NEW ZEALAND WINS THE AMERICA’S CUP

The edge every sailor wants is boat speed. It can disguise errors, it helps with execution of maneuvers. in short it can bail you out of suituations.

The New Zealand team had all the tools; a faster boat. and from a distance a team that had no egos. Everyone quietly did their jobs.

If you look at the New Zealand crew’s resume, it was brilliant.

By the way, Luna Rossa will be the Challenger of record.

I am pleased that New Zealand won. The one problem for most of the world is the fact that they are in a distant time zone.

ARE THERE ANY LIMITS?

I crossed the Atlantic in 11 1/2 days this summer. For someone of my generation this was special. I never expect to repeat this experience. But I am still on a slow boat in today’s world.
The America’s Cup will never go back to non foiling boats. I still predict that the next Olympics will have at least one foiling class, if not two. No one is looking back, unless it is to true classic yachts. That is for different reasons of beauty and elegance.

MEANWHILE IN BERMUDA

 

America’s Cup designer Loick Peyron says changes to boat sizes have been ‘brutal’

Sailing great Loick Peyron admits changes were needed but wonders whether America's Cup bosses have gone too far.

Reuters

Sailing great Loick Peyron admits changes were needed but wonders whether America’s Cup bosses have gone too far.

A yacht racing and design guru has described the America’s Cup changes as “brutal” and wondered if the radical revamp has gone “too far”.

Frenchman Loick Peyron is part of Artemis Racing’s design “dream team”, providing an ability to transfer his long and successful racing career into performance gains with the radical foiling catamarans.

America’s Cup bosses caused controversy with their recent decision to reduce the boats from 62-feet to 48-feet and include several one-design elements to cut costs mid-cycle on the way to Bermuda 2017.

Swedish syndicate Artemis were part of the majority that backed that move along with cup holders Oracle and fellow challengers Team France and Ben Ainslie Racing (Britain). Team New Zealand were against the moves.

But Peyron, who sailed in Alinghi’s failed cup defence in 2010 and was part of Artemis’ troubled challenge in 2013, has admitted some personal concerns.

Asked by Yacht Racing Forum how he welcomed the news, Peyron responded: “It has been a bit brutal, although we were kind of expecting it. We had done a lot of work on our 62′ which will, hopefully, not be useless. Under the leadership of Iain Percy, we were working on our systems, in order to manage our appendages and our wing, and we’ll keep doing this, just at a smaller scale.”

Peyron said the changes meant the America’s Cup had lost the “big sailing team” aspect that set it apart in the sport.

“All you need now is a helmsman, a wing-trimmer and a group of hamsters to pump your hydraulics … maybe it’s gone a bit too far: too much muscle and not enough brain, we’ll see. But luckily for the white hairs, this game, like many others, needs experience,” he said.

Peyron suggested this was a transition period that would “favour participation”. Already Japan have re-emerged with a late challenge under the adjusted format and Team France have described the changes as a lifeline to their struggling budget.

“I would personally prefer bigger boats, where the choreography and other unique skills are really important. Hopefully foiling boat speed and “spectacle quality” are not linked to the size,” Peyron said before acknowledging the inevitability of progress through downscaling.

“These changes in the cup had to be done, even if some of them seem painful. We want to offer the best sport show ever, and it will be the case again.”

Peyron is a long-distance specialist who holds the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world and has become a multihull specialist.

FIVE TEAMS FOR THE AMERICA’S CUP

Kyle Langford talks about the Oracle America’s Cup program

By Roger McMillan, MySailing.com.au
Kyle Langford, the wing trimmer on Oracle Team USA when it won the America’s Cup in 2013, is mainsail trimmer on Oman Air at the Extreme Series in Cardiff. In an exclusive interview with mysailing, he talked about the Extreme 40s and Oracle’s progress towards defending the Cup in 2017.

The Cardiff Act is Kyle’s third on board the Oman Air Extreme 40 and he said it’s a great experience that translates directly to America’s Cup sailing.

“It’s quite similar to the America’s Cup World Series (in AC45s) in many ways,” he said. “It’s fast paced and very physical and you’re making instant decisions because of the close racing.

“There hasn’t been a lot on as far as Oracle is concerned, just a foiling camp at Lake Macquarie recently, so this (the Extreme Series) has been good.”

Kyle will sail for the rest of the Extreme season, including the final Act in Sydney in December, and has also done an RC44 regatta with team mate Tom Slingsby, but from the beginning of 2015 the focus becomes totally on the America’s Cup.

“We’ve all bought Moths and we’ll do another foiling camp in San Francisco in November with the aim of all competing at the Moth Worlds in February,” Kyle said. “Apart from Tom (Slingsby) we’re all pretty useless, so we’ve got a bit of work to do.”

He said that the Moth was a good challenge because it was all about balance and they were learning new skills, which would be of value in the bigger boats. It was also proving to be a good team-building exercise as they all help each other to improve their boat set-up and handling.

Wing Trimming
Kyle joined the Oracle squad late, only 18 months before the 34th Match – and most of the wing development on the AC72 had already been done. So he is looking forward to the development of the new AC62 because he will have input into the trimming systems from day one.

“The wings are one design but the control systems are open,” he explained. “It’s good to be able to offer input into the design of all the systems on the boat. Last time all I could really do was fine-tune, because the actual controls were already decided.”

One of the notable things about the two design approaches on the AC72s was that the challenger and defender had radically different methods of controlling the four “panels” on their wings, but the speed result was similar.
“If Glenn (Ashby) had trimmed the Oracle wing and I had trimmed the ETNZ wing, we both would have had to work things out all over again, because they were so different,” Kyle said.

Even Challenge
Asked about the teams who have lodged challenges for 2017, Kyle said there was a lot of depth and that none of them could be written off.

“We always know Team New Zealand will be strong and Luna Rossa have started a lot earlier this time and have their base set up. Ben’s got a good team and the French have done a lot of sailing in all sorts of boats. And then there’s Artemis with Nath (Outteridge), no one’s going to be easy this time.”

Kyle said that the Oracle sailing team is almost complete, with just one more name to be added to give them two AC45 squads. He thinks a key ingredient for Oracle will be their total focus on the America’s Cup for three years, without distractions like the Olympics, which will come into play for teams like Artemis (Outteridge and Jensen) and ETNZ (Burling and Tuke).

“We will be 100% focused on the Cup for the whole three years,” he said, sounding an ominous warning to the challengers.

 

SMALLER, FASTER, SAFER, THE NEXT AMERICA’S CUP BOATS

AC34SFJuneD16_1234

The New America’s Cup Cat

The next generation will look much like this 2013 generation challenger from New Zealand, but they’re a new breed

By Kimball Livingston Posted April 13, 2014

Gino Morrelli believes the next generation of America’s Cup catamarans will revolutionize upwind tactics. He foresees the boats foiling through tacks without slowing down, and if there is no price for tacking, that’s a new calculus, isn’t it? A new game.

Smaller, faster, safer. It’s quite a package that Morrelli is talking about, and he knows a bit. His firm of Morrelli & Melvin wrote the design rule for what we will call, for now, the AC62. That is, ten feet shorter than the AC72s of 2013 and shrunk appropriately in other dimensions as well. Add-in some one-design components, factor-in the fact that a lot of the design possibilities have already been explored—we know what the next generation will look like—and you have a boat that is cheaper to design and cheaper to build, even with amped-up technology. His partner Pete Melvin has been hard on the case.

At which point Morrelli adds the ultimate qualifier, “We can lower the cost to entry, but we can’t make it cheaper to win the America’s Cup.”

Write this on the board twenty-five times: An America’s Cup team will always spend whatever it can get.

I shared billing with Gino over the weekend for a program at Strictly Sail Pacific, which opened my window onto what’s coming next, with a little caution tape on the windowsill: “We finished our job about four weeks ago,” Morrelli told the audience. “In our last iteration, the boat was 62 feet, but now we’ve handed it over to Oracle and Russell and the boys to fuss it out with the Challenger of Record and Iain Murray. That is, the Aussies from Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Between them, a lot can happen. We’re now out of the loop, but something’s cooking . . . At some point they have to pull the trigger and publish the design rule and let people start working on the new boats, even if they don’t decide the venue until deep in the process.”

How can you design the boat if you don’t know the venue? Or if, as Larry Ellison once suggested, there could be more than one venue? Good question. Here we go—

Gino again: “One thing that was possible under the AC72 rule, but now is mandated, is a wing design that can be over-rotated to a negative angle of attack. You would do this at the top of the wing, so that instead of pushing the boat over, it’s actually pulling the boat up. Theoretically, if you’re bearing away around the weather mark in 30 knots, you can crank the wing inside out to get positive righting moment. You get a safer turn. The downside is that you’re inducing drag, which slows you down, so you’re going to have to learn how to actually do this. But it’s one way to build a big rig that will perform in San Diego but survive San Francisco.

“There are provisions in the new class rule to allow different wing sizes and jib sizes, but the ability to over-rotate the wing gives us a tool for sailing in a wide wind range with one wing.”

Early in the development of the original design rule for the AC72s, there were no restrictions on foiling surfaces. Restrictions were added at the insistence of the then-Challenger of Record, but we know now that the result was merely to make the boats trickier to design and less safe for the sailors.

This time out, Gino says, “We’ve got everybody to agree to take the brakes off foiling. The boats will foil by design. We’ll be able to actively change the angle of the rudder posts to adjust the angle of attack of the T-foils on the rudders—in 2013 we could make changes between races, not during a race—and the T-foils will be symmetrical, and bigger. This is part of what brings us to foiling tacks. You’ll have more chance to use low angles of attack to give you the highest glide speed through the tack. We’ll see who can glide to weather the farthest.”

This likewise opens new imaginings in what it means to attack, attack, attack.

On the safety side, there is now a minimum bow volume, for buoyancy if the boat augurs in. “New Zealand had the biggest bows in the fleet in 2014,” Gino said. “They stuffed it in that one race and survived. After the fact we sat down with the Oracle Racing guys to analyze the video of that incident, and we determined that, if Oracle had done the same thing, they would have been upside down. So, the new bow dimensions are much closer to the NZ spec than to the Oracle spec.”

 

Photo by Daniel Forster

Photo by Daniel Forster

You might recall, ETNZ took that serious nose dive in an early race, and Oracle did this less-radical face plant on the reach to the first mark in the deciding, final race, which could have come out rather differently. As seen through the lens of Daniel Forster . . .

 

With hulls now functioning as components of a foil-delivery system, the extra bow volume builds a safety margin with no meaningful downside. A little more carbon, a little more weight, a little more windage, but equalized through the fleet. Where Oracle had a safety advantage over the Emirates Team New Zealand boat was in its protective cockpits. When ETNZ stuffed it, bodies were flung forward against each other—there weren’t enough grab points—and as the boat sailed on, there were fewer crew on deck. The “AC62? mandates cockpits.

For an easy point of cost saving, “That crazy aerodynamic structure on the underside of Oracle, fairing-in the dolphin striker, will be restricted. It represented a lot of research, a lot of engineering and a lot of carbon. By going one-design on those components, we’re saving the teams a lot of development, so now we get calls from the CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics] engineers saying, ‘Hey, what about our lunch?’ Then there’s the grinders union . . .”

The big picture view of the 2013 America’s Cup is that Oracle Racing built a faster boat—more aerodynamic, twistier, harder to sail—and learned how to sail it just in time. Mastering upwind foiling was the key, and one key to that was grinding style. You probably know the old joke, “You just keep grinding and if I need any sheet I’ll take it.” Well, launching the comeback, that’s exactly what was going on aboard Oracle. Trimmer Kyle Langford needed instant response to keep the boat on knife’s edge. Asking the boys to pump oil to generate hydraulic pressure for trimming built in a delay that just didn’t cut it. So the grinders would grind all the way. No stored energy was allowed under the AC72 rule, but the new rule as written by Morrelli & Melvin, in consultation with Oracle Racing’s Russell Coutts and Ian Burns, for example, will permit a component of stored energy. The grinders may still be grinding steadily, but not frantically. At least, according to the numbers. As one result, the crew has been reduced to the tune of two grinders. That’s two less jobs on the payroll per boat, and two less jobs per boat in the America’s Cup Industry.

Gino Morrelli has a laid back Southern California style, and he comes by it honestly. The whole team at Morrelli & Melvin Design and Engineering has been known to shove work and hit the beach when the surf is up. Morrelli describes himself as, “A longboard kind of guy.” It’s not far from their Newport Beach offices to the sand. Obviously, they also crank out the work. M&M also developed the design rule for the AC72s, and they were the principal authors of the design of Emirates Team New Zealand. They’ve been part of the America’s Cup every time multihulls have been in the game: 1988, 2010 and on. They’re also part of cutting edge multihull racing at every level from A-cats up, and cruising cats from the Hobie Wave to Gunboats. And when I want to impress the nieces and nephews, I just tell’em, yep, I know the folks who designed the Jungle Cruise boats for Disneyland. Those are their only monohulls, I believe, unless you count stand up paddleboards.

Gino

The Q&A rambled a bit. Naturally, a Bay Area audience wanted to know if the 2017 match will be sailed here. I voiced my stubborn optimism that it will, simply because that’s what ought to happen.

Someone asked why Artemis Racing still has its base in Alameda, and their 45 is sometimes seen on the bay. Gino responded that, well, everybody has to be someplace, “and I think they’re betting that the next races will be here.”

Another circuit in AC45s? Here’s Gino: “The 45s attract a lot of interest from the start-up teams. It’s a way to bring in sponsors and show the racing to a home audience. On the upside, it’s pretty easy to convert an AC45 to a foiler. On the downside, the logistics are completely nuts. The circuit was a giant loss leader. No way could it stand on its own. Larry wrote the check for the whole show the last time, but I don’t know how interested he might be in helping those start-up teams get a foothold. He’s already spent so many hundreds of millions on this. I figure the AC45s are a tier 3 decision right now.”

What’s the status of Morrelli & Melvin vis a vis AC35? “We’re free agents again. We’ve been contacted by a number of the guys, but everybody’s waiting for the Class Rule and the Protocol.”

More challengers next time? “Sixish. The Aussies are in, and Artemis. Luna Rossa. Probably the Kiwis, and the French are trying hard and so is Britain, with Ben Ainslie. The design box is tighter and smaller, but I guarantee you there’s enough room inside the box that someone’s going to come up with a faster boat than somebody else.”

AMERICA’S CUP FAST FOILS

 


America’s Cup- Fast foils-a conversation with Paul Bieker, part I
2:35 PM Sun 2 Mar 2014 

‘Oracle Design Team – America’s Cup 35. Paul Bieker is in the front row, second from the left’    Amory Ross ©


Few people in the sailing world are sharper than Paul Bieker, a soft-spoken Seattle-based naval architect who has spent his career designing a wide variety of sailing vessels, from super-quick I-14s and his one-off line of ‘Riptide’ racer/cruisers, to America’s Cup yachts. 

Bieker is one of the core designers credited with ‘super-charging’ Oracle Team USA’s ‘USA 17’ last September, changes that helped the American-flagged international team to successfully pull-off one of sports history’s greatest comebacks to defend the 34th America’s Cup.

Yet pull up a seat on the rail next to Bieker-as I’ve been fortunate enough to do on many occasions aboard our mutual friend’s Riptide 44-and it quickly becomes obvious that Bieker’s horizons extends far beyond racecourse designs.

Take, for example, the day that he brought our crew lunch. Each sandwich was individually wrapped in brown recycled paper and was hand-tied with a bit of hemp twine in an effort to reduce landfill fodder. Or then there’s Bieker’s insistence that his Riptide designs offer their owners a huge amount of value and utility, irrespective of whether the agenda involves racing, savoring 25-knot kite rides or extended cruising. Bieker is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost foil-design experts, and while he wisely tries to dodge the limelight, Oracle Team USA has again tapped Bieker for AC35, this time in the role of lead design engineer.

I recently caught up with Bieker at a local Ballard (our mutual Seattle neighborhood) pub for part one of this two-part interview to get his thoughts on how AC34 was won, his design role for AC35, as well as his thoughts on the future of America’s Cup Racing.

Can you tell me about your work with Oracle Team USA, prior to the start of AC34? What were you designing for them?

It was in the late summer/early fall [of 2012] and I think that Oracle had a sense that their appendage engineering and construction side was not going 100-percent smoothly. My first day down there was the day before they launched the boat, and the day they broke their first foil. So pretty much from then on it was full-on, as you can image.

You were mostly working on foils back then?

Yes. They wanted to me to engineer their next-step foil for the boat, but all of a sudden it became ‘shit, we can’t sail the boat-we have no foils’. What actually ended up happening is that I went into producing the first set of raceable foils as quickly as I could, but they still took eight weeks to build. The penny dropped and we realized that we could recycle the structural spars from some surplus daggerboards [from the trimaran, ‘BMW/Oracle 90’, which won AC33]. Those boards had solid carbon spars in them that we could cut out and re-machine into a set of AC72 foils, which we called the ‘nasty boards’.

17/10/2012 – San Francisco (USA,CA) 34th America’s Cup – ORACLE Team USA AC 72 capsizes during training in San Francisco Bay and is pushed out of the bay by the tide current as the team try to salvage the platform. – Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012 –  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA ©?nid=119759   Click Here to view large photo

Those were the modular ones?

They were straight and had brutish-looking boards but the sailors were able to get out sailing with those while we were building the new raceable foils. We didn’t even get the racing boards on the first boat before it tipped over. Then our big job was to do all the repair drawings to repair the hulls and the beams. The boat didn’t go back into the water until after Christmas 2012.

It was a really big repair job?

You have no idea-it was really bad. It was pretty grim. You would have looked at the pile of stuff and said it was close to hopeless. I had a hard time thinking that we could patch all that damage together and not miss something that was going to cause it to fail. The Oracle shore team and boat builders did an amazing job getting the boat back on the water.

How much of the old boat got rebuilt?

We had to cut a good portion of the lower bow off of one hull, and then there were tons of patches everywhere on the central pod and the beams and in the hull. It was painstaking work.

Am I correct that that boat ended up being the faster of Oracle’s two AC72s?

Yes, it was but it was super hard to control downwind. I don’t think we could have raced that boat. It was pretty scary.

Would you say your role as a designer evolved during the course of the campaign?

Well, I was pretty much in charge of daggerboard structures before I got called in to do the repair drawings for the first boat after it tipped over. Then, towards the end of the campaign, I worked on the rudder structures and rudder hydrofoils. During the Cup things got a little [looser] with the general theme of doing whatever you could to figure out how to make the boat go faster. But my focus remained on foils.

Did you sail into that first race knowing for sure that you had the slower boat? Or was that a total surprise?

The funny thing is that we thought that if we had a speed deficit, it was going to be downwind. Most likely our aero package was better than theirs, so we expected to be faster upwind. As it turned out, we were about the same speed downwind and maybe a click lower. We might have had a touch of VMG on them downwind, but we were quite a bit slower upwind and we didn’t have our foiling tacking figured out. We thought we had tacking figured out, but Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) were tacking better and sailing a bit faster upwind than we were. So it was the opposite of what we expected, and it was the same for ETNZ. You try and measure the other team’s speed on the water before the match, but there’s a lot of scatter in that data and it usually does not change your preconceptions.

Oracle Team USA foiling towards the end of the 2013 America’s Cup – Day 15 –  Kurt Molnar ©   Click Here to view large photo

Were you guys pinging them with lasers or something like that?

[I’m] not sure about lasers but we could pace with them on chase boats. If you watch the Louis Vuitton Cup broadcasts, you can see the speeds and other real-time numbers. They really clicked it up in between the Luis Vuitton Cup and the [Cup].

What was funny is that we couldn’t gybe our boat reliably until probably two or three weeks before the Cup. With a flying gybe, you lose somewhere between 30 and 60 meters per gybe, sometimes less-not much more than a boat length if you do it right. But if you touch down in the water during a gybe, you lose over 150 meters! So it’s going to cost you somewhere between 100 and 120 meters if you touch the water during a gybe and the other team doesn’t, so we were totally fixated on downwind gybing going into the Cup.

We were just really fixated on foiling gybes and probably for good reason because we knew we only had to miss one gybe that they got and the race was probably over, so we concentrated on that in lieu of working a lot on our upwind speed and maneuvers. ETNZ, however, concentrated on upwind [work] because they had their gybing nailed long, long before the Cup. Part of our problem is we had Boat One, which was really unstable downwind-it was just hard to keep her stable on foils. We were generally sailing with rudder wings that were maybe a little bit too small. So Oracle and ETNZ leapfrogged each other, they ended up faster than us upwind and we ended up faster downwind.

Can you describe to me a little bit about what the atmosphere was like after that first week of racing?

It was pretty grim…like really grim.

Was it the sailors, the designers or everybody who was feeling down?

It was pretty much everybody-some [people were] concealed and others not so concealed. The thing is that after you’ve done a couple of Cups, you know that everything goes poof at the end of the campaign. Everything that existed no longer exists. So there you are with this beautiful boat and team at the apex of the sport, right at that moment, but right after the Cup ends, the boat just becomes something that you have to store somewhere and the team disbands. And so you realize that you need to muster up whatever energy you have for that final push, because it really is a sprint to the finish and after the finish it just doesn’t matter anymore. After the finish everything else is gone so you shouldn’t leave anything in the tank. I’d say that probably a third of the people on the team felt like that. Another third were just going through the motions and just doing their job, and another third had already given up. In a traditional America’s Cup, the 8-1 hole is the sort of deficit you’d never be able to come back from. Luckily, the sailing team kept a positive attitude.

Oracle Team USA – America’s Cup – Day 15 –  Kurt Molnar ©   Click Here to view large photo

So that sounds like Jimmy Spithill’s bravado about ‘we can win races, it’s not over yet’ was just bluster?

He may have felt that way, I don’t know. He was definitely pretty down in the dumps during a few unguarded moments, but he kept his nose up and then guys on the team stepped up to the plate and made the improvement.

Tell me a little bit about how were politically able to introduce the changes that you made at the end. Was this a matter of convincing the design team, or convincing the sailing team, or at that point was everybody just throwing ideas at the wall?

It’s a little bit of the latter. Basically, when we were down five or six points it was pretty dire. People were starting to bring beers to the design meetings and it got way [looser] than normal. You know, ‘who has got ideas?’, and it seemed like you basically needed one person to agree with you, and you were just going to do it. We just got lucky.

The thing was at the part of the regatta that we were in trouble, we had lay days so we could do things to the boat
and test them and if we didn’t like them, we could take remove them. When ETNZ was in that sort of situation, they didn’t have any lay days.

Basically, what we were doing with the rig during the whole event was trying to put the center of pressure further and further aft. We were flattening the jibs. We were opening up the little tab at the aft end of the first element on the wing to load the flap on the wing. We almost doubled our traveler load on the wing between the beginning of the regatta and the end, so we were really trying to move pressure aft. One of the things we tried to do was rake the rig.

We went out on one of the lay days after we had done a big rig change the night before. This involved different shroud lengths, a recut to the jib, wing base modifications, etc. The guys went out and they didn’t like it so we spent the next night putting everything back for the next race day. If that had not been a lay day, we would have probably lost that race. It really worked for us to have lay days when we were in strife, and for ETNZ not to have that luxury.

You told me once you added a faring to the interceptor ramps so that the sailors wouldn’t freak out on a 90 degree edge. Who has ultimate say on what actually goes on the boat and what doesn’t? Russell Coutts or you?

It would have been Russell [Coutts], Dirk Kramer and Grant Simmer that made the final calls on what went on the boat. When I suggested it Michel Kermarec [N.B., Kermarec was Oracle’s appendage designer and VPP lead for AC34] thought it sounded like a good idea, so that was all it took. The next thing you know, we’re putting this wedge on the stern of the boat so that anyone who walks up is just going ‘huh?’, but what was neat about it is that if you explained it to the guys, they would go along with it, even though it didn’t look right to them. That’s the cool thing about the America’s Cup-the technology drives it and the sailors understand that.

What was the reaction from the sailing and design teams once the interceptor ramps and the Rudder/hydrofoil intersection cavitation fairings started to really show their results?

We were doing a whole lot of different things, so whether the interceptor helped or not, I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure it helped the boat when it was in that skimming mode, going into takeoff, but how much I can’t say. The fairings on the rudders definitely helped. We did calculations that showed that they were 0.6 knots faster downwind in the 40-knot range of boatspeed, but those fairings didn’t make us any faster upwind. What made us faster upwind was changing the wing trim, and the fact that the crewed figured out how to foil tack. By the end of AC34, they were taking better than ETNZ.

What do you think were the biggest factors in Oracle’s come-from-behind win?

My guess is that the biggest things were dialing in the wing trim, crew work and the [foiling tacks]. One of the other big things the guys learned is that very aggressively trimming the wing-I wouldn’t say pumping-is a way to get up on foils without bearing off too much. In our practice foiling upwind, the problem was that you had to bear away so much to get up on the foil that you would just barely make it back to where you were by the time you had to tack and the tacking-before the Cup-was violent. The boat would come through and the old leeward hull/new windward hull would all come down into the water and it was pretty slow.

The trick was that once you figured out how to tack the boat, you aren’t dragging this long skinny hull through the water in the middle of the tack, you’re just up on three foils. This means that you’re losing almost nothing, whereas in a normal multihull you’re taking this big long thing and you’re trying to make it turn through the water. You lose a lot in the beginning of the tack, but when you do a foiling tack you lose almost nothing in the first part of the turn.

The guys learned to carry some lift on the old leeward/new windward foil, and to keep that windward hull up in the air. If you never have two hulls in the water, all of a sudden it paid to be foiling at the beginning of a tack. Before, it was a such a violent maneuver that you lost a lot of speed.

I think I read somewhere that one of the ways the guys learned to improve tacking was by watching videos on how ETNZ was pulling off their foiling tacks?

I’m sure they watched lots of the videos of those guys, and they watched also lots of videos of themselves. We had a pretty neat data-collection system on the boat so you could look at different tacks to determine if you had a good tack or a bad tack. You had video from lots of different angles, so you could really start to identify what made a tack good and what made a tack bad. You could really look at it in detail.

The cool thing wasn’t like we were all, as a big group, analyzing the footage. The crew was working hard on the tacking side of it, and we were working on the design side of it and luckily we went forward in most places.

Where do you physically do a lot of your design work?

Here in Seattle.

So was the Cup won right here in Ballard?

I don’t know if the Cup was won right here in Ballard, but we did a lot of the foil work right here. I like working here just because we’ve got a nice office environment. It’s quiet, and I can concentrate.

Do you have a specific title with Oracle Team USA for AC35 at this point?

I think I’m called the Senior Design Engineer, but I don’t know exactly what that means. I’m in charge of making sure the structure of the boat is right and that the systems are properly integrated, and I’ll be involved in the naval architecture side of it as well.

Can you talk a little bit about the work that you’ve done with the design rule for AC35?

Basically the Challenger of Record and the Defender are trying to reduce the cost of the boats so that smaller teams can get in and run a reasonable campaign with a moderate amount of money. We really want to be able to foil upwind in moderate air. Right now we’re sort of hoping we can foil upwind in 12 knots of wind and foil downwind in eight knots or so.

Stay tuned for part two of this two-part interview, later this week.

 

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor