PxPixel
Unintended Consequences - Sail Magazine

Unintended Consequences

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. First the Kiwis and then the three other America’s Cup teams have all hit the water with daggerboards we might as well call hydrofoils, which lift their boats’ hulls clean out of the water on downwind legs, dramatically lowering resistance and increasing speed. But the AC72 rule was specifically intended to prevent that. Read my lips: No trimmable winglets.   
Author:
Publish date:
UnintendedConsequences

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. First the Kiwis and then the three other America’s Cup teams have all hit the water with daggerboards we might as well call hydrofoils, which lift their boats’ hulls clean out of the water on downwind legs, dramatically lowering resistance and increasing speed. But the AC72 rule was specifically intended to prevent that. Read my lips: No trimmable winglets. 

The key is rule 8.6: “Rudders shall not have components, such as trim tabs or moveable winglets that can be adjusted while racing.”

Foiling Moths use trimmable winglets on their rudders for pitch control, and so would the designer of any boat aiming to foil effectively—except AC72 designers, because they can’t. The rule-beating workaround uses fixed winglets on the rudders and adjustable daggerboards set at radical angles. John Kostecki, tactician for the defender, Oracle Team USA, allows that if AC72s had trimmable winglets, “They’d be a lot easier to handle and a lot safer.”

Too late for that. Once the regatta’s jury ratified the not-at-all-intuitive measurement processes used by Emirates Team New Zealand and its technology partner, Luna Rossa, permitting extra-large foils, the die was cast. Oracle’s capsize last October also provided an unwelcome but fortuitous opportunity to rethink and rebuild with larger foils. All it took was a few days last winter of sailing against “Oracle 2.0” in foiling mode to convince the Swedish challenger, Artemis Racing, that its non-foiling red machine needed a date with a chainsaw and some new daggerboards as well. 

By the end of this month, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa expect to have relocated their one-boat campaigns to San Francisco Bay. And while Oracle and Artemis have carefully avoided setting deadlines for the launching of their second boats, at press time it appeared they too were aiming for this window—when the restrictions on sailing days are off, and the game is on.

Related

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more

Navy-Sand-Dune_1080

Tucket Footwear’s Giller Shoes

Just for KicksMove over Crocs, there’s a new plastic shoe in town. Unlike the aforementioned fashion crimes, Tucket Footwear’s Giller shoes are made for boating. Water will get in, yes, but it will also run straight out again via rows of “scuppers” in the uppers and a dozen drain ...read more

01-m3113_git170829-294

France’s Maxi-tri Ultime class

It’s hard to believe how far foiling has come since the Moth class figured out how to reliably take to the air in the early 2000s.Was it really only in 2013 that the America’s Cup was dragged kicking and screaming into the foiling world by Emirates Team New Zealand back in San ...read more

GGTobagoCays

Cruising: Guadeloupe to Grenada

Our Dream Yacht Charter delivery started as a “wouldn’t it be fun if” idea. Those are usually misguided, if not downright stupid. But a Bali 4.3 named Jumelles (French for “twins,” appropriately) needed to leave Guadeloupe to do heavier charter work in Grenada, and as soon as I ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comWhen I bought my boat it had 18 through-hull fittings. To reduce the number of holes in the hull (I ultimately cut them by half), I first re-plumbed the drain hoses from my sinks, scuppers, bilge pumps and ...read more

rokk

Scanstrut: ROKK Charge+

It RokksWith the increasing use of smartphones and tablets for in-cockpit navigation comes the issue of keeping these devices charged, since running nav software will drain those batteries in no time. Scanstrut has come to the rescue with the ROKK Charge+, the first-ever ...read more

GreenCove2-2048

Liveaboard Voting Rights Threatened in Florida

Bucking decades of precedent, a Florida elections officer is refusing to allow customers of a popular mail forwarding service to register to vote in his county. Since 1988, St. Brendan’s Isle of Green Cove Springs in Clay County has provided transient Americans with mail ...read more

shutterstock_55353433

A Lifetime of Sailing

I began my sailing life as a kid in an 8ft El Toro and a 16ft Snipe on Lake Millerton in California’s San Joaquin Valley. I am concluding it as an 80-something in a Rhodes 19 on Lake Damariscotta on the coast of Maine. So what does this have to do with the hardy, oceangoing ...read more