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Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 27 - From Plymouth

America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 27 - From Plymouth

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

Oracle Racing's newsletter for 26 September 2011 covering the racing in Plymouth

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Monday, September 26, 2011
TEAM NEWS

Boatbuilder doesn’t mind a bit of carnage

By Kerry Gallagher, Rodney Times // Sept. 22, 2011

The America's Cup World Series has lived up to its billing of fast racing, spills and enough accidents to keep its boatbuilders busy.

All AC45 boats were built at Warkworth's Core Builders Composites and build manager Tim Smyth is delighted with the way they have performed.

Must see video: Plymouth Capsize Club 2

The series has just finished its second leg in Plymouth, England, and will resume in San Diego in November.

Team New Zealand leads the series with Oracle teams in second and third place.

Mr Smyth points out comments in German news magazine Spiegel describing the racing as "a new era in competitive sailing and a breakthrough in presenting sailing to the world".

He says: "There's a bit of carnage over there too, which is what people like to see. One boat t-boned another and there was a spectacular catapult where one boat literally rotated head over heels right over the mast and slammed into the water.

"So it's produced a lot of damage, which is good business for us, I suppose. We have to build more parts."

Link to full article: Boatbuilder doesn’t mind a bit of carnage
Photo below: Guilain Grenier/ORACLE Racing

 

 

Composites power America’s Cup racers

By Doug Smock, Design News // Sept. 19, 2011

The world's fastest racing boats will make their US debut this November at a racing series in San Diego that tests new design concepts for the America's Cup.

Those design concepts promise to be the most revolutionary in the history of the race. "This will be a competition for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation," said Russell Coutts, an engineering graduate of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and CEO of the defending champion ORACLE Racing when discussing rules for the next America's Cup.

Wing-sail catamarans made with high-tech carbon fiber-reinforced plastics will compete at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013. Approximate dimensions of the new boat class -- called AC72s -- are 72 feet in overall length; 15,500 pounds in displacement; and 3,229 square feet in wing-sail area. The height of the wing-sail is 131 feet, just 66 feet shorter than the wingspan of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the carbon composite-sheathed aircraft making its commercial debut this fall.

Speed for a sailboat is determined by the amount of horsepower divided by the amount of drag. The optimal shape chosen for the Oracle boat's wing-sail is an elongated teardrop, thick and rounded as it heads into the wind. A trailing wedge tapers into a thin wedge.

In an article in Wired magazine, Ian Burns, Oracle Racing's team coordinator, said that the AC72s will feature a lift coefficient as high as 4 or 5, compared to 1.2 for a traditional sail, and 2 or more for wing-sails used in the AC45, which is a de facto working prototype that will be used in the San Diego race.

Link to full article: Composites power America’s Cup racers
Photo: The wingsail of USA 17 is off-loaded in San Francisco (Gilles Martin-Raget/ORACLE Racing).

 

 

How silly it was sailing real TV sports

By Rob Schoof, NRC Handlesblad (NED) // Sept. 20, 2011

Money is no object. Not for men like Larry Ellison. In 2000, when he was the richest man on earth, founded the American ORACLE Racing sailing team, named to the software which he earned billions. Eleven years later he was racing transformed from a slow and predictable on the water to a spectacular event, as Dirk de Ridder explains.

Colliding catamarans, shouting sailors. Short courses that guarantee are dangerous overtaking by staggering speeds. Helmets are mandatory on the boats hung with cameras. All Live on YouTube. “There are many people from other sports seeing us as the Formula 1,” says de Ridder.

 

 

Spithill wins acclaimed final

By Carsten Kemmling, Der Spiegel (GER) // Sept. 19, 2011

It is the beginning of a new era: In Plymouth, the nine previously presented for the America's Cup teams in 2013 reported crashes, stunts and thrilling moves. However, not only because of the spectacular moments of the America's Cup, World Series was a success in England. In the decisive Fleet-race finale on Sunday with all the boats could save favorite James Spithill from the America's Cup defender ORACLE Racing to victory after a tense three-way battle with Team New Zealand and the second team from Oracle Racing, under the command of Russell Coutts.

It was an extremely tough race with three capsizes, a collision, a man-overboard incident and exciting three-way battle at the top. The catamarans reached top speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.

In general, the sport of sailing has never been set so spectacularly. The Internet makes it possible. The ORACLE Racing capsize video of San Francisco was now viewed over a million times on YouTube. And after a deal with the internet platform also reached the live broadcast, a new dimension. The viewer can be elected during the ongoing race among four different perspectives from the helicopter to the onboard view and run parallel to a virtual animation.

Link to full article: Spithill wins acclaimed final

34th AMERICA’S CUP

Gov. Brown signs America’s Cup financing bill

By Eric Young, San Francisco Business Times // Sept. 23, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday making it easier for San Francisco to create financing districts to pay for improvements tied to the America’s Cup.

“This bill gives San Francisco the flexibility it needs to finance important waterfront improvements,” Brown said of the legislation written by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat.

“The Port of San Francisco is a beautiful urban coastline,” Brown said, “but its infrastructure needs a lot of work.”

Indeed, some rickety piers are at risk of being condemned because the port does not have the money to fix them.

The Infrastructure Financing Districts Act of 1990 allows local governments to divert property tax increment revenues from the state to build roads and other infrastructure improvements in specified areas. The process of forming an infrastructure financing district is lengthy, requiring an extended bureaucratic review and three separate votes of the people.

Ammiano’s bill — AB 664 — quickens this process, Brown said, enabling the city to set up districts in less time.

The city expects to set up infrastructure finance districts once it completes the state-mandated environmental review by the end of this year.

Link to article: Gov. Brown signs America’s Cup financing bill
Related article: America’s Cup reaches tax exempt status
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com

 

 

Buell predicts major boom from America's Cup

By Alexis Terrazas, San Francisco Examiner // Sept. 25, 2011

Mark Buell, the primary organizer of the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco — a boat race with the oldest active trophy in international sport — is also well-schooled in parks. He is the chairman of the board of the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy and a Recreation and Park Department commissioner.

As America’s Cup Organizing Committee chair, what are your responsibilities from now until 2013?
Under the agreement that was signed between Larry Ellison [winner of the previous America’s Cup], the mayor and me, the America’s Cup Organizing Committee has the responsibility to raise the money that The City would have otherwise expended to host the event, and to assist the Event Authority, which are the Ellison people, in introducing them to potential sponsors. There are a lot of other details in the agreement ... but the primary focus is to raise $32 [million] to $40 million and to help the Event Authority in securing sponsors.

How are you planning to raise that kind of money?
Right now, as in most large capital campaigns, we are in what we call the quiet phase. We’re talking to major donors and we’re talking to the Event Authority about revenue streams that could assist. I’m fairly confident that in the next six to eight weeks, we’ll be able to demonstrate that we’re well on our way to meeting our objective.

What will this do for The City?
Conservatively, it’s been estimated from an economic standpoint that it represents $1.4 billion for the economy and 8,500 jobs. So it’s huge. Frankly, there’s a very good likelihood Ellison will win the race and keep the trophy here. So we’ll do it again. But one of the most challenging things is that the race has never been seen from the shore in its entire history. This is the first time it will be seen from the shore and the first time there’s ever been an event that involves the whole Bay Area.

Link to full article: Rec and Park Commissioner Mark Buell predicts major boon from America's Cup

 

 

 

New, faster format promises TV-friendly thrills

By Victor Mallet, Financial Times (UK) // Sept. 20, 2011

The awkward years are over for the America’s Cup – at least if the sailing regattas associated with the world’s most venerable sporting trophy are judged for their ability to enthuse spectators, engage some of the world’s top athletes and tacticians, and extend the boundaries of marine technology.

In terms of commercial success, the outlook is still clouded by the crisis of confidence in western economies and a consequent shortage of sponsors and well-funded entrants.

But there was no doubting the excitement generated this summer in Cascais near Lisbon, the first venue for the preliminary competitions, by the sight of the powerful, new AC45 catamarans hurtling down the racecourses off the beach with their helmeted crews.

For three years, the competition – so called after the victory of the schooner America over its British rivals off the Isle of Wight in 1851 – had been mired in arcane legal disputes between two billionaires, Larry Ellison of software group Oracle and Ernesto Bertarelli, a Swiss-Italian pharmaceuticals tycoon.

That excluded other eager claimants from around the world, but Mr Ellison’s victory in a bizarre two-boat contest off Valencia last year has finally cleared the way for a new start.

Gone are two-hour races almost out of sight of land, and elegant monohulls for which tiny design changes could produce infinitesimal increases in speed and ensure ultimate victory. Now, spectators and television viewers will be treated to tense 15-minute contests in overpowered racing machines liable to capsize or collide.

Link to full article: New, faster format promises TV-friendly thrills (requires subscription)

 

 

Sponsors and public become focus of attention

By Matthew Sheahan, Financial Times (UK) // Sept. 20, 2011

“Sailing will never be a spectator sport” is the mantra of many who have tried to present it to the public and it is a view shared by some of the audiences that have tried to watch.

But this belief is changing rapidly and today there is barely a corner of the sport that has not been affected by new technology that brings the story of the racing ashore.

In the high-profile professional sailing world, events such as the America’s Cup have been providing big screens onshore for the public on which a mixture of live video and sophisticated computer animations are supplemented by commentary from key vantage points.

The recent America’s Cup World Series event in Plymouth demonstrated how far the technology has come, with multiple, remotely controlled cameras on all nine of the boats, as well as helicopter shots, on-the-water cameras and sophisticated graphical overlays on the live video images.

The technology has also been used to control the racing itself, with virtual electronic boundaries and remote umpiring that ensure the fleet stays within an electronically defined field of play. When a competitor approaches the virtual touch lines, a warning light flashes on board. Stray outside and an alarm goes off, followed by an instruction from the umpires sent electronically to carry out a penalty.

In turn, this new technology-driven professional sailing world has forced a radical rethink of the racing rules themselves.

Link to full article: Sponsors and public become focus of attention
Photo: Guilain Grenier/ORACLE Racing

 

 

America’s Cup – China perspective

By Julie Scheier, CCTV // Sept. 20, 2011

As the excitement of the Americas Cup World Series gets underway in Plymouth, in England, the oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy in the world continues to entice sailors.

Link to video: America’s Cup attracts best athletes

Now even more with America’s Cup new racing era which features the sport’s best athletes competing on some of the most physically and demanding boats in the world -- the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran.

Focused on creating more on-the-water excitement for both teams and fans, this wing-sailed catamaran was designed for both speed and close racing, dubbing it as the Formula 1 one of boats.

This new format of the Americas Cup sees China and Korea come on board and challenge other teams in this one design boat, contributing to more excitement and fulfilling childhood dreams.

Chris Draper, Skipper of Team Korea said, “When I was at school sailing was all I wanted to do and I didn’t do that well in most of my exams I have reasonable education but i was always thinking about sailing, and that what was always on my mind and this is exactly where I wanted to be.”

Andreas Hagara, Helmsman of China Team said, “I had two dreams, two wishes to win an Olympic medal in the Olympic games and second wish was to be part of an America’s Cup team well now I am part of the China Team.”

Kit Cheng, Crew of China Team said, “When I was young I love sailing, a lot and I really wanted to be a real sailor, on this Americas Cup and now I can be here and i am very very happy with this because it is a dream come true and also because now I am doing the cup racing for China Team, for my country China.”

Link to full article: America’s Cup attracts best athletes
Related article: Capsize, collision dominate AC World Series

 

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