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America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ design chief looks to the second AC72

by Richard Gladwell on 13 Dec 2012
Emirates Team New Zealand practice race drills with the team’s first AC72 on the Hauraki Gulf. Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz

In a video interview, Emirates Team New Zealand's Technical Director, Nick Holroyd outlines the changes he expects to be made to the team's second AC72, on Day 30, as New Zealand is decommissioned and packed away.

Reading between the lines in this video interview with Sail-World's America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, it is reasonably plain that New Zealand, the team's first AC72 was always something of a design and test platform, and the team's next AC72 will be the real race thing. But even so it is somewhat hard to believe that the fastest boat that has never raced, will be put into mothballs after just 30 days use.

Holroyd expects the biggest changes to be made in the area of foils, and also the platform structure, as the second AC72 is beefed up in some key areas to take higher than expected loads, and also to provide a fast and reliable race platform.

'The boat has come a long way since we started sailing July, with the evolution of systems. I look across 20 years of development that went on in the IACC class, and we were still developing those boats after 20 years. So we are just scratching the surface in what these boats can potentially do.'

'The big areas we are going to need to move forward are to take what in essence is a pretty marginal sort of structure and make that reliable for racing, and making the boat easier to sail and ergonomically better.'

'The idea is to give the sailors more control and keep the boat close to optimum. That is where I think the big gains are still to be made.'

'The boards are another big area of gain. We have learned a lot with control of the boards in this boat, and the next generation of boards will be a big step again.'

Holroyd says generally the changes will be subtle, as they didn't have the time to conduct a full design review and the second boat will be a development of the first. But despite hitting speeds of over 40kts the first AC72 is still not consistently hitting its designed speed numbers, 'but we are getting closer and closer to our polar targets', he adds.

For the rest of this interview, see the video below:

Insun - AC ProgramSouthern Spars - 100Mariners Museum 660x82

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