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 Post subject: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 8:49 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
i have been sailing my AC for many years and love my asymmetric spinnaker. It adds a whole new dimension to downwind sailing, making it a very tactical leg with great gains (and losses) to be made. I would not wish to see the AC die away through lack of new boats, which looks like the situation at present. Most of the previously-regular AC sailors have changed to 2012 Rules ICs and very few new ACs or conversions are joining the fleet.

So what of the future? I have suggested this idea before and am sure it the only way to go. My proposal is to base a new version of the AC on the 2012 Rules. Steve Clarke has shown how it can be done on a Morrison 2 hull: fly the asy spi from a short distance above the top of the jib, thus doing away with any need for cap shrouds, perhaps a slightly shorter spinnaker pole, and the sheet turning block at a suitable distance from the stern. I'm sure Steve can provide the details of his design. The spi would obviously be slightly smaller than the present 22.5 sq m +, but this wouldn't be a disadvantage on such a light hull. Spi hoist and drop system similar to present AC. There have also been a few versions on different hulls. The AC rig should easily be removable for competing as an IC if desired.

Here in the UK we have the majority of ACs, and if we are in favour of this change then I'm sure there won't be any objection from the rest of the world.

How about it?

Peter
AC GBR 280


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Of course...no objection :D

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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:32 pm
Posts: 548
Location: United Kingdom
Peter,

Firstly I will say this is my personal view and not speaking as a class officer or builder but I am the only one who has had this AC/IC experience so I think I should share it.

I built Hells Bells as an experiment to see if we could adopt an AC/IC hybrid but it quickly became apparent that although it works it has a number of issues;

1. It compromises the boat in IC mode as you end up with slightly more weight in the bow. Its not a major issue but still a consideration. The hull shape needs to be full enough in the bow to accept a chute and the latest designs simply wouldn't provide the space. This restricts the design to a more full hull shape and foredeck such as the Morrison1/2 and possibly the Dragonfly so limits development.

2. It was a distraction that was unnecessary. The new IC is more than enough fun and a handful in a breeze. Three sails is just too much and was really only used for fun in 10-15knots although I have to say it do go quite fast! In the last year with HB I took the kite off and sealed up the holes. My conclusion was if you wanted to sail with a spinnaker then best buying a skiff.

3. It dilutes the class - we don't need this anymore. The existing boats are there for those who wish to sail with kites but there seems little appetite to move this forward. I had very little interest from anyone wanted to see HB in AC mode and I got to the stage where frankly I couldn't be bothered with the kite because I wanted to concentrate on the IC.

4. The message of the new IC is working well, its bringing people back into the class and others from outside as we now have a single message and a great product. I'm not sure if we should be confusing this by adding a further variation.

I conclude that all current ICOD and AC's sailors should concentrate on getting those existing boats, of which there are still very many, on the water and competing in events. It takes individuals to do this and the first stage must be getting them sailing things could then develop.

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Steve Clarke (UK)
GBR338 "Money4Nuffin


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:52 am
Posts: 41
Location: Gosport
I strongly agree with Steve about the dangers of diluting the class. We all want to race in a fleet and as a small class it makes sense to avoid too many iterations of te same fleet. Events such as the Nationals Europa and the recent Worlds are forceful reminders if how much better it feels on a start line of 20+ boats.

It is a difficult time for AC's. There is strong competition for its niche as "most exciting/fastest/biggest balled assymetric monohull, and after a period of time at the top of the pile the building costs and lay-up of a top end skiff have eroded the appeal of the AC as a fragile boat that has a limited wind range. As the top end of the IC has moved on the class has not been able to lure younger competitors and perhaps the AC has been at the sharp end of a national sport-wide decline in class racing. Really there is nothing wrong with the AC., but... the number of classes in the big fast one man skiff is limited in the same manner as top end predators. The AC needs to increase its appeal and is already in competition with its own family as the development class has increased.

There has been previous discussion about the need for a "Starter" class and the ICOD / Slurp initiative is already fulfilling that role though even that fleet is maybe beginning to feel a squeeze.

The ICOD needs to market itself as a Fast exciting class that is easy enough for any reasonably experienced helpm to pick up on. From a larger "nursery" of ICOD Slurps helms nay then once agin look to expand their experience into a One Design Skiff (AC) or a Development class.

Until the numbers of ICOD sailors starts to rise (by targeting a broader ability range of sailor) the AC is going to struggle.

I believe it is important in that respect to maintain a high level of visibility. At the Oxford training event last year a fleet of @10 drew alot of interest simply by sailing on the same water as the "Eric Twiname" Schools/youth championships. Teams of 6 school boys and girls from Manchester to Southampton and Norwich to Cornwall, not far short of 300 - 400 competitors and support staff.

This sort of event should be looked at as an unmissable opportunity to raise our visibility as a class that is accessible and challenging, (but not impossibly difficult) for younger sailors.

This year it is (I think) scheduled for 12 - 13th October 2019. I think we are due our training event the week before Could this possibly be moved forward to coincide? If not this year then maybe next!

A Similar opportunity to advertise our fabulous boats is happening this year with @ 10 boats signed up for Chichester Federation week., (One of the biggest sailing events on the south Coast)

This is how we must grow our numbers.

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Michael Brigg

K102 "Torment." Cold moulded Nethercott
K203 "Moonshadow" Carbon "Pyranha" Nethercott (Spare boat. Needs a polish)


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:45 pm
Posts: 768
Location: United Kingdom
There's a general trend in the sport that the more extreme classes are suffering. All the high performance boats are way down on what they used to be. I guess in the age of the bucket list lifestyle the sustained commitment needed for the high end of the sport is unpopular. When the 29er came out I thought it would herald a new golden age for high performance sailing with loads of skilled youngsters able to take on the high performance boats without the sort of drop out rate we used to see. However its obviously not happened.

But there's also a specific problem for the AC in that its missing its daddy.


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 8:49 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
Many thanks to Steve C for his comments from experience. I rather think that the AC will continue to die quietly, though will probably remain alive in a few places.

The class has been diluted since the AC came along and the advent of the 2012 rules boats has meant that we now have 3 variants (IC, ICOD and AC - with Slurp a subsection of ICOD ?) However more and more sailors are changing to ICs and from what I've heard they all find it an exciting boat. However I fear this old dog is no longer able to learn the new tricks necessary, and I will stick with my AC.

Have fun in whatever variant you sail.

Peter
AC GBR 280


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:00 am 
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Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 10:48 am
Posts: 98
Location: United Kingdom
Having sold my AC two years ago with many mixed emotions, it was very clear that the new way forward for the class was establishing itself in a much clearer and sustainable way. We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in the AC's and although it is sad to see this chapter in the class come to a close it really was a UK thing. The class seems to be in much better overall shape. Re-introducing an AC element will dilute the class and re-ignite the confusion we saw some years ago. A marketing strategy that has a clear message is always the best one!

Tony


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:32 pm
Posts: 548
Location: United Kingdom
In summary, all good comments and I think everyone is on the same page.

I think the class is actually in a very good place and is growing slowly but surely. We are attracting people from outside the class now who and also those who sailed IC's and AC's previously are coming back, all are being drawn to the excitement of the new boats and the quality of the racing.

Michael is quite correct, we need to maintain interest and support for the ICOD, AC and Slurp as these offer a very low cost entry level to IC sailing and act as the development route for sailors to get involved and work up to the Formula 1 level.

We on the committee are committed to this strategy and its clear the only really effective way of promotion of our class is through sailing with others to show just how good the boats are.

The future of the AC is still healthy, there are a lot of boats out there which will last for decades yet. They need to be sailed though as this is the only way others will join in.

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Steve Clarke (UK)
GBR338 "Money4Nuffin


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 9:46 am
Posts: 246
As a fierce AC competitor from its wonderful conception I was somewhat dragged kicking and screaming into the M3. I defended the AC until the bitter end ...and will , as do a lot of converts to New Rules from AC ‘s still miss that magical mesmerising downwind performance that cannot be matched. I truly believe that the demise of the AC is not about just a transfer of AC’s to New Rules but apathy. Every New Rules variant has just about resulted from the sale of an AC to a new member....so, where are all the AC’s? Currently, they covertly represent an isolated band of owners who between them possess a most fabulous sailing machine. They own vessels , the majority of which are in an amazingly high standard of condition and competitiveness and most certainly worthy of high quality racing at all UK and European Championships.
I have just changed to the M3 and find a unique new challenge. I’ve done the AC....20 + years and never regretted a single moment! The very substantial AC fleet should most certainly regroup itself and address the wonderful racing event opportunities ahead. It would not be regretted.
It is though, essential to attend any training and racing events in order for this to develop where a team spirit develops and sharing of techniques established.
The AC is an incredible ‘state of the art ‘ skiff and should be maintained as such. If you own one and keen, you should at least team up with a likeminded owner and put time in on the water, attend events and encourage others to attend.
New Rules and AC are totally different sailing styles ....so what! They are both fabulous!
Steve IC 348


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 9:46 am
Posts: 246
Apathy it is then! Perhaps some ex AC helms could inject into the revival! As I’ve said before , once it’s gone it’s gone! The AC represents a huge important development of Canoe Sailing.
Can you imagine where we would have been in post 1997 without it! It’s contributed massively to current day development. Without Rob Michael it most certainly would have stagnated with the huge promotion of Asymmetric Designs in other classes.
I would strongly suggest that AC owners form a connection to rebuild this element of the class
and maintain its strength.
Steve Steve 348


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:43 pm
Posts: 49
Thank you to the two Steve’s for setting the scene on this issue. As a current AC sailor I too believe that we should stick to the boat we have and not further dilute the message by bolting a pole on to a new rules boat.

As has been said it’s really up to the current owners to decide what it is they wish to do. I recall Steve B putting out several calls to arms last year and the year before for more to get involved at opens but there was no real support for this at the time. Locally in Wales we will by the end of this season have 3 AC’s sailing at Llandegfedd. I know for some it’s a long way to come but if you get the urge to join us then by all means let me know and we will make sure we are sailing and there to offer help if it’s needed. As Steve says there are a significant number of fantastic boats out there lying unused. I dread to think what the cost would be of producing a brand new AC now but second hand they represent unbelievable bang for the buck at the moment.

I’m not sure yet whether I can make Oxford but if enough AC sailors committed to go I would make every effort to be there at least for the Saturday. Could anyone interested please raise their hands?

It’s a great boat, let’s get at least a few back on the water and see where it goes, :D

Thanks

Martyn
AC 302
Red a head


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:43 pm
Posts: 49
Thank you to all those who have made direct contact over the last 5 weeks. Your feedback on the future of the class has been very welcome and provides hope for our fleet next year.

It appears though that we have a few challenges regarding location if we all want to sail together. it seems that apart from the 4 AC’s at Llandegfedd the rest of the active sailors are dotted all over the Uk. Naturally we will need to wait for the 2020 calendar to be issued but the thinking is that we select two or three events and elect to support them.

It’s pleasing that there remains huge enthusiasm for the boat and that some are now coming on to the market and being snapped up quickly. If you are reading this thinking it’s about time you got active with you boat but it needs some sorting please get in touch if you need any advice or there may be someone close by who can help you.

Cheers,

Martyn O
AC 302
Red a head


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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:32 pm
Posts: 3
Thank you Martyn for the work on the AC group.

I will certainly commit to some of the events next year with other AC's.

My first year sailing a Canoe is almost complete. It is very clear to me that I should of skipped the my time in the RS100 and Divoti D one and gone straight to a Canoe. A very exciting challenge.


.

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 Post subject: Re: FUTURE OF THE AC
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:43 pm
Posts: 49
Hi all,

I’ve recently made contact with a number of existing and new AC sailors now that we have the bones of a fixture list for next season.

If we are to get our boats on the water at a few events next year I thought it might be helpful to focus on a couple of them where we can all try to attend hopefully resulting in at least 5 boats on the start line.

Initial responses suggest that castle cove, Oxford and the French Nationals in July at Sanguinet are the ones to go for but that can change if enough choose other events they prefer.

Please let me know, I’m happy to coordinate.

Looking forward to next season, :D

Martyn

AC 302
Red a Head


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