America’s Cup World Series is Underway0
The first race regatta of the America’s Cup World Series has now finished and was won by the winning yacht, Emirates New Zealand. The regatta was staged at Cascais in Portugal last week. There was tight competition as is usual with America’s Cup contenders as they raced in the AC 45 yachts that are all identical in size thus leaving it down to the tactics of the skipper and crew to use their skills to push their yacht to the limits.
Oracle, the baby of owner and CEO Larry Ellison, tried its best to come out tops but Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand showed their strengths and fought hard to win. They were closely pursued by an Artemis team that seemed to have managed to get their yacht into serious action and were finally placed second.
The next round is to take place in Plymouth, England. The Plymouth Sounds, offshore from the infamous Plymouth Hoe, are to be the staging post of the second round in mid September. The Plymouth waterfront is steeped in maritime history. It should be known by all Americans today as the launching point for the Pilgrim Fathers who in 1620 firmly established a new British colony on the shores of North America. Sir Francis Chichester also set sail from Plymouth in the 1960’s to complete an epic solo round the world voyage unaided.
Plymouth has always been a magnetic attraction for renowned yachtsmen and women from the around the globe and has been the host for the start and finish of many important sailing events including the Fastnet, Tall Ships and Clipper races as well as the Trans Atlantic races.
Plymouth Hoe supports an outstanding viewpoint to watch all maritime activities with plenty of space to watch the amazing AC45’s as they leap into action at speeds that will defy any racing yacht in decades earlier.
Around fifteen teams are expected to take part but after the series and the Luis Vuitton Cup is completed there will only be the challenger (the yacht that wins the series) and the defender (the yacht that won the last America’s Cup) who will take part in the final series in San Francisco hosted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club in 2013. The current AC 45’s launched in New Zealand earlier this year will be used for this set of regattas and they can reach speeds of 30 knots in favourable conditions but the design for the final AC 72’s yachts in 2013 will remain under lock and key.
The AC 45 is basically allowing crews to gain experience on wing sailed multihulls. The 45 has been designed to be used throughout the 2011 and 2012 in America’s Cup World Series action packed events before being substituted by the AC 72s for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the final challenger and defender series.
The AC 45 is a high-tech racing boat, powered by a wing sail that soars more than 20 meters above the deck and has already proven to be an outstanding performer in winds from 5 to 30 knots in recent sea trials in New Zealand. Seemingly, size doesn’t matter as it is actually quite simple to sail and can be manouvered with ease.
It appears that there was quite a challenge to design a yacht that would not only fit the racing and performance requirements, but could also fit inside a forty foot container when dismantled which is the usual shipping method for the America’s Cup World Series. If the yacht could not be dismantled then the cost of shipping would be quite prohibitive.
Tags: AC, AC 45, America's Cup. Racing Yacht, Cup World Series, Emirates New Zealand, New Zealand, Plymouth Hoe