Lots to control, very few crew
Trim the jib. Adjust the wing camber and twist. Trim the wing in and out. Raise and lower the daggerboards and adjust their angle of attack. To win the America’s Cup will require clever control systems. Everyone in the crew multitasks – tactician John Kostecki and Ben Ainslie are also grinders.
AC72 development process
When Oracle Team USA re-launched “USA 17” after the capsize, they changed from tiller to wheel steering. At first the wheel was only for steering (look here) but now they have added control buttons. At first just taped on, now they have become permanent. What do they control? Who controls the daggerboard angle of attack?
To reduce aerodynamic drag, OTUSA’s AC 72 design team built four cockpits for the crew, each with a grinding pedestal. Cockpit four also has place for the helmsman and the wing trimmer.
Grinders multitask, too
Grinders have controls to shift gears on the pedestals and to change what is being powered by the pedestal they are on – trimming the jib, hoisting the gennaker, raising or lowering the daggerboards. The next photo is a little blurry but it looks like they also have some pushbutton controls…
We’ve seen this before
America’s Cup 2010 Defender Alinghi 5
For the America’s Cup in 2010, the Alinghi 5 catamaran had pushbutton controls in the cockpits. But there were no grinders – power for the hydraulics came from a modified snowmobile engine!