Following their recent tuning sessions with America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA, Swedish challenger Artemis Racing announced they had halted their AC72 sailing program and would be proceeding with modifications to the boat.
Considering that Artemis Racing is the only team that does not have a fully foiling boat, it was time to check in with team CEO Paul Cayard. Here's what Paul shared with Scuttlebutt?nid=107064's Craig Leweck:
Sailing against Oracle was a full-scale verification that we needed to make some pretty big changes, and that's what we are doing. We are taking it on. The good news is that we learned this in February and not in July. So we have some time to react. But we need to commit more to foiling.
When discussing foiling, it is important to understand that it is not black and white. It is a spectrum, and what we are really saying when we say 'foiling' is that we are reducing displacement of the boat. The lifting occurs through the foils on the rudder and the daggerboard design. On a spectrum between zero and the full weight of the boat, a fully foiling boat is lifting the full weight of the boat.
Our boat had J boards, and while they lift a percentage of our displacement, they do not lift all of it. The game of foiling is trading off the drag associated with the boards. The fully foiling boats use L boards, but both the surface area of these boards, and the tightness of the L board angle, create more drag than the J board. However, they also cause more lift.
So each team's design tools predicted what the cost of the drag would be, and what the benefit of the lift would be, and it is fair to say that we got it wrong. So now we are reacting. Our team has come together, and is fully committed to tackling this issue full on.
Some of the aspects of the L boards that we will need to discover is their impact on maneuverability and downspeed acceleration. This had been a concern of ours, but our experience training with Oracle Team USA is that their L boards didn't' seem to be much of a hindrance, if any. This factored in our decision to make the modifications to our boats.
In parallel, we are converting an AC45 to begin training sooner on a fully foiling boat. This will help fill the gap as our second boat is still a few months away, so this will give us a training platform for March. The end game is to be race ready by the start of the challenger trials in July and that's where we are headed.
As for our changes, it is fair to say that we are going to be building a fully foiling boat. This will require a redesign of our boards and board cases, and rudders. It is a complete package once you go down that road. Boat #1 is now in the shed for three weeks, but we are doing work in some other areas, and are eager to get back on the water. It will not be a fully foiling boat when we re-launch. To fully convert this boat would keep us off the water for too long.
However, our second boat will now have a fully foiling package.
For the rest of this story click here?nid=107064 and once you have done that, scroll down and read Scuttlebutt's America's Cup round-up for February.
by Sailing Scuttlebutt - 11:08 AM Fri 1 Mar 2013 GMT
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2013 America's Cup
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