Please select your home edition
Edition
Harken AUS Reflex 728

America's Cup- Paul Cayard interviewed on Artemis wingsail break

by Bob Fisher on 5 Jun 2012
Paul Cayard. Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing http://www.sandervanderborch.com

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Naples, Italy for the Fourth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

The amazing factor of America’s Cup stories is how exaggeration immerses them. The breaking of the AC-72 wing of Artemis that was being trialled on an ORMA 60 hull platform for example was retold to a degree that defied belief. No sooner had the wing folded than it was in four pieces and with that the rumour mill built so that everything that Artemis Racing had achieved was in the trash-can.

What actually happened was that the wing snapped in two and the whole structure fell on to the boat – 'nothing got wet,' said Paul Cayard, the team supremo. 'One minute after it happened, Terry [Hutchinson] was able to call for a bow tow and 20 minutes later the trimaran and its broken wing were on their way back to the shore.'

'Yes, it’s a set-back,' admitted Cayard, 'but better it happened in May 2012 than in May 2013. We have time on our side now that we wouldn’t have had if this had happened later. We were the first team to have an AC-72 wing up for testing (and we carefully read the Protocol to see if what we proposed doing was within the rules) and in the 12 days of sailing we learned an awful lot. Even the breakage can be construed as part of that learning curve.'

break has been across the main spar, around which the wing elements pivot, and as such requires a great deal of repair work. 'We haven’t even started wing No.2 yet,' said Cayard. He did say that there was 'a pile of work' caused by the breakage, but that it had provided the opportunity for the internal engineering staff and external consultants to add to the requisite technical knowledge before completing the repair and building the next wing. (There would, incidentally, be at least three wings constructed – 'You wouldn’t go to San Francisco Bay with any less.')

It has delayed the Artemis programme. 'Our first aim was to create a team – that was our initial focus. Building the wing and finding, and buying, a suitable platform; preparing for a Protocol protest; made us feel as though Artemis was a fully-formed AC team. Now we can take some satisfaction from the data we have collected in the 12 days of sailing we have had,' said Cayard.

The set-back will probably be of four months duration, but the team can content itself that after July 1st, when the AC-72s are launched, Artemis will be ready to complete the allowed 30 days of sailing. 'We had planned to launch our boat – the platform is ready here in Valencia – on July 1st, and we will be beaten to that punch,' commented Cayard.

We need to stay in touch. What the [general] public doesn’t realise is the complexity of our sport. We’re not playing basketball or soccer – the equipment is complicated and high-tech; we’ve moved from monohulls to multihulls, from sails to wings, and these changes are massive for the design and build teams. The weight limit is quite a challenge. There’s a minimum weight of 1,325 kilos for the wing and an all-up minimum for the hull and rig of 5,700 kilos, with a maximum of 5,900 kilos. Anyone starting in San Francisco at 5,800 kilos will find it practically impossible to stay under the maximum weight limit by the start of the match. Repairs are inevitable and each one will entail added weight.' Cayard speaks with the experience of seven previous America’s Cup campaigns under his belt. 'The critics say that we should have made the wing stronger, but that means heavier.'

He continued: 'No one has ever built one of these wings before, or exploited the possibilities their complexity affords. The C-class guys are using twist, and there is no doubt that twist is a speed-contributing factor of the wing rig. We will be among those who will have twist in our equation, maybe others won’t. The control systems in the AC-72 rig are far more complex than those of the AC-45 rig and we are a step ahead of the opposition in testing those.

'Start early, break early; it’s all part of the development.' Cayard is no stranger to early breakage – he suffered a major structural breakdown on the first day out in the 2005/6 Volvo Ocean race with Black Pearl, his Pirates of the Caribbean entry, missed the rest of the leg while the boat was flown to Cape Town and then finished second overall. 'We are deploying people to San Francisco after the ACWS in Newport as we have two AC-45s and will be two-boat trialling there.'

Artemis had a four month jump on her rivals, even if it has amounted to only 12 days sailing with the AC-72 wing. 'We could be the lucky ones,' said Cayard, 'Others will have set-backs, and it is better to get them out of the way early.' When questioned on the difficulties associated with running a team while not being on board the boat, Cayard said that it boiled down to two items: 'Firstly, I like sailing. Secondly, it is important to have the inside scoop.' To that end he admitted to being on the AC-72 winged ORMA 60 for eight of the twelve days that she sailed.

now, the Artemis design team is working overtime. 'Maybe we would have designed the wing differently if we had intended to race with it.' But high on the list of priorities will be the major structural member, which failed in the practice wing, with a determination that it should not fail again, but also that its weight is not substantially increased. The Artemis AC-72 programme has been delayed until October, but as Cayard pointed out, there are three ACWS regattas before then and he would like the team to retain its lead in the Match Racing Championship, as part of its build-up to the Louis Vuitton Cup.

'Our focus,' he concluded, 'is to be cleverer than our opponents and have the team working together.'

BandG AUS Zeus3 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 New Sails

Related Articles

A Q&A with the RORC’s Nick Elliott about the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email, to learn more about the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race. When one stops to consider the world’s best ocean races, the Royal Offshore Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday, August 6, 2017, is never far from mind. I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the amount of work that goes into pulling off this world-famous regatta.
Posted on 1 Aug
Tank killers
Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. These shells were wickedly awesome at their job, which was killing enemy tanks in their tracks (and yes the pun is fully intended). The mighty, turbine powered, M1 Abrams became even more formidable, and their crews somewhat safer again.
Posted on 24 Jul
Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
Poppy takes Australia to her dad who’s afflicted with Parkinson’s
It’s a very sad way to begin such a great voyage. Not that you would know from the ultra-effervescent Poppy Moore... It’s a very sad way to begin such a great voyage. Not that you would know from the ultra-effervescent Poppy Moore, mind you. So the chance to talk with her and learn her tale was fantastic, and she is also the best one to recount it. “I decided to sail around Australia to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s, because my father’s got Parkinson’s
Posted on 5 Jun
Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 - It just works
Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places Every now and then a boat just clicks. It has all the right bits, of the correct dimensions, in the appropriate places, and out of it all you get something that simply sings. The Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 is one of these craft. It was designed and built in parallel to the other, more well known versions of the brand’s vessels, and benefits from being more geared towards performance, without going tot
Posted on 23 May
The return to Coffs!
The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the Christmas timeslot The word is out that the new race to Coffs Harbour is on. The phoenix would run once again in the traditional Christmas timeslot, and also be the much easier to digest 200 or so miles. The ‘new’ race would also be geared towards club racers, so they, and their non-pro crews could be out and back, and almost more importantly, returned to work before anyone missed them. Bring it on...
Posted on 22 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May