America's Cup News: 2nd Quarter 2007ï»¿
|Selected Archive of News Stories and Features:|
April 26: Defending the Weather:
April 12: Thierry Pepponet steps aside at Areva: AmericasCup.com
April 6: Good Friday for Shosholoza: Cheers from Bishop Desmond Tutu: SuperXtra
April 6: America's Cup attracting rich corporate sponsors: International Herald Tribune
April 4: Official Book of the 32nd Defense
of the America's Cup:
April 3: Shopping Expedition?: Sir Keith
Mills arrives in Valencia looking for 2009 crew:
April 3: See you in San Francisco? No
matter who wins the Cup, ACC's may play in the bay come September:
April 2: Ben Ainslie to helm ETNZ for Act
April 1: Teams declare their AC32 yachts: No big surprises - Victory includes 2003's SWE-73: Official website
April 1: ETNZ Bee is for Ballast: Team Site
Mar 30: Unveiling Day Preview interview with Bruce Farr: Julie Ash's story at NZ Herald
Mar 30: BMWO Video Making the State-of-the-Art Keel: BMW Oracle Blog Highly Recommended!
Mar 25: ETNZ bests Prada in training: Sunday Star Times
Mar 12: Hardware Story -- Harken the favorite of America's Cup boats, chosen by 11 of the teams: Interview with Olaf and Peter at Harken.com
Mar 11: ACM could show 27 million Euro profit
on 230 million Euro budget:
Mar 11: Valencia After The Cup: It may not be this
year, but when it comes what will happen in the Darseña
Mar 8: ETNZ hits the water in Valencia: Gallery of great shots from photographer Chris Cameron
Germany gets sail number 101: Team web site
39 Going Full Speed on Mast
From the team: The bottom part of the profile has already reached already "phase two", that is to say to the lamination process. "Positioning from 50 to 100 skins of unidirectional fibre," explains the team's shore manager Sebastiano Morassutti, "is the second step."
"Before there was gluing, layering and laminating. The third phase is the curing. That will be done in the oven that was given us by the Shosholoza team and which is ready to work. For superstition too, I'm not making any definitive program. Let's say that we are hoping to substitute the mast during the first Round Robin. There are 12 to 14 people working now, some from the Soleri and Sicilcraft shipyards, some from the mast builder Marstrom, the whole shore team, two technicians and, in shifts, the whole sailing crew and the design team."
On +39 a generation 4 mast is already stepped that will be tested over the next few days by the crew, led by Iain Percy, before the start of Round Robin 1.
Update: The repaired version 5 mast is expected to replace the currently employed old mast sometime during Round Robin 1.
ETNZ Races Alinghi, Controversy Ensues
From stuff.co.nz: "Team NZ pitted themselves against Alinghi this week, upsetting other challengers concerned about the benefits the Swiss syndicate received from the exercise."
Kevin Shoebridge: "We feel if we want to measure ourselves properly, we have to do that against a form team. That's what we've tried to do. We're not too concerned really what others think about it."
Challenger Meetings: Still Working
Many issues of the uncountable issues for the America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup are being finalized behind the scenes. The work of the Challenger Commission is apparently never done, but a glimpse is available on the commission web site, posted March 28.
The challengers opted out of a boat parade on the eve of the LVC, a much greater potential distraction to them at a critical time than to the defender. Umpire signaling procedures were clarified, status of restrictions on team photographers were further explored, and provisions were made for formulation of the LVC pairing list and course sharing.
Most curiously, the standard practice of the use of lead in ACC keels was inadvertently outlawed in the new version 5.0 rules, a fact not noticed by anyone at all until recently, but now being corrected.
Two potentially significant issues include modifying the rules permitting weather boats to be on-course, and responding to Alinghi's request to amend the protocol rules on substitution of yachts in the America's Cup match.
Business as Usual
An number of comments circulating on America's Cup web forums and other sites led Emirates Team New Zealand Monday to deny reports that the team's new boat, NZL-92, suffered severe structural damage during sailing Wednesday March 7. In an article published online at the New Zealand Herald, the team dismissed the claims of damage and attributed NZL-92's downtime late last week to weather, maintenance, and measurement considerations. The boat was seen back on the water Monday.
Reports of damage were particularly surprising for ETNZ since the Kiwis were previously said to have severely tested their new boats in unusually heavy conditions for ACC's, unlike the 2003 defense effort, even to the point of staging knockdowns with them before leaving Auckland.
Emirates Team New Zealand was out this week going up against Luna Rossa, and further match-racing against fellow challengers BMW Oracle and Mascalzone is coming over the next few days.
Elsewhere, Victory is racing BMW Oracle, Desafio, Mascalzone, Shosholoza, and Areva, and so on.
Head-to-head match racing is extremely valuable at this stage of development, even if the teams may not be revealing all of their speed just yet. Results are informal, and intended to be kept confidential, but these scrimmages will provide the challengers a glimpse of how in-house development has advanced against what the competition has been up to over the winter. With April and a series of no change periods quickly approaching, these last few weeks are critical for the teams to learn as much as possible about their new boats while they still have maximum flexibility to modify their configurations.
Steve Calder, designer for BMW Oracle, was interviewed in the North Sails newsletter about the latest developments in America's Cup sail technology, including materials, battens, and pushing the envelope on the square-top mainsail.
From North Sails: With a square-top, how big is too big?
Calder: "A few teams went overboard with the square-top before backing off to a threshold that proved palatable. You have to be able to control the head of the sail within the wind range the sail is designed for. Ultimately, the achievable Twist profile to some degree governs the width of the current square-tops. That said, if we could build a rectangular sail, we would —aerodynamically, that would be ideal. But thus far we haven’t been able to overcome the structural challenges in either sail or rig."
Auckland University's Yacht and Wind Research Unit is profiled by the NZ Herald's Julie Ash.
The university's pioneering wind tunnel is specially designed for studying the performance of sails in conditions that reflect the complicated real life interactions of wind and sails on racing yachts. Generating "twisted flow" behavior that models the shear occurring in a natural breeze, the air flow varies in speed and direction at different heights.
Emirates Team New Zealand has made extensive use of the tunnel, but BMW Oracle, Alinghi, and Shosholoza have each made their visits as well. The facility allows the teams not only to accurately assess their own sail design concepts, but also gives them the capability to quickly evaluate what they see their competitors flying.
From the NZ Herald: Facility manager David Le Pelley: "A lot of the challengers, if they have got any hidden weapons in their sail inventory, they are only going to bring them out fairly late in the game. We can very quickly imitate and build a sail if we need to, test it in the wind tunnel and we can have a full-scale one built in a couple of weeks."
Defender Alinghi's newest ACC yacht was christened Saturday March 17 at the team's Valencia base, the champagne-splashing honors being performed by Ernesto Bertarelli's wife Kirsty. SUI-100 will be out testing in the coming weeks against the team's other new boat, SUI-91.
Which boat will come out to play for Act 13 next month is a subject of great interest. The April fleet racing regatta, which proceeds the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series starting April 16, is the last chance for the challengers and the defender to take each other's measure before the eventual LVC winner faces off against Alinghi in the America's Cup match this June.
Big Things Ahead for China?
Frank Pong, one of Asia's top sailors, reflects on China Team's America's Cup efforts.
From the China Team web site: "Yes I have something important to say about the team. China Team is the only team that trains onboard, the young sailors of the country it represents. On board, there are young upcoming Chinese sailors of the future. And who knows if in one or two America’s Cup editions China Team won’t be one of the three big teams. "
Inquires please contact:
Columbia: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection