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America's Cup: Youth and Womens Teams train on ETNZ developed AC40 Simulator

by America's Cup Media 27 Sep 2023 03:22 PDT
ETNZ developed AC40 simulator © ETNZ

With twelve teams entered for the Youth and Puig Women’s America’s Cup competitions in Barcelona in 2024, AC40 training has begun for the fast-coming next generation of foiling talent.

As teams start to form around the world, the AC40 sailing simulator package developed by Emirates Team New Zealand is being released to AC Youth and Puig Women’s Teams, as well as being available to prospective AC40 owners, and yacht clubs.

The simulator incorporates helm wheels, control devices and instrumentation displays, replicating precisely those in the one-design AC40 yachts, offering a unique training platform for teams to perfect their AC40 sailing skills before they get on the water. There are two options that are currently offered with a dashboard and wheels option, for teams to mount on their own desks or cockpit mock-up or the full version with a complete pair of AC40 cockpit replicas built by McConaghy Boats, incorporating seats, dashboards and wheels.

While primarily now used for AC40 training, the simulator package also offers sailors who have never before stepped onboard a foiling yacht an opportunity to develop their skills before setting sail for the first time. Just as the Youth and Puig Women’s America’s Cup teams are already doing to get themselves into race mode before being handed the keys to an AC40.

Nathan Outteridge, helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand sees huge benefits for anyone thinking about entering the elite level of sailing saying: “The simulator is a vital tool for our overall programme and has been key to getting everyone up to speed and familiar with the AC40 set-up. It’s very realistic with the windward/leeward course default as well as pre-start tactics. Sailors can race against each other virtually and the system is modelled to create the effect of windshifts, gusts and waves. Anyone who has an ambition to sail an AC40 definitely needs to spend time in this Sim.”

All of the sail trim and appendage controls of the AC40 yacht are provided through the genuine AC40 input devices including composite steering wheels, button panels and joysticks. Instrumentation is supplied through six phone displays, as deployed on the AC40 yachts. Steering load feedback modelled by the Gomboc physics engine is supplied by a direct drive motor connected to both wheels. Just like the AC40, the simulator is configured for a crew of four sailors - two helms and two trimmers.

Time in the simulator is correlated to success on the water. The AC40 simulator is the vital stepping-stone and pathway through to the America’s Cup for Youth & Puig Women’s contenders and are even used extensively by the America’s Cup teams in their training for the Preliminary regattas in the AC40s.

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