AC45s on Steroids

Author:
Updated:
Original:
Groupama’s souped-up AC45 is serving as a test bed for things like foils and controls systems. Photo by Groupama/Eloi Stichelbaut

Groupama’s souped-up AC45 is serving as a test bed for things like foils and controls systems. Photo by Groupama/Eloi Stichelbaut

As the 2016 America’s Cup World Series begins drawing to a close, the Defender and five challengers are increasingly turning the focus of their efforts to the Cup itself: as is evident in the launching of various “prototypes” designed to both hone their skills and further develop whatever technologies they may be working on.

Basically AC45s on steroids, the boats are necessary because the current America’s Cup protocol prohibits any team from sailing an AC Class 50-footer before December 26. Although the design parameters for the hulls of the AC 50-footers are somewhat limited (with an eye toward reigning in costs) such critical features as the wing, rudders, foils, fairings and the electronic and hydraulic control systems are free of constraints and very much in need of real-world testing.

“With this boat, we’ll move up from calculation to measurement. It’s about applying intelligence in our quest for performance, creating the fastest boat of its age,” says French offshore legend Olivier de Kersauson, a member of the management team for France’s Groupama.

“This is certainly the most complicated boat we have ever built,” says Emirates Team New Zealand construction manager Sean Regan. “This has been a huge effort by our guys in the shed to create such an amazing piece of machinery, and of course, the designers who have been pushing the design throughout the construction process.”

For more, visit americascup.com

September 2016

Related

Moored-at-Molinere-Point_©-Michaela-Urban

Cruising: Exploring Grenada

For years, I’d been wanting to visit Grenada. There are many things that fascinated me about this island: its rugged, mountainous interior, its rainforests and waterfalls, and the fact that it’s less traveled than some other Caribbean sailing destinations. My photographer ...read more

Lead

The Link to a Good Shore Support Network

Much has been said and written about preparing your vessel for an offshore passage, but few think about the importance of having good shoreside support set up before heading out to sea. Almost all offshore racing teams have sophisticated onshore support teams providing them with ...read more

191203_JR_AUCKWORLDS_359559_5434

Racing: the Olympic Gold Standard

If there was a moment that gave the US Sailing Team hope to break a major Olympic medal dry spell, it was the first day of the 49er FX worlds in New Zealand last December. Paris Henken and Anna Tobias had a rough 18th in race one, then banged out two bullets and a fifth to lead ...read more

noaa

A Farewell to Paper Charts

It’s goodbye to the paper chart, at least those produced by NOAA. The agency’s Office of Coast Survey is soliciting comments on plans to completely phase out the production of paper charts and associated products within five years. Its tighter focus on ENCs (electronic ...read more

shutterstock_538143214-2048x

A Round Trip Panama Canal Transit

Our driver, Dracula, has a thick slack body, and his head leans heavily to the right. One eye wanders and looks only up and left. The other is covered with an opaque membrane. His ungainly body is covered with a loose, soiled shirt and pants. It is a hot day in March 2007, and ...read more

outremer_LEAD

Patrick Le Quement and Multihull Design

If you Google the name Patrick Le Quément you’ll come up with some 194,000 hits, most attesting to the Frenchman’s long and successful career designing automobiles. Ford’s iconic (in Britain) Sierra? That’s one of his—at first nicknamed “the jellymold” by detractors, it went on ...read more

Bali

Boat Review: Bali 5.4

In the few years since the Bali brand appeared as an offshoot of the Catana line of catamarans, it has grown rapidly. The original models are popular bareboat charter vessels in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and the new Bali 5.4, the largest of the line, moves the company ...read more