurer G7 Video. Development Interview can be found at http://www.a-cat.org/?q=node/467
Below additional comments from Sandro on their latest rudders conf:
"Andy Scheurer modified the rudder stock and adjusted the rudder blade balance a little bit so we are ready for the next test ride - hope we will get some breeze in the next week. Just to summarize our current testing alternatives:
Kick-up Rudder System with a very low drag Rudder Blade
Daggerboard-style Rudder System with constant profile in the rudder blade
Both rudder make things so much easier while flying downwind. The Proto2 Rudder has some advantages in the light stuff because you can easily adjust the height while sailing..."
DNA Latest Video (Class Rule Legal Conf)
SCHEURER G7 (Class Rule Legal Conf)