View Full Version : America's Cup

09-19-2013, 07:17 PM
For anyone interested in sailing see the truly spectacular racing for the America's cup (the cup is named after the schooner "America" not the America in USA:))

If you are into close racing this has to be the closest to heaven for you

This is the Nascar of yachting. The whole event presentation is technology on steroids.

These boats are truly awesome.

They do 40knots or more downwind in 20knots of breeze :eek:
They do 30knots up wind in 20 knots of breeze:eek:

09-20-2013, 12:24 AM
What is it now, 8-2? And most races involved several minutes of seperation? Other than the starts, not sure it's the stuff heart palpatations are made of. And since when did Americas Cup boats cancel for winds that don't even involve a small craft warning? The boats are awesome, but I'm not sure 'heaven' is descriptive ... :rolleyes:

09-20-2013, 05:39 AM
Unfortunately, because these boats are so fast, the wind acting on the sails is the apparent wind, not just the "normal" wind
So....in 20knots of wind the speeds can be 40 knots and its this wind that the sails actually see. This means the actual stresses and strains the sails & the boats have to deal with are equivalent to a boat at anchor in 40 knots of wind.

In a normal boat it may takes 30 of seconds for boats to gain or lose places, but in these over powered monsters its down to single seconds. Sure, winning margins may be measured in tens of seconds, but a lead may change because the boat dropped off their foils (the plane) for mere seconds.

The other thing that is truly remarkably is the media technology. The cameras, the computer generated graphics during the race, the instant replays of events and the computer graphic simulations make the media coverage to the general population both entertaining and informative.

I always thought the NFL had some of the best broadcast technology in the world, but this coverage may well be a generation ahead.

As far as the score line, its really 8-4 (the USA team deliberately cheated last year and were penalized for this series). Whether people agree with the penalty or not that is how the rules aficionados saw it and acted.

One thing to remember is that these teams may well represent countries, but they are commercial corporate entities and the big bucks are made by the winners. Just look at the nationalities of the skippers, tacticians, managers & crews.

10-14-2013, 09:47 PM
Well its all done & dusted

....or is it....

..well remember ORACLE TEAM USA started with a 2 race penalty for cheating in last years series? (they secretly altered their boat illegally)

...well it turns out the rules say the foils can only be altered manually.

So what is manually. It turns out that oracle added an "electronically automated stability system" to their boat, halfway through the series. (when the score was 8-2). This was where all that upwind speed apparently came from. While the kiwis had to manually adjust the foils the oracle team did not.

It comes down to what "manually adjusted" means. The foils are adjusted using hydraulics. That is what the grinders are doing. They are providing the actual force to move the foils. The hydraulic force is then used by another crew member to "manually adjust the foils". This crew member works out (using his knowledge and perhaps a computer) what to do with the foils based on boat speed, direction etc. Manual adjustment.

Well the oracle team used hydraulic pressure generated by the grinders but they used electronics to do the calculations and carry out adjustments to the foils. The reason for doing it this way is that you can have feedback systems that a infinitely faster than the decision making of a crew member. You can make continuous minute adjustments to optimize the foils at all times.

Effectively. the grinders provide the power and the computers do the rest. The provision of the power (in this case hydraulic power) is provided by a man (or a couple) Is this "manual adjustments". Apparently Oracle think so.

If this is accepted as "manual adjustment" then why not just use battery power PROVIDED the batteries are charged manually (on shore each night 20 men could pedal manual generators).

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall if a challenge was to go to the courts.

My guess will be that it will be "negotiated" away so the spectacle isn't tarnished and the rules will be quietly amended to prevent this sort of thing happening again.

If they were to adopt this definition of "manual adjustment" then why not have every thing controlled in this way. All you need then is the skipper & the tactician. (and the grinders but a lot of the time they just grind away.)

Apart from this little hiccup, it was still a fantastic spectacle.

Edit: clarified a point when the actual alterations were done.