America’s Cup aficionados were treated to photos and video of the exciting new development boats launched by Artemis Racing and Oracle on San Francisco Bay in mid February.
At 0:54 into the video, watch Kyle Langford aggressively trimming the wing, just as he did on the AC72.
As your editor explained here and here, the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup allows virtually unlimited development on boats with the same lower hull shape as an AC45 catamaran. The new boats are dramatically different than the foiling AC45’s we have seen to date. The hulls have been flared to make room for cockpits with grinding pedestals and wheel steering. Hydraulic controls raise and lower the foils and control foil and rudder rake for stable foiling. A “pod” below the wing extends the wingspan, like the pod on Oracle’s America’s Cup winning AC72. The pod is required by the AC62 design rule.
Boys will be boys of course … The two teams had an informal brush on the first day they were both sailing. Some observers thought Oracle looked faster and more stable, but we are a long way from racing AC62’s in the America’s Cup in Bermuda.
(More photos and sailing news at Pressure Drop.)
Luna Rossa and Ben Ainslie Racing have been sailing slightly modified AC45’s. They changed the daggerboard cages to allow rake control on the foils, but they kept the platform unchanged – original tubular beams, tiller steering and no cockpits. We can’t see what powers the daggerboard rake controls – nothing would prevent them from testing with a powered system.
Luna Rossa converted both of their AC45’s for foiling. Rumor has it that one design version of the AC45’s that will race in the America’s Cup World Series will be based on the Luna Rossa foil control system.
Artemis Racing and Oracle have gone well beyond the modifications made by Luna Rossa and Ben Ainslie Racing. In the image below, we see at the bottom Oracle’s standard AC45. Compare this to Artemis’s early modifications to an AC45: the “platform” is virtually unchanged, with the daggerboards and main crossbeam in the same location. The two upper images show Oracle’s and Artemis’s highly modified AC45x boats, with the main beams and daggerboards located further forward. Note also that the wing is stepped further aft.
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