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Americas Cup

enpointe

Clanker
Before the World Series was introduced, they used to build two boats because that was how they trained. They didn’t race against the other teams until the round robin, so they had to tune up against their own reserve boat.

A lot dated now, but Warwick Collins novels Challenge and New World give a great feel for match racing rules. The rules haven’t changed much since he wrote the books 30 years ago, just that the boats go 4x faster so decision making must be crazy!
the Warwick Collins Novels are fab
 
Shore crew examine a hole in the hull of NYYC American Magic AC75 yacht Patriot. Photo / Will Trafford


It's got an ole in it.
To quote a certain disgraced American comedian,
"I ain't never seen no hole before". Ouch- to the OP refereshing thread after all the bollocks.
 
The American Magic capsize was caused by the leeward running back stay not being released in the tack. TBH that’s either a schoolboy error or a serious gear failing.

By way of explanation, back stays support the mast going forward and run from the masthead down to the stern. There are basically two types (hence the Luna Rosa comment below); fixed and running.

A lot of race boats simplify the rig by having a single, fixed back stay that comes down to the centre of the stern beyond the end of the boom. It can be tensioned, but is always in place.

Top end boat have runners coming down to the two sides of the boat at the stern. The boom cannot swing past them, so the leeward one is to be loose. When you tack or gybe, the old leeward stay has to be tensioned, while the old windward one has to be released. All this has to be co-ordinated through the evolution. Get it wrong and disaster awaits; fail to get the new windward back stay loaded and you drop the rig. Fail to release the old windward one and you broach out.

Also, the back stays control mast bend and, therefore, sail shape. The loads are massive; we grind 4-5 tons in on the TP52. I wonder what loads they’re running on the back stays; it will be huge.

Here’s a video of the capsize. America's Cup on LinkedIn: The American Magic Capsize | 14 comments
I raced on a boat that had twin running back stays and forward, a bob stay to put in the mast bend. Complete pig to get going properly, also fraught aboard as the owner had a melt down with every manoeuvre
 
I raced on a boat that had twin running back stays and forward, a bob stay to put in the mast bend. Complete pig to get going properly, also fraught aboard as the owner had a melt down with every manoeuvre
I think you mean a baby stay? A bob stay runs from the bow sprit down to the bow above the waterline?

A baby stay is usually found on a masthead rig (ie forestay goes to the masthead) that has runners. It controls pre-bend; the amount of bend set in to the rig at the dock. The runners on a masthead rig support the rig at the hounds, usually at the same height as the baby stay, so applying back stay straightens the rig. The old Nicholson 55s sloops had a removable baby stay; you only used the runners when the baby stay was in place and the boat was cutter rigged.

On a modern fractional rig, the forestay attaches some distance below the masthead and the back stays go to the masthead. Pre-bend is created by jacking the entire rig upwards and chocking it. Some boats (probably the AC85s) can adjust this under sail. We can’t; our jack can only be used alongside. Under way, loading up the back stays increases mast bend, because they are pulling the top of the rig backwards. It also tensions the forestay, which reduces sag and hardens up the sail entry.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
This weekend's revised racing schedule:
Saturday, 4pm (NZDT); INEOS v Prada
Sunday, 4pm (NZDT); INEOS v Prada
So have the Yanks pulled out?


Phnarrr. Phnarr.
 
So have the Yanks pulled out?


Phnarrr. Phnarr.
They’ve pulled out of the round robin. The way it works is the winner of the the round robin goes straight into the Prada cup final. The other two boats race off together in a semi-final to decide the other finalist. The winner of the Prada Cup final then races Emirates Team New Zealand for the Americas Cup.

They’re aiming to be back for the semi-final.
 
@bobthebuilder I haven't seen a decent comparator of the 4 boats' crew positions and roles, but they all seem to have slightly different configurations. Some roles are common to all, such as the main trim - controlled by one dedicated crewman from a palm device; sheet, traveller, outhauls, mast rotation and batten tension. Because they're not allowed self-tacking jibs, you need 2 dedicated crew for headsail trim (the only 2 that touch a rope in the whole crew).

INEOS has gone with 4 grinders on hydraulic pressure - others seem to be using 6. The INEOS grinders work individually and face outboard whereas the others work in pairs facing fore and aft. I imagine having as many crew as possible facing outboard has the advantage of more eyes on the water. INEOS also seems to be the only boat with a single dedicated nav/tac (Scott) - others double up as 2nd helms or even grinders.

Two flight controllers also seems the norm, adjusting the wing flaps and rudder rake. The guy on the lee side seems to be the one doing all the work, while some boats use the weather flight controller as an additional grinder.

Unlike the last Cup, none of them are using bicycles for grinding. I expect they'll be a few changes taking place before the main event when they work out who's operating the optimal configuration.
 
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Just an FYI chaps there are detailed updates on the Americas Cup in the Vendee Globe, PRADA cup, and the Jules Verne Trophy thread.

The Vendee is less than a few weeks away from the 1st boat arriving back in France.

The Jules Verne attempt for the fastest circumnavigation is well underway with the boat 700+nm ahead of the record at the last check.

The AC - PRADA cup is in pause mode atm.

Feel free to join us in that thread too.
 
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@bobthebuilder I haven't seen a decent comparator of the 4 boats' crew positions and roles, but they all seem to have slightly different configurations. Some roles are common to all, such as the main trim - controlled by one dedicated crewman from a palm device; sheet, traveller, outhauls, mast rotation and batten tension. Because they're not allowed self-tacking jibs, you need 2 dedicated crew for headsail trim (the only 2 that touch a rope in the whole crew).

INEOS has gone with 4 grinders on hydraulic pressure - others seem to be using 6. The INEOS grinders work individually and face outboard whereas the others work in pairs facing fore and aft. I imagine having as many crew as possible facing outboard has the advantage of more eyes on the water. INEOS also seems to be the only boat with a single dedicated nav/tac (Scott) - others double up as 2nd helms or even grinders.

Two flight controllers also seems the norm, adjusting the wing flaps and rudder rake. The guy on the lee side seems to be the one doing all the work, while some boats use the weather flight controller as an additional grinder.

Unlike the last Cup, none of them are using bicycles for grinding. I expect they'll be a few changes taking place before the main event when they work out who's operating the optimal configuration.
There’s a video on the America’s Cup website explaining the Ineos crew roles explained. Its not letting me embed it here; scroll down to 19 Jan.


I think they are unique in having a dedicated tactician? They actually have six grinders; the headsail trimmers double up. They also only have one flight controller; he seems to be able to fly the boat irrespective of whether he’s windward or leeward.

Luna Rosa uniquely has two helmsmen; one port and one starboard. Yet somehow, their tactician also grinds. Which might explain why they are having boundary issues.
 
There’s a video on the America’s Cup website explaining the Ineos crew roles explained.


I think they are unique in having a dedicated tactician? They actually have six grinders; the headsail trimmers double up. They also only have one flight controller; he seems to be able to fly the boat irrespective of whether he’s windward or leeward.

Luna Rosa uniquely has two helmsmen; one port and one starboard. Yet somehow, their tactician also grinds. Which might explain why they are having boundary issues.
Interesting that the grinders also have smaller roles around the boat - could one of those be the runners, or is that the responsibility of the main trim?
 
Interesting that the grinders also have smaller roles around the boat - could one of those be the runners, or is that the responsibility of the main trim?
I’ve been wondering how the back stays work given that we know they aren’t manual warps on winches. I’ve yet to see a camera angle that shows them releasing. I’m guessing they must be hydraulic, probably controlled of the main trimmer’s remote.

They don’t have to release far as these things fly downwind with the apparent wind well forward of the beam. But release they must.
 
I’ve been wondering how the back stays work given that we know they aren’t manual warps on winches. I’ve yet to see a camera angle that shows them releasing. I’m guessing they must be hydraulic, probably controlled of the main trimmer’s remote.

They don’t have to release far as these things fly downwind with the apparent wind well forward of the beam. But release they must.
I'm guessing the main trim console could have simplified "gybe", "tack", "tack and bear away" commands. Then everything gets done in a set sequence rather than having to govern each control separately.
 
@bobthebuilder you’re right, it was a baby stay, getting old. I remember the removable ones on the Nic55s. In this particular case, the baby stay was adjustable and was, or should have been, part of trimming the mast bend
 
If you listen to the on-board audio on Britannia you will hear them saying “your wheel” on every tack and gybe, then you see Ben nimble round aft of the boom. I thought it was odd to start with but that’s how they free Scott up as full time tactician
 
If you listen to the on-board audio on Britannia you will hear them saying “your wheel” on every tack and gybe, then you see Ben nimble round aft of the boom. I thought it was odd to start with but that’s how they free Scott up as full time tactician
And I think Peter Burling goes round the front of the mast on NZL - different cockpit layout with the driver in the front. It's like none of them have worked out the optimal layout yet.
 

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