sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Sail developments break the speed barrier

Sail developments break the speed barrier

'Wild Oats XI off Cape Raoull'    © Rolex/Daniel Forster

When Rani took line honours in the first Sydney to Hobart race in 1945, she had been at sea for more than six and a half days. Thirty years later the American maxi ketch Kialoa became the first yacht to sail the course in under three days, recording a time of 2 days 14 hours 36 minutes 56 seconds and Kialoa’s record stood for 21 years.

It was finally broken, but only just, by the American-designed, Australian-built, German-owned 80 footer Morning Glory in 1996, with a time of 2 days 14 hours 7 minutes 10 seconds. These times were shattered in the 1999 Telstra Sydney to Hobart when the former Whitbread Round the World racer Nokia, the 60 footer, slashed the race record by an extraordinary 18 hours as she surfed southwards in 1 day 19 hours 48 minutes 2 seconds.

The weather was extra ordinary that year with sixteen boats, including a group of five 40 footers, breaking the old record running down the NSW coast, across Bass Strait and down the Tasmania Coast with spinnakers set in 30-40 knots winds. Those perfect record breaking conditions were calculated to have been a 'one in a hundred year weather' pattern.

The IMS rating system was by 2000 and onwards, discouraging the development of really fast boats; they were heavily penalised on rating. Then came the new IRC handicapping system and fast boats were again in vogue, but in 2004 the CYCA set a maximum allowable IRC handicap which effectively capped the overall boat speed. In 2005 race organisers removed the artificial IRC limits, while retaining a maximum boat length of 30 metres.

Masts got taller, keels deeper and sail areas increased. So in 2005 Wild Oats XI, a state-of-the-art 30 metre, carbon fibre super maxi designed by Reichel/Pugh with CBTF (Canting Ballast Twin Foil technology) set a new record with a time of 1 day 18 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds.

As Iain Murray, the tactician aboard Wild Oats for the last three years said dockside before the 2007 race start ‘From 2005 on our focus was all about overall speed. We now carry many sails which increase our handicap rating, but deliver extra speed even in ordinary conditions.’

This year while there have been some periods of favourable wind speeds each night the conditions have been much less favourable than in 1999, yet this year's line honours winner, (barring accidents as she is still at Iron Pot) Wild Oats XI will only be an hour outside the 1999 record.

The 30 metre 98 foot supermaxis' can sail much faster than the older designs because of some rapid improvements in sail design. Wild Oats XI can reach speeds of 11-14 knots in 7 knots of breeze at certain wind angles - she is generating her own wind.

The lead up to this year’s race for Wild Oats XI was less than perfect; she dropped her rig in September at the Rolex Maxi Worlds. Her 44 metre mast and attached sails were cut away from the boat. It was not until 7 December that her new mast was built and stepped in the boat and her sails were hoist for the first time two days later. Yet just another two days after her first sail, she showed the blistering speed in the Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour and in the Rolex Trophy offshore series.

Last week Michael Coxon, the CEO of North Sail Australia explained how the fastest and most consistent super maxi in the southern hemisphere recovered from catastrophic event.

'It was the combination of South Spars and North Sails working together that had the boat out sailing and winning in a very short time frame. She has a new stiffer Hi Modulus carbon rig; this stiffer mast is a more stable platform. It makes the sailmakers and trimmers task easier, it allows the use of a larger roached mainsail.'

‘These days we are using new technology that has trickled down from the work North Sails have done with the America’s Cup and Volvo programs and we are now using that on Hobart racers, and the 18 footers. Those engineering developments have moved us up a lot of notches.'

To get Wild Oats XI back on the water, our Australian loft sail designer, American Keith Lorenz, who has been 25 years with North Sails, worked closely with Southern Spars designers. Together they were using a program called Flow and Membrane, to design the rig and sail combination.'

‘We have a very good handle on the stress and strains on any corner of the sail; this allows much more precise specifying of the sizes of all the lines from halyards to reefing lines. We know the loads on pad eyes on deck and that enables the specification of fittings of reduced sizes and therefore weight.'

‘All around, there are less surprises, this allows us to dock tune, enable us to leave the dock for the first time and load the boat, without long exercises. The boat is virtually race tuned from the time it leaves the dock. In building a new mainsail, with a stiffer mast, we were able to go to a next generation of mainsail, this allowed us to increase sail area, at profile and flying shapes. Certainly this combination of spar manufacturer working with sail maker produces best designs. The new mainsail was probably the nicest main sail to come new out of a bag.

'Some of major developments have been in building sails for light wind sailing conditions and that is certainly a factor in breaking race records. During the light winds of the Rolex Trophy series we were using new Code Zero down wind sails.

'We learnt on Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton’s 98 footer in Sardinia (sailing against Wild Oats XI until her mast fell down) that a new sail an experimental first 3DL spinnaker, was delivering better speeds in light conditions. What was needed was a big flat sail. Under the IRC rules the mid girth of the code zero has to be 75%. But sails that wide can be unstable which means they can flog themselves to death if made under spectra.

'So the approach we’ve been able to take in building a new Code Zero for Wild Oats XI with the stronger 3DL material is to sacrifice the luff and the exit of the leech and just recognise they won’t be setting inefficiently. The sail is set with the luff inside itself, allowing it to back wind and the back of the sail fishtailing off.

'Previously if a Code Zero like that was made of Spectra, they’d shake themselves to pieces so we would have had to make them deeper, which defeated the purpose of the sail. Now we’ve been able to make the big flat sail and we have found this to be faster than the Code 1 spinnaker and we can sail lower and faster on our VMG running. Another major benefit is that it’s a furling sail, there is no sail packing and the crews are loving it.'

As Wild Oats XI reached Iron Pot this morning in a dying breeze, she tacked gently (in four knots of breeze) and unfurled the new Code Zero for the run up the Derwent.




by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=40387

10:45 AM Sun 30 Dec 2007 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Yachting News

Related News Stories:

05 Jan 2013  The yacht club with no water.
11 Jun 2012  Yacht Club of Monaco-'New clubhouse new horizons,' says Prince Albert
11 Apr 2012  Yacht Club celebrates fifty years
25 Jan 2012  European Yachts of the Year: Beneteau, Oyster, Pogo and Esse
28 Jun 2011  What, actually, is a superyacht? Australia ponders
04 Jun 2009  OBE for Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park
03 Jun 2009  Leaders of world’s premier yacht clubs 'in the same boat'
01 Jun 2009  UK boat builders feel the stress
30 May 2009  Sailing Clubs named as Olympic Pre-Games Training Camp venues
29 May 2009  Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to visit WPNSA
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland






2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England




























2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   
U.S. Youth Championships - Climactic finish on Lake St. Clair   
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games - Lake Jinniu action on the horizon   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT