Cup Watch: One Year Out From The Cup

We’ve now wrapped up the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series, and the AC45 fleet is headed into the 2012-13 series with the first regattas set to take place on San Francisco Bay. So what have we learned so far?
Author:
Publish date:
CupWatchAug

We’ve now wrapped up the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series, and the AC45 fleet is headed into the 2012-13 series with the first regattas set to take place on San Francisco Bay—the site of the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup finals, which are now one year away. So what have we learned so far?

Racing in wing-sailed catamarans is fast and exciting: check. Racing in wing-sailed catamarans is tactical: check. TV prefers fleet racing over match racing: oops.

Reinventing this game is complicated, and already we’ve seen the first custom AC72 wing break—in 13 knots of wind, about half the strength of a typical afternoon breeze on San Francisco Bay.

Noticing that the ban on testing an AC72 prior to July 1 did not prohibit testing a wing on a different platform, Sweden’s Artemis Racing stole a march on the competition by launching its first wing on March 15 in Valencia, Spain, on a modified ORMA trimaran. The 131-foot three-element structure, which according to Artemis CEO Paul Cayard represents 40,000 man hours of work, then failed in late May when the upper portion dropped onto the deck, fortunately without injuries and without destroying the entire wing. Artemis hopes to begin testing the repaired wing on San Francisco Bay in October. 

Cup insiders, meanwhile, are speculating as to how many of the AC72s might go down the design route established by the SD35s that race on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. SD35s are catamarans—only two hulls hit the water, and only two hulls have foils—but they have a center spine for rigidity. Come to think of it, the giant trimaran that won the Cup in 2010 was sailed much like a cat, with its center hull rarely in the water underway, so much so that its original centerline foils were removed long before Race 1.

The Defender, Team Oracle USA, should be sailing on SF Bay some time this month, after pushing back the launch date from July 1. Oracle’s wing arrived on June 12 to be joined to the boat’s hulls in the Oracle shed at Pier 80, Port of San Francisco. Teams are allowed only 30 days of AC72 sailing in calendar 2012, so every hour is precious. 

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

Related

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more