Tag Archives: Bermuda Sailing

America’s Cup – Teams now racing in Bermuda…

Oracle Team USA sailing on the Great Sound, Bermuda Sam Greenfield/Oracle Team USA http://www.oracleteamusa.com
Oracle Team USA sailing on the Great Sound, Bermuda Sam Greenfield/Oracle Team USA http://www.oracleteamusa.com

Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, has come out before to set up the race courses, continue to learn more about the venue and the weather, and conduct racing that gives the teams an opportunity to line up against each other.

This is the third time ACRM has conducted this type of racing in Bermuda. But with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers now just over four months away, there is a renewed sense of urgency. This may be practice, but the real thing starts soon, so undertaking the discipline of a simulated race day is something the competitors are taking seriously.

“There’s a lot to it for the teams. Suddenly there is a procedure and process of immovable times that you have to meet and be prepared for,” Murray says. “That’s not usually a part of everyday life. Usually you can be a bit more flexible. But now you have to get to the race course, ready to race, by the start time.”

On the water, Murray says this is an opportunity for him and ACRM to continue the learning process.

“This is the third time we’ve done this. We’re getting a handle on the performance of these boats, the speed and angles, which helps us set up the race course,” he says.

“We’re also thinking about how we fit everyone in around the race course – the superyachts, the spectator boats, the finishing line off Cross Island, the starting box. There’s competition for real estate out there and we’re working on that.”

Chris Draper, the wing trimmer and sailing team manager for SoftBank Team Japan says these sessions are invaluable.

“It’s great because you’re on the race course area, so there’s a local knowledge build there,” he says.

“You also get to check in and see where you’re at against the other teams. These aren’t the boats we’re going to race in the America’s Cup but a lot of our thinking and strategy is all played out in these races, so it’s a good check in.

“The limitations are that you don’t necessarily have your race equipment, in terms of boards, for example, so you’ve got what you’ve got and it’s a case of just getting out there and doing your best with it. But all the teams are in that same position.”

Draper says the simulation is about more than just what happens on the water. The shore crew gets practiced in race day preparation as well.

“The more you can make a race day the same as a practice day, the better,” he says. “If we can look at exactly how long it takes us to get the boat ready, and launched and through our pre-start routine, the more we’ll be ready when the real racing starts in May.”

Only four of the six America’s Cup teams are based in Bermuda to participate in this race period. But Iain Murray says the offer to conduct racing has been made to all teams, and Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand gain as well.

“Firstly, they’ll benefit from everything we’re learning out here. That benefits all the teams,” he says. “The offer for us to go and run courses and put the discipline in to a race day is a discussion we’ve had with both the French and Kiwi teams and there is still talk about this.”

But for the next couple of weeks, the focus will be on Bermuda’s Great Sound, where the America’s Cup race course will be getting a work out from the four Bermuda based teams.

from:  sail-world.com

Oracle broke rules against NZ in America’s Cup: Claim

Oracle Team USA's third AC45S test platform is christened "Oracle 17" by team member Luciana Corral.
Oracle Team USA’s third AC45S test platform is christened “Oracle 17” by team member Luciana Corral.

Oracle Team USA has denied an American journalist’s claims they took out the 2013 America’s Cup by breaking the rules.

Team New Zealand had been winning the competition but Oracle made an incredible comeback, winning 8 races in a row to steal the cup.

Bruce Knecht has written a new electronic book called The Comeback and says the team came up with a novel way to go about pulling off the ultimate come-from-behind victory.

The crew used a method called ‘pumping’, which flapped the yacht’s wing providing extra propulsion.

Mr Knecht says it was key to Oracle’s comeback, but there were also other contributing factors.

“It was one of the crucial factors that gave Oracle the edge and enabled them to pull off this incredible comeback.”

But he says it was breaking the rules.

“They were moving it back and forth almost like a bird flapping its wing, and what that essentially did was convert human power into propulsion, something that is not permitted.”
Mr Knecht interviewed crucial members of Oracle Team USA and says that they didn’t necessarily know what they were doing was against the rules. He says because of that, the crew told him exactly what they did.

The practice wasn’t picked up on cameras because the wing was being turned by the yacht’s grinders.

“The so-called grinders are always turning those handles, constantly, and it’s never clear exactly what they’re grinding,” says Mr Knecht.

He says the wings wouldn’t have been visibly flapping because the crowds, cameras and journalists were too far away to tell.

“To move the wing against the wind was a big challenge. They were only able to do it because six members of the crew were working as hard as they could to turn the winches. Bringing in the wing, releasing it, bringing it in again, it essentially converted the power, the human power, of what those six guys were doing — the strongest guys on the boat in fact — into added propulsion” says Mr Knecht.

Oracle Team USA is currently sailing in Bermuda, and to say they’re slightly bemused by Mr Knecht’s claims is an understatement.

Spokesman Peter Rusch says Mr Knecht is referring to the wrong racing rules — there was a specific edition written for the America’s Cup, and pumping isn’t in there.

Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton wouldn’t be drawn on whether his team questioned the pumping, but commentators in New Zealand say course umpires certainly didn’t.

“Within the sport everyone pretty much knows how the boats work,” says commentator Peter Lester. “I don’t think anything was missed, I just think a book’s come out and he’s looking for a bit of a rating game to sell a few.”

So Oracle may have pumped, and pushed the limits, but it doesn’t change the result.

Knecht is a former foreign correspondent and senior writer for The Wall Street Journal.

His new electronic book The Comeback: How Larry Ellison’s Team Won the America’s Cup has just been released.

source:  newshub.co.nz

Oracle Team USA Capsizes 45-Foot Catamaran in Bermuda

Oracle Team USA capsizes 45 catamaran in Bermuda on Wednesday.
Oracle Team USA capsizes 45 catamaran in Bermuda on Wednesday.
Two-time defending America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA capsized a 45-foot catamaran while training in Bermuda on Wednesday.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill said there were no injuries to the six sailors aboard and only slight damage to some electronics when the boat rolled over onto its port hull, the tip of its wing sail resting on the water. The boat was quickly righted and sailed back to the dock. He anticipates the crew will be sailing again on Thursday.

Spithill said the boat was gybing in 15 to 20 knots of wind and powered up quickly and rolled over.

“That’s what these boats are like,” Spithill told The Associated Press by phone. “You’re pushing it. This isn’t the first capsize and probably won’t be the last one.”

There have been several capsizes since the America’s Cup went to catamarans starting with the 2013 regatta. The worst was when British sailor Andrew Simpson was killed when Artemis Racing’s catamaran broke apart when on a test run on San Francisco Bay in May 2013.

Spithill said Wednesday’s accident was a less-serious crash than when Oracle’s 72-foot catamaran pitch-poled, or capsized end-over-end, on San Francisco Bay in 2012, causing significant damage.

“That’s the difference when you do it sideways,” Spithill said. “The key point is once you’re over is getting the boat up quickly. We’ve got a great procedure in place, an action plan, and it’s good to be able to put that in place and see if it works. The guys were able to get the boat up really quickly. If you can do that, there really is minimal damage.”

Spithill said it was similar to a race in the 2013 America’s Cup when Emirates Team New Zealand’s 72-foot catamaran rose up on one hull and hung in the air for a few heart-stopping seconds before righting itself. Spithill expertly steered his boat away from a possible collision. Oracle rallied from match point in that series to win eight straight races and retain the Auld Mug.

“It’s never a good feeling,” Spithill said. “Everyone’s trained for it. It’s just a fact of the sport now that when you’re pushing that hard it can happen anytime.”

The accident happened just three days after an America’s Cup World Series regatta ended in Oman in light conditions.

The next stop on the America’s Cup World Series circuit is New York May 7-8.

“Given how much the teams are pushing now, it’ll be an exciting thing in New York,” Spithill said. “Imagine if we get certain conditions. It’s just a fact of these boats.”

The 2017 America’s Cup will be sailed in Bermuda.

source: abcnews