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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:34 am
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Location: Miami
I raced the AI last night in Miami against Sonars, Freedoms and Windsurfers in about 18 knots or so. Rudder was not properly secured down so I had problems on port tack where it was coming up and causing the rounding up problem. However, on starboard, the AI went pretty good, so here is what was learned:

--Pointing angle was not the same as the boats but pretty close.
--People may get a tired hand from steering with the lever when it is windy.
--Downwind, the speed was slightly better, particularly when you pull the centerboard as this helps surfing.
--Putting a reef in (top batten partly exposed) reduced the helm and helped to minimize the rudder problem. Also made tacking very quick.
--The course was upwind and downwind so we did not get to test reaching speeds. But the chop was pretty good and thus....
--The ride is WET for sure!
--Take the paddle off as it gets in the way of the water flow.
--I did a lot of pedaling due to the rudder situation as this increased control.
--Freedoms--speed perhaps comparable. Sonars--not as fast. Windsurfers--silly question, they are exponentially faster.

Next time I will have the rudder properly locked down and I bet I can beat a bunch of the boats....at least when it is windy. AI is very maneuverable and easy to start and hold your spot on the line. Mark roundings are no problem.

Lots of people asking about a tramp.

We are currently working with Shake A Leg to try to develop the boat for disabled sailing. I believe it will be a great vehicle for this....but the jury is out. Sort of like a 2.4, but a multihull, is how I see it.

Questions for developing the class--
I think you should allow pedaling for racing. But only on a sailing course...no pedaling into the wind. Perhaps pedaling only upwind and not downwind if we do not want to make it too physical.
As a disabled boat, pedaling would be verboten...just put the plug in or use the hand modifications that SAL has made to the Mirage Drive.
How far to go with modifications?...fancy rudders on this forum, etc.
First World Championships--Miami, Jan. 2008 at the Alex Caviglia Regatta at Shake A Leg--we are ready to do it. Who wants to come? Great facility and great sailing conditions at a great time of the year. Miami is the world epicenter of sailing competitions in the months of Jan, Feb and March.

Interested in your feedback--Jim


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Jim,
Welcome to the Hobie Forum! Sounds like you are no newbie to sailboat racing (or Hobie products, obviously!). We will be very interested to hear your experiences and conclusions as they develop, and thanks for sharing.
Best,
Dick

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 Post subject: AI week 2 racing
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:34 am
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Location: Miami
Week 2 was 13-15 knots, rudder properly locked down. Close but could not beat the Sonars and J-24's (no spinnaker) but beat all the Freedoms. Then my rudder broke, so I was out for the next two races.

Then, the breeze picked up some and I got towed in by a Sonar straight downwind. Wrapping the towline around the metal crosspiece screwed in the boat is an awesome tow point (probably would have ripped out the bow eye as the boat towing me had a lot of weight and no speed control--it's a sailboat). Hopped on the back and surfed the wake of the Sonar very nicely with no rudder. Left it tied up to the committee boat during the racing with the sail furled up....being able to instantly turn the rig off is fantastic.

It is just natural to pedal the boat while you are sailing it. Plus, at the starts, you get excited and just start pedaling when you need a little extra speed to cut across someones bow, etc. It definitely goes faster even in moderate conditions. I think for extended racing you should bring a pump as the boat gets some water inside if you have big chop (which we do) .

Again, our racing Wed. night is all up and downwind with no reaching. There are a few AI's in Miami now....Dan, you need to come out!--Jim


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 Post subject: Week 3 on the AI
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:34 am
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Location: Miami
Last night we had 7-10 knots with two classes, windsurfers and sailboats.

Raced windsurfers the first race and beat everyone except one guy on a longboard who got by me on the second upwind leg. The AI points really well in light wind, seemingly better than all the boards including the Olympic RS-X.

Second race I shifted to the boats and beat all of them, including a J-24 and a Sonar...this was very surprising. I could hang with them upwind and perhaps even outpoint them, downwind we were pretty equal but they did not have chutes...of course, neither did I. Of course I was pedaling, but not super hard, just a nice steady rhythm.

Third race, back to the boards and I beat all of them this time. The longboards are definitely faster downwind but I got out front and stayed in some good breeze for a little longer so I negated their downwind speed advantage. Olympic RS-X board was no contest in those conditions as you could outpoint it every time.

AI had some respect by the end of the night....sailboat guys were poopooing it when I went out but not after I kicked their asses. Funny how that goes....The R/C still thinks I am cheating though.

Get ready for AI racing in Miami in January!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Hey Jim,
Welcome to the Hobie Forum and congrats on putting the AI through its paces in a competitive situation.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Let us know how you do with the new rudder.

Also for down swell you might one to try a homemade winglet. See:

http://kfs.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/ ... 2761090753

http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... 0080#30080

Note newrudder has balanced modification. You only need winglet.

I found plexiglass has a tendency to split so tack glued a piece I got from Roadrunner on a piece of thin plywood. Just don't let the saw blade vibrate.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:37 am
Posts: 26
Location: new york,ny
Hey Jim!

Great report on your racing adventures in Miami, compeating with the Sonar 23, Freedom 21, J-24 and windsurfers. And doing so well in light winds, which might be expected when racing against heavier boats. With the new balanced rudder added to your AI you should be able to keep up with the competition even in higher winds.

I can understand how the other skippers noses were out of joint, being beaten by a little 16' Hobie Island. Of course you had the advantage ot the Mirage pedals, but as you were compeating against much longer boats with larger sail areas, the pedals should be allowed as a compensation. And when the wind dies you can beat everyone back to shore with your Hobie flippers.

Think about adding a roller-furling jib to your AI and you'll be winning the races all the time.

Norman a.k.a. Punchinello on www.Kayakfishingstuff.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:50 am 
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Location: Florida
What is the official word from sailboat racing events about the use of the mirage drive?

I took part unofficially for a few miles in the Mug Race on the St. Johns River just for fun. More to see the boats really :)

The wind was so light at one point I was able to go faster than the leader of the race - but only because I was using the mirage to help.

It was suggested by someone that the Race committe would not allow Mirage drive to be on the boat.

Wondered if there is some official rullings either way.

BTW great Miami race update.

Yakaholic


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 Post subject: Pedal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Pedaling would not be permitted in a typical sailboat race.

You can not paddle, pump sails, ooch or otherwise propel a sailboat when racing.

We would have to limit the number of strokes or otherwise restrict the use of the drive in a race. Otherwise it is just a fitness race.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:20 pm 
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I've always felt the AI would be a great triathalon platform. A course could be set up for sailing, pedaling, and paddling legs. For those not inclined to do all three, you could score each section separately as well as having an overall winner.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:44 pm 
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Todd--now there's a great idea! A brand new aquatic sport based on the AI platform. The first 26 miles parallels the CA course, the second 26 mile leg from Newport out to the Isthmus, and the 3rd leg from Catalina back to Newport, or some combination thereof.

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 Post subject: Newbie Races in Miami
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:34 am
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Location: Miami
So last night we had a nice fleet, planing winds of around 12-16....should be fun on the AI. So the Director of Watersports at Shake A Leg, who shall remain nameless, calls me up, says "Hey Jim, let me race that AI tonight...how about it?" So I acquiesce, help her launch off the ramp and go rig my windsurfer.

I see her out there and she looks really slow...I thought she was just getting used to it. I watch her start against the boats and she is just getting rocked...they ended up lapping her in a two lap race. So after 3 beatdowns she is heading back in and I sail over.

"Hey Jim, I figured out why I am so slow." Why? "I never took the beach wheels out of the bottom." Doooooohhhhhhh.

After she pulled the wheels out she commented, "Wow, this thing is actually pretty fast."

When I looked at her it looked like the rudder was kind of high out of the water. I did not put two and two together...those things have a lot of float so they stay up in the holes pretty good if you don't pull them out.

Oh well, maybe next week! Doooooohhhhh!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:24 pm 
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Hmmm, Jim--would this person (I hesitate to call her a sailor :oops:) have tried to sail a Hobiecat without taking it off the trailer first?? There seems to be some sort of disconnect there that is way past me! :shock:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:37 pm 
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Location: Escondido
I guess that makes me a Doooooohhhhhher too, as I occasionally launch with the wheels on. It's not that bad as long as you're in no hurry, or need the extra exercise -- gives a row boat a fighting chance as well!

I also let someone else use the boat once and didn't take the wheels out for him -- at first. He was sure impressed when I did though!

Jim, I've been enjoying your race posts -- please keep the reports coming! 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:32 am 
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RR said:
Quote:
It's not that bad as long as you're in no hurry, or need the extra exercise -- gives a row boat a fighting chance as well!


Good point--gives someone driving a Sport (like me!) a fighting chance as well! :mrgreen:

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