Takapuna A-Cat Worlds: QA with Mike Drummond

Published on February 6th, 2014

Activities are ramping up at the site of the A-Class World Championships in Takapuna, New Zealand, which get underway today through February 16. Local sailor and designer Mike Drummond who has worked with America’s Cup teams since 1985 with Team NZ (85-03), Alinghi (07) and Oracle Racing (2010), will be participating with his own boat – a rather complex custom platform, with low volume hulls and an elevated tramp.

He already raced at the 2013 NZ Nats, and he will use it again for the incoming Worlds next week. In his CSN interview he described the concept:

“I had a long list of ideas and finally put them all into one boat. The raised platform is just a logical outcome from looking at the requirements: beams have to clear the waves, freeboard and volume forward, reduced surface area, max beam for trapezing, windage… By using pylons the boat has the correct freeboard and correct beam heights.”

Although Mike is currently running out of time finishing his boat to race he was kind enough to respond some questions.

Are you racing again with it this year or did you built another? Any new changes? foil setup?

MD: I will sail the same boat. The hulls were changed a little to do better in light airs.
I also fit ‘J’ boards, Nikita rudders and winglets were placed just yesterday.

Platform development will continue to be important with the intense foil testing being taking pace right now?

MD: Not precisely for hull shapes. But mainly for daggercase position and/or mast rake offers development.

What do you think about current rules regarding foiling, they should be more restrictive and let people to find workarounds or they need to be opened?

MD: I support development because that is the A-class rules until more recently. However the class has to be careful to retain the ability to race and win without needing a team to launch or rig. If “insert from the top” restriction is removed then this could happen, in my view.

I might see full foiling to be acceptable only if they can still race in 5 knots, what it is your view on this?

MD: There are many other compromises between 5kn and 25kn – battens, rake, crew weight, mast stiffness… foils are just another ingredient.

You’ve been having good results in latest A Worlds, how do you expect to
do this year? What are the conditions expected for next week
?

MD: I have no high expectations. Conditions recently have been consistently windy with a succession of lows across the Southern Ocean. Seems unusual to me, but February is often a bit more settled.

Source: Class website

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