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Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 21 - In Cascais

America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 21 - In Cascais

'ORACLE Racing - ORACLE Racing AC45 Sea trials'    Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing.com ©    Click Here to view large photo

Oracle Racing's newsletter for 1 August 2011 covering the arrival in Cascais

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Monday, August 01, 2011
TEAM NEWS

ORACLE Racing in final preps for ACWS – Cascais

By ORACLE Racing Comms // Aug. 1, 2011

ORACLE Racing’s two AC45 catamarans arrived in Cascais, Portugal, signaling the team’s final round of preparations for the inaugural America’s Cup World Series, scheduled Aug. 6-14.

The regatta pits the U.S. champion team against all of the challengers for the 34th America’s Cup for the first time. And it will demonstrate the vision that has fast-forwarded one of the oldest competitions in sport into a high-seed, innovative and modern event.

ORACLE Racing will field two crews in the event, headed by America’s Cup stars James Spithill and Russell Coutts, respectively the youngest skipper and the most successful skipper in the 160-year history of the event.

“The America's Cup World Series will showcase all of the teams racing right in front of the spectators,” said Coutts, the ORACLE Racing CEO who has won the Cup a record four times. “So I expect fans to see hard, fast and dramatic racing taking place right in front of them.”

Spithill, who was 30 years old when he won the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010, expects a fierce challenge, not just from the competitors but also the conditions. Cascais is renowned as a windy venue, and it’s lived up to that reputation the past few weeks.

“We’ve been looking forward to Cascais for a long time now,” said Spithill of Australia. “We’re very anxious. Obviously, there are some nerves. We want to get out there and have a good result. You have to be consistent and have good team work. These boats reward good team work.”

The team’s two AC45 catamarans arrived last Thursday, July 27, after a 10-day voyage from Savannah, Ga., that wound through Algeciras, Spain, before being trucked overland to Portugal, proof of the smart logistics and easy transportation that were a key part of the AC45 design concept.

The shore crew began assembling the boats over the weekend and preparing for the expected arrival of the sailing team tomorrow.

“It’s about a four-day turnaround from pulling the pieces out of the containers to wheeling the assembled boat out the door for its first sail,” said Wolfgang Chamberlain, ORACLE Racing’s shore team manager in Cascais. “We started on Saturday and the first scheduled day of sailing is Aug. 4, so we’re well on schedule.”

Link to full article: ORACLE Racing in final preps for ACWS – Cascais
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA

 

Spithill in America’s Cup Uncovered

The premiere episode of America’s Cup Uncovered, the weekly news magazine showcasing the America’s Cup, is now available online at America’s Cup Uncovered – Episode 1.

The episode includes a day in the life of ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill. In the feature he explains his motivation behind his personal goal of winning the America’s Cup.

“When I was 3 Australia II won,” said Spithill, who grew up in Pittwater, north of Sydney. “Two of my neighbors, Colin Beashel and Rob Brown, were part of Australia II. When Australia II won, all the people in the bay – it was just a small community, no roads, you had to get there by boat – all got together and obviously it was just a long party at the Beashels following the victory.

“When you’re a young kid seeing that, growing up, you go to school by boat, you naturally know that’s what you want to do. I wanted to be one of those guys that won the America’s Cup,” Spithill said.

“To me, nothing else matters more than winning this next Cup.”

The 5-minute feature on Spithill begins at about the 13-minute mark.

Link to video: America’s Cup Uncovered – Episode 1

 

A new class of catamaran

By Roger Renstrom, Plastics News Correspondent // July 29, 2011

Polymer-matrix composites pervade the AC45 wing-sailed catamarans competing in Portugal next week for the kickoff event of the 34th America’s Cup.

The one-design America’s Cup 45 fleet, manufactured by Core Builders Composites Ltd. in Warkworth is a group effort using resin, structural cores and carbon-and-aramid-fiber tapes and fabrics from suppliers such as Advanced Composites Group, Euro-Composites Group, Gurit Holding AG and Adhesive Technologies Ltd.

Boat and wing builders Tim Smyth and Mark Turner oversee Core’s 70-person operation in a 55,000-square-foot production plant north of Auckland.

Competitors in AC45 World Series races leading up to the final matches will be using the smaller, 45-foot multihull wing-sail catamarans built by Core in Warkworth. The AC45 kickoff begins Aug. 6-14 in Portugal, off the coastal town of Cascais, near Lisbon.

Core raced to complete the entire fleet of new multihull AC45s for the World Series, compressing design and construction into one simultaneous process, according to Core Builders’ Smyth. In August Oracle launched design work that continued into the manufacturing phase, which followed in September.

All of the AC45 components are made with pre-impregnated epoxy materials — mostly from Heanor, England-based ACG — and vacuum bagged for curing. Echternach, Luxembourg-based Euro-Composites makes the yacht’s honeycomb core using phenolic-coated Nomex meta-aramid fibers and a non-metallic lightweight structural material. Wattzil, Switzerland-based Gurit supplied wing-spar materials including its M-grade Corecell foam, known as M-foam.

For the bulkheads, Core vacuum-cures Nomex and M-foam cores and carbon-fiber/epoxy prepreg and applies a modified epoxy urethane undercoating.

“The industry has evolved and advanced,” Smyth said. “Designers specifying these materials are more aware of properties. There was a fudge factor in the old days. Now designs are down to theoretical limits although not as much as aerospace.”

Link to full article: A new class of catamaran
Photo: Composites help give the AC45’s their speed (Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA).

34th AMERICA'S CUP

TV graphics put America’s Cup in better focus

By Bernie Wilson, Associated Press // July 29, 2011

The yellow first-down line that has become a staple of football broadcasts is coming to the America’s Cup.

Thanks to improved graphics, viewers sitting in front of their TVs or computer screens will easily be able to tell which boat is ahead, see the line the boats will use as a final guide into the next turning mark and know when the fast 45-foot catamarans are within a certain number of boat lengths of the mark.

It's all part of the modernized America's Cup, which is trying to become more fan-friendly by using wing-sailed catamarans, shorter races and courses that allow easy viewing from shore.

The technology, called LiveLine, will debut with the first stop of the America's Cup World Series Aug. 6-14 in Cascais, Portugal. The AC World Series this year and next is a buildup to the 2013 America's Cup on San Francisco Bay.

Stan Honey, who helped develop the yellow first-down line more than a decade ago, chuckled at the comparison.

“I guess some of the technology certainly is going to be included,” said Honey, director of technology for the America's Cup Event Authority. “Obviously the thing we are highlighting is a little different. Basically, the principle objective is to take something that's important to a sport and hard to see, and make it easy to see.”

In a sport like sailing, that's huge. But it took some doing.

“The main technical difference is, in football, the cameras are mounted on tripods. You know where they are,” Honey said. “It's real easy to measure pan and tilt. In sailing, the camera is in a helicopter and it's much tougher. You have to know the location of the copter to within a couple of centimeters. Also, the attitude, which is roll, pitch and yaw. You have to measure that really accurately, otherwise you put the lines in wrong place in the video. If you're 1,500 feet away from the racecourse and have the angle wrong, then you'll put the lines in the wrong place. So that's tougher.”

Link to full article: TV graphics put America’s Cup in better focus
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA

ACWS – CASCAIS

What will we see in Cascais?

By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt // July 27, 28, 2011

When the inaugural event of the America’s Cup World Series commences Aug. 6-14 in Cascais, Portugal, it will be an event the sport has never seen before. Professional teams, wing-powered one-design AC45s, stadium setting, specially designed race formats...this is what's possible when you combine the intrigue of an iconic trophy with money.

The foundation of all ideas surrounding the America's Cup is to create an event worth watching. So what will we see? Scuttlebutt asked this question of John Craig (USA), who as Principal Race Officer of the 34th America's Cup, is also responsible for conducting the races of the America's Cup World Series.

What do you expect the first fleet race to look like?
JOHN CRAIG: We are anticipating a reaching start towards the marina, about .6 nm from the start to the reach mark. Once around the reach mark it’s a run to the leeward gate (about 1.8 nm) then back to the old reach mark, which is now one of two windward marks creating a windward gate. After that they'll run back to the leeward gate and then back up to finish at the windward gate. Couple the small course with the virtual boundary to keep the boats in the arena and you'll see the racing will be tight and visible from shore.

How will the localized conditions affect the racing?
JOHN CRAIG: The breeze is predominately out of the North here in Cascais, and for the last week has been pretty San Francisco and Gorge in nature. WINDY! The course proximity to shore makes it puffy and shifty, but on the positive side the water is flat. Bearing an AC45 off at the reach mark in breeze is a challenge in it of itself, so the gusts and shifts are going to further complicate the maneuver. There should be plenty of passing lanes upwind and downwind with the virtual boundaries pushing the boats back into spaces that may not be the optimal place for a tack or jibe.

What will be noticeable about the event judging system?
JOHN CRAIG: The new Umpire system is in many ways like what we have seen in the past. It has people making the call; most of the time they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. The difference is the new system, through the use of our tracking technology and use of live television, provides another layer of information the judges can use to make the correct call.

On the water we will have two Umpires on jet skis and one Umpire in a RIB, all providing information from their perspective back to the Umpire booth. This will be coupled with live television feed and tracking software that shows overlaps and zones within two centimeters. The amount and accuracy of the information available to these Umpires hasn’t been seen before. The other side of the equation is at the speed the AC45s, and ultimately the speed the AC72s will reach, keeping up positioning and making a call in a RIB alone is a very daunting task.

Link to full articles: Scuttlebutt 3392, Scuttlebutt 3393
Photo: America's Cup Principal Race Officer John Craig (Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA).

 

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