America's Cup- Testing ideas in the real world
by Martin McElwee on 20 Dec 2011
Emirates Team NZ's Martin McElwee, a wing/rigging designer, known universally as Toon, www.etnzblog.com!blogs on what’s going on in the wonderful world of wings...
SL-33’s preparing for the first wingsail test session in the Viaduct harbour © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Well it's a busy time in the wing/rig department at the moment. Those of you with a keen eye who are out on the water will notice we now have a new red wing for each of our SL33 catamarans.
This has been a great project for us, putting into practice some of our ideas and test them on a real life platform prior to the full size AC72. Our days are split between the on-the-water observation and development of the 33 wings and continuing design, research, testing and readying ourselves for the imminent build of our first 72 wing.
One of the interesting things about this new class is that the rig and platform are a much more integral assembly than the old V5 boats. With the old ACC class you could almost design a rig in isolation to the hull and appendages.
With these new boats everything is linked and dependent on each other to complete the performance package and hold the whole platform together. The rig guys also interact closely with Gio Belgrano and his structures team as a lot of the platform structures are more similar to spars than boats.
There is a real buzz in the design office as all the ideas and objectives come together to make Boat 1. We will take a couple off weeks off for a breather over the Christmas period then it will be back into it full swing for a very exciting year ahead of us.
Added to everything else going on we are keeping a keen watch on the progress of Camper and offering backup for the stopovers and plenty of morale support. Certainly everyone in the office eagerly awaits the position updates every few hours.
On top of all this there is tomorrow morning’s touch rugby match but that's another story.....
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