Another America's Cup summer looms on the horizon, raising again that perennial insuperable question that so tortures racing sailors: how the heck do we get laypeople interested in our sport? These days the default answer is super-fast boats and TV-friendly race formats, which certainly are attractive to sailors, even slowpoke cruisers like myself. But this sort of excitement, I fear, flies over the heads of most people who are not inherently interested in sailing. A much more successful formula is to focus instead on personalities. Look back at those moments in America's Cup history that have truly bubbled up into the mass consciousness, and you'll note they have all revolved around interesting people--Dennis Conner fighting to redeem himself after losing the Cup in 1983; Ted Turner talking trash back in the 1970s; Sir Thomas Lipton playing the lovable loser throughout the early 20th century.Read More
(Sydney, Australia)- Since the J/70's arrival in Australia, interest continues to increase in the dynamic little speedster that has been taking the world by storm since its introduction in America in the spring of 2012. With record turnouts in American winter/ spring regattas and building fleets in Europe, the world of sailing in the Asia-Pac world is just beginning to get its taste of the J/70 magic.
Emirates Team New Zealand has been ahead of the pack with foiling, training, and overall preparation. So it's almost unfair that they have found yet another level of performance following a wildly creative design breakthrough.
I'd say all the other teams are toast and Larry could save a lot of money by simply shipping the Cup to Auckland right now:Read More
ETNZ's Rod Davis tells it like it is when it comes to the game of spying and misinformation. Or does he?
Either way, it's fun to read:
Last year when we were finalizing our foiling on our scaled down 72 boats Oracle was sniffing around and being a general pain in the backside.
We definitely did not want them to know that we had figured out how to “fly” at that point, but we needed to test so we had to sail.
The boat with the flying (foiling) package appeared to break down, slowly being towed home. The other boat, with lots of interest from the shadowing chase boat, started sailing in the other direction, to draw the Oracle flies away.
Once separated, the boat with the foils could do their thing, without the spies knowing. The mistake Oracle made was not checking who was going with which boat … had they done that they might have seen through the smoke screen.
Well, of course they are not. But it is unusual to see them screwing up. Here's the New Zealand Herald:
Bonus link: ETNZ's Glenn Ashby talking about what it is like to trim the wing sail.
Update: ETNZ's wing is back in action, and a chastened shore team says "lesson learned." (video after the jump).Read More
And ETNZ tactician Ray Davies talking about it, and saying little, here (though the footage is excellent):
The America's Cup teams have been in the desisgn phase, and will no doubt stay that way through September. But eventually they will have to race against other boats, which is why you see the teams going head-to-headRead More
Scuttlebutt has published more from the surprisingly informative interview with Artemis honcho Paul Cayard (scroll down to find Part 2 if you have already read Part 1), and he digs even deeper into foiling, and the tradeoffs between losing displacemnt downwind and adding drag to your boards upwind.
This is the classic sort of America's Cup discussion, which could easily involve more than a few head fakes, so it's hard to know whether to take it all as gospel. But it's still pretty interesting, in a Kremlin-ology sort of way.
Here's a taste (but read the whole thing):
With the focus on full foiling, it is important to recognize there are wind crossovers that impact the equation. If the winds are too light to fully foil, then the excessive drag caused by the foiling blades will be a big problem. While July and August are windy months on the Bay, September can offer a wider range of wind strength. The foiling package that works in the Louis Vuitton Cup (July 7 - Aug 31) may not work in the America's Cup (Sept 7-23).
So far no team has been able to fully foil upwind. We see it when reaching and running, but not closed hauled, and I don't think we will see it in this America's Cup. But remember, even if the boats are not fully foiling upwind, they are still foiling to a less degree. A good estimation is that about half of the boat's displacement is getting lifted when sailing upwind.
Meanwhile, here's Team New Zealand showing what it all means out on the water, and showing how the whole foiling thing is done, in a video shot by some non-spies (i.e, a couple of guys out for a fun day on the water). Note: the breeze was 12 knots.Read More