Also, what you say is a plus, "haul more gear," is a negative in my mind
The boat has certain limits, respect them and you are going to make it. I think the TI has just as much a place in the EC as the AI does,
I think the ability to haul more gear is a tremendous plus to the TI over the AI. Of course, I don't look at either of the boats as race boats, but as "adventure" boats. The ability to take some extra comforts, or some extra safety equipment is a great plus.
I also agree with vtwave, and think that the TI will do just fine in the EC as time goes on. Solo users may have to furl the sail just a little bit, or maybe the TI is best sailed with 2 instead of 1, but the TI is not a fragile boat, it's a different boat, and it may have to be sailed differently than the AI. Certainly pedalling the AI solo is going to be easier than the TI, but I think over the coming years, you'll see TI's coming into their own.
You would think a TI with two on board would be at a tremendous advantage, as the crew could spell each other and not have to lay over to rest.
That's the key, I think, to creating an advantage with the TI. The ability to have a second brain to help navigate, a second body to do the work to give the first person a mental break, even if it's not an actual rest. The TI is still a good boat, it may not find life as an EC race boat yet, but it's definitely the boat that I'd choose for open water camping trips.