Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

America’s Cup World Series San Francisco - Team BAR on Day 4

by Ben Ainslie on 27 Aug 2012
BAR RACING - 2012 - Ben Ainslie Racing - Day 4 America’s Cup World Series © Jon Nash / J.P.Morgan BAR
The America’s Cup World Series is currently taking place in San Francisco, California.

Ben Ainslie on the fourth day of racing:


We might not be climbing up the leader board but I think we have been making good progress this week, it’s just difficult to see that from the outside I guess. But I’m starting to understand more about the handling of these boats and appreciating how tricky they are. One of the big lessons is timing.

The difference with an AC45 and say a modern sportsboat is that any mistakes get amplified. Normally if you have a bad gybe you might lose a couple of boat lengths, but in an AC45 it could cost you around five or even ten boat lengths. That’s where you see the biggest differences on the race course and it comes down largely to boat handling, in particular at my end of the boat.

I’m still learning where to put the boat and when, to help the guys make things happen. I felt things went much better today than yesterday and I felt happier that I was making some progress. One example is the weather mark rounding and the point at which we deploy the gennaker. That might sound obvious and a simple thing to sort out, but at the speeds that we’re traveling at the apparent wind speed is so much higher than on a conventional boat and the wind angle is changing so quickly that the timing is crucial. Get it right and the sail snaps into action immediately and you’re off like you’ve hit the turbo button. Get it just slightly wrong and the crew spend the next 30 seconds grinding in the gennaker while your competition drags out more distance on you.

In some ways it’s similar to tacking a big overlapping headsail on a heavy displacement boat. Get it wrong and you’re grinding forever, going slowly and burning out your crew. Get the timing and technique right and it all looks easy.

Among the many things I’ve learned this week it’s become crystal clear that sailing these boats efficiently is so much about technique.

The trouble is that in a race like today when we were making step by step progress in boat handling and timing, it only takes a small incident to wipe out any of the progress we’d made.

A good example of that was in the second race when we got caught up with Artemis Red. They had wrongly identified the leeward mark and were about to round it the wrong way and were calling rights on us. For a few seconds there was a fair bit of confusion on their part and we ended up having to take avoiding action, which nearly saw us collide with one of the Luna Rossa boats. It was all pretty close and a perfect example of how quickly things can go badly wrong when you’re traveling at high speed, even though it’s not your fault.

Yes I’d love to be posting better results, I’m a competitive guy but we have to be realistic. Sometimes you have to backwards to go forwards and while I don’t think we are going backwards, I appreciate sometimes it might look like that we’re not making progress.

But as we get to the end of this week I’m happy that we’ve been able to start learning the basics which gives us a good footing on which to start developing our own JP Morgan BAR Team website



Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Melanin LensesT Clewring - Generic

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May