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

 

Sail-World.com : Gladwell's Line: Aboard the AC45 + On-board Videos

Gladwell's Line: Aboard the AC45 + On-board Videos

'Auckland (NZL) - 34th America’s Cup - AC45 - Media day'    ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget ©    Click Here to view large photo

As the sailing world waits for the first of the Class of 2013 to commission their AC45's, today was the turn for some media to step abroad and experience at first hand what wingsailed catamarans will be like in the America's Cup.

It's an understatement to say the AC45, the prototype for the wingsailed AC72, has become a familiar sight on Auckland's Waitemata harbour. Familiar or not, the AC72's little sister never fails to turn heads.

And with good reason. Any boat that sails at twice the wind speed or more definitely warrants a second look.

Last September when it was announced in Valencia that the 34th America's Cup would be sailed in multihulls, there was a a collective in-sucking of breath amongst the older members of the sailing fraternity.

Yes we were one of that group, hoping the a turbo-charged monohull to a box rule, would be selected. But we've covered that particular paradise lost in previous editions of this column.

Since then we have argued and debated the pros and cons of the multihull vs monohull And now our catharsis is almost complete.

Yes, Russell the multihulls - well the AC45/72 version of the genre - will be just fine for the next America's Cup.

The turning point came late in the day, when one of Sail NZ's former America's Cup Class monohulls, appeared taking another group of happy tourists out for a two hour spin.

Looking to leeward of the AC45, towards the former challenger, with her towering mast and massive spinnaker emblazoned in the Emirates Team New Zealand livery, it was time to make a choice as to where you would rather be.

There was no doubt that our heart was now with the dancing wingsailed catamaran type.

If there had been a choice of match races to see that day on the Waitemata. Two AC Version 5's jousting, or two AC45's flying - where would we rather be?

We'd take the 45's any day, now.

Toady, the winds were light, and the sunlight bright. Not the best to put the AC45 through her paces. A day better for fishing.

Aboard the AC45, the first impression is that you are sailing a not very big dinghy, or maybe a 30ft sports boat.

Everything seems very light and small. The big deck gear is noticeable by its absence.

There's no noise. None of the dull screaming of loaded sheets being eased that characterised the monohulls.

The wingsail is directly sheeted, 49er style, off its base out to a small winch on the windward hull alongside the helmsman.

There's a complex purchase system under the wingsail, which essentially ensures the sail is adjusted as automatically as possible.

A couple of headsails - one for windward the other for reaching are hanked or on the furler, plus a couple of running backstays, and that's it. All very simple, aside for the lifting and lowering mechanism for the dagger foils.

Winding her up on the almost non-existent wind is a struggle, with both hulls immersed she feels a little sticky aside from the fact that the speedo reads 7kts.

From what we can work out 12kts seems to be about the minimum liftoff speed, and after searching out a bit more pressure - all six knots of it - the windward hull is out and we're in business.


Once airborne, the AC45 feels like a low flying bird - again there is no noise, no load, no stress.

Erle Williams, onetime-bowman of KZ-7 in the 1987 Louis Vuitton Cup is out for the day - his first on the AC45 - and remarks how well the systems are set up. The former America's Cup sailor, Whitbread WTR watch captain and VOR 40kt club member doesn't seem to have too much trouble working out which string to pull, underlining the simplicity of the catamaran.

In previous trips afloat in the Oracle racing chaseboat we've seen crews scrambling a little on the trampoline and wonder what it is really like.

Not as difficult as it looks to be honest. There's no moon-walking. Yes the mesh does have some give - but is easy to get around and certainly easier to work on than a keelboat. There's a bit more distance to cover between tacks, but it is not hard, and as William noted after the sail - the AC45 is very similar to working on an 18ft skiff.

From the chaseboat we counted the seconds for a gybe - there were just six. The same or less than a monohull, and a lot less frenetic activity.

There's no boom doing a haymaker through the centre of the boat. The mainsheet equivalent is barely eased, and the wing just folds into the new tack. It a pleasant experience not to have to duck your head, or keep an eye out for the dark shadow of a mainboom on the move,

Upwind it is a similar story, we didn't really count the seconds for a tack but it is certainly no more than six, and probably less.

The only trick upwind is to manage the heel angle of the AC45 as the crew come off the rain in preparation for the tack. Yes, these boats are crew weight sensitive and as the crew unweight, the 'mainsheet' is eased a few centimetres to drop off some of the pressure and maintain heel angle.

Through the tack it is every man for himself. Most go over the top of the centre spine - but underneath is also possible and the centre load bearing member is not the obstruction it appears from off the boat.

In short the AC45 seems to be very well designed and engineered - and like all yachts of those characteristics seems to be easy to sail, and a pleasure to sail.

AC45 - coming soon to a venue near you -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=81181   Click Here to view large photo

Can these boats be match raced? Sure they can - maybe a more balanced and rewarding form of sailing - with a more equal emphasis on being able to sail fast, sail hard, good tactics and good positioning on the course. Yes there will be much bigger gains and losses with this type of boat than the monohulls. But with this type of boat, capable of covering a lot of water very quickly the racing won't be over until the finish.

The opportunity for more pressure, and conversion of a knock downwind, will be enough to pull back a lot of time in short order.

On the water in the AC45, while she does feel a little like she is going around on rails, the racer in us doesn't take much to imagine another competitor on the other side of the course, who could easily be coming back on the other gybe with better pressure and angle plus 3-5kts more boatspeed and much better VMG, and a handy lead has just evaporated.

Another point of difference with the AC45 is the lack of instrumentation. Quite what will go on board, is another matter. And whether you have the time to look at it is another matter again. The prototype has just a simple speedo on the centrespine - showing just heading and boatspeed. No-one seems to look at it.

This is a boat for the seat of the pants sailor - and will reward those with that ability. Just like the 18ft skiffs.

Erle, and others of his ilk, will be in their element.

Both videos below shot from on-board the AC45 using small unstabilized cameras/iPhone4 - apologies for the quality.






by Richard Gladwell

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=81181

10:54 AM Wed 9 Mar 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

29 Sep 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets
27 Sep 2014  America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
09 Aug 2014  America's Cup: Former Artemis crew member says danger is being ignored
27 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA under stress
23 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ designers reveal AC72 secrets
22 May 2014  America's Cup: Artemis death verdict 'result of an human act'
10 May 2014  A year after the Artemis incident, the sailors tell of the pain
01 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ tech insights - Free lecture tonight
16 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced
14 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Kate Nota and her team onboard the J/111 Odyssey won the Ripple Effect Short Video Contest, which was part of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this summer (August 15). ... [more]  

The largest Laser World Championship in history will be taking place on the south coast of France when 515 sailors, representing 36 different countries, begin racing on October 5 to open the 2014 Audi Laser Masters’ World Championships. The Laser remains one of the best and most popular boats worldwide in which to enjoy the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

After being graced with plenty of late summer sunshine during the opening days of the event, more autumnal weather moved in on the fifth day of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam with grey skies and infrequent showers. Unfortunately though the light winds continued as the sailors endured another lay day. ... [more]  

In a move that is expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme -- Type I, II, III, IV and V -- that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was back on the water for day two at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

It has been an interesting journey so far for the Chinese team in the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team. Approximately 10 months ago this team set out on a mission to select and train Chinese recruits in the hope that they would be ‘race ready’ for the start of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race fans can now carry the world’s toughest ocean race in their pocket, thanks to the launch of a new official mobile app. Developed for both iOS and Android systems, the app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play now – and boasts a host of exciting features which will allow users to be closer to the on-water adventure than ever before. ... [more]  

Race teams planning next season’s calendar could do worse than sign up for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2015 which runs from 16-24 January. This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, was re-launched in 2014 with a new race format and plenty of record-breaking opportunities. It proved such a success that an even bigger entry is expected in 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing ... [more]  

Sunset+Vine|APP, the Oxford-based unit of the multi-award winning UK independent TV sports production and media company Sunset+Vine, has helped ISAF smash all previous broadcaster records for the recent Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Don’t forget to enter the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne. There are only two days left to take advantage of the discounted entry price offer. ... [more]  

2014 12 Metre North American Championships - Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory ’83 defended their titles ... [more]  

The waiting game continued on day four of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the light winds continued. Over the course of the day a few sailors took the opportunity to make the most of the small waves on offer, either surfing or SUPping. After spending the day on hold the sailors were released at 4:30pm. ... [more]  

After Gmunden, Austria, in 2011 and Cala de' Medici, Italy, in 2012 and after a pained second place, same points with the Portogues 'Credite Egs' in Portosin, Spain, last year, the Italian crew coming from Puglia 'Euz II Monella Vagabonda', with Sandro Montefusco at the helm and his brother Paolo as a tactician, confirms for the third time the Platu 25 World Championship title. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for the first day of competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on site for day one of racing at the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

The final day of the 2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship ended up being a half day of sailing due to a complete shutdown of the wind. However, the fleet completed enough races to count Gold Round Robin 3 and crown Ladies and Gentlemen as the back-to-back Team Racing Champions. ... [more]  

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, was a fitting location as The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) gathered for the fourth time in the organization’s history to fulfill its mission to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Bids to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds must be received by Friday 24 October 2014. ... [more]  

The onboard medic-sailors competing in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race have completed their last medical training. More than a basic first aid refresher course, the mandatory medical training each Volvo Ocean Race team had to carry out in the last few months and days are key to survival while at sea. ... [more]  

Erik Simonson was on the water at 2014 Melges 20 Pacific Coast Championship to capture these images. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Light air ruled the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—and so did Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin on Mandate. ... [more]  

The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Ville de Nice set to gear up for this weeks penultimate regatta. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back onboard this week, fresh from their 49er World Championship win and looking to make it two wins from two events for Emirates Team New Zealand on the ?Extreme Sailing Series ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - In Sunday’s final matches in the Buddy Melges Challenge, Stephanie Roble and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen showed the crowds on the bluffs of Lake Michigan how top class match racing should be sailed. It took five absolutely thrilling matches for the Danish crew to secure their first WIM Series event victory since last summer’s Danish Open. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Oracle Team USA's winning AC72 takes to the streets of San Francisco, one year on from the Team's successful Defence of the America's Cup. This week the AC72 catamaran Oracle Team USA raced to victory is going to be a special guest at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

What a great day for kiting at Kite Foil Gold Cup Australia 2014! 10-15 knot North Easterly and slight seas. Kites zooming around like supersonic mosquitoes but mosquitoes buzz whereas foiling kites are completely silent! ... [more]  

At the time that we are writing this, it is almost exactly a week since the first race took place at Wakatere Boating Club in New Zealand, followed by hundreds of races across the globe that we have been told attracted record numbers of sailors to your clubs ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - It was a picturesque day on Marblehead Harbor with plenty of sunshine for the second day of the U.S. Team Racing Championship. Once again, a lack of consistent breeze made for a challenging day for the Race Committee, umpires and competitors. Nevertheless, PRO Susie Schneider and her team were able to complete Round Robin One ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Saturday’s racing in the Buddy Melges Challenge on Lake Michigan, USA, saw more breeze than ever before during the week. Stephanie Roble used her local knowledge to show a clean sheet for the day, going in to Sunday’s conclusion with a one – zero lead over Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen in the final, sailed as a best of five match series. ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - A balanced field and limited racing usually leads to close races and a crowded leaderboard. This was the situation on Eagle Mountain Lake for the last day at the U.S. Adult Championship, hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Five races are now in the books, and just three points separate the top three teams at the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... [more]  

Images from Cannes: Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai
Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai: Cannes at its best
Dutch Match Cup - Gilmour keeps clean sheet in Lelystad
Dutch Match Cup - GAC Pindar through to fifth consecutive semi-final
Hobie 16 Open North Americans and 2015 Pan Am Games qualifier overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Frostad on Boat Design and final changes (Part II) *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 10 days to go – Frostad on cultural change (Part I) *Feature
2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar clinches
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Meldgaard and Le Berre ready for semis
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 3
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 1 + Video
America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
Byte CII World Sailing Championship comes to Royal Varuna, Thailand
Dutch Match Cup: Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle
12 Metre North Americans - A blast from the America’s Cup past
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup qualification system published
Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre named as Spanish team sponsor + Video
Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014
ISAF invites bids for 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Teaming up   
Mascalzone Latino Jr. named 2014 Melges 20 European Ranking Champion   
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre keeps winning in Sheboygan   
Hobie 16 Open North American Champ and Pan Am Games Qualifier - Day 4   
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 2   
J/105 North Americans - Wilmer and McLaughlin master light conditions   
J/24 World Championship - Will Welles hangs on going into last day   
Open 2.4mR World Championship on the horizon   
Bart's Bash - Top photographers gain special entry   
Platu 25 Worlds - EUZ II Monella Vagabonda is still leading in France   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Olympic duel on the island   
Dutch Match Cup - High winds and big wipeouts in Lelystad   
Route du Rhum - Yann Guichard to sail Spindrift 2 solo   
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image - Best sailing photo of the year sought   
Volvo Ocean Race - Yann Riou, getting you up close and personal   
Marseille One Design concludes GC32 racing season + Video   
World Yacht Racing Forum - Seventh edition to take place in Barcelona   
Record number of entries for the Sailing Champions League   
Platu 25 World Championship - Euz II Monella Vagabonda still leading   
Rolex Middle Sea Race Record - A possibility for Esimit Europa 2   


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