So, the America’s Cup guys just discovered that legs are stronger than arms? Well, there isn’t really anything new about it. The first time I heard it being done was on the 12-Meter Sverige in 1977. I’m liking that the idea keeps bubbling up. Of course the other AC teams are all saying “Oh, we thought about it and discarded it because of the mobility factor in maneuvers. We’ll see.

What I still don’t like is the fact that all that grinding, whether it be by biceps or quads, is only there to power up the hydraulics. Yeah, it’s all part of sailing, and the AC is all about doing what it takes to win. However, between the wings and foils and static cycling, there’s less and less “sailing” to the casual observer. The relation of what the grinders are actually doing to make the boat go is ever more remote. The wing comes in 1.5 degrees, the angle of attack of the foils is adjusted the tiniest bit and the boat accelerates from 22 to 24 knots. Maybe I’m a Luddite, but I just can’t get too excited about it.

 

Kurt grew up racing and cruising in the Midwest, and has raced Lasers since the late 1970s. He has been Assistant Editor at Sailing Magazine and a short stint as Editor of Northwest Yachting. Through Meadow Point Publishing he handles various marketing duties for smaller local companies. He currently is partners on a C&C 36 which he cruises throughout the Northwest. He's married to the amazing Abby and is father to Ian and Gabe.

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