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America's Cup- AC45 rigging process - takes just 30 minutes

by Richard Gladwell on 15 Feb 2011
The top of the wingsail - to which the skyhook will be attached for lifting the wingsail and the boat itself. The AC45 waits on the other side of the shed/hangar - AC45 Rigging - 14 February 2011 Richard Gladwell

One of the serious question marks hanging over the choice of a wingsailed multihull for the America's Cup has been the rigging process.

Those who were in Valencia 12 months ago would have been only too aware of the issues faced daily by the then BMW Oracle Racing team as they tried to keep USA-17 on a short leash between races, and without having to lower the wingsail each night.

A lot of thought and effort has gone into the prototype AC45, and the rigging and launching process.

Sail-World was on hand to document the exercise on Monday morning as a well drilled shore crew went through the process - which took just 30 minutes from the time the wingsail was pushed out of the shed to the AC45 splashing into the Viaduct Harbour.

Step 1: Wheel out the wingsail

Step 2: Fill the watertank on the base of the wingsail

Step 3: Attach the skyhook to the halyard at the top of the wingsail

Step 4: The remotely controlled skyhook starts the wingsail lift, as the shore team support the trailing edge

Step5: Wingsail nears vertical

Step 6: Wingsail now vertical AC45 is wheeled under the wingsail

Step 7: The wingsail is positioned above the mastball

Step 8: The first set of stays are positioned by winch and ruler

Step 9: The strain gauges are connected inside the Pelican case

Step 10: The waterbox is drained and removed from the wingsail

Step 11: A second set of stays is attached and positioned using a ruler and winch

Remote control is essential.

Step 12: The green lifting strops are attached around the mainbeam

Step 13: The skyhook halyard tail is tied off and the shore crew step off before the lift

Step 14: The AC45 is craned out over the water - just 30 minutes after rollout

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