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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’

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The guy who nearly killed the C-Class with his wing sail design has a new appreciation for the development race in Bermuda.  Here’s longtime SA’er and Cogito builder/skipper Steve Clark reflecting on a potential game changer at the America’s Cup.

I just got schooled in a previous thread for not knowing that The defined “illegal actions” had been removed from Rule 42 in this event. Which pretty much opens the door for unlimited kinetics or human propulsion as long as it is attached to the wing, sails, rudders or daggerboards or is otherwise an “act of seamanship.”

This has completely changed my view of the event. Instead of viewing the athletes as providing power to “normally” adjust the sheets,  pull the boards up and down and provide enough juice to adjust the AoA of the main foil, it is now clear that the metabolic energy of the grinders can be used to propel the vessel by pumping the wing or other actions. Some have already poo pooed this, but I think it is significant and gives ETNZ a huge edge.  Previously, I believed that an efficient control system and forgiving foil design could compensate for the lack of pure horsepower.

Earlier, 800  watts was sighted as the  power premium of 4 cyclist versus 4 hand grinders. What was not given is the duration and intensity of the pumping. It is clear from the videos that the grinders are not pumping  all the time and are not pumping hard all. Of the time. The cyclist, on the other hand, seem to be spinning the cranks 100% of the time. Does anyone want to hazard a guess what the difference in energy production during the course of a race is?

I expect this advantage to manifest itself most in marginal foiling conditions, where ETNZ will foil sooner and longer, and also on the down wind legs where they should be able to foil deeper at the same or better speed.  If they can trim faster, they will accelerate off the starting line faster.  Finally they should be able to tack and gybe  faster simply because the human power will buffer the loss of aerodynamic drive. One horsepower isn’t much, except when it really matters.

Let me be absolutely clear, I do not regard this as cheating.  It is absolutely within the rules as written, but not within the rules as understood by fools like me who thought they knew the rules. I could believe the simplification was done to avoid another charge of cheating against Oracle by ETNZ.  I know how hard it is to police kinetics, and it has become customary in many classes to have a wind speed at which the Race Committee can declare “game on” but this is different. ETNZ deserves a golf clap for taking advantage of this opportunity.

If anyone can quantify the difference between the arm grinders time producing x power and the cyclists producing y power, I think it would inform all of our appreciation of the events to come.


Got an answer for this legend?  Hit him up in the thread.


May 24th, 2017 by admin

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Design optimization and simulation specialists Altair put together the sweet little film above that may just be the slickest media yet to come out of AC35.  We’re not picking Artemis to advance to the grand finale, but this film shows they’ve left very few stones unturned in their quest to shock the world in Bermuda.

Tell Altair’s Comms guy what you think in the thread.


May 21st, 2017 by admin

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With New Zealand’s media exploding with America’s Cup action, top Kiwi sports personality Darcy Waldegrave caught up with our own Mr. Clean for some live RadioSportNZ chatter about the racing coming in just 5 days.  Clean may not be smart, but at least he’s loud!


May 21st, 2017 by admin

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America’s Cup Anarchy junkies had fun with some pretty fun AC limericks the last time around, and now they’re back at it thanks to kiwi Anarchist ‘ianz’.  Here are a couple we liked, the first from a Kiwi fan:

This AC is run by rich muppets,

Defended by Oracle (and puppets).

To bring back some class,

I hope the kiwis kick ass

While GGYC sit by like stunned mullets.


There are already a few gems; add your own in the thread.


May 21st, 2017 by admin

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normal_money_oilBlood (and nationality) may be thicker than water, but oil trumps both of ’em, and the lasting narrative about the upcoming America’s Cup may end up being more about black gold than about sport, technology, or sailing – at least in Bloomberg’s world.  Here’s an AC excerpt from the financial world.

The high seas have long been a battleground for the world’s biggest oil traders as they spend millions of dollars chartering crude tankers in the quest for an edge in the market.

This month, off the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda, top executives from oil-trading houses Vitol Group and Gunvor Group will bankroll a very different kind of seaborne combat: the 35th edition of the America’s Cup sailing race.

Read on.

May 4th, 2017 by admin

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As expected, in any breeze at all, the Bermuda America’s Cup will be sailed entirely above the water if Emirates Team New Zealand’s most recent practice is any indication.  Watch the 11:30 mark of this video from AC junkie MyIslandHomeBermuda for an incredible sequence of foiling tack/foiling rounding/foiling gybe and note the stability on the Kiwi AC50; is ETNZ once again too stable for speed, or do they finally have it right?


April 24th, 2017 by admin

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Screenshot 2017-04-18 13.18.55

With just a few short months left until the America’s Cup circus is over, the PR and publicity flacks and the sponsors who pay them are getting a little crazy, at least going by the latest endeavor promoted by Ben Ainslie Racing and their sponsors at 11th Hour.  We’re talking about what we’re calling the Lionfish Roomba, a new underwater robotic vehicle designed to vacuum up the invasive fish from the depths around Bermuda.  Chris Clarey’s NY Times profile of the new robot points out that the company behind it – RSE – was actually founded by the guy who invented the Roomba.  And the chances of it actually making a dent in the exploding lionfish population?  Somewhere between slim and fuck all.

The designers of the underwater Roomba say the robot will “enable the mass capture of lionfish below depths reachable by sport divers, where the population expands unchecked. At the same time, RSE will launch a crowdfunding campaign to support the final development of the robot as well as resources to bring it to market in scale.”  In other words, they don’t have the money to actually create it, so they’re trying to gin up some support from wealthy sailing aficionados (while their eyes are on Bermuda) to help pay to develop it.

The problems with the new toy are numerous: First, they believe it needs to be under $1000 to be successful.  Considering what a good drone costs, we’d be shocked if they can get the costs down to double that for what is essentially an underwater drone – with camera, suction, and shock treatment included – that can deal with the pressure at 400 feet below the surface.  Second, their hypothesis – that the lack of predators has made lionfish easy to catch with the robot – ignores the speed with which populations adjust to new predators.  Third, the numbers just don’t add up: Lionfish breed like rabbits and reach sexual maturity quickly, so you’d need an army of these suckers to accomplish anything.  And an army will simply teach the fish to avoid them even more quickly.  Lionfish will disappear only when fishermen have an inventive to destroy them, either through the bounties already existing in some places or via government and private subsidies.  A robot vacuum ain’t gonna do it.

There’s something of a launch on April 19th in Bermuda, though we think they should have waited one more day before they splash the fish Roomba.  As an idea that must have been dreamt up after a big bong rip, a 4/20 introduction would’ve been perfect!

That ends today’s biology section of Sailing Anarchy!

April 18th, 2017 by admin

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Bravo to Groupama for maybe the best foiling tack we’ve seen yet from an AC cat, along with a pretty good dismount from what appears to be the wing trimmer getting clear from danger with style!

Go here for more from the local videographer who caught yet another AC oops, and stay up to date on Franck & Friends in the Team France thread.


April 11th, 2017 by admin

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EXCLUSIVE: AC BREAKING (LITERALLY) – This afternoon Artemis Racing looks to have killed their America’s Cup 45T – the test and trial horse for the AC50 they hope to challenge the big boys with.  The scene, posted by an anarchist in the Artemis thread, looks way too much like the fatal AC72 breakup for comfort, and we hope everyone made it out without major injuries.  Given the radio silence on team social media, we’re not sure if that’s the case, but he one thing is for sure: Artemis continues to be the unluckiest team in the modern AC.

UPDATE: The same guy who posted the shot wrote ‘all are OK’, and he’s reliable.  Whether the team’s AC program is capable of winning is another matter…

April 4th, 2017 by admin

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SA’er ‘~Stingray~’ flipped and resized the available AC50 shots for an effective comparison of the different design features vinyl decals for the battle of Bermuda, and you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black (or navy).  10 feet of bow are required to be contructed in the competitors home country, but given the lack of visible distinction between the competitors, why even bother?

So while the hulls are basically one-design, there’s still plenty to get excited about, especially if you geek out on foils, human power equations, and hydraulic valve response times – not that you’d know about if if you followed the official America’s Cup newsfeed.  This morning, our inbox lit up with the groundbreaking news from ACEA that they hired someone new to sell America’s Cup branded clothing. Incredible! [/sarcasm]

As anyone who’s been paying attention knows, the Cup will be won by the boat with the best foils and the most efficient rig.  Unless that one breaks, capsizes, or crashes – or is sunk to the bottom by a co-conspirator as Grant seems worried about in this excellent Chris Clarey NYT article.

Wanna find out whose got the latest edge?  Stay informed (and annoyed) on the America’s Cup Anarchy forum.



March 6th, 2017 by admin

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