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More America's Cup News:
Nov 7: Bermuda legislation sought by Governor to back 2017 America's Cup hosting bid: Bernews
Nov 4: Shares of Sceptre: Own, sail, and
preserve an historic America's Cup 12-Meter:
Nov 4: Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill wins Sailor
of the Year honor for 2013 America's Cup comeback:
Oct 28: Artemis Racing brings Laser Champion and
Moth Sailor Paul Goodison:
Oct 23: Airbus Becomes Technology Partner for
Oracle Team USA's America's Cup Defense:
Oct 8: Portsmouth, England, to host America's Cup
World Series events in June 2015, July 2016:
Oct 2: Herreshoff Museum's replica of 1903
America's Cup winner Reliance advances, at 1/6 scale:
Sep 30: Larry Ellison adjusts to new CTO role,
apologizes for skipping speech to watch key Cup race:
Sep 27: Jimmy Spithill expects late entries will
increase 2017 America's Cup Challenger fleet:
Sep 26: Russell Coutts on the trail of sponsors,
broadcasters, and venue for 2017 America's Cup:
Sep 19: Ben Ainslie excited about Bart's Bash,
mentions Luna Rossa as new Challenger of Record:
Sep 19: Getting the AC45's foiling for America's
Cup World Series competition:
Sep 18: Larry Ellison exits CEO role at Oracle
Corp., will serve as Executive Chairman and CTO:
Sep 11: Iain Percy, Nathan Outteridge, Francesco
Bruni among sailors at AWMRT Bermuda in October:
Sep 8: Tom Blackaller, 25 years later, his
America's Cup (and high-performance catamaran) legacy:
Aug 28: Three Kiwi Mistakes: PJ Montgomery looks
at critical moments in the 2013 America's Cup:
Aug 28: Dr. Harvey Schiller is named as ACEA
Commercial Commissioner for 2017 America's Cup:
Aug 24: Oracle Team USA's Kyle Langford says focus on Cup, not Olympics, will help defender: mysailing.com.au
Aug 24: Oracle Team USA's Kyle Langford says
focus on Cup, not Olympics, will help defender:
Aug 19: Artemis Challenge confirms America's Cup entry. Video "Irresistible Challenge" (3:40) at YouTube
Aug 8: Royal NZ Yacht Squadron/Emirates Team New
Zealand confirm challenge for 2017 America's Cup:
Aug 5: Two-part technical exploration of VPP and
upwind performance analysis for new AC62 yachts:
July 28: Team meetings in
London excepting Team New Zealand suggests tensions unresolved:
July 27: Pieces of Oracle
Team USA's America's Cup-winning AC72 donated to Mariner's Museum:
July 22: Kimball
Livingston has a lot of explaining to do about the America's Cup:
July 16: Oracle Team USA
crews play with foiling Moths on Lake Macquarie in preparation for AC62's:
July 11: Meeting in Los
Angeles for formative America's Cup challenger teams:
July 8: Report at Chicago Tribune says variability of wind for starting races may have hurt city's hosting chances.
July 1: Luna Rossa
Challenger modified AC45 is on the water, or foiling actually:
June 27: Enthusiasm for
foiling catamarans among top sailors may affect other events:
June 21: TNZ Grinder Chris McAsey now drives truck: NZ Herald |
June 21: Questions,
changes for heads of TNZ:
June 17: TNZ Skipper Dean Barker makes business case for government support of team: NZ Herald
June 15: Team New Zealand
in cash crunch, drawing some political resistance:
June 12: Emirates Team
New Zealand faces critical funding crunch this month:
June 10: 2017 America's Cup host cities to be down to two options by end of month; SF, Newport out: AP Story
June 10: Chicago media
wake up to America's Cup hosting possibility:
June 9: A Final in June
2017? More hints from Russell Coutts on shape of 2017 America's Cup:
June 4: Commentary from
Kimball Livingston on the 2017 Protocol:
June 4: Loïck Peyron
interviewed on multihulls, past, present, and future:
May 21: Oracle Team USA
going to Foiling Camp
May 13: Giving USA-17 a new home, video from Oracle Team USA (4:23) at YouTube
May 10: USA-17 takes flight with help from Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter: Photos at Pressure-Drop
May 7: Oracle Racing's 90-foot Trimaran USA-17 afloat again, but not to sail: Photos at Pressure-Drop
May 7: Another win for
America's Cup, this time an Emmy for the mobile app:
May 1: Ben Ainslie
reviews proposed AC62 designs as teams comment on new America's Cup boat:
Apr 24: Chris Caen and
the latest hints from Russell Coutts on the changes for 2017 America's Cup:
Apr 17: Artemis adds
designers Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, Simon Watin, Juan Garay, and Matthew Davis:
Apr 15: Report says Dirk
de Ridder may be barred from racing for 5 years:
Apr 13: Class Rule is
done -- Gino Morrelli discusses some specifics of next America's Cup cats:
Apr 5: Ben Ainslie (and
everyone else) still waiting for new Cup protocol:
Mar 27: Replica America's
Cup carved from greenstone sells for $89,000 NZD:
Mar 27: New Zealand
government reports costs and benefits of ETNZ 2013 funding:
Mar 13: Kimball
Livingston brings some healthy skepticism to 2017 America's Cup possibilities:
Mar 11: Aloha? Valencia
Sailing reports despite Hawaii claims, Chicago is a possibility for 2013
Mar 5: Oracle Team USA
names sailing crew, training to begin Friday in Australia:
Mar 5: Team Australia
names 470 sailor Mathew Belcher as skipper for challenge:
Mar 3: Prada committed to
€50 Million support for next Luna Rossa America's Cup challenge:
Mar 2: More insider
reports on Oracle Team USA's comeback, designer Paul Bieker:
Feb 17: Pete Melvin
interviewed on A-Class Cats, and plans for the next America's Cup multihull:
Feb 12: New Class Rule
and Protocol for next defense due in March; no venue pick until summer:
Feb 11: Hawaii still
flirting with America's Cup as alternative to San Francisco:
Feb 9: Potential limits considered for 2017 America's Cup regatta may affect challenger prospects: NZ Herald
Feb 7: Decision on 2017 America's Cup location could slip to summer as negotiation lags: SFGate
Feb 5: Ben Ainslie making
progress on funding for a British America's Cup Challenger:
Feb 5: Emirates Team New
Zealand sends multiple teams to A-Class Cat World Championships:
Jan 27: Australia Day:
Another win for 12-Metre Gretel II (12 KA3), 1970 America's Cup
Jan 25: Brad Butterworth backs Dean Barker, but believes management change needed at ETNZ: tnvz.co.nz
Jan 23: Hunting design talent for 2017, Artemis Racing adds Michel Kermarec (OTUSA) and Thiha Win (ETNZ), re-signs Adam May and Nico Rousselon: Cat Racing News
Jan 15: Video Interview
with 49er and new ETNZ sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke:
Jan 9: Multi-part interview with Jimmy Spithill by Gary Jobson: Start with Part 1 at Sailing.org
Jan 4: Going Big:
Spinnaker Takedown on the J-Class Hanuman:
Dec 26: Ben Ainslie
working to meet year-end fund-raising target for British America's Cup
Dec 24: Russell Coutts
suggests compressed America's Cup format for 2017:
Dec 23: San Francisco's
America's Cup hosting proposal for next defense expected today:
Dec 14: Pippa Middleton
crews for Ben Ainslie, adding visibility to British Challenge efforts:
Dec 11: Nathan Outteridge
and Iain Jensen re-sign with Artemis Racing for AC35:
Dec 10: Nationality
Requirements for Next America's Cup? Hints on AC35 from Russell Coutts:
Dec 10: Hobie Cat offering Oracle Team USA-themed boat to promote sailing: TradeOnlyToday
Dec 4: "CFD Provides the Winning Edge" for Oracle Team USA says Desktop Engineering
Dec 3: Ben Ainslie says fundraising for a British America's Cup challenge is doing well: SkySports
Nov 30: Iain Murray's leadership of Australian Challenger should be good for America's Cup: Yachting World
Nov 1: 'Stretch' Ryder,
America's Cup winner on Courageous (1977), passes away
Oct 31: Andrew Simpson Sailing shortlisted as official Cowes Week charity
Oct 26: John Bertrand's thought on Australia and the next America's Cup: Brisbane Times
2013 America's Cup
Oct 20: Oracle regatta brings ‘unique’ NZ unity: Paul Lewis in the New Zealand Herald
Oct 15: Faster...Dirk
Kramers and Pete Melvin spill a couple speed secrets to Kimball Livingston:
Oct 7: ETNZ's AC72 catamaran Aotearoa may not go to NZ Museum after all: msn.co.nz
Oct 5: A quick visit with Oracle's design leader Dirk Kramers at NY Times
Oct 4: ETNZ's AC72 catamaran Aotearoa may go to NZ Museum: New Zealand Herald
Oct 1: Racing Heroes: Briggs Cunningham, skipper of 1958's winning America's Cup defender Columbia, is profiled in both his sailing and auto racing careers with period photos of the latter: Read at Hemmings Blog
Oct 1: ETNZ must be
funded soon or lose key people to other teams, says Dean Barker:
Oct 1: Dean Barker, back in NZ, thanks supporters for terrific welcoming reception: Dean Barker's Blog
Sep 28: National
Obsessions and Grassy Knolls, Kimball Livingston puts the 2013 America's Cup in
its proper place:
Sep 27: Sources say
Hamilton Island YC is new Challenger of Record:
Sep 26: Win on Wednesday, Sell on Thursday. Larry Ellison back to work: Market Watch
Sep 24: See photo galleries of 2013 America's Cup race images from Sander van der Borch
Sep 24: Oracle ties ETNZ, forcing
winner-takes-all Race 19 for America's Cup:
Sep 23: Oracle Team USA makes it five wins in a
Sep 22: Defender add two wins on Day 12, closes up on ETNZ: ACEA Press Release
Sep 20: America's Cup Race 13 Leg 2 Penalty
Sep 18: Post-race Press Conference: America's Cup YouTube Channel
Sep 17: Too windy for racing, but Oracle and
ETNZ were out sailing anyway:
Sep 15: Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New
Zealand split races Sunday:
Sep 15: America's Cup Race 9 and 10 images from
Sep 14: Both Oracle and ETNZ yachts get new
measurement certificates Saturday:
Sep 12: America's Cup Day 4 - Emirates Team New
Zealand Takes Two Races:
Sep 12: Oracle Team USA's Grasp on America's
Cup slipping away:
Sep 12: Post-Race 6 and 7 Press Conference:
Sep 12: Oracle Team USA Risks Fatigue in
Pursuit of Improvements:
Sep 11: Ben Ainslie says despite troubles,
America's Cup can still be won by Oracle Team USA:
Sep 10: Oracle Team USA calls timeout After
Sep 7: America's Cup Day 1 Sights of AC34 from the water: Photos
Sep 7: Racing Rules of Sailing for America's Cup (RRSAC) updated: Read via Rules Guide
Sep 4: Golden Gate YC vs. St. Francis YC, the NY Times peeks into the other long-running sailing contest.
Sep 3: America's Cup Sailing Instructions amended, normal starts 5 min later, latest possible is 2:40pm: Read via Rules Guide
Aug 29: 46 pictures about two teams: Louis Vuitton Cup Trophy Ceremony: Photos from Chuck Lantz
Aug 28: Sailing Instructions for America's Cup
Aug 27: Matteo de Nora, a glimpse of ETNZ's low-profile high-impact benefactor: New Zealand Herald
Aug 25: Emirates Team New Zealand beats Luna Rossa to Win Louis Vuitton Cup: ACEA
Aug 24: Winning Race 7 puts ETNZ one win away
Aug 24: Luna Rossa Piranha Awarded ACWS Overall
and Fleet Win:
Aug 23: Le Foiling: Loïck Peyron of Artemis/Energy Team switching to Moth: Video at YouTube (0:54)
Aug 21: Luna Rossa Race Report:
Aug 21: ETNZ takes races 4 and 5 in LVC finals:
Aug 19: ETNZ takes 2-1 lead in LVC finals: ACEA Press Release
Aug 16: Explaining the wingsail, video from Oracle Team USA at YouTube
Aug 16: 12-meters, America's Cup Class, and the Cats. See a visual history of every America's Cup boat 1983 to 2013: Drawings by Karl Urtz
Aug 15: Luna Rossa and ETNZ Ready for 30th
Anniversary Louis Vuitton Cup Final Match:
Aug 10: Justin Chisholm assesses the implications of Oracle's ACWS violations: SailRacingMagazine
Aug 9: Silver Screen: ETNZ sponsor Nespresso's "A Day in the Life" of the America's Cup trophy: YouTube
Aug 8: They're winning, but is Luna Rossa up to speed in the Semi-Finals? Matthew Sheahan at Yachting World
Aug 5: Artemis ready to compete in Semi's,
ribbons will honor Andrew "Bart" Simpson:
Aug 5: Emirates Team New Zealand foiling upwind Monday with huge wingsail twist: Photos at Sail-World
Aug 5: Oracle's Java-based system for real-time AC72 performance data on crew wrist-tablets: Java Magazine
Aug 2: LVC Semi-Finalists Luna Rossa and
Artemis talk to media about upcoming match:
July 31: Performance Culture at Oracle Racing, learning and improving at the boundaries: Oracle.com
July 25: Artemis Racing AC72 #2 first sail video and foiling: Watch at YouTube (5:41)
July 23: Crunching some numbers from Round Robin 3: Matthew Sheahan at Yachting World
July 19: Cats, cats, cats! Going fast. USA x 2,
ITA, and ETNZ's 50 mph blast:
July 18: Artemis prepares AC72 wing for take-off: Instagram Photo
July 13: Artemis Racing exploring how to remain
viable under rules following Jury decision:
July 12: Oracle Team USA's two boats dance
along, awfully close together:
July 11: ETNZ pleased by Jury Ruling on
sanctity of AC72 Class Rule:
July 10: Artemis AC72 #2 emerges from shed as
load testing advances:
July 9: "I like to be a free electron..." Loïck Peyron's high energy profiled at New York Times
July 9: Touring Artemis Racing's Base:
July 5: Opening Ceremonies celebrate start of 2013 Regatta: ACEA Press Release and photos
July 3: "Sailing on Air with America's Cup Catamarans": Story at New York Times
July 2: Luna Rossa protests Regatta Directors actions to America's Cup Jury: Read Team Press Release
Images: America's Cup Photographers
Editor's Choice: A Yacht Race and More in Miami
For older news stories, See News Archives of America's Cup Stories 2005-2012
Nov 23: Jimmy Spithill
to have surgery for torn tendons in elbow dating to 2013 America's Cup:
Bermuda to Host a 2015 World Series Regatta
(Nov 5) Still a candidate to host the 2017 America's Cup Match, the island of Bermuda has been announced by ACEA as the site of an America's Cup World Series regatta in October, 2015. An additional ACWS venue was expected to be named today, also, among six to eight 2015 events in total.
2015 America's Cup World Series Events Taking Shape
(Nov 1) Harvey Schiller, Commercial Commissioner for the America's Cup,
announced today that two venues for the 2015 America's Cup World Series were
set, and would be announced on November 5. Additional regattas for 2015
are still under negotiation. Schiller expects an additional team, as a
late entry, joining the five challengers and the defender.
Read ACEA Press Release
AC45's to Foil for 2015
(Sep 17) The one-design AC45 yachts sailed in the America's Cup World Series will be modified to fly on foils during racing, likely beginning next year. The teams also agreed to continue racing the class at least into 2018 following the next America's Cup match. Read ACEA Press Release
Challengers in London
(Sep 9) The five challengers were publicly introduced at an event in London,
attended by all skippers. Details of plans for 2015, 2016, and 2017 are
still to be announced.
Yves Carcelle Dies at 66
(Sept 1) Yves Carcelle, former CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, died August 31 in Paris, France, at the age of 66. Known as bright, passionate, and energetic, Carcelle championed the company's ongoing support of the Louis Vuitton Cup in the 1990's up until the past few years. His initiatives included, too, the one-time Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and several Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas that helped bridge the conflicts in the America's Cup world between 2007 and 2010. Carcelle retired from Louis Vuitton in 2012. He is survived by his wife and five children.
Read obituary at New York Times
5 Challengers for 2017 America's Cup
(Aug 21) America's Cup
organizers announced that five challenges are officially accepted for the 2017
America's Cup. Artemis Racing (Sweden), Ben Ainslie Racing (Great
Britain), Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), and Team
France will compete against each other for the right to face defender Golden
Gate YC and Oracle Team USA. The defender may also accept late entries at their
Artemis Announces 2017 Challenge
(Aug 19) Torbjörn Törnqvist, Team Principal of Artemis Racing: “Sailing is my passion, and I’m very proud to once again represent Sweden in the America’s Cup. Given our experience from the 34th America’s Cup, what the team went through and achieved, we have an incredibly strong culture, a belonging to the team. Building on our core group from the last campaign, we have been able to secure talent across all areas, and I strongly believe that Artemis Racing is a team capable of winning the 35th America’s Cup.”
"Where some teams may have one Olympic gold medalist, we have
six of them, however the focus is very much on the team, and there is no
individual bigger than the group. We are not only in this competition to
win the 35th America’s Cup, but to dominate the America’s Cup arena for the next
decade,” said Team Manager and Tactician Iain Percy. “I’m also passionate
that Artemis Racing is more than simply winning, it’s about producing a legacy
and winning in a certain way.”
Iain Percy, talking to Matthew Sheahan: "There is a new
generation of competitors involved this time around, the boat has played a part
in that, but within that new generation there's a group of us who have been
through the tough times after 2007 and seen how disruptive the Cup can be. As a
result many of us are very keen to make sure that this cycle works, plus I think
that we don't have the same levels of paranoia that might have been present
Early Challenge Period Closes: Entries to be Revealed September 9
(Aug 9) The early deadline for challengers for the 35th Defense of the America's Cup, to be held in 2017, closed at midnight on August 8th. Defender Golden Gate YC is now evaluating entries and vetting them for compliance with the requirements of the 2017 Protocol, including financial terms, a process the club expects to complete by August 20.
GGYC has yet to confirm the names of any accepted additional challengers, but says a formal presentation is planned in London on September 9. Luna Rossa (ITA), Ben Ainslie Racing (GBR), Artemis Racing (SWE), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) and Team France (FRA) are the commonly expected entries (on behalf of their respective yacht clubs), based on the public activities of those teams in recent months.
Without mentioning the number of Notices of Challenge have been filed, the club released only a brief statement that "a strong line-up of teams has submitted entries to race in the 35th America’s Cup...." Under the 2017 Protocol, GGYC also retains discretion to admit late entries should they see fit. Luna Rossa was accepted as a late challenge for the previous America's Cup on that basis.
Nine for IX: 1995 America3 Team
(July 31) ESPN's "Nine for IX" documentary series examining notable milestones for women in sports includes a look back at the America3 "Women's Team" which competed to defend the America's Cup in San Diego in 1995. Watch the film and additional material online at the ESPN website and see Gary Jobson's take on how A3 could have won.
Ben Ainslie Racing Adds Sailors and Designers
(July 31) Ben Ainslie Racing announced that the British team has signed helmsman Paul Campbell-James (Luna Rossa '13); engineers Mark Bishop, Yves Mignard (OTUSA '13), and Michel Marie (OTUSA '10; Alinghi '03, '07); electronics specialist Mark Cartwright; and physical training coach Ben Williams.
Campbell-James has recently been affiliated with the Extreme Sailing Series entry from Russia, at least until now seen as the potential nucleus of a 2017 America's Cup challenge from that country.
London Challengers Meeting: Consensus on Some Issues, Plans for Post-2017
Oracle Team USA met in London with intended 2017 challengers Luna Rossa, Artemis
Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing, and Team France, but not Team New Zealand. The
teams agreed to some basic points about working together, hosting America's Cup
World Series events, reducing costs, and continuing the ACWS after the current
America's Cup cycle. Additionally, there are plans to create a working
group to determine a basic event structure and format ahead of time for the 36th
Defense of the America's Cup, to follow 2017.
Four Challengers Affirm Their Commitment to the 2017 Event
(July 25) Sent by Luna Rossa Challenge on behalf of the teams mentioned, affirming their intentions for the 2017 America's Cup:
Joint statement from the teams Luna Rossa
Challenge, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing and Team France, who will be
challenging for the 35th America’s Cup
Note also that aside from Team Australia, which has given notice to resign from the event, Team New Zealand is the other visibly active 2017 group that is not a signatory to the joint statement above.
Iain Murray Airs Thoughts on Australian Team's 2017 Withdrawal
(July 19) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, spoke with Richard Gladwell at Sail-World about the Australians' decision this past week to withdraw as Challenger of Record for the 2017 America's Cup. Murray provides more details regarding the objections that Hamilton Island YC has with the direction that the upcoming match has taken over the past eight months despite his efforts in negotiating the Protocol with the Defender.
"We've had a detailed assessment of the campaign, and have had expert advice from a lot of expert companies that deal in the commercial area," said Murray. "Even though I think the commercial feeling is very positive towards the America’s Cup, the timeline is the killer in this Cup. Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure."
One major conflict revolves around the Defender's apparent plan to spread critical portions of the Challenger Selection Series across different venues, adding expense and logistical burdens to relocate, not to mention creating an inherently more complicated design problem for challengers who must win in one sailing environment only to then face the defender under a different set of conditions. Adding to difficulties is the reported intent to host racing in Bermuda, which Murray characterized as unappealing from a commercial sponsorship standpoint, a feeling that appears to be shared among many other teams.
Murray reveals that following the multi-team meetings held in Los Angeles July 12-13, which were generally positive, he returned home to HIYC and after discussion with the board only then was it decided to withdraw. Murray notes, significantly, that what has been communicated to the Defender so far is just the 90-day notice to withdraw, a time period required under the terms of the 2017 Protocol. It is possible that Golden Gate YC and Oracle Team USA could relent on some issues, and alter terms to satisfy a broader set of concerns in the interest of keeping Team Australia and others committed to race in 2017.
There appears to be widespread hope, among challengers and Cup fans, for a return to the sort of racing that was seen in San Francisco at its best in 2013. Officially, San Francisco is no longer being considered to host the Cup, but, in spite of the complaints heard last time around, San Francisco's sailing conditions, with four to six viable teams challenging, are likelier a healthier stepping-off point for the 35th defense, both in sporting and commercial senses, then some of the other options being discussed.
"I think it is time for all the parties of interest, Defenders and Challengers, to all work together for the best outcome," said Murray.
What aspects of the 2017 America's Cup match will change? The basic provisions laid out in the 2017 Protocol are not altered by the resignation or elimination of the present Challenger of Record (COR). The current Protocol remains in force. Per the terms of Article 14, the yacht club that is next in line, determined by the chronology of their Notice of Challenge and its official acceptance, will step up into the COR's role. This was the same provision that came into play for the 2013 America's Cup after the original 2013 COR, Mascalzone Latino, withdrew. A new COR, and a majority of entered challengers, would have to agree with the Defender, Golden Gate YC, in order to make further amendments to the Protocol under most conditions.
How important is the COR at this point? The Challenger of Record's role at this point in the Cup cycle is diminished. They are not as vital as they were before the Protocol was signed, when the COR and the Defender could, under the Deed of Gift, set nearly any reasonable terms for the event by simply reaching mutual consent between themselves.
Additionally, just before the Challenger entry period opened, the Protocol was amended in several ways, reducing the potential ability of the COR, in cooperation with the Defender, to influence key aspects of Race Management and related operations without reflecting the interests of the entire fleet of competitors. Amendment #1, adopted June 8, now provides that the Competitor Forum rather than the COR and Defender alone will appoint or remove the Regatta Director, Regatta Officials, Measurers, and Umpires.
Under the current Protocol, however, along with a majority of the Competitor Forum, the COR and Defender must all agree on Protocol amendments. This arrangement again gives the COR veto power over Protocol changes as it did in 2013. The COR has a similar veto power in regard to the AC62 Class Rule, but only up until January of 2015, after which Class Rule changes by the teams must be unanimous.
What are the precedents for a COR resigning?
Hamilton Island YC's withdrawal is the third by a Challenger of Record since
1970. Club Nautico di Roma, represented by Mascalzone Latino, was the
original COR for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup in 2013, but they
resigned in May 2011, citing lack of funding needed to be competitive, and were
replaced by Royal Swedish YC, represented by Artemis Racing. The
Challenger of Record for the 1974 Defense, Royal Thames YC, also withdrew from
racing, but stayed involved to run the challenger selection races for the
remaining entries. The Challenger of Record process began with the 1970
America's Cup, allowing multiple nations to enter, competing against themselves
to be selected to face the defender. As a technical matter, when a
Challenger of Record is eliminated during competition, the title passes to a
remaining competitor and ultimately comes to rest with the actual Challenger who
races in the America's Cup match against the Defender.
Australian Challenger of Record Withdraws from 2017 America's Cup
(July 18) The Challenger of Record, Hamilton
Island Yacht Club, has withdrawn their Team Australia entry from the 2017
America's Cup. The announcement comes following a protracted period where
HIYC, led by Iain Murray, negotiated the new Protocol rules. HIYC's
withdrawal also marks the second Cup in a row that the COR has withdrawn after
agreeing on a new Protocol, and only the third time since the practice of
multiple challengers began in 1970 that the original COR will not even race in
the challenger selection series.
The early entry period for challenges closes
August 8. Though defender Golden Gate YC has yet to publicly confirm additional
accepted challenges, under the 2017 Protocol the first additional challenge
received, chronologically, would assume the COR's role. Technically per Article
14, HIYC has tendered a 90-day notice of their intent to withdraw, which would
officially take effect in mid-October.
In Meeting, Challengers Say They Prefer San Francisco for 2017
(July 15) With the venue decision for the 2017 America's Cup Match and Challenger Selection due by the end of the year, and the Challenger entry deadline August 9th, six prospective teams met in Los Angles last weekend to discuss various issues with the Defender, Golden Gate YC and Oracle Team USA. Stuart Alexander at The Independent reports that there is substantial opposition to the two locations recently shortlisted, San Diego and Bermuda. Also brewing is a conflict about provisions for administering the rules, with some seeking a broader role for the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), though official ISAF involvement in the America's Cup has only come about in recent years.
Herreshoff Lecture July 24
(July 10) Halsey Herreshoff, four-time America's Cup winner, will present a program on several notable Nathanael Herreshoff designs in celebration their 100th anniversaries, including Resolute, the 1920 Defender, launched in 1914 to face Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock IV. The first World War broke out while the challenger was crossing the Atlantic Ocean enroute to a planned 1914 America's Cup match, delaying the contest for six years. Other designs to be featured in the presentation include Katoura, the largest sailing yacht built by Herreshoff, and several historic smaller classes. The lecture begins at 7 pm, Thursday, July 24.
San Diego and Bermuda are Finalists to Host 2017 America's Cup
(July 8) Organizers announced that the shortlist to host the 2017 America's Cup
Match is down to San Diego and Bermuda, eliminating Chicago from consideration
for the match itself, but still potential host for America's Cup World Series
regatta. San Diego hosted the America's Cup in 1988, 1992, and 1995. A final
decision on the 2017 venue is due by December 31, 2014.
Ainslie Plants Flag in Portsmouth with Government Help
(July 1) British Prime Minister David Cameron today announced that the government will pledge £7.5 million in support for Sir Ben Ainslie's new training base in Portsmouth, England, to serve as a foundation for Ainslie's America's Cup challenge preparations and hoping to foster local development in related marine industries.
David Cameron, P.M.: "Sir Ben Ainslie’s
project is truly fantastic news for Portsmouth and the Solent. It will not
only build on Portsmouth’s global reputation as a centre of marine and maritime
excellence but will also deliver a real sporting and economic boost to the UK.
It is a great example of our long-term plan -- creating jobs as well as
opportunities for young people to develop their skills through apprenticeships."
Team New Zealand Says They Have Funds to Bridge Gap to Next Year
(June 21) Sir Steven Tindall, Board Member of Team New Zealand, said that the Kiwi challenger should now be able to span the current financial gap until commercial sponsorships can begin funding the team early in 2015. The dim prospect of surviving the interim period without losing essential design and sailing talent was threatening the viability of the long-established America's Cup contender. The announcement also takes the pressure off an immediate need for NZ government help.
"'We were facing closure a week ago," Tindall said on Newstalk ZB. "But some of us have put out hand on our pockets, and we now have enough money to get us through to the end of the year. We are more confident every day that we are going to be able to challenge, and we will worry about government funding later on."
Tindall also affirmed Grant Dalton's ongoing importance to the team, countering criticism that has popped up in NZ press related to the Team CEO's (anonymously) reported compensation.
"[Dalton] is a master at raising the money," Tindall said. "The sponsors all know him very well; he has got private guys that help. I think that if Grant went, we're dead."
Iain Murray Sheds Light on Protocol Provisions
(June 17) Iain Murray, CEO of the 2017 Challenger of Record Team Australia, and previously Regatta Director for the 2013 America's Cup, spoke with Sailing World magazine, working to explain some of the provisions in the new Protocol that help protect the challengers' interests and ensure the competitive balance of the event. One of the features that has been quick to draw criticism is the fact that the defender is permitted to build two boats, while each challenger is only permitted to build a single boat. But Murray helped negotiate the arrangement and lays out the reasoning involved from the Challenger's point of view.
Question: The defender also gets to build two boats. And although there are limits on when and which rounds it may be raced, do these permissions give the defender a leg up on the competition?
Iain Murray: "What’s important is that all teams have one race boat. The defender gets a trial horse when they can’t sail with the challengers (when the racing advances to the playoffs). They are governed by the same rules to make modifications and they get to sail against a trial horse. It’s a large undertaking for a team to build second boat and field a second crew. The challengers have the option to sail together and race together. I think it’s reasonable the defender gets a trial horse. The defender wanted to race a second boat, but we didn’t accept them racing a second boat they could implement changes to. It has to be the same as the first boat."
Emirates Planning to Renew Team New Zealand Sponsorship
(June 17) International airline Emirates, title sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, says that they plan to return as a major backer of the team again for the 2017 America's Cup cycle, according to a report at the New Zealand Herald.
Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates: "We remain a strong believer in Emirates Team New Zealand, having been their title sponsor for over 10 years now. We are working closely with them with the objective of renewing our sponsorship as soon as the team is in a position to finalize arrangements regarding the next campaign."
San Diego Proposal for America's Cup
(June 16) Troy Sears is part of Sailing Events Association (SEA), the group involved in the San Diego bid to host the 2017 America's Cup, said to be one of three remaining finalists along with Chicago and Bermuda. Speaking to Scuttlebutt Sailing News, Sears shed some light on SEA's plan for the regatta's potential return to the southern California city, with teams based on the B Street Pier, the America's Cup Village on the Broadway Pier, and racing extending from there down to the Coronado Bridge.
Question: When the America’s Cup had previously been in San Diego, it was not a hugely popular event. What makes the City think the 35th America’s Cup will be an attraction?
Troy Sears: "The previous events were held three miles off the coast. The team bases were scattered around the harbor and curtained off. It was pretty hard for people to know what was going on. And even when you went out on the ocean to watch, the motion of the ocean was not comfortable for a lot of people. However, the event has now evolved, and this new model in the Bay, in front of the City, and accessible from shore, is a huge change. The interest already is phenomenal."
Team New Zealand, Approaching Critical Juncture to Keep Team Viable, Clarifies Positions on Protocol and Sponsorships
(June 16) Team New Zealand, facing a funding shortage this month as they begin to ramp up for a try at the 2017 America's Cup, has had to weather criticism from seemingly all sides in response to recent comments made by Grant Dalton about the prospects for the team in the 2017 America's Cup.
Earlier this month, Dalton voiced a number of complaints about potential issues with the newly published protocol, some of which were addressed in amendments days later just as the Challenger entry period began June 9. Dalton also sounded the note that the team was in dire need of cash to continue operations until commercial sponsorships began bringing in sufficient funds.
It's practically a tradition for a challenger, especially an experienced and battle-hardened one, to leverage any handy aspect of the event, whether the disadvantage is real or just convenient to perceive. The preferred method of complaint is as loud and public as possible. Done to perfection, the technique can give sympathetic media outlets an emotionally engaging narrative for the home-country crowd, not incidentally stoking greater readership, and at the same time put the defender on their back foot trying to avoid being seen as unfair and unsporting whether that's true or not in the circumstances.
Dalton may have been a little too effective in the role the past few weeks, though. His public comments about the protocol fueled an increasingly personal exchange of words with Oracle Team USA's Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, doing little to help the sport. And when TNZ raised the pressing funding issues, government officials including Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development, and Prime Minister John Key appeared to resent the attempt to corner them on funding at a politically precarious time.
The politicians were quick to turn TNZ's criticisms of the Protocol and the Defender into reasons to question funding TNZ at all, backed by calls for the team to instead rely on commercial deals to sustain the campaign and carry the effort to 2017. The corporate sponsorships now in place largely don't kick in financially until February, 2015, which leaves the team seeking a way to bridge the intervening 7-1/2 months.
Though Kevin Shoebridge, COO of TNZ, told Newstalk ZB last week that the funding crunch had been anticipated, and the team was working on several fronts to close the gap, Dalton still had to come back and publicly reinforce that the team is finding success with commercial fundraising, and those efforts are at the core of his job right now.
In comments June 16th to the NZ Herald (which not incidentally themselves have been quick to play up controversies on TNZ's behalf, both this month and in the 2013 event), Dalton also retrenched a bit on his characterization of the terms agreed by the Challenger of Record and the Defender for the 2017 America's Cup.
"We don't see the odds being stacked anything like they were last time," said Dalton. "We were starting from absolute scratch, we'd never even seen a wingsail, let alone designed one. So the project doesn't worry us at all, there's nothing in the protocol that scares us off."
Steven Joyce, for his part, suggested that government is considering an additional $2 million NZD on top of the previously approved $5 million, but emphasized it's imperative the commercial funding come through if TNZ is to survive. A general endorsement of the 2013 arrangement, where the government ultimately provided slightly less than one-third of the team budget, was offered following TNZ's narrow loss in the 2013 Match, though even with top level ministerial support a renewed agreement will also need to negotiate the changing NZ political landscape for approval and require assurances that a viable overall financial package is in hand.
Luna Rossa Introduces 2017 America's Cup Team
(June 12) Luna Rossa has launched their fifth challenge for the America's Cup. Skippered again by Massimiliano Sirena, with Francesco Bruni and Chris Draper as helmsmen, the Italian team also adds Shannon Falcone (from OTUSA), US Moth guru Bora Gulari, Kiwi Adam Minoprio, and Gilberto Nobili (also from OTUSA) to their already substantial core of America's Cup-experienced crew. Francis Hueber (OTUSA), Yves Courvoisier, Martin Fischer, Alessandro Franceschetti (Artemis), and Davy Moyon are among the design team additions.
Max Sirena: "We maintained the core team and completed it with the addition of some professionals required for this type of boats. There are some innovations in all departments: sailors, shore team, but especially in the design group that has been significantly strengthened. Patrizio Bertelli and I have made choices based on the talent of the individual and his willingness to place the interests of the group before his personal ones: the Luna Rossa campaign is a team game and there is no place for the prima donna figures."
Ben Ainslie Racing Announces 2017 America's Cup Challenge
(June 10) Sir Ben Ainslie announced the first British challenge for the America's Cup since 2003, continuing the nation's long string of attempts to win back the trophy lost 163 years ago. Stocked with experienced America's Cup talent, and a substantial array of private and corporate backers, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was unveiled in Greenwich, England, in the company of Kate Middleton, Duchess of York.
With more than 12 previous America's Cup wins between them, Andy Claughton, Dirk Kramers, Clay Oliver, and Jason Ker are among the design team. Jono MacBeth is Sailing Team Manager for the challenge effort, which will represent the Royal Yacht Squadron, the club that staged the original 1851 regatta and awarded a certain silver trophy to the schooner America after her stunning victory.
2017 Protocol Amended to Address Team Comments, Clarify Intent
(June 9) The Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup, released last week after several months of ongoing negotiation between Golden Gate YC and Hamilton Island YC, the Defender and the Challenger of Record, was modified just before the challenger entry period began today.
Some of the changes clarify the appointment and management of the Arbitration Panel, while a couple other rules that were generating criticism under some interpretations were tweaked to avoid generating issues. Notably, the wording restricting America's Cup teams ("competitors") from racing in other events without permission, which ETNZ management felt could prevent sailors from competing in the Olympics, was changed to make it clear that, as in 2013, the rule applies solely to teams.
One significant change in the rules involves the appointment (and potential removal) of the Regatta Director and the Regatta Officials. The initial version of the protocol relied on agreement between only the Defender and Challenger of Record in hiring and firing actions. With the amendment in place, such a decision would instead require a 75% majority of all competitors.
New Protocol for 2017 Unveiled
(June 3) Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), the Challenger of Record, have published the Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup. Some highlights:
Entry: Initial challenger entry period is June 9 through August 8, 2014. Late entries may be accepted at GGYC's discretion. Additionally, GGYC claims the right to accept only one challenge per country if they so choose. The new AC62 Class Rule will be published before the entry period begins.
Costs: $2,000,000 USD entry fee, non-refundable, first installment of 50% due within seven days of Challenge acceptance, the balance due December 1, 2014; plus $25,000 for Intellectual Property Trust; and $50,000 for team website expenses.
Performance Bond: Deposit or Letter of Credit in the amount $1,000,000 USD obtained by December 1, 2014, to be forfeited in part or whole depending on circumstances if team does not participate in races or regattas when eligible.
Nationality: Some number of crew members must have a nationality corresponding to the country that their team represents; for America's Cup World Series, at least one crew member; for Youth America's Cup, all crew members; for AC62 events including America's Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs, or Match, at least 2 of the 8 member crew. Nationality is defined as either country of birth or holding a current valid passport.
Balance of Power: Protocol amendment requires consent of Defender, Challenger of Record, and a majority of the Competitor Forum. This continues the arrangement used in 2013.
Upcoming Events: 2015 America's Cup World Series schedule will be announced on or before November 1, 2014. Plans for six to eight AC45 events per year in 2015 and 2016. Each regatta to involve three days of racing. World Series events will be sailed on AC45 yachts, and starting in 2016 it is possible the AC45s will become foiling cats.
America's Cup Format: All teams to compete using AC62 yachts in "America's Cup Qualifiers," a double Round Robin event seeded by World Series results. The top four challenger teams from the qualifiers advance to the "America's Cup Playoffs" via a first-to-five-points (nominal best-of-nine) bracket in Challenger Semi-finals and Final. Barring further developments, though, for the first time in over three decades, the Challenger selection series will not be known as the Louis Vuitton Cup.
America's Cup Match: First-to-seven-points format (nominal best-of-thirteen), with two races per day, three races per day if needed to keep on match schedule or decide the Match. If the Challenger was also the winner of the Qualifiers, they will begin the Match with a one-point bonus.
Venue and Dates: To be determined. Match dates and venue to be announced by December 31, 2014. Qualifier and Playoffs to be announced by February 15, 2015.
Yachts: AC62 catamarans will be raced beginning with the Qualifiers. Challengers may build one yacht, with modifications of 20% to hulls and 50% to crossbeams. Defender may build two yachts, but may only sail the first sets of hulls and crossbeams in the America's Cup Match, excepting under certain circumstances involving damage immediately before the Match begins.
Competitors may build only two wing spars, six daggerboards, plus a combination of six additional daggerboard lower tips. Hulls must be constructed in the country of the challenge's origin.
Sailing Restrictions: AC62 yachts are not to be launched more than 150 days before the start of America's Cup Qualifiers, excepting the Defender's second boat, which may not be launched earlier than 30 days ahead of the Qualifiers. However, the Defender may not sail both of their yachts together until the Qualifiers are over.
Defender Selection: Oracle Team USA is designated as Golden Gate Yacht Club's representative, with no additional defender candidates sought.
Wind limits: Races start in 5 to 25 knots (5-minute average).
2017 America's Cup Protocol
Race courses will be similar to the 2013 format in configuration and overall elapsed time, about 25 minutes per race. Other small but potentially significant changes include replacing the five-person America's Cup Jury with a three-person Arbitration Panel. The general arrangement of using a neutral regatta organization to manage the racing issues, and America's Cup Event Authority to manage the commercial interests, carries over from AC34.
Such provisions as the checks and balances that allow the Defender to build two boats, but only race one, speak to the benefit of having an experienced head at the Challenger of Record negotiating the protocol.
"This was quite a big argument," Iain Murray, Team Australia CEO, told the Associated Press.
"I'm sure there are some things people probably would prefer would be different, and there are a lot of things that are going to be quite new," Murray said. "The event's changed a lot in a short period of time. There are probably a lot of different circumstances going forward in this event."
Duchess of Cambridge to Help Ainslie Announce Team
(June 3) British Sailor Ben Ainslie will enlist Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and an avid sailor herself, to help draw attention to his new challenge for the America's Cup in a public ceremony set for June 10th in Greenwich, England. This will be the first UK-based challenger since 2003.
San Francisco Offers Seawall Lot to Lucas Museum, Not America's Cup
(May 27) The City of San Francisco is reported to be offering Seawall Lot 330, the land across the street from Piers 30-32, as a potential site for a museum to be sponsored by filmmaker George Lucas featuring exhibits based on his movies and other items from his art collection. Seawall Lot 330 was a linchpin in the abandoned versions of plans to host the 2013 America's Cup, which subsequently shifted to Piers 27-29 for the America's Cup Park and Piers 30-32 for the Italian and New Zealand team bases.
San Francisco made their latest offer in a back-and-forth process that has seen Lucas scouting potential locations in Chicago after the Presidio Trust rejected the idea of locating his museum on their land near the Golden Gate. The city is also said to be willing to make Piers 30-32 available to Lucas for long-term development if he funds the needed structural rehabilitation.
The offer is notably similar to arrangements proposed for the 2013 America's Cup, with rehab work underwritten by Larry Ellison in exchange for the long-term redevelopment rights, which ultimately encountered resistance from some San Francisco political factions. With the venue for the 2017 America's Cup as yet uncertain, though it doesn't rule out San Francisco entirely, that Piers 30-32 and Seawall Lot 330 are being put in play for a different use tends to confirm the unlikelihood of at least one venue scenario.
Chicago also surfaced in some reports as a
possible location for the 2017 America's Cup as well, though with little in the
way of detectable political activity yet taking place on the shores of Lake
Michigan to make that happen. Chicago draws about four times more total
visitors than San Francisco, which may be a factor in the Lucas decision, while
San Francisco's sailing conditions are hard to match in any other major
metropolis, which hopefully will be heavily weighted in the location selection
for the 2017 America's Cup match.
Although deals for both the 2013 America's Cup
and the a Golden State Warriors stadium on Piers 30-32 evaporated in the face of
a difficult approval process, without irony one source described Lot 330 as
"...the best site we could find both in terms of location and for winning the
needed approvals in a timely fashion."
One Year: Andrew "Bart" Simpson
(May 8) Iain Percy and Ben Ainslie spoke to Ian Stafford at The Independent regarding the one-year anniversary of the sailing accident that took the life of their friend and sailing colleague Andrew "Bart" Simpson.
Iain Percy: "I find it much easier to work in Bart's name than to concentrate on losing him. He was my best mate, and there will be moments of great sadness on Friday mixed with pride for the impact that he has made and a celebration of his life.
"Whenever I was struggling with anything personal or professional, I'd turn to Bart. So did everyone else for that matter. The best person to talk to right now about all this would be Bart. As irrational as it sounds, I'm still expecting him to walk through my door at any time. I imagine it so strongly, it feels completely real. But for the last year I've had to rely on what Bart would say, rather than what he is. And, for sure, he'd be telling me to stop moping and get on with life."
Iain Murray Discusses New Protocol
(May 5) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, the Challenger of Record, and former Regatta Director and CEO of America's Cup Race Management for the 2013 event, talked to Sailing-World about the protracted protocol negotiations, the new AC62 yacht class, and some of the provisions that will be in place for the next America's Cup.
"At this stage with the Protocol, we are now digging down into the detail, and making it the best we can, given the constraints around what everyone wants to do," Murray said. "It is fair to say that it is not entirely what we’d do, and some of the things that we want are clearly not what they (Oracle Team USA) want."
Murray goes on to detail some of the regatta structure intended to set an even playing field between challengers and defender, provisions limiting construction of new boats, and the role of the America's Cup World Series events.
(May 6) Part 2 – Boats, Venues, and Cost: "The wings will be a one design shape," Murray said. "The teams can do the construction themselves or buy a product from a manufacturer. The control systems within the wings will also be free-design. It is an aerodynamic one-design only."
(May 7) Part 3 – When is the New Protocol Coming Out and How Will it be Different?: "We keep saying 'within a week' for the last two months. I hope in the next couple of weeks that we will agree on all the fine points we have been discussing," Murray said. "Why the process is so protracted is that we are so much wiser than last time – when there was so much left open to be decided by later voting. But this time we know the racing rules. We have a very polished up boat rule. We understand the boats are going to foil. We understand the safety. We understand the television systems, the arbitration systems and have experience with all of that from last time.'
The Next Fast Thing: Morrelli Reveals More About New "AC62" Cats for Next America's Cup
(Apr 13) Gino Morrelli, multihull designer and one of the authors of the AC72 and the AC62 Class Rules, spoke at the Strictly Sail boat show in San Francisco, revealing more details of the new boat taking shape for the next America's Cup. Downsized from 2013, but not down-speed, the new cats will foil better, still flying even while tacking.
Gino Morrelli: “We’ve got everybody to agree to take the brakes off foiling. The boats will foil by design. We’ll be able to actively change the angle of the rudder posts to adjust the angle of attack of the T-foils on the rudders—in 2013 we could make changes between races, not during a race—and the T-foils will be symmetrical, and bigger. This is part of what brings us to foiling tacks. You’ll have more chance to use low angles of attack to give you the highest glide speed through the tack. We’ll see who can glide to weather the farthest.”
On increased bow volume being required by rule: “New Zealand had the biggest bows in the fleet in 2014,” Morrelli said. “They stuffed it in that one race and survived. After the fact we sat down with the Oracle Racing guys to analyze the video of that incident, and we determined that, if Oracle had done the same thing, they would have been upside down. So, the new bow dimensions are much closer to the NZ spec than to the Oracle spec.”
Dean and Kate are Winning Match Racing Combination
(Apr 11) Dean Barker, Skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and possibly future Queen of England, combined to defeat Grant Dalton and Prince William in a friendly match race series staged in Auckland for the royal couple's visit. With Barker coaching and calling tactics and Kate at the helm of America's Cup Class yacht NZL-41, originally built for the 1995 Nippon Challenge, the Duchess prevailed over the Prince racing on NZL-68, a former German ACC yacht (illibruck Challenge 2003) since used by ETNZ for training.
Cup Possibilities Still Simmering, San Francisco in Doubt for 2017
(Apr 6) In the vacuum of hard facts about the next America's Cup match, Mark Reid at Bay&Delta Yachtsman reviews various rumors, and talks to Gloria Chan in the the San Francisco Mayor's Office and Kyrie McClellan, CEO of the America's Cup Organizing Committee, about prospects for hosting the America's Cup again in 2017.
Excerpt: “Obviously, that is a priority and we need to continue to maximize economic activity,” said Chan. “We are learning a lot from the numbers that are coming back and it is too early to tell what changes might be made until we get through the more important discussion points.
“We expected the Oracle Team to do their due diligence in respect to speaking with other venues,” said Chan. “Just as we are in going back and taking that information from the 34th America’s Cup into the current round of negotiations.”
Loïck Peyron Back at Artemis
(Mar 13) Multihull expert Loïck Peyron will be back at Artemis Racing for the upcoming America's Cup cycle, the Swedish team announced Tuesday. Expected again to be a challenger, Artemis earlier retained Australian Nathan Outteridge as lead helmsman.
“The America’s Cup is a story of communication, a melting pot of different cultures; not just in terms of nationality but also in terms of sailing culture. I like to buzz everywhere, that’s the way a solo sailor has to live, because you need to have the answer to any question or any situation. I’m very happy to act as backup helmsman but also really looking forward to offering support in other areas of the campaign” said Loïck.
Hawaii Calling Ellison for Next America's Cup Match
(Mar 10) Holding the regatta in Hawaii is an exciting prospect for Larry Ellison, reports author Julian Guthrie. Ellison also shared his thoughts with her on staging Atlantic and Pacific AC45-based series to determine the shortlist of Louis Vuitton Cup entries, and working toward the reality of strong America's Cup competition at more accessible budget levels.
Iain Murray says Team Australia Aims for 100% Australian Sailors
Protocol May Require 25% Nationality
(Mar 6) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, says that his team is aiming for an all-Australian crew in their challenge for the America's Cup, and that the Protocol for the next event is likely to require at least 25% compliance. The new boat, an AC62, is expected to be nearly as fast as the AC72's raced in 2013.
More Secrets of the Comeback
(Feb 21) Oracle Team USA's Ian Burns and Tom Speer talk a little more about the adjustments OTUSA made enroute to winning the America's Cup last September -- some of which worked -- at Blue Plant Times.
Excerpt: “The boat had lee helm,” Tom
Speer said. “You know that kills upwind speed. It was clear that we needed to
retrim, so we raked the wing aft -- and no, that didn’t work. It turned out that
when we powered-off the upper elements -- when we added twist aloft -- the
center of effort shifted down and forward. There was no relief in that. So
instead we opened the slot. That gave us less lift on the main element and more
lift on the flap [which funnels air aft]. Over the course of the regatta we
increased the traveler load by 50 percent. That eliminated lee helm, helped the
boat point, and simply made us faster upwind."
Update (Feb 24) -- Part Two with Tom
Speer: "New Zealand’s wing had to be cranked through hydraulically. In race
eight we surprised them -- they expected to be able to cross on port because
they had ‘always’ been able to cross -- but they couldn’t cross and they had to
tack quick. They weren’t ready. They didn’t have pressure ready. But their
guys did have the amazing presence of mind to keep cranking, and keep
Dean Barker Reflects on 2013 Match, Changes for Future
(Feb 11) With the benefit of hindsight, Challenger ETNZ's decision to accept a rest day in the middle of the America's Cup match against Defender Oracle Team USA was one that Kiwi Skipper Dean Barker would like to have seen go the other way. Up 7-1 on points in the first-to-nine series, the challenger won only one more race after that point. Consensus is that the break in the action gave OTUSA a crucial opportunity to keep improving.
"There was a lot going on at the time," said Barker. "I think it was one of those things that we obviously, on reflection, we would had done differently. That's certainly one of them."
For the next campaign, Kevin Shoebridge will have more greater involvement in the details of operations and management while Barker will lead the sailing team.
Update (Feb 13): Grant Dalton of ETNZ says he has spoken with Dean Barker, and Dalton believes that the full circumstances of Barker's comments aren't represented in the article linked above, or the radio interview it was based on. Dalton explains more fully in an article here at NZ Herald
Spithill Will Return to Oracle
(Feb 3) Jimmy Spithill, after winning the last two America's Cup matches for Oracle Team USA and Golden Gate YC, will return as skipper for the next Defense, the team announced Monday. Spithill admitted to considering offers from other teams, but was drawn again to the organization that he lead to victory in 2010 and 2013.
“It’s going to be one hell of a battle, one hell of a fight,” said Spithill. “I just can’t wait to get back out on the water and get racing. The prospect of going head-to-head with a few of these teams and the personalities involved… It’s hard to wait to be honest. I’m looking forward to training and to racing in the AC World Series again.”
New America's Cup Catamaran Class Rule Coming Soon
(Jan 31) Designer Pete Melvin: “We are looking at concepts that are similar to the AC72 -- a foiling cat with wingsail. The consensus from teams is that this was a good concept and we want a smaller version in the 60 to 65 foot range. We’re looking at various ratios of beam to length, and wing size and power, and running VPPs on those boats to see performance, speed, controllability, etc."
Burling to Compete with Barker for ETNZ Helm in Next Cup
(Jan 19) Roles at ETNZ will be shifting slightly for the next America's Cup, with the team still led by Dalton, but with Dean Barker adding responsibilities as Sailing Director. Barker will also remain as Skipper, subject to an internal competition against Peter Burling, the 23-year-old recently hired by the Kiwis.
Grant Dalton: "If Dean Barker is not driving Emirates Team New Zealand's boat in 2017 -- and Dean will be very much involved in that decision -- Peter Burling will have to take it from him."
Dalton Pushes for a Winning Budget
(Jan 15) Team leader Grant Dalton believes that Emirates Team New Zealand needs to approach the next America's Cup challenge on a financial footing at least equal to their 2013 campaign, meaning about $100 million USD. Dalton's comments come in response to recent announcement by the Defender that they intend to restrict their own budget for the 35th defense.
"Oracle are saying they think it will cost US $80m," Dalton said. "Yes, you could probably do it for US $80m, but you're not going to win it. That's to compete. There's always a compete cost and a win cost and I think the number is more realistically like US$100m."
Oracle Team USA May Limit Own Budget
(Jan 4) Oracle Team USA may limit their own defense budget to $80 million USD for the 35th America's Cup. Other formative details continue to emerge unofficially, possibly involving a very short challenger selection series with more emphasis in preceding years on World Series-type events.
Quick Chat with Stan Honey
(Dec 24) Christopher Clary of the New York Times talked briefly with Stan Honey about prospects for the Sydney-to-Hobart Race, where Stan will be navigator on Perpetual Loyal. Also worked into the mix was a light-hearted question about what will follow the Liveline system created for the 2013 America's Cup.
Question: After the America’s Cup, has anyone asked you to help revolutionize television coverage of badminton or Nordic skiing or any other niche sport?
Stan Honey: (Laughing) The tricky thing is that the systems are expensive, and in the case of the America’s Cup, we had a sport where there were a lot of important things that were hard to see. The current systems I’ve worked on benefit sports that have that characteristic, where there’s a lot of important things to the sport that happen a lot and are hard to see, like the first-down line in football or where a baseball misses or goes through the strike zone. But not all sports have that. Basketball is a sport I love and used to play, but there’s nothing important that’s hard to see there, or at least that we’ve been able to figure out.
City of San Francisco Proposes 2017 America's Cup Plans
(Dec 23) The City of San Francisco has sent a formal proposal to America's Cup organizers outlining their plans for hosting the next America's Cup, expected though not yet officially confirmed for 2017. The basics of the 2013 arrangements would not change drastically, based on initial information, with the exception of relocating the team bases to Piers 27-29, which was the site of the America's Cup Park in 2013.
CupExperience Beats Goal Deadline
(Dec 20) Jack Griffin's proposed crowd-funded eBook about the 2013 America's Cup reached it's goal of full funding by December 20th, and his project, now at 125% of target will be going forward.
Iain Percy Remembers Andrew Simpson
(Dec 17) Iain Percy: "We were close through childhood and university but our friendship and sailing partnership was cemented after the 2000 Olympic trials. On the night of the last race of the trials, we were having our normal post-event beer and Andrew came out with an extraordinarily generous line. Instead of concentrating on the possibility of not qualifying, he said: "What do you need me to do over the next 12 months to help, because we are going to win you a gold medal?"
Barker and Spithill Interviewed
(Dec 16) The skippers of the Challenger and Defender of the 34th America's Cup both spoke at length to Radio New Zealand, looking back on the match.
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA: "To learn the most, you need to be pushed by the best."
Dean Barker, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand: "As the event went on they sort of made [fewer] mistakes and got better performance, and finally that translated into results."
Team France Sets Off for America's Cup with a Unified Effort
(Dec 12) The newly announced Team France will have the combined resources of a number of experienced figures in multihulls, media, and past America's Cup campaigns. Bruno Bich, whose father led the first French entries into the America's Cup, is behind the team, as are leaders from the French television network Canal+ and dedicated yachting sponsor Groupama, along with the sailing talents of Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux, and Olivier de Kersauson among others. Representing Yacht Club de France, the team announced themselves Wednesday at the Paris boat show and stressed the breadth, depth, and unity of their new undertaking.
Team France Launches for 35th America's Cup
(Dec 11) Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux, and Olivier de Kersauson announced the formation of Team France, an intended challenger for the 35th America's Cup. The effort is said to have sponsorship from Groupama, which has a history of supporting Cammas in his multihull programs, a preliminary research budget reported at €20 million, and is seeking recruits while proven America's Cup talent is still on the market.
Read more at ouest-france.fr (in French)
Dalton "Cautiously Optimistic" Next NZ Cup Campaign Can Be Launched
(Dec 5) Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, has spent the last couple weeks touring the globe, seeking financial support for another Kiwi tilt at the Auld Mug, and Dalts was encouraged by what he found.
"The reception from the sponsors was very, very good," said Dalton. "I'm cautiously optimistic it's a doable proposition."
Hard commitments, though, appear to hinge on having firm details in hand. "In the end it will depend on the event," said Dalton. "Until we have an event, we have nothing to sell."
Spithill Tries to Keep Pace After Victory
(Dec 4) Jimmy Spithill, Skipper of Oracle Team USA, followed up his America's cup win with a whirlwind media tour and newfound celebrity. USA Today checked in with Spithill two months after the historic win and found he was surprised in many ways to learn what the team's victory has meant to people:
Excerpt: "None of the attention surpassed what Spithill found most moving: people suffering from cancer and other serious ailments who came up to tell him they were inspired by his never-surrender attitude. 'I expected people who enjoyed sport to come up to me,' said the ultra-fit Spithill. 'But I didn't expect that. That was by far the coolest thing about the whole aftermath.'"
Murray to Lead Australian Challenge
(Nov 27) Iain Murray, skipper of the Defender in 1987 and Regatta Director for the 2013 America's Cup, will take the reins of the new Challenger of Record. “I have long been an avid supporter and ally of Bob Oatley,” Murray said. “When I received the invitation to lead Australia back into the America’s Cup for the first time since 2000 on behalf of their Hamilton Island Yacht Club, there was only ever going to be one answer.”
Team New Zealand Gets $5 Million to Keep Key Staff Onboard
(Oct 21) The New Zealand government is supporting Team New Zealand with $5 million NZD to help the team bridge from the last America's Cup campaign into the next without losing top-level personnel to other teams. The funding is likely to be just the first part of a larger public contribution totaling about $36 million, similar in amount to NZ support for the 2013 challenge, with the rest of the estimated $100 million budget coming from corporate and private sponsors.
Team New Zealand May Receive Funding Commitment Monday
(Oct 20) A NZ government commitment for Team New Zealand that will allow them to retain core personnel appear likely to be approved shortly, funding about one-third of the expected budget and giving TNZ time and the organizational stability to approach commercial sponsors as viable team.
Dean Barker mentioned that both he and Grant Dalton feel re-energized by the support the team has received at home despite their loss after coming within one race of winning the America's Cup.
ETNZ leaders have been concerned since the final race about losing key personnel to the lure of contracts from other teams while TNZ's funding remained uncertain. The benefits of the international visibility gained by NZ's tourist and export industries in the recent regatta in San Francisco, and the possibility that a win in AC35 would bring the Cup back to Auckland, appear to be a convincing government ministers to make the investment.
Barker also mentions in the article that the next defense might not take place until 2017, with protocol details and other event decisions expected early next year.
Dust to Dust: USA-71
(Oct 14) What to do with an old America's Cup Class yacht? Oracle's ACC USA-76 was a familiar sight on San Francisco Bay this summer during the recent America's Cup Match, racing also in the Superyacht Cup. USA-76 was the competition boat from Oracle BMW Racing's 2003 America's Cup challenge, the second of two boats they built for that campaign. Her slightly older sister, USA-71, has been displayed at the Oracle Corp. headquarters for the last six years, but her composite hull and mast are now destined to be recycled via a process developed by the Boeing Company.
Grant Simmer Takes Stock
(Oct 10) Michelle Slade talked with Grant Simmer, General Manager, Oracle Team USA, about how the team adapted during the America's Cup to beat Emirates Team New Zealand, and about what comes next. Some excerpts:
Question: What is a Stability Augmentation System and how did it come about?
Grant Simmer: [Laughs] "Firstly, I don’t know what it is, and secondly, we didn’t have one. We didn’t change anything to do with our foils control system for a period of about six weeks prior to the Cup. We made no changes in that regard."
Question: What do you see as the biggest challenges of moving on to create AC35 compared to all previous Cups?
Grant Simmer: "We need to get more teams. We need to come up with a formula that gets more teams, but on the other hand it’s going to be very difficult not to have an event that matches AC34 in terms of being impressive. Going to a much slower multi or monohull -- I think that would be difficult."
Next Time: Coutts Speaks
(Oct 7) Russell Coutts talked to Sport Pro Media about his thinking for the next America's Cup.
Coutts: "We can’t take a step back but we’ve got, simultaneously, to address the cost issues because the cost of these teams is completely out of line with commercial sustainability. The main thing to address is the number of personnel on each of these teams. The personnel is somewhere between 50 and 60 per cent of the running costs of the teams, so we simply have to find ways to reduce the number of people on-site in these teams.
"We can do that in a variety of ways. We could consider making some of the components one-design, which would probably make the racing more compelling as well. I emphasize 'some' of the components because there should still be a technology element -- that’s a part of the brand -- but it should be technology that doesn’t absolutely destroy the racing, so that we can still keep the focus on the athletes and teams."
Big Data for Big Cats: Oracle's Asim Khan
(Oct 4) Oracle Team USA's AC72 yacht generated vast amounts of information every second, 300 sensors and gauges streaming a torrent of information. Oracle ultra-tech Asim Khan was involved in putting all that data to their advantage. "On a daily basis, you can't really analyze it unless you've got really good tools," said Khan.
In 2007, the 4 Gigabytes of data archived from Oracle's challenge fit on a single DVD. This time around, there was about 300GB, instantly accessible to the sailors, and integrated into their testing, training, and racing for maximum benefit.
"To me, there wasn't a lot of change in straight-line performance during the regatta, but there were gains in the tacks and gybes and better balance and that was more because of technique," said Khan. "A lot of things, such as changes to the rudders, were born out of analysis. But there wasn't anything magical that we found in the data. There were just a lot of small incremental changes."
Oracle Reveals (Some) Speed Secrets
(Sep 29) While Oracle Team USA might not reveal all for a while, with the America's Cup now won team leaders have relaxed enough provide a guide to what they did to improve their performance between Race 1 and Race 19. They stress that their focus was as much or more on the sailing and tuning as on the tech bits.
Dirk Kramers, Design Executive, Oracle Team USA: The changes to the defending yacht were "all small and all visible, said Kramers. "A lot had to do with the balance of the boat."
Grant Simmer, General Manager, Oracle Team USA: "The sailors made a change to the way they were sailing the boat so we adapted the boat to help them make that change. There was no silver bullet," said Simmer.
Budget numbers for the overall cost of the defense are suggested, with salaries and personnel expenses said to take up slightly more than half of the total.
Matthew Sheahan at Yachting World has catalogued the nuts and
bolts of the many individual changes:
America's Cup: Wednesday, Sept 25
Regatta Director Iain Murray expects that even with the higher winds forecast, that there will be a window for racing today. Once a boat reaches Mark 3, completing the upwind leg, the race cannot be abandoned for winds breaching the safety limits.
Final Race 19:
Onto Leg 2, ETNZ just leading. Oracle 35m behind, trying to roll up on ETNZ. All the way down to the offshore boundary they sail, gybing together. Lead is about 1 length with Oracle directly astern of ENTZ now. 40 knots on starboard tack. Getting ready to prepare for the downwind gate. Both into the gate, ETNZ turns left, Oracle Team USA turns right. Delta was 3 seconds. Utterly flying.
Upwind, slight lead for USA as ETNZ tacks also to starboard. Lead out to 70m, then Oracle Team USA tacks. Cross comes with ETNZ on starboard and right of way, Oracle has to duck, lead back to NZL. 66m. ETNZ out to the shoreside boundary. They tack. Both on starboard, lead nearly even. Oracle tacks, cross coming now with Oracle on starboard. ETNZ goes behind them, no need to dip. Can NZ gain on the left? Oracle tacks near the shore. ETNZ tacks to starboard, cross coming. Very close. Oracle is just ahead and can make it. NZL to the shore and tacks. Oracle doesn't go too far, and comes back again, covering, still ahead. USA ahead 120m at the cross. ETNZ has to hang in with them. Winds have been 17-20 knots. After the next Mark wind limits cannot abandon the race.
ETNZ coming back to the middle, but is still trailing. Oracle Team USA is opening up a small lead, similar pattern to Race 18. They tack back from the middle to cover. ETNZ steaming up on port. A few more tacks before the upwind gate. Still trading tacks. 250-260m lead. Oracle heading out to the right on port, ETNZ makes last tack on the boundary, come up the top of the leg on port, too. Both about to set up for a rounding. Lead out to 300m. Oracle Team USA foiling upwind. Saving tacks in the rounding will be key. A lot of wind for the mark rounding, too.
Oracle Team USA tacks on the port layline, can lay the mark, looks to turn right. ETNZ might need another tack. Oracle rounds, turning right. ETNZ manages to point and lay the mark. USA is off and running, ETNZ rounds to the left. Delta is 26 seconds.
On the final downwind the lead is 500m to Oracle Team USA. Slow gybe very close to the boundary for ETNZ. Race is now on Leg 4, it will go into the book, no abandonment. Lead is 600m. Halfway down the leg, lead isn't shrinking. 700m plus for Oracle Team USA. Oracle's wind drops a bit, ETNZ closes slightly, but not enough. The race track is getting very very short. Oracle now on port gybe will need one gybe to starboard for rounding the final mark.
Golden Gate Yacht Club and Oracle Team USA have Defended the America's Cup!
USA wins Race 19 by 44 seconds.
Golden Gate YC defends the America's Cup by a score of 9-8. Celebration on the water, trophy ceremony coming up within the hour.
Oracle Team USA
and Golden Gate Yacht Club, Winners of the 34th America's Cup!
Both Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA have roundly earned respect for the fight it took to get here, in the racing since September 7 of course, and the unending slog that started back in 2010 to design, build, and learn to control these tremendous boats. There will be a lot of celebration for the winners, and plans for Cups to come, but it's going to be hard on the losing side whichever that may be.
Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill spoke of a comeback when he was down 7 races, and delivered it. He leads a team that had not just every resource imaginable, but enormous talent, too, and just couldn't get ahead, stay ahead, and win. Their resurrection is a heartening rebuke to those ready to dismiss them over a few fractions of boatspeed here and there. Will what they've accomplished matter, will that be remembered or forgotten if they lose?
On the other side, Dean Barker has been here before, in 2003 as the defender, facing a tough team backed by Russell Coutts, his mentor and teammate in the 2000 America's Cup. Team New Zealand in 2003 went from invincible to a frustrating second place, plagued by breakdowns, losing the Cup in circumstances that still irritate, their trophy taken away by the very same people who not long before had won it for New Zealand in a flourish of national pride. Barker and leader Grant Dalton are here with their team after an almost non-stop ten-year crusade to reverse that slight, which included the America's Cup Final in 2007 as the 2007 challenger facing a billionaire-backed defender that proved to be slightly faster. They have worked incredibly hard to be here, and looked all but flawless until 7 races ago, with the Auld Mug one win away from being theirs. They are so close. What will change if they don't get that one race they have needed for so long?
What it will really mean in the big picture if Oracle defends the Cup or not is hard to say. Will the perception be that it's too hard to beat Larry Ellison's team, discouraging potential challengers? Or like the NYYC's 132-year winning streak, will a Golden Gate YC win make more compelling the obsession to wrest it away? If New Zealand wins, does the prospect of a wide-open playing field draw new challengers and sponsors out of the woodwork? Or is it back to square one on securing funding while the nature of the regatta is reinvented once again with different format, rules, yachts, and accessibility? Both sides may have plans, but until they win, everything is just an idea.
The yacht racing has been exciting, close, tactical, and often epic. The America's Cup Match today is on the front page of newspapers across the globe, every possible measure of online activity is at levels the sport has never seen. It's hard to imagine the tension that a final and deciding America's Cup race will hold today, and the millions pf people that can and will be following it live.
Leaving whatever politics aside, if that's even possible, just the pure sporting occasion is off the charts. A seven-win streak for a comeback? Versus a ten-year dedication just to get the opportunity. Somewhere between the joy and relief and a bit of something else, a lot of history is going to take place in that City by the Bay today.
Wednesday Morning Stories:
Previous America's Cup Races
Race Report, Results, Photos, and links to more
Technology and The 2013 America's Cup
(Sept 13) The yachting world's most historic regatta is well-known for employing the cutting edge of high-tech to make America's Cup boats faster, but it's a two way street and the innovations employed in trying to win the Auld Mug have a history of flowing back into the "real world" too.
From the 2013 America's Cup, clothing manufacture PUMA has tested new materials, business school professors are looking for ways to use the data stream to teach decision-making, and commercial aircraft wings may someday work more like an AC72 yacht's wingsail:
"You could envision an airplane wing where you had full-span flaps that did a number of functions," Oracle engineer Tom Speers said. "They would move together for both roll control and as landing flaps or for maneuver load alleviation and so forth."
Previous America's Cup 2013 Races:
Pre-Match Press Conference
Oracle Confirms They Will Race Boat #2
(Sept 5) James Spithill, Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, and John Kostecki met the media today and answered questions in anticipation of the America's Cup Match starting Saturday. Also, the skippers established the entry order for the starts and Oracle Team USA confirmed their selected boat will be Boat #2.
Dean Barker, skipper, ETNZ: “It’s exactly as it was two years ago. We have to win nine races. We’re happy with our preparation, but if we’re not fast enough, we’re not fast enough. It’s no more complicated than that. We’ve had 100 days sailing this boat, but you can always do things better. A lot of the decisions in hindsight we would have made a lot differently."
James Spithill, skipper, Oracle Team USA: "We’ve faced a lot of challenges as a team and that gives us confidence, but if we can have the hometown crowd behind us, it will be critical. We want to keep the Cup here."
Oracle Team USA Penalized, Sailor and Shore Crew Excluded from Event
(Sept 3) The America's Cup Jury issued decisions on several aspects of the "Weight-Gate" case involving illegal modifications of the Oracle Team USA AC45 yachts as used in several America's Cup World Series events.
Most notably for the America's Cup match, Oracle Team USA and Golden Gate YC will be docked the first two points they might earn in the series against Emirates Team New Zealand, representing Royal NZ Yacht Squadron. Since the Match is a first-to-nine-points competition, Oracle Team USA would have to win 11 races on the water in order to defend the America's Cup, while ETNZ would only have to win nine races to win the Match. Oracle Team USA will also be assessed a $250,000 USD fine.
Read the Jury Decision (JN117) (pdf)
The jury also lifted some of the confidentiality aspects of the proceedings, and weighed in on the roles that individual shore crew and sailors played in the illegal modifications to the boats. In some cases, the jury found that persons involved were not expert in the rules and apparently did not realize that violations were being committed. However, in a few cases, the Jury's finding is that the transgression was done with knowledge and intent. In lifting the confidentiality, most of the figures are now named. Two shore crew and one sailor, Dirk de Ridder, wingsail trimmer, will be excluded.
Read Jury Decision (JN116) (pdf)
Read Press Releases:
From Oracle Team USA: "The rules infractions involved only a few of our 130 team members, and were done without the knowledge of either our team's management or the skippers who were driving the boats," said team CEO Russell Coutts. Read Team Statement
Dialing in LiveLine
(Aug 29) Stan Honey was the driving force behind the LiveLine system that elevated the presentation of America's Cup racing on TV for the 2013 America's Cup, and in the process brought umpiring and race management into the 21st century along with it. Applications for the high-precision data stream, and the augmented reality it supports, could benefit other sailing events, too. LiveLine has been explained before, but here, with Ken Milne, Honey discusses many technical details behind LiveLine.
Excerpt: "A typical green-screen chroma keyer detects where the image is green, and that’s where it “draws” the weather map image; otherwise, it draws the foreground image of the newscaster. Boats sailing on an ocean don’t have a reliably consistent background—the water’s appearance can vary depending on the weather and the direction of the sun. So the AC Liveline system uses a specialized chroma keyer that allows a wide range of background colors; an operator manually picks the correct water color by clicking a mouse over an image of that water."
162 Years Ago: America
(Aug 22) 162 years ago today the yacht America won her race around the Isle of Wight, beating all British comers, a revolutionary act in the world of yachting that still echoes today. The famed yacht sailed for many years after, and the leading authority on her history, W.P. Stephens, had the chance to inspect not only paper documents but the boat herself and wrote this letter in 1921 highlighting some of what he had learned:
Excerpt from Stephens: "While originally built from a block model, cut in the basement of the old house at 91 Cannon Street, New York, by George Steers, it is unlikely that finished plans were made, as would be the case to-day; the designer-builder working out all details as the work progressed. It is said that the custom of George Steers was to “kick” the battens on the floor: that is, as he laid down the full-size lines in the mold loft by means of long thin strips of wood held in place by awls or nails, he would move these battens in or out, thus altering at the start from the original block model."
Straight Talk with Iain Murray
(Aug 22) Regatta Director Iain Murray spoke with Michelle Slade about the America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup so far. In a wide ranging conversation, with Murray's typical candor they talked about the what's been learned in this Cup cycle, what's worked and what hasn't, and changes that might work better for next time.
Iain Murray: "It’s easy to sit here now, look back and say, 'We should have done this or that.' I think probably the biggest disappointment to people is the fact that we’re so short on challengers, and you can ask yourself why is that so? Clearly the cost of the campaign is an issue, the complexity of the campaign is another issue. I think everyone looking forward is saying, 'These boats are really cool, the guys love sailing them, we’re in the first generation of boats foiling and understanding the race formats.'"
"We came off something that was pretty good at the end with the AC45s and high expectations with 10 boats roaring around, a great event in Naples, great events here in San Francisco, and Newport. In many ways coming back to three boats has been a dip. If you look back, you can say we need more controls, we needed something more like an AC45, something that was maybe not an AC72, but not an AC45. Maybe we should have done it in an AC45—I don’t know. I think a 55- to 60-foot semi one-design boat is probably what you’ll see the teams looking toward."
(Aug 16) Ken Read got an outing on ETNZ's AC72 yacht, with plenty of wind, and set a personal best for speed on the water. Read provides a short re-cap:
Ken Read: "I sat there in the middle of the trampoline thinking to myself that it was all a bit marginal when tactician Ray Davies said over the ear piece to skipper Dean Barker something like "not sure how good an idea this is Deano as I really can't see a thing." You think this isn't a great idea Ray? It just goes to show how relaxed all these crews have become at incredibly high speeds."
Ballast Response from Coutts
(Aug 14) Russell Coutts, CEO Oracle Team USA, has given some additional comments on the rules violations that were disclosed on the team's AC45 yachts, citing the team's analysis that the change had little effect on performance, though he does not explain what motivated placing the weights in the struts.
Russell Coutts: "The measurers first found the extra weight in Ben Ainslie’s BAR boat, which had been the Aleph boat. Our team then determined that we did it, and we also found that the change was made to Oracle4 and Oracle5. So all three boats were in contravention of the rules."
"After the discovery, we had our designers run the VPP to determine the impact of the weight. I think the finding was the weight would induce something like a 1/100th of a degree angle change to the boat. The performance impact was hardly measurable. It induced a near insignificant improvement upwind and a similarly small detriment to downwind speed."
Oracle Withdraws from Past World Series Regattas over AC45 Modifications
(Aug 8) Oracle Team USA issued a statement today that due to violations of rules when shore teams modified their two AC45 yachts, the team has chosen to retroactively withdraw from the four most recent America's Cup World Series events. “Our team is very disappointed by this turn of events, and I believe that voluntarily withdrawing from these past AC45 regattas is the appropriate corrective action,” said Russell Coutts, CEO of Oracle Team USA.
The team does not detail the nature of the modifications to the AC45 yachts, but does note that internal procedures were not followed, senior managers and sailors were not aware of the changes at the time, and no performance advantage was gained. Other sources report that adding weight improperly was the source of the infractions. The previous four events were Naples (April 2013), San Francisco (October 2012 and August 2012), and Newport (June 2012). An Oracle boat placed first or second, and sometimes both first and second, at those events.
Outteridge on Artemis Prospects
(Aug 1) Nathan Outteridge, helmsman of Artemis Racing, spoke to Genny Tulloch for AC Uncut about his team's outlook on the upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals.
Question: Semi's start next Tuesday, August 6. What do you think realistically of your chances right now?
Nathan Outteridge: "We’re pretty happy with how our performance is going. We’d like another 50 to 100 days of training, for sure. We’re pretty rusty and we’ve got a lot of improving to do, but at the moment our learning curve has been really steep. Today we’re going to go do another day on the race course and we're going to get an idea of how fast we’re actually going around the course. We’ll have a better indication of how we’re going to be looking by the end of today, but I think we’re still a fair way behind Luna Rossa. We've got a lot of catching up to do and we've only six more days of training."
interview at YouTube (2:06)
Olin Stephens' Dorade wins TransPac
(July 25) The historic yawl Dorade, designed by America's Cup-winning designer Olin Stephens, has won the 2013 TransPac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Stephens, whose boats succeeded in defending the America's Cup eight times, rose to prominence first with Dorade, built to his design by Minnefords on City Island in New York, and sailed to victory in the 1931 Trans-Atlantic race, and the Fastnet, by Olin with his brother Rod also among the crew.
This year's victory is the second time Dorade has taken first place in the TransPac, with the previous win coming in 1936, 77 years ago. The yawl won numerous other honors in major races and was tremendously influential in the design of ocean racing yachts. Stephens lived until 2008, long enough to see his boat restored in the late 1990s and to sail aboard her again. Dorade will be in San Francisco during the America's Cup match this September. Her current owner, Matt Brooks, has plans for the yacht to revisit the other major races in which she made history.
Teams Agree to Permit Artemis to Race Overweight Following Repairs
(July 24) The Challengers have unanimously agreed to permit Artemis Racing to sail in the Louis Vuitton Cup with a boat that exceeds the initial weight range permitted in the AC72 Class Rule. The Swedish team's yacht was structurally reinforced prior to this week's launch, increasing her weight beyond the original design intent, but the modifications will be considered repairs per provisions of the Protocol. Before each race the excess will be verified by the measurers and their opponent will have the option of adding corrector weights to compensate for the difference.
The agreement was signed yesterday and announced in Regatta Notice 207, which provides more explanation.
Luna Rossa Working Hard to Narrow Gap Against ETNZ
(Jul 15) Max Sirena and Chris Draper, the Skipper and Helmsman of Luna Rossa Challenge, talked with Sail Racing Magazine on how their team is responding to the deficit they ran against Emirates Team New Zealand last Saturday, when the Italian boat finished over 5 minutes behind the Kiwis in their first match of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
"Upwind we knew we were slower from lining up with them previously but downwind we think we are competitive," Chris Draper said. "We have got a lot to do and we have known that for a long time.
"We have got some good add-ons to come on to the boat which will make us faster upwind but the boat handling is the key. We have just got to work hard at that and it is going to mean long hours. It's going to be difficult for us to keep a balance between working really hard to get the boat right and not getting too hard.
"If we can finish four minutes behind them in the next race and three minutes in the one after that then we will be getting better and better. That's all we can hope for. We have got to be realistic and we are doing that."
Bring on the Racing
(July 6) From Stuart Alexander in The Independent:
"Eventually, things will be settled on the water, though that will not be until September when Oracle races the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination series.
"Whatever happens, the event has taken a costly knock. Whatever happens, it will live to fight another day. Vast amounts of valuable experience, commercial, sporting and technological, have been banked.
"And, if the boats are close in performance, the best of 17 which starts on 7 September, assuming they can both stay in one piece, may produce the lushest of fig leaves in the form of the most spectacular racing in 162 years."
Iain Murray Speaks to Media
(July 3) Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO of America's Cup Race Management, met with the media Wednesday to discuss the changes to yacht design rules that he has enacted to elevate safety for the 2013 America's Cup. Some of the teams, and others in various forms of media, have been not only critical of the changes, but also saying that the action was at the direction of Oracle Team USA. Murray pointed out that even the changes to the rule that are generating complaint are in line with needs that the protesting teams have previously sought.
Ahead of the media conference, quoted on Americascup.com Murray was emphatic about his independence and the integrity of the decision.
“On a personal level, I have to say I find it upsetting when people say these safety recommendations aren’t for safety but to increase the performance of one team,” Murray said. “The implication is that I’m doing this to favor Oracle Team USA. That’s an attack on my character and I don’t accept that. Quite frankly I find it insulting.”
“In terms of these changes being at the behest of Oracle Team USA, I’d remind everyone that the Regatta Director is appointed jointly by the competitors to act on behalf of each and every one of them in a fair and neutral way. America’s Cup Race Management, which I lead, is owned and controlled by the competitors.
“I do not answer to ACEA. I do not answer solely to Oracle Team USA nor do I answer solely to Emirates Team New Zealand or Luna Rossa or Artemis Racing. As the Regatta Director and CEO of America’s Cup Race Management, I am responsible for providing ‘neutral, independent, professional and fair race management.’
“The 37 safety recommendations are what I believe to be necessary to ensure the regatta is as safe as possible this summer.”
Murray also noted that the Safety
Recommendations were agreed in principle last month by all four teams.
Ted Hood, Sailor, Designer, Sailmaker, Dies at Age 86
(July 1) Frederick E. "Ted" Hood, a central figure of the America's Cup landscape of the 1960's and 70's, died June 28. As Skipper Hood won the America's Cup in 1974 on Courageous, but he had already changed sailing. An innovative sailmaker, Hood wove his own cloth from synthetic fibers, and Hood Sails spread around the world, flying on every America's Cup winner from 1958 to 1977. Creative and prolific like few others, Hood was an accomplished yacht designer and successful businessman, also manufacturing Little Harbor yachts among countless other accomplishments including being named to the America's Cup Hall of Fame.
A Brief History of the Challenger of Record
(July 28) Since 1970 there have been 13 matches with multiple challengers, with 12 teams serving as the initial Challenger of Record (COR). Historically, one-third of the original COR's have resigned their position. Including the upcoming 35th Defense of the America's Cup scheduled for 2017, the initial COR has resigned four times; three times also withdrawing from competition, and one time remaining a challenger.
Read more at CupInfo, including a table listing all CORs since 1970.
AC62 Class Rule Published
(June 5) The AC62 Class Rule for
the 2017 America's Cup catamarans has been published: “This new boat is going to
be significantly lighter and under much less load than what we raced last time,
which makes for a big cost-saving when it comes to how it gets built,” said
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper of Oracle Team USA.
(Dec 15) The story of sailing for the 2013 America's Cup is told in a new 224-page book, just released by McGraw-Hill/International Marine. Winging It focuses on the sailing and racing of the 34th America's Cup, including selecting the AC72 yachts for the event, the races of the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the epic America's Cup Final that featured a stunning comeback and gut-wrenching loss. Co-authors Diane Swintal and Robert Kamins helped cover the event in San Francisco for CupInfo, and Steve Tsuchiya witnessed the match on the water from start to finish.
2013 America's Cup Highlights on CupInfo:
Australians Officially Announced as Challenger of Record for Next America's Cup
Australia's Hamilton Island Yacht
Club was publicly announced by Golden Gate YC as the Challenger of Record for
the next America's Cup, with the new challenger backed by Bob and Sandy Oatley.
What Comes Next? America's Cup 35
Larry Ellison confirmed at the post-race press conference that a Notice of Challenge for the 35th Defense of the America's Cup has been accepted, but the details of the challenge will be disclosed at a future date. Specifics involving the types of boats and other aspects like format, timing and location will be explored with the potential challenger community to help increase participation, and build on the successes of America's Cup 34. While praising San Francisco, and saying he would love to come back, he did not commit to where the next Defense would be held, and said that the topic would need to be explored with the city.
On September 30th, publicly announced that Hamilton Island Yacht Club of Australia was the next Challenger of Record, confirming recent media reports. The Notice of Challenge was received on the water as the winning yacht cross the finish line in the last race of the 2013 America's Cup. Representatives of GGYC and HIYC will negotiate the terms of challenge and establish the initial rules to accept additional challengers for the 35th defense. A report at SFGate says that the Canadian Royal Vancouver YC was also willing, but the Aussies expressed interest first.
Post-race, Grant Dalton deferred answers about Team New Zealand's future, saying that he did not plan to be back in his current role. New Zealand officials say they are reviewing funding prospects now that the match is settled.
America's Cup Match 2013
From Stuart Walker at The Independent: "There have been several races going on. One was on the San Francisco Bay track. One was in the design offices. The third is the management game, without which no America’s Cup team will be successful. Both teams were in the lead in all three at one time or another but the Americans were in the lead when it mattered, at the finish." Read More
More Post-Match Stories:
Quotes of the Final Day:
Dean Barker, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand: "We went out there today to give it our absolute best shot, and we felt we didn’t leave anything on the table. We got a good start, led around Mark 1, led at the bottom, and that’s all we could ask for. We knew that upwind we had a fight on our hands. When they are sailing a boat that’s going that fast, it’s very hard to swallow."
Dean Barker: "I am incredibly proud of our team and what we’ve achieved. I’m gutted that we didn’t get the last win that we need to bring this cup back to New Zealand."
Matteo de Nora, Emirates Team New Zealand: "I've never been more proud to be part of this team, and I've never felt more Kiwi than I feel today."
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA, about his competition ETNZ: “Man, they are a tough team, they are a champion team.”
Recommended Post-race press conferences with both teams on America's Cup YouTube Channel
America's Cup 2013 Complete Match Coverage, Race Reports, and Photos: See all on CupInfo's America's Cup Match Main Page or jump to content below
Day 6 (Races 9 and 10) Quotes:
Ben Ainslie, Tactician,
Oracle Team USA, on the final run downwind in Race 10: "We elected to go behind
them and try to set up where we might be able to get a piece on starboard when
they gybe back, and it’s really hard to judge that right when you’re going along
at almost 40kts, but we didn’t do too bad of a job. But it wasn’t quite enough
to get back into it."
Day 7 (Postponed):
Data and Analysis: Boatspeed,
windspeed, True-Wind-Angles, SOG/VMG Polar Plots for both boats, leads/gains,
and more: Visit CupStats at CupInfo
Foils That Shaped the Cup: Part 2
(Sep 18) Gino Morrelli, partner at Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, has worked on ground-breaking multihull designs for three America's Cups now, going back to 1987. Before joining Emirates Team New Zealand's design team for 2013, he helped author the AC72 Class Rule. Few people know better where extreme multihull technology came from, and where it's going. Morrelli spoke with CupInfo about making lifting foils work on the America's Cup boats, and where foils are showing up next:
Gino Morrelli: "We’ve already got clients looking for us to design basically semi-lifting -- what we call lift fractions -- to start putting lift fractions onto cruising cats, big custom carbon things. That trickle is happening as we speak. We recently just stuck a set of big asymmetric canted-end foils on one of our Gunboats, escalating that war down there in the Caribbean. That’s a 62, it’s a 40,000-pound boat."
"You’re going to see some pretty wild 90-100-foot cruising cats flying a hull around the course in the near future.”
On helming an AC72: “It’s more like aiming a rocket,” Morrelli says. “You’re not really sailing a boat. You are looking at targets and you are aiming."
Foils That Shaped the Cup: Part 1
(Sept 16) Pete Melvin was one of the authors of the AC72 Class Rule and then became a member of the Emirates Team New Zealand design staff. Melvin knew that foiling a large wingsail cat was possible in theory, but even he was surprised by how far the technology has progressed and what it's meant for the racing. Diane Swintal caught up with him and has this report:
Pete Melvin: "At Team New Zealand, we developed a new type of foil that allows you to keep your height above the water more or less steady. No one had been able to do that before, at least not on a course-racing boat that was not going downwind. We developed that mostly on our SL33 test boats. They came with the stock constant curvature 'C' foils and with those kinds of foils, you can generate 50% boat weight lift before they get unstable. But we noticed that when we could get one boat up fully foiling for a few seconds it would really accelerate away from the other boat -- and that got the wheels turning. How, with such a huge potential benefit, can we achieve stable flight downwind?"
Small Boat Sailors Drawn to America's Cup Cats
(Sept 6) Demand for the skills that make 2013 America's Cup boats go fast opened the door for a whole flock of young talented sailors who had never expected their résumés would lead to an America's Cup career. 27-year-old Aussie Nathan Outteridge talks to CupInfo about transitioning from a small Olympic dinghy to a big AC45 to a huge AC72, becoming a leader at Artemis, and learning to race a foiling wingsail multihull in eight days
Team of Rivals: Ainslie vs. Spithill
(Sept 4) Oracle Team USA has relied on in-house training to prepare for the America's Cup, but is it the same intensity as real racing?
“We are pushing as hard as we can,” James Spithill says. “It’s hard not to be at full throttle on these boats, there really is no in-between. We’re getting pushed, we’re getting under a lot of pressure – and that’s exactly what we need.”
Louis Vuitton Cup
Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Day 1 (Sept 1):
It would be easy to simplify by saying that in both of Sunday’s races, the leader at the reaching mark won the race. However, that wouldn't tell the whole story. America’s Youth Sailing Force (AYSF) did indeed maintain their lead throughout the first race, but only after adventures that included hitting a mark, fouling the second-place New Zealand Sailing Team, and a near-capsize almost throwing a crewman into the bay. In Race 2, NZL1 Full Metal beat Sweden and France in a race highlighted by multiple lead changes and penalties.
If this is a glimpse of the America’s Cup talent for the next 20 years, the sport may be in some capable hands.
Day 2 (Sept 2):
Day 3 (Sept 3):
“That was kind of a setback”, said skipper AYSF Mike Menninger. “It’s hard to sail these boats with five guys. Our maneuvers weren’t as crisp and our boatspeed took a dip.”
Final Day (Sept 4):
Optimizing America's Cup Cats
(Aug 1) Andrew Mason used Evolutionary Modeling techniques to help Oracle Team USA find optimal hull configurations for their two AC72 catamarans. Here Andrew explains some of the analysis and design decisions that shaped the defender's America's Cup yachts, and illustrates some key points of difference with the challengers.
Adventure for Even Extreme Photographers
(Aug 1) Another story looking at the new configuration of the America's Cup in the New York Times also includes the story of Mike Escamilla, a professional stuntman and extreme sports photographer who recently rode on an Oracle AC72. Escamilla expected a fast sailboat, but nothing like what he found, a low-flying airplane that left him exhausted after just being a passenger for 25 minutes.
“I’ve been in a lot of situations, and I don’t really get scared — I get concerned,” Escamilla said. “When we got moving, I spent a lot of time looking at people’s faces to see how things were going, and there were times when I was very concerned.”
ETNZ Chooses Louis Vuitton Cup Final
(July 28) Emirates Team New Zealand as winner
of the Round Robin stage exercised their choice to go directly to the LVC Final
starting August 17th and leave Luna Rossa and Artemis Racing to meet in the
Semi-Finals August 6th. Dean Barker speaking at a post-race conference
Sunday cited the desire to have the time to improve their boat as a
consideration in the decision, though they had also weighed the value of
increased racing experience looking forward ideally to the America's Cup Match.
Artemis Racing Launches New Boat
(July 22) Swedish team Artemis Racing finally has their new AC72 yacht on the water, more than two weeks after the start of Louis Vuitton Cup racing began, and more than two months after the fatal accident in which their first yacht was destroyed.
“This is a great day for many reasons,” said Torbjörn Törnqvist, team founder. “It’s the culmination of a heroic effort to put together this beautiful boat. The shore team has put so much into this, and now for our sailing team to get out there and give her justice. I am proud to share with you this great moment.”
(Jul 15) Sweden's Artemis Racing is preparing
their boat for launch. Based on recent
photos released by the team, François Chevalier and Jacques Taglang have a
first study of the lines of the new AC72
on their blog.
Jury Decides Class Rule May Not be Amended by Regatta Director
Impact on All Teams Still to be Addressed
(July 11) The America's Cup Jury ruled that Regatta Notice 189 (RN 189), in which Regatta Director Ian Murray effectively changed the AC72 Class Rule, is in violation of the 2013 Protocol. As such, the Jury has directed that the Notice be rescinded, and with it the changes to the Class Rule that the competitors did not unanimously agree to, upholding part of Emirates Team New Zealand's protest on the matter.
Excerpt from the Jury Decision (Note that RN 189 is the notice of the USCG event permit, incorporating changes to the AC72 Class Rule):
186. Regatta Notice 189 has the effect of changing the Class Rule and is therefore not in accordance with Protocol Article 4.3(k). The Regatta Director is ordered to withdraw RN 189. 187. The Jury will not make an order under Protocol Article 15.4(b) or (e).
188. To the extent that the Measurement Committee has acted as if RN 189 has amended the Class Rule, the Measurement Committee is ordered to apply the Class Rule as it existed before the issue of RN 189.
189. The Jury orders the Regatta Director to make the views of all the Competitors known to the CG with regard to the Marine Event Permit if circumstances necessitate a change to any component of the safety plan along with the assessment on how the change affects the overall safety of the event.
More to come on the Jury Ruling (pdf, 23 pages).
Reactions from the Parties:
ACEA/ACRM Statement: “Emirates Team New
Zealand and Luna Rossa are complying with both the AC72 Class Rule and the
Safety Rules. Artemis Racing, who is still preparing its AC72, has
previously advised that they cannot immediately comply with both. Exactly
how this decision impacts Artemis Racing is something we need to look at through
our discussion with the teams.”
From Artemis Racing: "Artemis Racing is disappointed that the Jury's decision leaves uncertainty. Artemis Racing is here to compete and remains confident that a solution will be found allowing for a safe regatta that all can compete in.
"Our team is working hard and we are currently in the midst of completing the structural testing of our boat. This should be completed by weeks end. Final assembly of the boat will take place next week with the goal of getting on the water in ten days time. Artemis Racing has been working intensively for two months and we are eagerly looking forward to racing."
From ETNZ: "Emirates Team New Zealand is
pleased the jury has maintained the sanctity of the AC72 Class Rule in ruling
that it can be changed only by unanimous consent of the competitors and the
Oracle Team USA Statement: "We respect
the decision of the America’s Cup Jury," said Grant Simmer, Oracle Team USA
General Manager. “We continue to support the Regatta Director and we
believe all teams have benefited from his review. We don’t have an issue
complying with the Class Rule, and we will be ready to race under the rules
affirmed by the Jury.”
Luna Rossa Will Not Race Sunday
(July 6) Luna Rossa has announced that they
will not race Sunday against Emirates Team New Zealand in the scheduled first
race of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup. Team Statement: “As already
informally stated in the last few days, Luna Rossa is waiting for the
International Jury decision on its protest against the measures introduced by
the Regatta Director.”
From ACEA: “This isn’t unexpected, but it’s still disappointing,” said Stephen Barclay, CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority. “It’s a case of won’t race, not can’t race.
“The people really hurt by this are the fans, who have waited for more than two years to see the first race in these spectacular AC72 catamarans.
“This is particularly disappointing considering Luna Rossa was
out sailing on the race course on Saturday.”
Luna Rossa to Decide on Racing
(July 5) Italian challenger Luna Rossa will make a decision on Saturday whether to race in their scheduled match against Emirates Team New Zealand on Sunday. Skipper Max Sirena is said to want to wait until their protest of rules issues is heard before the America's Cup Jury on Monday, according to reports. Cup organizers are none too pleased about the possibility, and fans and others looking forward to finally seeing racing are likely to be disappointed, too. ETNZ's Dean Barker says that his team is ready and willing to race as planned.
Comparing the AC72 Cats
As the first AC72 sailing period comes to a close and the second set of America's Cup cats starts to be unveiled, observers are beginning to get a grasp of differences in how the different teams have approached the design problem for the 2013 America's Cup. Here are a few recent looks at the new boats:
(Jan 18) From Jack Griffin: "AC72 design
is governed by a class rule which defines the limits within which the design
teams work to build the fastest boat. Fastest at what? Sailing in
strong or light winds? Upwind or downwind? Rough conditions or flat
water? What is more important – straight-line speed or maneuverability?
Let’s look at how each team has set its priorities."
(Jan 19) First impressions of ETNZ Boat 2
(Jan 15) America's Cup design veteran Mike Drummond gave Sail-World his assessment of the four AC72's seen to date:
Oracle's USA 17: "Oracle has gone for an emphasis on the high efficiency and the greater speed potential. The tradeoff is in the structure. The class rule has a maximum weight and even lightweight fairings weigh something, so you can’t just add laminate without reducing material elsewhere."
ETNZ's Boat #1: "Overall I think Emirates Team NZ has a good, straight forward, conservative boat with lots of volume, and a well proven structural arrangement. The wingsail is straight out of a C-class evolution. They have correctly focused on foil over wing development."
Defender Pressing On
After Oracle Team USA's October disaster, with
boat one rebuilding and boat two under construction, engineer Dirk Kramers talks
about lessons learned and the impact on the Defender.
(Oct 16) The reaction many sailors have at seeing an AC72 catamaran up on foils at over 40 knots is "Wow!" followed shortly thereafter by the nagging thought of what is going to happen if the boat goes over. The risks of flipping a 72-foot wingsail catamaran are intimidating to all concerned. Diane Swintal spoke recently with Oracle's Dirk Kramers and Regatta Director Iain Murray about how they are preparing to keep crews safe. Tuesday's incident with Oracle's USA-17 will put their theories to the test sooner than expected.
Dirk Kramers, Oracle Team USA: "The boat is set up with righting lines, in case we have to right the boat. We also have buddy-breather cartridges, so if you have to dive, you can go under longer. But it’s also an organizational issue; we have three to four boats out there supporting us, and there’s a whole set of response maneuvers that we’ve practiced to make sure that we do the right thing at the right time. For example, if someone falls off and gets hurt, that’s the first priority. The next priority is getting the boat head-to-wind. So there’s a whole series of events that have different response maneuvers."
Feature Story: The Experts
Sailors get all the attention, but it's shore crews that get
the job done day and night: getting more speed out of the AC45's, and putting it
back in after crashes, breakage, and, yes, bright sunlight. Oracle's Andrew
Henderson takes us inside the Defender's tent.
Chasing the Big Cats
(Aug 21) A chase boat to support a 72-foot America's Cup wingsail multihull that can top 40 knots is a challenge in its own right. Chris Salthouse of Emirates Team New Zealand explains how the Kiwis are tackling the problem: two hulls, four engines, and Chris's younger brother Greg...
Two of the original J-Class yachts,
Endeavour and Velsheda, racing modern J's Hanuman and
Ranger in the Bucket Regatta in St. Barths.
(June 13) Oracle Racing AC45 Spectacular
Pitchpole in San Francisco Bay during exhibition race pre-start:
was injured, walking away but taken to the hospital by ambulance for X-rays of
his ribs and further evaluation. Russell Coutts, skippering #5, was thrown
through a portion of the wing. Thankfully, injuries to the crew were not
more extensive. Examination showed that Falcone dislocated rib cartilage,
but did not break any bones.
Update: Follow-up stories Tuesday:
This capsize seems to continue a pattern from testing in Auckland, where the AC45 is remarkably stable in many conditions that would cause problems for lesser cats, and the long wave-piercing bows can be very effective at maintaining buoyancy and avoiding this sort of incident, especially upwind. But if the wingsail gets into an undesired orientation relative to the wind, forces can overwhelm the boat much more quickly than with a soft mainsail. Somewhat inherent in a hard surface airfoil, it appears to be much harder to depower the wing on short notice when in trouble, as attempts to ease the wing above illustrate.
On the other hand, both increased experience
and improved control techniques could lessen the risks, too. There is still a
lot to learn about these boats, even for expert crews, justifying the plan to
climb the learning curve early with the AC45's and build skills and
understanding in preparation for the AC72's which launch less than 13 months
(Feb 3, 2011) Pete Melvin helps explain how the AC72 Class Rule he helped write was shaped to allow more design freedom in the interest of creating faster boats less expensively. He also shares his expectations for technology development in the 2013 America's Cup, and discusses the challenges of managing design development when much is still left to learn about the big Cup cats and the regatta they will compete in.
Pete Melvin: "We looked at a rule that’s more restrictive, such as the wings that are being used in the C-Class, but it was very difficult to write a rule around a 3D object with moving parts. Whenever we wrote a rule to limit something, we would find five ways around it. By writing very restrictive rules, you actually increase complexity and cost, so by leaving things open, things turn out to be much simpler, elegantly efficient."
Choosing Multihulls for the America's Cup: Behind the Decision
(Jan 17, 2011) Pete Melvin, of Morelli and Melvin Design and Engineering, helped guide the process that led to the selection of wingsail catamarans for the 2013 America's Cup, the first time in the history of the famous regatta that multiple teams will be racing in these kinds of boats as a class, and he was an author of the new AC72 Design Rule. Melvin, an expert sailor of advanced multihulls as well as a top designer, knew well the skepticism that the move faced from supporters of more traditional boats.
Pete Melvin: "It was extremely clear along party lines with most everyone wanting monohulls and us multihull guys saying ‘We’re open minded, but we see more benefits in the multihull than you guys are seeing.’ But it comes down to match racing. The biggest criticism from the monohull guys was ‘You can’t match race these boats.’ There are very few people who have really match raced a multihull. I was fortunate enough to have been involved with the Oracle guys in their match racing development and knew how exciting it could be, but it’s hard to tell the monohull people ‘Wait and see, it really will be great!’”
(Jan 11, 2011) What impact can Genetic Analysis and automated optimization play in designing the new 72-foot catamarans and wingsails for the 2013 America’s Cup? Does Oracle Racing now have an insurmountable advantage on wingsails? Is this advanced study within reach of anyone other than the teams with the most money?
For Alinghi in the 2007 America’s Cup, Andrew Mason created a DNA structure for the ACC yacht class, and then used it to race virtual fleets against each other, automated by computer, culling out the top performers and cross-breeding them until the best of the breed was found.
"With the adoption of winged catamarans for AC34, the benefits of using optimization methods to explore the design space are overwhelming," Andrew says. "In 2007 we were trying to eke out small gains to highly refined designs which had resulted from more than 15 years of development in the class. This time around the design space is largely unexplored for hulls, wings, and foils, and I have no doubt that some major breakthroughs await those teams that embrace the use of advanced optimization methods."
San Francisco Is Chosen to Host the 2013 America's Cup!
Dec 31, 2010 (5:50 pm PT): Golden Gate YC and race organizers reached a deal with city officials late Friday to hold yachting's most famous and historic regatta in San Francisco in 2013.
A formal press conference is expected next week. Communications between GGYC and the City tentatively establish July 13 to September 1 for the Challenger and Defender selection races, and September 7 to 22 for the America's Cup Defense. Firm dates and formats will be determined by the end of January.
As for Newport's prospects: "Rhode Island has
made a super-human effort with very little time and late in the game here," said
Thomas Ehman, head of Oracle Racing external affairs and a member of the Golden
Gate Yacht Club America’s Cup committee. "It's not only very much appreciated,
but was an extraordinary effort. … Unfortunately for Rhode Island, we've run out
of time and San Francisco's bid has been accepted tonight." Despite not being
selected, Newport may head the list to host preliminary regattas.
And if difficulties interfere with San
Francisco's progress, Newport could get the America's Cup after all: "Should
there be any problem with San Francisco fulfilling their end of the deal, we'll
be looking to Newport to jump in," America's Cup representatives told the
Previous America's Cup Events:
2010 America's Cup:
2007 America's Cup:
CupInfo's Main 2007 Coverage:
Other Previous Events:
J-Class Regatta in Newport
(Jun 15) Ranger, a replica of the 1937 America's Cup winner, and Velsheda, one of three original survivors, are racing head-to-head this week in Newport, RI, historic yachts in a setting to match.
Ranger took Race 1 by just one second on
corrected time, won Race 2 by 27 seconds corrected, won Race 3, and won Race 4
by 3:19 corrected. Velsheda won Race 5 by 2:00 corrected.
Racing finished Sunday June 19. Each race starting at 1 pm, conditions
permitting, and sailed in sight of spectators on shore.
Home Again in Newport
July 1, 2010: The America's Cup returned today to Newport, Rhode Island, the scene of America's Cup history for much of the famous regatta's life, including the 12 Defenses held there from 1930 to 1983, along with the construction and trials of Cup defending yachts stretching back to the 19th century. A day filled with public display of the trophy, a harbor cruise, and a Victory Luncheon culminated in a team presentation for over 400 young sailors from the Narragansett Bay community. The celebration wrapped up the East Coast Victory Tour for the America's Cup-winners that also included a visit with President Obama.
And be sure to see the Features Page for many more articles, interviews, history, and fun stuff for Cup Fans.
Picturing the America's Cup
Photographers Jürg Kaufmann and Daniel Forster have teamed up for the 33rd Defense. CupInfo talked to them about what they've seen at the America's Cup over the years, plus how they approach the art and technique of sailing photography.
CupInfo: You have both been to many America’s Cups, Daniel going back to 1977. Which was your favorite as a photographer?
Daniel: My favorite one as a photographer was the 1987 Cup in Perth/Fremantle. Every day by 11:00 am the “Fremantle Doctor” arrived: 25-30 knots of wind with big waves and bright sunshine and the 12mJI yachts sailed, unlike here!
2010: Dogzilla Stories
BMW Oracle's monster multihull won the 2010 America's Cup in an unforgettably bold display of technology, imagination, and adventure.
Inquires please contact: Last update: Thursday November 27, 2014
Some of the features on CupInfo :
From the 2003-2007 America's Cup Cycle:
Schedule The basic Louis Vuitton Acts, the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the America's Cup: events, places, and dates. Plus a detailed schedule including protocol deadlines in addition to background on the Louis Vuitton regatta plans and how they evolved.
America's Cup Class Racing: Information about the UBS Trophy, the Moet Cup, the ACC worlds, plus other vintage and exhibition events that took place between America's Cup Defenses.
CupLog, our chronology of news stories about America's Cup topics since racing ended in Auckland, with links where possible, 2003 through 2005.
Valencia: Correspondent Félix García, covered some America's Cup related stories from the regatta's new Mediterranean home, providing a perspective on the event and the city that only a Valenciano can.
Peter Holmberg Interview
Our earlier content remains on line for your reference, too, including the 2007 Challenger Details Page: All the specifics we knew about the various teams and hopefuls (and some of the guesses) in one place; "Make Your Point" (a look at ACC bow design in the 2003 AC); and our Guide to the 2007 Host City Finalists
Inquires please contact: