America's Cup News:
4th Quarter 2012
Archive of America's Cup News Stories and Features:
More America's Cup News:
Dec 27: Iain Murray, America's Cup Regatta Director, sets new S2H record on Wild Oats XI: Sydney Hobart
Dec 26: Boxing Day offering: Sydney Hobart start photos: Daniel Forster
Dec 20: Wish List:
Oracle Team USA Wing #2 enroute to San Francisco:
Dec 13: Eric Young reports ACWS in New York is a go, official word in January: SF Business Times
Dec 3: The Race to
Learn: Artemis afterguard soaking up AC72 experience as Peyron and Outteridge
Dec 1: Team vs. Team spying accusations grow as reconnaissance tests limits of rules: New Zealand Herald
Nov 30: Oracle Team USA
Spithill's AC45 capsize named one of 75 amazing sports moments of 2012:
Nov 29: PetaExaZetta:
ETNZ chews through their CFD analysis by the Gigaflops:
Nov 27: TV3 reporter
rides on ETNZ AC72, speaks with Grant Dalton as team reaches final six days of
the initial sailing period:
Nov 19: 60 knots of
apparent wind onboard Kiwi AC72:
Nov 13: ETNZ's AC72 back on the water with improvements, aero fairings: Video at Team Site
Nov 13: First-person
account of guest racing onboard the Luna Rossa Swordfish AC45 in October's ACWS
San Francisco, from Aron Pilhofer:
Nov 10: Luna Rossa training on team's new AC72 catamaran: Photos at Sail-World
Nov 9: Lift Off! Ten
Fantastic Foiling boats... Moths, 72's, Opti's, L'Hydroptere, and more:
Nov 3: Artemis Racing launches their first AC72 yacht: Press Release
Nov 1: Foiling Cat from
the Air: Aerials of ETNZ's AC72 from team photographer Chris Cameron:
Oct 31: No British
entry for Red Bull Youth America's Cup:
Oct 30: Onboard ETNZ
AC72 with photographer Carlo Borlenghi:
Oct 29: Youth AC Series selection trials set for February 9-24 in San Francisco: Press Release
Oct 22: Balance of
Youth versus Experience at the America's Cup helm. Changing of the (after)guard
comes with changing of the sport:
Oct 17: Where's Ted
Turner when you need him? Kimball Livingston's thoughts on the Oracle AC72
Oct 16: Ramping up the
big boat, ETNZ's AC72 in 25 knot winds, 40+ knots boatspeed:
Oct 12: ETNZ AC72 Sailing Day 11 of 30 in Auckland, photos at Sail-World
Oct 10: Energy's AC45
rescuer seeks $200,000 in court:
Oct 1: ETNZ loses wing-trimmer Glenn Ashby for ACWS SF after rib injury in capsize: New Zealand Herald
(Dec 29) After determining before Christmas that Oracle Team USA had infringed the Protocol for the 2013 America's Cup by allowing an observer boat to come within 200m of Luna Rossa's AC72 during testing, the International Jury has heard from concerned parties and penalized Oracle by shortening the length of their Second AC72 Sailing Period. The defender's window for sailing will end five days early, on April 25th, instead of April 30th, though the total number of permitted sailing days (45) is not being reduced. Starting May 1, there will be no restrictions on AC72 sailing, though.
This is less severe than the penalties sought by Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, who suggested to the Jury that loss of a permitted daggerboard or wing spar along with a reduction in sailing days would have been appropriate. Oracle in their defense cited that they felt the nature of the pictures was not significantly different than those that could be obtained outside the required distance, and that in the incident in question Luna Rossa was not actively testing, training, or competing.
Read Jury Notice (pdf)
ETNZ Likely to Send Youth Crew to Late ACWS Events
(Dec 28) Peter Burling may helm Emirates Team New Zealand's AC45 in the America's Cup World Series events expected for May, 2103. The move would leave Skipper Dean Barker and the primary crew of the team's America's Cup challenge to focus on final preparations for their AC72 catamaran as the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup approaches at the beginning of July.
Grant Dalton, CEO ETNZ, explained to the NZ Herald's Dana Johannsen: "There's two (ACWS events) towards the end of May, which is absolutely a distraction and although under the protocol we can't sail our 72 while the event is on, there's little chance that Dean (Barker) and co will do that regatta. The boat will -- it has to -- but we will likely send a youth team up there."
The May ACWS events are not confirmed yet, but
New York City or San Francisco are considered probable locations. The
SF Business Times reported earlier this month that a NY regatta is set, with
official announcement to come in January.
Barker Debriefs on ETNZ's AC72 #1
(Dec 27) Richard Gladwell spoke with Dean Barker, Skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, following the conclusion of the test period for their first AC72 catamaran. ETNZ's efforts are now going into preparing their second boat for a February launch, but Barker talked with Gladwell about the team's experience leading the way with the new America's Cup boats:
Dean Barker: "To both make the boat safe and extract performance, you have to push incredibly hard. There is not a conservative approach to sailing one of these boats. You manage these boats differently as the breeze increases. The best way to manage the power is to sail the boat at its full performance as much as you can.
"Keep the breeze in front of you, because it is much safer there than when it is behind you."
Luna Rossa Wins Spying Protest, Penalty for Oracle Team USA to be Determined
(Dec 21) The International Jury for the America's Cup has sided with Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, finding that an associate of Oracle Team USA was observing the trials of the Italian's new AC72 at a distance closer than the 200m that rules of the 2013 Protocol permit. The observation chase boat was being positioned ahead of the Italian boat's track, waiting for the challenger's catamaran to pass close by, and taking photographs during the encounter. The Jury found that this tactic qualifies as "navigating" the chase boat in violation of the rules. Still to be decided are the fate of the photographs that were taken and any penalties for the Defender as a result.
W. Starling Burgess Dymaxion Gets Restoration
(Dec 21) One of three "Cars of the Future" built by America's Cup yacht designer W. Starling Burgess, the only surviving Dymaxion designed by visionary R. Buckminster Fuller, has been restored with the help of architect Sir Norman Foster after literally spending 18 years in the desert among other hardships over the last seven decades. Burgess, who designed all three of the J-Class yachts that defended the America's Cup (Enterprise in 1930, Rainbow in 1934, and Ranger (with Olin Stephens) in 1937), engineered and built the Dymaxion cars in Bridgeport, CT, in the early 1930s about the time he was working on Rainbow. Burgess, a man of immense talents, also designed and built aircraft before focusing his career primarily on naval architecture.
Also see: Short bio of Burgess at Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame and a few photos of Burgess and the Dymaxion, plus additional details, from Michael John Gorman.
Designer Nick Holroyd: Learning from ETNZ's 30 Days of Sailing
(Dec 18) With the New Zealand challenger far ahead of the completion in launching their new boat and closing out the initial 30-day Sailing Period for AC72's, how much of an advantage did Emirates gain in developing Boat Number 2, expect to debut in early February 2013?
Nick Holroyd: "If you look at that 30 days over time we had to sign off on the Boat 2 shapes very early in the process, literally Day 4 or Day 5 we signed off on Boat 2. From my perspective, the first half dozen days were pretty nerve wracking. You're sitting in the chase boat thinking, ‘Is this thing is going to fall apart?’ After a half dozen days, Day 4, we were up foiling and progressively pushing the boat harder and harder."
Hutchinson Takes Stock After Leaving Swedish Team
(Dec 15) Few sailors have had as much success as Terry Hutchinson. Even with an extensive history in America's Cup monohulls, Hutchinson's leadership of Artemis Racing over the last 18 months, skippering the team's AC45 catamaran to an ACWS season match racing championship, left the American looking like the center of a race-hardened crew getting ready to take on the Louis Vuitton Cup selection series next summer. Many people were then surprised at the end of November when the team released their skipper, looking instead to new faces to develop the team's potential on the bigger AC72. Admittedly those recent additions, namely Nathan Outteridge, Santiago Lane, and Loïck Peyron, are enormously talented sailors, too, but it's hard to imagine a team that couldn't benefit from Hutchinson's contribution.
Hutchinson has been coming to terms with his unexpected departure from the team, and spoke with writer Don Marcus about his adjustment to post-Artemis status. Paul Cayard, CEO Artemis Racing, along with veteran Cup observer and former tactician Gary Jobson also offered their perspectives.
Terry Hutchinson: "I've got an overwhelming amount of support from friends in the sailing community, maybe I need to look a lot further than what's right in front of me to realize that there's something potentially better in store."
Decommissioning the Kiwi Cat
(Dec 12) ETNZ's first AC72 catamaran has reached the end of its planned service, ticking off the 30th and final sailing day allowed in the initial testing period from July 1, 2012, to Jan 31, 2013. The team plans to launch boat number two in February, as early as the rules permit, but the logistics of launching and maintaining an AC72 mean that they will only sail one boat at a time. Boat number one will be be kept in reserve in case of problems with the second boat, and race trials against Italy's Luna Rossa will serve as a point of comparison.
Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ: "It takes 35 people 1-1/2 hours to launch the AC72. Three hours out of morning to launch two 72s and three hours at the other end of the day to retrieve them is out of the question. The only solution would to have two separate operations to launch, retrieve, maintain and improve two AC72s and that is not a realistic prospect for Emirates Team New Zealand.“
Cammas Eyes Next America's Cup
ACWS Entry Possible in Naples Next Year
(Dec 8) Accomplished French sailor Franck Cammas, long associated with sponsor Groupama, has put the America's Cup on his agenda. While Groupama has not signed on to fund a challenge for AC35, they are supporting his activities in several arenas that will be helpful preparation for a multihull-based Cup campaign, including a technology program for a "Little America's Cup" entry. Cammas also may jump into the ACWS as soon as the next regatta this April in Naples, Italy.
Franck Cammas: "...Over the medium term, my aim is to participate in the 35th edition of the America's Cup. To this end, we're creating Franck Cammas Racing and we'll participate in the AC 45 World Series circuit in 2013 with some new partners."
Skipper Terry Hutchinson Released by Artemis
(Nov 30) Artemis Racing announced Friday that the team has released Skipper Terry Hutchinson, and that sailing duties will be led by Iain Percy, Nathan Outteridge, Santiago Lange, and Loïck Peyron. Outteridge and Peyron are listed on the Team Page as Helmsmen, while Lange is also a Sailing/Design Liaison. All three were joined the team this year, Peyron just one month ago. Iain Percy will also serve as Sailing Team Director, in addition to being a Tactician, sharing the latter title with Paul Cayard, who himself is also Chief Executive Officer of the Swedish challenger.
“Terry has made a huge contribution to the team since we started our quest for the Americas Cup. Terry’s leadership and match racing expertise led Artemis Racing to win the 2012 ACWS Match Racing Championships and has brought the team to where we are today. We appreciate all of his efforts and dedication. We wish him the very best for the future,” said Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing.
Update: (Dec 2) Hutchinson has provided a brief
public statement, posted here on the
Scuttlebutt Sailing Facebook page.
Loïck Peyron's Reaction to Helming Artemis Racing's New AC72
(Nov 26) Loïck Peyron's tremendous experience with large exotic multihulls is nearly unmatched. His ACWS effort, Energy Team, won't be entering a boat in the Louis Vuitton Cup next year, but Peyron has signed up to sail with Artemis Racing on their new AC72 providing an opportunity for all sides to accelerate their learning process. With the first few sailing days crossed off, Peyron offered his early impressions of sailing the 72-foot wingsail cat:
Question: What is the difference from an AC45?
Loïck Peyron: “They don’t have that much in common. Proportionally, the AC72s are much more unstable. Because looking at the base, the engine is that much more powerful. You need to add on a third more power to an AC45 to get some sort of idea. And then, there is the sheer scale: everything is that much heavier, including the wing, of course and the centre of gravity is not that well placed, as it is higher up. On top of that, there is a lot of inertia… the “engine” is extremely powerful, but above all she is always in gear. And of course, you can’t take in a reef…”
(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."
(Dec 7) With an approaching storm front, and only two sailing days left for Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 #1, the team took the opportunity to let the boat rip in winds of 28 knots (or more). From an engineering standpoint, the design team gained valuable real world load-testing data. For the sailors, it was a chance to really see what their machine can do, gaining confidence in the boat and themselves for coming back intact. And for fans, it's sure a lot of fun to look at. Quoted speeds are a VMG of 32 knots downwind, and a sustained 42 knot average speed over ground.
Note: Sadly the storm unleashed tornados in the Auckland area, among other destructive weather. The ETNZ base is reported to be intact, and it is fortunate from a sporting standpoint that the boat was actually not in the vicinity at the time, but some communities have extensive damage.
AC72's Sail Together
(Nov 20) Two AC72 catamarans sailed in
company for the first time ever Tuesday in Auckland, NZ, as Luna Rossa and
Emirates Team New Zealand brought their boats together for a few historic photos
in light winds.
Being There: Onboard ETNZ's Foiling Cat
(Nov 15) Sail-World's Richard Gladwell has been inducted into the world of flying AC72 multihulls with a fast ride onboard Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup boat, fresh from the shed with new modifications. He filed a detailed report that is recommended reading:
From Richard Gladwell: "Imagine you are standing on top of an Emirates jet on that final mad charge down the runway before takeoff. The engines are screaming and every imperfection in the runway is magnified into the jolting that reverberates through the plane just before it leaves the ground.
"Next, take that mental snapshot and overlay it on to a boat the dimensions of a tennis court (well, three meters wider), flying down the harbor, a couple of meters above the sea, traveling at a speed of more than 40kts. This is the surreal world of the AC72 catamaran and the 34th America’s Cup."
Artemis Back in the Hunt with First AC72 Sailing Day
(Nov 13) Sweden's Artemis Racing put their new AC72 yacht on the water for it's first day of sailing, one of 30 allowed before the end of January 2013. The team had to overcome structural failure of their first wing sail and damage to their platform during tow testing that delayed launch by several weeks. So they are understandably excited to finally join the club and get their new boat out on the water to begin testing and development
"It's a big milestone for the team," said skipper Terry Hutchinson. "We've been working tirelessly towards this day and have had a few setbacks which have been painful for all of us to deal with, so this is the first day of many and it's nice to get it rolling.
"We were quite conservative about the way we sailed the boat today and we worked through the process methodically and signed off on the checklist. You have to show these boats respect; you can tell already that this is going to be a beast."
ACWS Schedule Changes: Naples Confirmed, Venice is Off, Two USA Events to be Added
(Nov 12) Changes have been announced for the 2013 America's Cup World Series plans, with the April regatta in Naples confirmed as a go, but the expected Venice event canceled. Organizers also mention two additional events added for May 2013, in the USA, though specifics are still to be announced. Earlier statements by event management did hint that they were still working on a New York City regatta, presumably to help elevate the national media profile of the series ahead of the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup next June.
Trophies of the Gilded Age
(Nov 4) The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum of Palm Beach, FL, is exhibiting a collection of yachting trophies and associated artifacts from one of the more remarkable periods in yachting history. Running though January 6th, the show presents a number of historic pieces, including two Kings' Cups and a replica of the America's Cup.
In connection with the exhibit, the museum hosts a lecture December 11 by Michael D'Antonio, author of A Full Cup: Sir Thomas Lipton's Extraordinary Life and His Quest for the America's Cup.
Loïck Peyron Joins Artemis
(Nov 1) From the Team: Artemis Racing, Challenger of Record for the 34th Americas Cup, announced today that French multihull legend Loïck Peyron will sail with the Swedish team during this month’s AC72 training.
“It is fantastic to have Loïck join Artemis Racing. Loïck has no peer when it comes to large multihulls,” said Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing. “As we have seen, these AC72s will be a real challenge here on San Francisco Bay and having someone of Loïck’s experience will certainly be advantageous.”
Peyron has an extensive background of achievements in multihulls in both inshore and offshore racing. In the late 1990s and early 2000s he won the ORMA Championship four times, the Single-handed Transatlantic Race three times, and just this year won the Jules Verne Trophy setting the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in just 45 days. Peyron has been the skipper for Energy Team France in the 2012 Americas Cup World Series (ACWS).
"I look forward to working with these great
guys in San Francisco. Thanks to my new role with Artemis Racing, Energy Team
will be gaining the experience of the 34th America's Cup at the highest level,"
said Loïck Peyron. The Peyron brothers and their Energy Team will continue with
the AC45 on the ACWS circuit next year and are aiming to participate in the 35th
Luna Rossa Launches AC72 in NZ
(Oct 26) Italian Challenger Luna Rossa launched their new AC72 catamaran today in Auckland, NZ, where they will begin testing and training for the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup to take place next year. The mirror-finished hulls while visually dramatic, are based on the Emirates Team New Zealand design, and the two teams will work closely in developing their boats.
The AC72 Design Matrix
Nick Holroyd, Technical Director, Emirates Team New Zealand, spoke with Dave Reed at Sailing World Magazine about the many issues involved in creating an AC72 multihull for the 2013 America's Cup. Holroyd provides insight on the various trade-offs that the team is balancing and how they are advancing toward racing these beasts.
Racing on Foils: "The boats need a certain amount of foil lift to even be able to bear away, and that ability also comes down to hull volume and freeboard decisions. It’s a complicated part of the puzzle. It will be an interesting part of this competition."
Quick and Dirty Aerodynamics: "Our boat, in terms of windage, is far from complete. All the fairings are still to come: The boat will look significantly different in race mode. One of the issues with putting all the fairings on the boat is that it makes a lot of the systems difficult to get at and tune, so we chose to put the boat in the water in a raw state to facilitate that development process."
Boat #2: "The launch date for our second boat is February next year, so we’re in the middle of tooling up for that boat. We’re later than we wanted to be. I’m sure everyone else is late as well."
Capsize Response Plans: ETNZ and Artemis
(Oct 24) Rod Davis of Emirates Team New Zealand lays out some of the detailed preparation that the Kiwis have in place in the event of an AC72 capsize. Aside from specific procedures for both sailors and support boat after a big multihull goes over, the crew even trained with military helicopter personnel on how to stay focused while extricating themselves if the boat pins them underwater.
Rod Davis: "People could be under the trampoline which would be roughly 25 cm under water and the life jacket is pushing up making it very difficult to swim to the edge. If you were thinking of taking for life jacket off to swim under water, remember to take off the helmet first…. The life jacket can’t go over a helmet."
Artemis Racing, too, is highlighting their training. Last week crew members practiced swimming out from under a net while using a breather bottle.
From Artemis Racing: Crewman Julien Cressant, a certified diver, organized a session where sailors were trapped under an overturned platform and had to make their way out from under the trampoline while being pushed underwater. “We jumped into the water upside down and were held down and pushed down underwater,” Hutchinson said. “We had to access our spare air and crawl 14 meters underneath the net from one end to the other.”
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.
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.
Inquiries please contact: