Cup Watch: Calm Before the Storm

According to Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, April is the month for ETNZ and training partner Luna Rossa to pack up “cats, chase boats, base structures, workshops, offices, gym, kitchens and stores for the move to San Francisco.”
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
Oracle-practice

According to Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, April is the month for ETNZ and training partner Luna Rossa to pack up “cats, chase boats, base structures, workshops, offices, gym, kitchens and stores for the move to San Francisco.” In other words: no sailing for a while.

But if things seem quiet on the America’s Cup front, the reality is otherwise. The defender, Oracle Team USA, and Challenger of Record Artemis Racing have been looking to continue testing their custom AC72 catamarans in the waters of the America’s Cup 34—figure two days in the shed for every one day on the water—and a wrap-up event on the one-design AC45 tour is scheduled for Naples, Italy, starting April 16. 

Oracle and Artemis are the only teams intending to have two AC72s come race time. Luna Rossa has built only one, and the Kiwis retired boat #1 after 30 days of sailing, scavenging and repurposing winches and other gear for use aboard boat #2, which was launched in early February within days of Oracle’s re-launch of the boat that capsized last October. 

Oracle’s do-over included switching from tillers to wheels and enhancing foiling capability. The team also added some stiffening to the structure to lessen the “racking” that perhaps contributed to the capsize that destroyed wing #1 (of the three allowed). General manager Grant Simmer says the racking, or twisting, was the result of a “trade-off” made between weight and windage. “We’ve made subtle changes, but the trade-off is still there,” Simmer says.

At some point, each team has to freeze development to focus on reliability and crew training. The exception will be in the development of soft headsails. The limits placed on headsails are forcing designers to aim at broad wind ranges, an especially vexing problem because AC72s are so fast, trimmers have to look ahead for puffs even when going “downwind.” In short, despite the apparent “quiet,” eight-day weeks remain a reality. 

Photo courtesy of America's Cup 34/Gilles Martin-Raget

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more

JuneWaterlines

Sights and Stories Cruising the Caribbean

Though I hate to think of myself as a “disaster tourist,” I can’t deny one of the things I was most curious about as I sailed south last fall to visit St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was how much hurricane damage I would see. I’m sure no one needs reminding that ...read more