The Guts Behind the Gear

Harken has been supplying gear to America’s Cup competitors since the early 1970s, and been providing the winch and hardware packages for both challenger and defender since the 1995 match. “As you would expect, the Cup match in Valencia was very interesting,” says Harken’s Global Manager, Mark Wiss. Harken supplied the batten car systems for all three masts BMW Oracle developed for their soft
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Harken has been supplying gear to America’s Cup competitors since the early 1970s, and been providing the winch and hardware packages for both challenger and defender since the 1995 match. “As you would expect, the Cup match in Valencia was very interesting,” says Harken’s Global Manager, Mark Wiss. Harken supplied the batten car systems for all three masts BMW Oracle developed for their soft mainsails. When the third mast fell down in San Diego, the wing that the team had been building in Anacortes, Washington had just arrived there. With the third rig out of action, the crew installed the wing, the team went sailing with it and they never went back.

“Actually the soft rig batten cars turned out to be a great example of the trickle up theory,” says Wiss. “The tracks for the batten car systems on the first two Oracle masts were attached with screws but we glued the third one; it was first tried by the Telefonica crews in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Gluing the tracks saved a lot of weight by eliminating the screws and of course there are a lot fewer holes in the mast. This technique will soon have a much wider audience.”

But Harken, as usual, was asked to come up with plenty of special items. The block controlling the canting wing on USA, for example, had a sheave diameter of about one foot and a working load of around 30 tons!

Finally, both boats used Harken’s 1135 carbon winches fitted with special load pins that can electronically sense when the load on the winch approaches a specified number. When the number is reached, an alarm goes off and the winch automatically stops turning. “Here again,” says Wiss, “I’m sure this feature is something that is going to be embraced by a much larger group of users.”

Related

BOOK-REVIEW-Ocean-Sailing-Cover---Bloomsbury-promo

Book Review: Cruising Club of America, Great Lakes Station

Reviewed by Amanda Balasubramanian As we were preparing for our first significant offshore passage in 2013, I read every book on ocean sailing I could find. However, while there were a number of helpful books full of technical information, I also longed for the personal stories ...read more

Henri-Lloyd

Gear: Henri Llloyd Fremantle Gear

Henri Lloyd looked to the past for inspiration when designing its newest line of racing gear—specifically the kit worn by Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes campaign (also designed by Henri Lloyd) during the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Australia. The new collection, with its ...read more

Suggested Crop

Ask Sail: When to Use a Vang Sheet

TO VANG OR NOT TO VANG Q: Last year, I bought a new, fully-battened Dacron main for my 36-footer. Unlike the old one, the new main is loose-footed. I have a mid-boom sheet arrangement and a traditional (non-rigid) vang. Is the vang really doing anything? It seems to me that ...read more

PradaCup-2048x

Video: INEOS UK Advances to the Prada Cup Finals

On Saturday, in what was surely the most exciting race of the series, INEOS Team UK beat Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to earn a spot in the Prada Cup finals. The race was extraordinarily close, seeing shifty breezes, nine lead changes in just under 30 minutes and boatspeeds topping ...read more

BoatTalk-2048

VIDEO: Sailing Not just for Millionaires

Sailing and boating can come with a hefty price tag, but there are plenty of ways to get on the water without breaking the bank. In this episode of Boat Talk, SAIL's managing editor Lydia Mullan and Power & Motor Yacht's executive editor Charlie Levine share tips on getting out ...read more

Cornell-2048x

Elcano Challenge Resurrected

In late 2020, sailing legend Jimmy Cornell set off on his Elcano Challenge, a green-powered circumnavigation aboard the custom Outremer Aventura Zero. Unfortunately, shortly after setting out, the boat encountered major power-generation issues. "I took the decision to turn ...read more

F8V-BOOK-for-SAIL---1

Book Review: The Figure 8 Voyage

“What is the color of the ocean that rolls beneath Pacific trades? How does a wave curl and crash at 47 degrees south? Can an albatross remain awing in the worst of weathers?” Randall Reeves has always found images to be the most compelling part of the stories we tell about the ...read more

AC210117cb_23806

VIDEO: Capsize in the Prada Cup

American Magic's Patriot capsized during day three of the Prada Cup. If you haven't yet watched the catastrophe unfold with your own eyes, check out the above video or any number of others that are circulating on social media. It's truly a tip that has to be seen to be believed. ...read more