Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

America's Cup- First impressions of Regatta and Media Trials

by Richard Gladwell and Event Media on 27 Apr 2011
Day 2 - America’s Cup Trials ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget http://photo.americascup.com/

Two days of testing in the America's Cup Regatta and Media Trials have concluded.

Conditions for both days have been quite different - with breezes at the top end of the scale on Tuesday and more moderate winds today, Wednesday.

Today winds lightened from 16-17 kts at the start of the test round to 4-5kts at the end.


From our vantage point on the top of North Head, overlooking the race course, it was hard to get enthused about the racing, albeit in light winds. Surprisingly there was some hull flying in the light airs for the final race, however at a distance the sailing was pedestrian, and not significantly different from what has been seen from the same vantage point with monohulls.

However this was not a fair test from which to draw any conclusions, conducted in the lee of Rangitoto Island, with some shifts and obvious differences in pressure.


When considering first impressions, one has to include the fact that these are 45fters with 21metre tall wingsails. The real thing will be almost double in length, double in beam and with a 38metre tall wingsail.

To compare apples with apples, one has to visualise a fleet of five 45ft long AC style monohulls - and that would be seriously dull - and nothing like their multihull equivalents which are on show/under test this week.

What we did see in the last race today, and probably the tamest to date, was typical catamaran racing, with margins and angles changing quite dramatically.

Maybe some see this as being exciting, with the result in doubt until the end.

The reality is that positioning on the course and picking up more pressure or a better angle will make a lot more difference to the margin, within reason, than a difference in hull shape or wingsail design.


Of course it is still one matter to catch up a competitor, but another to pass.

The other issue that fans will have to come to grips with is the issue of stadium racing. Fascinating it might be, but is it the America's Cup.

For many the concept of the America's Cup is two boats going head to head, sorting out who is really the best over 20 minute legs on an open sea course in even breeze, or relatively constant direction.

That is a long way different from six minute beats - which might make for spectacular television viewing, and great entertainment - but is it the America's Cup, or exhibition racing?

Time will tell how the fans react, and whether the format is sufficiently exciting to pull new punters.


Here's how the America's Cup.com blog saw the first two days of the Trials:

It's been a good week for Emirates Team New Zealand. A few days ago, the Kiwi team announced it had secured its funding to see it through this challenge for the Cup. And this week, the team is showing good pace during the test sessions off Auckland.

According to tactician Ray Davies, the team is over the steep part of the learning curve and is more comfortable with each day on the water.


'I think we're doing really well to be honest,' he said following the second day's session. 'We feel we're up there with ORACLE sailing on these boats. They've probably still got a slight edge, but it's pretty small. A few things go their way or your way and you're going to be in front.

'A lot of it is starting and Dean does a really good job there. Speed wise we're fine, so a lot of it is boat handling and we're doing alright there. It almost feels already like we're not looking for massive gains anymore, we're looking for the little details of getting better.'







And Day 1:

On a day of testing the limits, ORACLE Racing capsized and Emirates Team New Zealand grabbed a start mark. And that's just two of among dozens of near misses and thrills and spills. Not a bad way to start the week.

Day 1 of the New Zealand test event showed the promise and potential of the upcoming America's Cup World Series as five AC45s braved gusty, blustery and variable conditions on the waters off Auckland on Tuesday.


ACRM's Race Committee team was able to test several race course configurations as well as the new Umpire system in conditions that ranged from 22-25 knots to a period when the wind dropped below 5 knots, with everything in between.

The strongest conditions came at the beginning and end of the day, and it was during and after the final start sequence of the afternoon when most of the action came.

See video from the day here.

First, the ACRM AC45 nearly capsized moments before the start, but made a remarkable recovery near the pin end.

Moments later, Emirates Team New Zealand had the misfortune of getting the start mark entangled on their leeward rudder. As the boat slowed, the Kiwis too nearly capsized, before eventually freeing themselves.

All of this foreshadowed the main event - ORACLE Racing, skippered by Jimmy Spithill, and fighting hard for position on the downwind leg, buried its bows and rolled into a capsize.


'We were pushing really, really hard,' Spithill explained. 'We ended up having a capsize, we just weren't quite set up right for that run. But it was a good experience. I think everyone will go through this... I don't think it will be the last time.'

No one was injured in any of the incidents today and the ORACLE Racing boat suffered minor damage to the wing. But Spithill expects to be sailing again on Wednesday.

On the race management side, Regatta Director Iain Murray also declared the day a success.

'I think it's fair to say we tested a lot of things and found some we need to work on further, but at the end of the day we've brought together a bunch of teams as well as a whole lot of new systems and that's what it's all about. Generally our equipment worked and everyone is now getting familiar with it,' Murray said.

'I think the teams learned a lot as well. The teams pushed it about as far as they need to push it today but everyone lives to sail another day and we'll be out there again tomorrow.

'All in all a good day.'






[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

Barz Optics - Kids rangeInsun - AC ProgramPredictWind.com

Related Articles

An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May
A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 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
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr