Sail-World.com's NZ and America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, spent three hours perched on the after beam of Emirates Team NZ's AC72 for a training session on the Hauraki Gulf. Sailing in winds of up to 25kts, the AC72 hit an amazing 43.6kts and didn't even feel like she was breaking into a sweat. He reports on Wednesday's race and test session.
Sail-World.com’s Richard Gladwell (red wet weather gear) rides shotgun on Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 testing on the Hauraki Gulf.
Skipper Dean Barker has a very light touch on the wheel of the AC72 during the race session aboard Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 on the Hauraki Gulf.
Imagine you are standing on top of an Emirates jet on that final mad charge down the runway before takeoff.
The engines are screaming and every imperfection in the runway is magnified into the jolting that reverberates through the plane just before it leaves the ground.
Next, take that mental snapshot and overlay it on to a boat the dimensions of a tennis court (well three metres wider), flying down the harbour, a couple of metres above the sea, travelling at a speed of more than 40kts.
This is the surreal world of the AC72 catamaran and the 34th America’s Cup.
This is a must read article …. The Sail-World team’s detailed coverage of the America’s Cup will continue all the way to San Francisco in September 2013. Join us for the ride.
Over in Namibia, Paul Larsen and the Vestas Sailrocket 2 crew are hard at work, attempting to best the outright sailing speed record. 'Just in... 61 + knot peak speed and a 54,' wrote Paul. 'Something average; had to stop as the end was coming up fast. Everything went into fast forward. I was saying 'This is fast, this is fast' and then she took off again... 'This is real f*****g fast'!!! I thought we might have bagged the outright [record] as well... as you would after hitting over sixty knots... but the average wasn't there... I think. Everyone is getting the data down now. We broke our own [Personal Best] twice today... so that's 2x triple rum and cokes in pint glasses... and of course the 60-knot bottle of champagne also falls. Happy days.'
Vestas Sailrocket 2
And of course the Vendee Globe fleet is enjoying some interesting times.
VENDEE GLOBE 2012/2013 - ATLANTIC SEA - 11/11/2012 - PHOTO SAMANTHA DAVIES (GB) / SAVEOL - \
Brit Samantha Davies reached Funchal Marina in Madeira on Saturday morning with Savéol looking naked with her rigging cut away and no sails after dismasting on Thursday night. 'This Vendee Globe has been too short,' Davies wrote in her message last night. Following the shock and then the survival mode, the grief of four years planning ending in five days has begun to sink in.
Lots of news today… grab some coffee and enjoy your time with us …