Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Louis Vuitton Cup-The Demolition Derby continues in San Francisco

by Bob Fisher on 19 Aug 2013
Team New Zealand with shore crew on board to figure out what happened in race number two at the Americas Cup Louis Vuitton Finale on August 18, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

As if the damage inflicted to the boats on the opening day of this possible 13-race series to decide the challenger for the 34th America’s Cup was not bad enough, the decimation continued on the second day.

This time, the biggest sufferer was Emirates Team New Zealand, generally regarded as the bullet-proof boat.

The fragility of the AC-72s arises from the complexity of the operating systems – it is the delicate balance between form and function on the one hand and minimum weight on the other. All parts have to be strong enough to be able to deal with extremes well beyond the norm, but unnecessary weight on a racing multihull is an anathema.

Consequently there will be failures, and generally they will result in the affected boat having to pull out of the race. With two races each day, any failure could be doubly punitive. On the opening day, Luna Rossa was saved from having to claim her one-and-only lay day when the wind over the course exceeded the 21-knot limit.

same was true for the Kiwis on day two, which was just as well for them. There were many more than the nine men of the crew on board the boat, out near the Golden Gate Bridge, when Race Director Iain Murray announced that once more the wind strength exceeded the limit – a 2.7 knot ebb tide did not help either as that has to be added as the important factor is the apparent wind.

The race started normally with Chris Draper in Luna Rossa attempting to gain a 'hook' to leeward of Emirates Team New Zealand. But Barker was sharp enough to repulse this and aimed for the line, arriving marginally ahead of the Italians. The gap between them at the first mark was four seconds – two boat’s lengths.

Downwind, ETNZ drew away to be 23 seconds in front at the second gate. At the end of the next leg, as she approached the windward mark, aided by the strong ebb tide, ETNZ slowed to a stop – the crew had lost the use of the hydraulics that control the daggerboards and foils due to an electronic failure in the system. It was terminal for the Kiwis, and Luna Rossa was soon passing them to leeward and rounding Mark 3.

With a support boat alongside and several of the maintenance crew climbing on to the trampoline to examine the problem, there was no alternative for Barker but to retire from the race and allow Draper and the Luna Rossa crew to finish the race, claim a point and draw level 1 – 1 for the series. It was the first race win in a Louis Vuitton Cup final for this team since 2000.

Earlier in the day, the gremlins struck the defender. As the two Oracle Team USA boats were manoeuvring in the pre-start of their practice race, the port rudder of Ben Ainslie’s boat (the elder of the two) snapped off immediately below the hull. His race was over. The rudder had suffered damage the previous day when Ainslie had snagged the rode of a navigation mark when attempting to avoid a spectator boat. 'It was either the boat or the buoy,' joked Ainslie, 'I think I made the right choice.'

The seemingly superficial damage was repaired overnight and repainted, but no one had suspected the deeper damage. The breakage occurred when the skipper yanked the rudder hard to bear away to go for the start line.





Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Mackay BoatsZhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
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