America's Cup- AC45 takes on the Wednesday night racers +Video
by Richard Gladwell on 27 Jan 2011
After lining up against the regular Wednesday night fleet the AC45 spent her first night on a mooring in Auckland's Viaduct harbour.
The prototype AC45 has a night out in downtown Auckland ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
Although not an official entry the prototype AC45 showed the fleet her transom early in the race, and won by a leisurely 300metres, finishing ahead of the second, but first official entry, Simon Hull's ORMA 60 trimaran, TVS.
Aside from her easy ability to fly a hull, the most impressive aspect of the AC45 was her rapid acceleration.
After the finish of the race, the AC45 spent the night out on a mooring in the Viaduct Basin, the first time she has stayed on the water for the night.
The ability to leave the catamaran on its mooring overnight means less handling of the platform and wing and is a big time saver to the crews and shore teams. If the fleet of 10 AC45s is racing in one venue then mooring out is expected to be a serious consideration.
AC Regatta Management say that 'one of the goals of this initial testing phase of the boat will be to see how the boat with the wingsail sits on the mooring in a range of conditions, and to find the limits of when it's unsafe to leave the boat out overnight with the wing up.'
There should be plenty of opportunity to find that limit, with Auckland scheduled to be hit by the tail of a second cyclone in a week, as Cyclone Wilma hits the top of the North island of New Zealand on Friday and Saturday. However the smart money is that the AC45 will be tucked away in her shed.
Despite the benign conditions a night shift of two sailors - being the nephew of one Core Composite's Mark Turner and the other from Blackmatch Racing team.
On Thursday, Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts, newly arrived in Auckland, had a turn on the handlebars of the AC45 in a light to moderate breeze.
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