America’s Cup updates

31 thoughts on “America’s Cup updates

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  1. In the Press Conference today, Jimmy Spithill referred to the British Team as ‘the Poms’. Is this an affectionate reference from an Australian or would this fall foul of the PC brigade ?

  2. Luna Rossa looked fast and very stable in the Semis. However they were never under any pressure. The USA had overcome massive hurdles just to get there and as far as we know had only rebuilt and was not improved. The winning margins were not huge, the boat speeds not dissimilar. And the biggest difference was the handling in maneuvers.

    I think we can conclude that LR has improved but not a quantum leap. I don’t think we can even guess whether ITA or GBR have the faster boat and won’t have a clue till they start racing.

    If the boats are similar in speed GBR wins. It will be fascinating. I will be surprised if many of the races are a walk over!

  3. I have no doubt that the team coaches together with Ainslie and Scott have been working the team hard to improve performance and will continue throughout this campaign. I don’t get the impression that the ego’s in the British team are beyond acceptance of their own failings as was evident in the US team and which lead to their downfall. The fact that LR dissed the UK team in todays and earlier press conferences shows that they see them as a serious competitor.
    Its a shame that the US weren’t able to compete today but it is clear that LR are quick and the after guard are good. I am not convinced that having the main sheet trimmer stand at the back of the mainsail when he has nothing better to do is a match for having Scott as a permanent tactician though.
    As for being PC, its probably best that the “keep standing on his neck” came from an Aus and not a yank.

  4. Can anyone confirm the significance of the light colours on the sternpost of the yachts? Is it still that green indicates when a boat is within 3 boat lengths of a course limit or a turning mark, red indicates a protest and blue indicates a penalty? I take it they are not for the viewers benefit as they have it all on their TV but for the crew who are generally quite busy….

  5. Let’s hope the two boats are well matched in speed on the 13th then we’ll see some real action at the start. Ben is master at this in Fins and Lasers but how far will he dare to push it at 40 KTS.
    Ref Payback from the Poms I think that’s just good-natured warm up between Jimmy and Ben, they go back a long way.
    Sorry Nick I can’t throw any more light on the lights haven’t even noticed a blue one but I think you’ve probably got it right.

  6. Today’s stats

    Race 1 even start LR faintest boat speed edge got them the 1st cross and more or less forced USA to sail further with 2 extra tacks for a win of @ 35 seconds.

    Not conclusively a ‘boat speed’ win and not consistent with LR claim that they’ve had a measurable 10% speed gain since the round robins!

    Race 2 was a disaster lead was only just over 100m before the foil stopped after they lost the start. Not sure I’d be too complacent if I was in the ITA camp tonight having lost 4 – 0 to Ineos previously.

    Should be exciting!

  7. Lights are visual markers from umpires etc. I’m pretty certain they mark penalties and boundaries as a minimum but regret I’m not sure in what sequence as we get the info via the graphics – I’ve not really looked!

    1. I don’t really understand betting and odds but it seems to me, if I get it right, that the Italians aren’t being given the respect they probably deserve in these odds …..

  8. Pom in Australian was a derogatory term like bastard was. Recent generations of ockers use both terms in an affectionate way if not a grudgingly respectful way.
    As a fellow sailor and fellow competitor I expect he was being ruefully respectful. Certainly not being insulting.
    Language is a funny thang.

  9. Foil Video

    I watched it with fascination and to me it discussed some of the more obscure issues without really shedding much light on the outcomes.

    Here’s what I think high aspect foils (long and thin) give a better lift drag ratio (before cavitation) than low aspect (short and fat). Picture a high performance glider very long thin wings. In an earlier video they discussed the box rule for foils in the AC and highlighted a “loophole” that may allow NZ to have one set of flap controls per arm than two saving weight. So the T foil on NZ should have less weight and higher lift for lower drag – all good.

    However lower aspect foils (wings or sails) are more versatile across a greater speed range generating much more lift and can sustain higher angles of attack hence straining glider has lower aspect wings more versatile, easier to fly and a lot less likely to stall. From tgat perspective Ineos should be more versatile and better in manoeuvres.

    That’s the easy bit – the next is shamelessly stolen from ‘Simon’ the speed sailing guru who built his first foiling cat when he was 15:-

    They talk a lot of rubbish. I’ve commented several times.

    With AC Most the mass is lead. The foils are ballasted.

    They don’t understand the different effect of Y and T foils. Because there is leeway the Y foils have an effective increased AoA on the outside section.

    I think the more swept back LE on Ineos foils is to help stop and remove ventilation.

    The high taper ratios keep area in the Center of the foil where it doesn’t get ventilate. (If you are unaware ventilation similar to cavitation is very bad).

  10. The other point they mention is the wider base being more stable “like being further out on the trapeze. This has been a dinghy sailor fallacious argument for years. A 13 stone crew at 6’ 6” will exert much more righting moment on a dinghy whilst trapezing that the same eight guy who is 5’ 6”. The tall guy can increase this effect by stretching his arms above his head. Obvious eh?

    Well competitive trapeze boat crews are normally tall and thin so it must be true. Basic physics tells me that the height of the crew has much less effect than you’d think – if the trapeze hook is roughly in the middle of the body mass it’s the leg length that matters so halving the advantage of height. Putting your arms above your head will make little difference.

    With the foil all the force goes up the central arm so the length of the foils on either side of the arm will make practically no difference especially in a T foil that is generating equal lift on either side of the central support. The central support of a seesaw supports the same mass if two equal weighted boys sit on it at either end or both halfway in from the seat to the centre.

  11. Look guys I seem to be on a personal mission. I sent some more thoughts to Nick pointing out I was neither knowledgeable enough or qualified to lecture – he insists I post anyway so if it’s wrong , boring or both it’s his fault!

    I don’t know whether the vid boys were right that 50kts is the limit for conventional foils before cavitation is inevitable but they don’t sound far off hence a lot of thought must have gone into avoiding ventilation (air being sucked down the low pressure side). One of the problems with the ’sound barrier’ which was in essence caused by the air becoming de facto incompressible at that speed creating shock waves. In essence foils are wings in and incompressible medium so more akin to supersonic wings than gliders. You don’t get high aspect zero v supersonic jets. Ineos was faster army top speed than NZ before Christmas. If Ineos works I think there’s much more potential in her foils than NZs..

    Having said that I don’t even know of most of the complications let alone the answers. We have no idea how this will play out in practice but I’d confidently put Ineos as favourite against the Ities on past performance. NZ have evolved and we’ve no idea but both teams committed to a design philosophy years ago and once committed they couldn’t realistically change tack – you were only allowed to build 6 sets of foils so if you started on T foils and they didn’t work well it was difficult to start again with Y foils or vice versa. Even though we saw NZ as the firm boat in the pre christmas regatta the Y foil approach still sounds like the right philosophy to me and if the boats go on developing I’d expect that route to be followed but…….

  12. As development continues (presumably) and with the Brits labouring under one ‘strike’ for technical violation, does anyone know if the slate is wiped clean at some stage through the campaign or does the prospect of a disqualification (one race as I understand it) linger to the very end?
    Brian, I expect you to know the answer !!

  13. I think it’s wiped before the final. I saw an interview where Ben specifically said it lasted throughout the Prada Cup. He didn’t specifically say it ended there but I ‘assumed’ that he would have said to the end of the competition if it still hung over their heads in the Cup itself.

    Can’t see it would be ‘fair’ if NZ started with an advantage gained by an infringement in a series that they were not part of.

  14. Looks like it is too close to call from the experts then ! Maybe it will be down to having the sailing equivalent of Dan Carter / Tom Brady sailing the Ineos boat that will make all the difference

  15. The raw speed of the Italian yacht is ominous and they look slick.
    The British team need an inshore course with shifty winds – the organisers (and TV companies) will want it to go to the wire and this would promote closer racing with more lead changes.
    Game on……

  16. So is that game over for Ineos ? Auckland has gone into lockdown so it will be interesting to see when racing re-commences.

    1. I am clinging to the memory of 2013 in San Francisco when Ben Ainslie was drafted into the Oracle Team when they were 8-1 down. They went on to win 8-9. What is worrying this time is that the Italian yacht seems faster, points higher and doesn’t seem to make mistakes. Unfortunately, I can hear the fat lady clearing her throat !!!

  17. I think the speed issues are to do with being trailing boat and getting dirty wind or being pushed away from the windier side of course. They need to nail the starts. Hopefully they will be able to practice in lockdown !!

    1. That’s just the pessimist in me. Britannia has never been in front and has always been playing ‘catch up’ in the dirty air. We can only assume their relative speed comparisons. Yes, they need to start better which has always been Ben Ainslie’s strength….

  18. Sir Ben has not won many starts even in the round robin so good to see he can do it. Very little wind forecast for Sunday which will leave 5 races. unless they extend the series we will need all of them!

  19. I’m sorry to say – it looks like the rather large lady is stood in the middle of the stage, has got her songbook out, has asked the band to lead her in and has asked the audience to be quiet and ……

  20. Well, it’s over for the Brits and the agonising 170 year wait goes on. It must be accepted that the Italians had a faster yacht which pointed higher in the conditions experienced for the Prada Cup Final – oh, and they sailed her extremely well!
    It would be churlish to suggest that the situation might have been different if the breeze had been stronger as it is irrelevant, and Luna Rossa is best placed to challenge the NZ yacht for the America’s Cup. It is significant that the Italian challenge secured the position of ‘Challenger of Record’ (COR) immediately after NZ won the AC in Bermuda by being able to demonstrate that they had the funding and structure in place to mount a challenge. Hopefully with the continued involvement of INEOS, the Brits may be able to secure the COR position as it is enormously helpful in that it gives the COR involvement in the specification and a much earlier start on the design and development. It is rumoured that they have already ‘cut a deal’ with NZ should they retain the Cup.
    Much has been made of the involvement of Mercedes F1 in the British campaign. INEOS bought a 33% stake in Mercedes F1 but not until September 2020 and Britannia was built by then and launched in October 2020. Their involvement can only have been superficial, but it may have contributed to the enormous improvement over the Christmas period – who knows and what could their involvement yield if they started with a blank sheet of paper?
    So it’s on to the America’s Cup ‘proper’ starting on March the 6th and I will be just as captivated. I will sit as a fascinated neutral and I will maintain the ‘America’s Cup Updates’ page on this website encouraged by the amount of interest that has been shown. The site had 373 hits yesterday which helps to make the effort worthwhile – keep logging on and commenting!

  21. 🥲🍺 Thanks for keeping this going Nick I think you have summed it all up for us. It’s only a yacht race and there’s always next time.

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