Please select your home edition
upffront 728x90

America's Cup- The Wing is the Thing for Emirates Team NZ's next AC72

by Richard Gladwell on 18 Jan 2013
Grant Dalton (left) and Nick Holroyd in front of the new AC72 - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012 © Richard Gladwell

Emirates Team New Zealand are on target to launch their second AC72 catamaran, around February 4, with their Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup having her first sail on February 7.

Doors at the teams base were thrown open for the New Zealand media today, showing the 72ft catamaran, with hulls in place, beams fitted and in an advanced state of preparation.

The hulls had only arrived from the Cookson Boats yard on Monday and four days later the beams had been fitted along with the other elements of the Y-structure which takes the loads and stresses from the yacht which is capable of sailing at over 40knots.

The differences from the team’s first AC72 were hard to spot – consistent with the theme that this design would be an evolution of the first rather than a completely new concept. In fact the design was locked off a few days after the launch of the team’s first AC72, in mid-July 2012. That first boat has since been decommissioned after sailing for the maximum 30 days allowed before the January 31, 2013 limitation prescribed by the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup - ostensibly as a cost saving measure.

Although team principals would not be drawn on the precise nature of the changes, they did concede they were a number of small changes, which would make the second boat more efficient, resulting in faster speeds, stronger apparent wind and an all round better performer.

Eyes only zone

It is in the shed next door where the 40 metre tall wingsails are being built, that the real changes are being implemented. Cameras were barred, and media carefully chaperoned around the wing sails, in contrast to the relative free range permitted in the hull and platform assemble and fit-out area.

Boat 2 will be launched with the wingsail from Boat 1. That wingsail is being worked over completely by a team of 20 builders, in both a maintenance and upgrade exercise.

'We go back into the water with Wing 1, then we turn to Wing 2, which is half built', explains Emirates Team NZ MD, Grant Dalton. 'Then we go to Wing 2.'

'In the end they will be mirrors of each other, so we can switch them in and out if we have to.'

In response to a question as to whether the profile shape of the second wing will be different from the first, Dalton replies 'they will be the same profile, but the profile is changing.'

The team will use only two wings in contrast to both the Defender, Oracle Team USA and the Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing (SWE) who have both smashed their first wingsails, and will be building the full allowed quota of three wingsails.

'They will be so interchangeable the guys won’t even know which one is in the boat,’ chips in Technical Director, Nick Holroyd.

In fact the objective with the wingsails is that if one is totally destroyed before the start of one race, the second will hopefully be able to be fitted in time for the boat to race in the second race of the day. 'They are just sitting there, ready to go,' says Dalton.

Turning to the other AC72’s, Dalton says they don’t know what Artemis Racing’s second wingsail will be like. 'Oracle’s wing is different. Its sectional shape is a little different, but it is more in its ratio that it is quite different, in terms of its flap to front element ratio. It looks really clean. It looks like a really nice wing.

'We don’t know what their third wing is like, but based on the timeframe they had available we can’t imagine that it will be much different from their second. You just don’t have the time available to do any re-design.'

Big hours for design and build

Holroyd explains that there is about 20,000 hours involved in building a wingsail – 'to put that in perspective, it’s the build time of an IACC boat (used in the past five America’s Cups). That’s just hours to build, for design we have three aero-dynamists working on it, and another five on the mechanical drawings and structure and composite design work. It is not far of a third of our design team working on the wingsails for almost two years now.

'There are 15-18 man years of design work in this wingsail'

'There’s a huge number of components, plus the weight budget is very tight, and even more so with the wingsail, because the weight is up high', he adds.

'The wingsails are designed for the San Francisco weather bell-curve, which centres on 15-16kts. Your ability to twist the wing and de-power it is very, very important. If you were running these boats in Valencia, Spain you might look at a three element, two slot type of wingsail. This wingsail package is very much tailored to the winds that we are expecting in San Francisco.'

In response to questions about the top wind strength in which the AC72 is designed to be able to race, Holroyd says that 'is the subject of wild debate amongst the Challengers.

'All the Challengers have been pushing right the way through to lower the 33kt limit that has been in the Protocol. I suspect we might see a little more flexibility from the Defender on that point in the coming months', he adds with a wry smile.

For TVNZ's Martin Tasker's report!click_here

And for 3News Ashlee Tulloch's report!click_here

Wildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug