Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Fisher's View- Day minus 3 ACWS Newport - The Elephant is in the Room

by Bob Fisher on 26 Jun 2012
Oracle Team USA - 34th America’s Cup, America’s Cup World Series Newport 2012, Free training Day 4 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Newport, RI, USA for the sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day minus 3 - America's Cup World Series - Newport, RI, USA

While the attention should be on the completion of the 2011/2012 AC-45 World Series, much of the talk is of the AC-72s. It runs from the AC hierarchy right through to the sailors and the topics are wide and various, from whether the size of the boats will produce too heavy demands on the crews to the way in which the boats themselves are designed and structured. Even at an Oracle Team USA press conference, the question of the 72s took up almost half the available time.

In a separate interview with Russell Coutts, he admitted that the heavy loadings of these catamarans that would constantly exceed 30 knots would be more than a handful for the 11-man crews and when asked if perhaps he hadn't taken a step too far, he could only shrug his shoulders in a gesture of uncertainty. ACRM chief, Iain Murray, revealed that the teams that had paid their entry fee for the Louis Vuitton Cup, together with the defender, were still in discussions regarding the length of the courses. He said the downwind legs of three miles could only take six minutes and that would include setting the masthead asymmetric and furling it to round the leeward mark.

Then the matter of hydrofoils reared its ugly head. Oracle Team USA has been trialling on of its AC-45s with L-shaped daggerboards and T-foiled rudders in San Francisco with some success. It also has a backlog of experience gained in the development of USA-17, the 90-foot waterline catamaran that won the 33rd America's Cup. Whether other teams have similarly experimented is not known, but all the AC-72 design teams will have been evaluating the theories. Those theories are certain to be transformed into practicality.

The biggest concern of most teams is the short time they are allowed to sail their AC-72s. From July 1st to January 31st next year, each team will be allowed only 30 days sailing with their first AC-72. Dirk Kramers, the Oracle Team's chief engineer, admitted: 'The 72s will throw it all in peoples' faces and 30 days is not very much.' He added: 'The next 13 months will prove very interesting.'

Taking a more pragmatic approach in Newport, Jimmy Spithill said that obtaining as much experience of racing catamarans was of paramount importance 'whether is in the 45s or A-cats, it all counts.' He added that when considering the upcoming regatta: 'anyone can win this one; it's all about consistency.' And of whether the four-point lead his team has over Emirates Team New Zealand being enough, he commented: 'It could be very close.'
InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht DesignKilwell - 4

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr