Looking for every possible advantage in the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA has a small scale wind model for Bermuda’s Great Sound. Technical partner Airbus built the model for them using large quantities of wind data the team has collected over the last two years from their test boats, chase boats and the crane at their base. Large scale models for the Atlantic cannot be scaled down into reliable models for the Great Sound, since it is enclosed and subject local effects unrelated to the rest of the Atlantic.
Loading the 747
The air freight arrival of the team’s America’s Cup Class foiling catamaran coincided with the start of a three-day practice racing window for the teams involved in the 35th America’s Cup. The Kiwis hope that their boat will be reassembled before the next practice racing session, that runs from April 24-28.
The team’s base in Dockyard was ready for the precious cargo of… two hulls, the crossbeams, the pod and fairings for their America’s Cup Class yacht. Also on board the 747: daggerboards, two wing sails, a chase boat, electronic and hydraulic systems – all told around 42 tons. Loading and unloading took over three hours at each end of the trip.
Training on America’s Cup Class Race Yacht
In a full foiling turn the G forces may have surprised this French sailor. He crossed the boat during a fast turn and couldn’t slow down on the other side. Maybe he decided to jump because he remembered that skipper Franck Cammas had his right foot nearly cut off by the rudder wing when he went overboard training in France in November 2015.
Thursday 6 April 2017 – On an official practice race day, Oracle had a scare, nearly capsizing their America’s Cup Race Boat.
Two days later they did capsize. The boat was righted within 10 minutes. After tests and repairs, they were back out sailing the next morning. In the video, Oracle has blurred out the foils but you can see their shape in the video from MyislandhomeBDA, below.
MyislandhomeBDA also captured the incident. In this video it looks like the boat was righted by pulling it up from the side rather than by “flying it up” – towing the boat forward into the wind with the wing trimmed down. There may have been too little wind for that technique. Note that you get a good look at the foils when the boat is on its side – very long with high aspect ratio.
On Thursday 6 April, Artemis Racing won their pre-start against Oracle Team USA, putting a penalty on Oracle. Artemis led going into the first mark doing close to 40 knots, when an errant chase boat from a Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team crossed in front of them. The chase boat did a quick 180. Nathan Outteridge did an emergency bearaway and Artemis planted the bows, damaging the fairing on the forward crossbeam. Regatta Director Iain Murray abandoned the race and cleared the course. Artemis went to their base to inspect the structures and to patch up the damage. They returned for a second race against Oracle. Artemis lost the start and followed Oracle around the first mark but found better pressure later in the race and passed Oracle for the win.
Artemis Helmsman Nathan Outteridge Describes the Incident
At 1:00 into this video by Jason Smith of MyislandhomeBDA, Artemis and Oracle cross the start line. At 1:45 Artemis leads around Mark 1. You can see the Youth America’s Cup chase boat’s emergency turn on the right edge of the screen. About 15 seconds later, at 2:00 in the video we can see the damaged fairing hanging from the forward starboard crossbeam. At 2:17 a crewman leaves his cockpit and lies down on the crossbeam to pull off the damaged piece. At 2:33 he throws it overboard and at 2:50 the Artemis chase boat stops to pick it up.
Jason Smith’s “MyislandhomeBDA” YouTube channel provides regular video updates on the teams training in Bermuda. You can thank Jason by subscribing to his YouTube channel and by making a donation.