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

10-002

Ask Sail: Analog or Digital

Q: I am redoing my voltage distribution panel and can’t decide between a needle movement voltmeter or a digital illuminated voltmeter to monitor my house and starting battery voltages. Which way would be best? — J. Henshaw, Tampa FL GORDON WEST REPLIES I would say do both types ...read more

Ultime-maxi-trimaran-2048x

Video: The Power of an Ultime Tri

. If there was ever any doubt as to the speed potential for the eye-popping Ultime maxi-trimaran class, the first 24 hours of the Brest Atlantiques race have surely put such doubts to rest. The drone footage above of Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier’s Gitana Edmond de ...read more

Brest-Atlantiques-2048x

Video: Brest Atlantiques Fleet on its Way

The four monster trimarans taking part in the 14,000-mile Brest Atlantiques race, from Brest, France, to Brazil and then Cape Town and back, found themselves battling brutal conditions under deeply reefed sails from the word go. The event in many ways represents the pinnacle ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fine-tuning a Sure-fire Solution  It’s fun to look back over a summer’s cruising by way of the track my chartplotter has recorded. Where the track really comes into its own, though, is piloting out of ...read more

Pirates

Cruising: Mooring Pirates

When I was a younger man, with less money and a stronger back, I was a regular anchoring snob. Free parking, I believed, is a fundamental right when cruising under sail, and if you want to be a true cruiser you must exercise it as much as possible. In developing this manifesto ...read more

Suggested Crop

Ask Sail: Why all the Membrane Sails?

Q: I am noticing more and more cruising boats carrying high-tech membrane sails, and I was wondering why that is. — Carter Dickens, Houston, TX Brian Hancock Replies  It’s all about the engineering. Specifically, membrane sails are highly engineered, so you can end up with a ...read more