Winner of the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, USA 17 has become a permanent exhibit at Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. She will be the highlight of an America’s Cup exhibition, “Speed and Innovation,” which will open in May 2017. I got the chance to climb over and inside USA 17 during my recent meetings at the museum in my role as “guest curator” of the upcoming exhibit.
America’s Cup Geek Warning!
If you read on, I’ll take you deep in the weeds with details only America’s Cup geeks like me enjoy. Proceed at your own risk.
In the previous photo, did you notice those two circles on the centerline? The forward one is the mast step. The aft one was not used, but was prepared when the designers considered moving the wing aft to counter the lee helm problem. I wrote about this in my book “Turning the Tide” – so it was very cool to see it.
Here’s a video that will show how important the button was. This is from Race 4, at Gate 2, the end of the first downwind leg. Ouch! In spite of the error, Oracle won this race, their first win. The error shows that early in the America’s Cup Match, they had still not mastered how to sail the boat. But by the finish of Race 8, their second win, they had improved dramatically, and were on their way to winning, even though at that point the score was 6-0 for the Kiwis.
Grinder Simeon Tienpont was called “Hydro” because he ran a lot of the hydraulic controls on the boat. Some of his controls are shown in the next two photos. Not shown are the controls to switch the flow of oil between hulls and the controls for daggerboard cant. A lot of hardware was stripped out of the hulls long before USA 17 was donated to the Mariners’ Museum.
Some Interesting America’s Cup Artefacts
The next three photos show polar info that was left in the hulls.