Seahorse December 2011

Juan Kouyoumdjian has been the dominant designer of the V070 era. And he remains firmly against watering down the technical challenge in pursuit of more entries... as he tells the editor

Seahorse: How big is the step forward in boat design this time compared to between races 1 and 2 with the V070?

Juan Kouyoumdjian:

Bigger than we had 32 SEAHORSE expected! But I suppose this is the outcome of a good R&D process . Last time a lot of time was wasted in rule issues that should have been dedicated to performance . I got dragged into the middle of the storm when the rules were changed and manipulated. In general we have improved in all area but the gains in hull shape were certainly bigger than we had anticipated.

SH: Compared with hull design, are there equivalent gains in the rigs and foils?

JK:

Hull design remains pretty important and we saw some big advances. In reality the three areas are intrinsically linked and you cannot design one without the other. This is why if you design one after the other you cannot really ever get a fast and balanced boat. You have to design them inspirally within a proper R&D process.

SH: And structures?

JK:

Well, they are limited right now by the 8 imposition of ISO rules, interpreted using; the Wolfson Unit software. We tried to be '(f. clever in this area and spent a lot of time refining and optimising, but we ended up with bigger gains in safety than in weight. This is obviously also driven by the increased minimum weight, which is fairly easy to achieve if a boat is built properly .

SH: What about sails?

JK:

Very big gains to be made here. First is about the philosophy of their usage and what you want the sails to do for you and when. The impact has been increased by the latest sail restrictions...

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