Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

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. SW

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 40+ 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

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
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar