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Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition

January 25, 2003
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Stuart Streuli

Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine (http://www.sailingworld.com). This AMERICA’S CUP EDITION is a weekly summary of Cup action, brought to you this week by Tartan Yachts and Sunsail.

Bad Takedown Dooms Oracle/BMW Racing in Race 2
A botched leeward mark rounding doused any hopes of Oracle/BMW Racing leveling the Louis Vuitton Final at one apiece. Sailing through intermittent showers and in a 10- to 15-knot easterly, Russell Coutts and his Alinghi team once again showed superior crew work and great upwind boatspeed on their way to a 40-second win in Race 2. The win lifted the Swiss team to a 2-0 lead in the best of nine series.

But as impressive as the Alinghi team was in recording their 10th straight win in the elimination rounds of the Louis Vuitton Cup, it was Oracle’s mistake which played the biggest part in deciding this race. After rounding the first mark 26 seconds behind, Oracle was able to sail lower and as fast down the run. A favorable left shift on the final approach to the leeward mark helped Oracle close to within two or three boatlengths. Then disaster struck.
For the complete story, http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1582

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A Bow for A Bow, the Interview:
“What we try to do when we do a joint is to keep everything as simple as possible, especially when there’s a tight time frame. Although doing a jaggedy joint would be quite nice, we tend to keep the cuts very straight, very plain. Then we come up with splicing details to splice the skins and the core together for each part. In fact, fitting a new bow on, structurally speaking, is quite a simple operation. It’s all the other bits that go with it. On ITA-80 we moved the keel structure forward and we moved the mast. On ITA-74 we also moved the mast structure. It’s these things which give us a structure nightmare because they’re much more highly loaded.”
–Prada structural engineer Will Brooks on the mechanics of the major facelifts the team did on its two boats during the Louis Vuitton Cup. For Part I of the interview, click here,
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1562

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Design Analysis
Naval Architect David Pedrick, who designed the winning 12-Meter in the 1987 America’s Cup offers SailingWorld.com readers an exclusive analysis of the two challenger’s boats, and both Team New Zealand Yachts.

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The four yachts have four different bulbs. Alinghi’s is a squashed, cigar shape, much like NZL-60’s in 2000. Oracle’s is a refined variant, a little shorter and thicker than Alinghi’s, but with a fine entry, hollowed lines flowing back to the beavertail and a sculpted “dillet,” or Coke-bottle type hollowing, where the fin intersects the top of the bulb. NZL-81’s bulb appears a little longer and more slender than Alinghi’s, and NZL-82’s is radically long and slender, perhaps more than 2 meters longer than the typical length of approximately 5 meters. The mid-length region of both of TNZ’s bulbs have a flat bottom out to a corner to which the winglets are attached.

Longer, more slender bulbs have greater wetted surface drag than short bulbs of equal volume, while shorter, fatter bulbs have greater form drag. It is evident that the experts designing these fourth-generation America’s Cup Class yachts haven’t exhausted their search for the ultimate bulb design trade-offs.

For Pedrick’s complete analysis, including some thoughts of Team New Zealand’s innovative and controvesial hull appendage, click on the following link.
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1579

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| Team New Zealand’s hula-equipped hulls at their unveiling on Jan. 7.* * *|

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Unveiling Day
One of the most anticipated days of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Unveiling Day didn’t disappoint as each team displayed a unique solution to the America’s Cup Class rule. For a slide show of all the action at the Alinghi, Oracle/BMW Racing, and Team New Zealand compounds, click on the following link:
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1576

For a story on the unveilings, including Team New Zealand’s innovative hull appendage, click on the following link:
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1575

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E-mail: [email protected]

Will the Hula Be Supersized Before the Cup?
The considerable curiosity provoked by TNZ’s hula has been partially satisfied by the unveiling. While radical in practical concept, what TNZ revealed at the unveiling does not reflect a significant change to the overall lines of the yacht. However, keep in mind that this hula only needs to satisfy a public viewing requirement. The clever Kiwis just might have a more provocative, private dancer hidden away until the Match unveiling.
–David Pedrick on www.sailingworld.com

Race 1 Report: Alinghi scores big with two major windshifts and beats Oracle/BMW Racing by 1:24. For a complete report of that race,
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1581

They Said It:
“[The title of underdog] is one we don’t have have a lot of choice over. Alinghi comes into this as favorites for the simple reason that they have beaten us more times than we have beaten them. We have a lot of respect for Russell and the Alinghi team, we know what they can do and we know what we have to do to beat them.”
–Oracle skipper Chris Dickson at the Louis Vuitton finals pre-event press conference on Jan. 10.

“I think [the addition of onboard umpires] is a great thing. The removal of gamesmanship it also a good thing.”
–Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts at the Louis Vuitton finals pre-event press conference on Jan. 10.

“It was a lucky move.”
–Alinghi tactician Brad Butterworth on Jan. 12 on his team’s decision to ride Oracle/BMW Racing’s hip on starboard on the first leg of the first race of the Louis Vuitton Finals. The breeze clocked and Alinghi turned an even race into a huge advantage.

“Before the start we liked the left and halfway up the first beat we liked the right.”
–Dickson on Jan. 12 commenting on the first leg of Race 1.

Grand Prix Sailor and Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition are weekly newsletters compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you’d like to subscribe, see http://www.sailingworld.com
Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger ([email protected]), Dave Reed ([email protected]), Stuart Streuli ([email protected]), John Burnham ([email protected])

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