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America's Cup- Artemis Racing makes change in design tack

by America's Cup Media on 13 Apr 2013
AC72 testing in San Francisco bay. Artemis Racing April 2013, Alameda, USA Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing © http://www.sandervanderborch.com

About a month and a half ago Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard put his hand up and essentially said his team had made a mistake. Artemis Racing had decided early in its campaign to not research a fully foiling AC72. But after a round of training against ORACLE TEAM USA’s foiling AC72 in mid-February, Cayard said Artemis Racing would reverse course and produce a fully foiling AC72.

'As for our changes, it is fair to say that we are going to be building a fully foiling boat. This will require a redesign of our boards and board cases, and rudders. It is a complete package once you go down that road,' Cayard said at the beginning of March. 'Boat 1 is now in the shed for three weeks, but we are doing work in some other areas, and are eager to get back on the water. It will not be a fully foiling boat when we re-launch. To fully convert this boat would keep us off the water for too long.'

When launched, Artemis Racing’s first AC72 had boards and rudders that helped reduce displacement when sailing, but it wasn’t a flier. One of the reasons Artemis avoided the fully foiling AC72 is because of the class rule. As one of the team’s helmsmen, Loïck Peyron, points out, 'The rule was written to avoid foiling. But rules are made to find the little holes between the sentences, and a few guys did that very well.'

Boat 1 reappeared on San Francisco Bay last week. Although it’s still not fully foiling, there were some noticeable changes, such as the fairing on the aft crossbeam, that have Peyron happy.

'We had a very good V6 engine, but not all the cylinders were working together,' the Frenchman said. 'Now that’s the case. In fact, the power is there. That’s the first step of modifications for Boat 1. We will do another step in a few weeks and it will be a very good boat, for training at least.'

While Boat 1 is up and running again, Artemis Racing’s design team and boatbuilders are busy adapting a foiling system to Boat 2. Peyron said that Boat 2 will be fully foiling. In the meantime the team has also converted one of its AC45s to a fully foiling flier, and the team’s second helmsman, Nathan Outteridge, has been using it for crew training.

'At the moment Loïck’s been doing the big boat and working on developing the wing, and I’ve been taking on the 45 and using my knowledge from foiling in Moths to learn as quickly as possible about foiling in catamarans,' said Outteridge, the 2011 Moth world champion.

'We’re getting to the stage where it’s working quite nicely,' Outteridge continued. 'Now we’re getting a chance to rotate the crew through and get Loïck and all the guys on the boat and understanding how it all works. We don’t have much time, so we’re working as quick as can.

'Sailing the 45 teaches you something about the 72 everyday. We can’t sail the big boat foiling properly at the moment, so we’re just running through our systems on the boat and understanding how the boat feels. We’re educating the team on what foiling will feel like so when we get on the big boat it’s not this big scary thing. That’s not to say that it won’t be scary, but the more we get on the 45 in windy conditions the better it will be for the whole team,' said Outteridge.

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