Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Sail-World NZL.
One of our lead stories is the release of the Confidential Interpretations by the America’s Cup Measurement Committee. Not that they are hugely exciting reading, however they are significant for two things. This is the first time that such rulings have been released so far in advance of an America’s Cup, and gives an insight into what we can expect to see in the way of development of ACC design with the new generation of Version 5 yachts.
However the main reason for running the story is that it provides a real contrast in thinking between those involved in out of the box classes, where gear is bought off the shelf, and is completely standard; and the thinking of those trying to wring every last 'go-fast' out a restricted class rule and the mental gymnastics that the top designers go through looking for that special speed edge. In isolation these 'smarts' don’t add up to much, but get three or four or five of them working together and suddenly you have a boat that is a game-breaker.
Reading the interpretations is pretty turgid stuff, but if you want to understand how the top designers work at getting the edge out of a rule, then it is an interesting exercise – particularly when you realise that you are only seeing a very small part of the game. For some more background, read some of the excellent ACC design primers that are available on the web. Then ask yourself, what you would do to make an ACC boat go faster?
Motorola pounds up the track in Baltimore by: Andy Herbick - Volvo Extreme 40/ Ben Faber
We also feature a report from Jo Aleh on her regatta at Semaine Olympique Francaise at Hyeres. Jo is the youngest member of the YNZ 2006 Olympic Squad and while she achieved a good result in the 2005 Europeans (finishing 9th) she was put into the Squad for her light airs ability which will be a key in the 2008 Olympics in China (expected to be a light air venue).
Jo certainly delivered on this potential when the breeze lightened at Hyeres, producing some excellent results in the tail-end of the regatta and was unlucky not to medal. Her comments on the Grand Final are interesting.
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