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Category Archives: America’s Cup

America’s Cup 35 campaign started

America's Cup

America’s Cup 35 campaign started

I’ve been covering the America’s Cup for some time, but realize I forgot to say anything about the no 34 campaign because I was so busy with watching the thriller unfold when the Kiwi’s lost the cup to Oracle after they had build up a lead of 8-1 wins which Jimmy Spithill was able to claw back entirely to win 9-8. I’ve never seen such a comeback in sailing nor any other sport.

The rules for the 35st Cup have been negotiated by defender Oracle Team USA, via Golden Gate Yacht Club and Team Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the Challenger of Record.

  • A three year racing program from 2015 to 2017 with every race counting towards qualification and/or points in the final America’s Cup Match
  • At least six America’s Cup World Series events per year in 2015 and 2016 to be raced in the AC45 class. All teams have an opportunity to host an event in their home country
  • An America’s Cup Qualifiers series in 2017 involving all teams, with a bonus point in the America’s Cup Match at stake
  • America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs for the top four challenger teams to emerge from the Qualifiers
  • The America’s Cup Match, featuring the defender, ORACLE TEAM USA against the top challenger. The first team to win 7 points will win the America’s Cup

AC 62

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The cup match itself will be sailed in a new AC62 yacht – a foiling, wing sail catamaran sailed by 8 crew – to be raced in all events in 2017

Apart from Team Australia, a British (Ben Ainsley Racing or BAR) and an Italian team (Luna Rossa Challenge) have come forward as challengers. I hope at the end of the entry period, which is open from June 9 through August 8, 2014. I really hope we will be seeing a Dutch Challenger as we see a Dutch entry for the coming Volvo Ocean Race.

America’s Cup 34 Season Started

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America’s Cup 34 Season Started

I’ve just been watching the above footage of the first AC72 Louis Vuiton Cup race. Strangely you see just one 72ft catamaran compete: Emirates Team New Zealand is the only one. It was scheduled to compete against Luna Rossa which announced not to compete in this race. The problem is that due to the fact there was a fatal accident in which British Olympic Medal winner Andrew “Bart” Simpson died when the Artemis Team AC72 capsized in May, the Race committee added 37 new rules to the Racing Rules, 2 of which the Luna Rossa team decline. They wanted a ruling by the international jury, but the jury doesn’t convene until after the first race…..

The AC Cup site says

Italy’s Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena said at the opening Skippers’ Press Conference that his team might not take part in Sunday’s first scheduled race of the Louis Vuitton Cup until the International Jury hears its complaint about the Safety Rules.

“We’re extremely disappointed by this,” said America’s Cup Chief Executive Stephen Barclay. “First and foremost, this is an affront to the fans who’ve been waiting three and half years for the first race.”

The Italian skipper said he would decide on Saturday whether to race or not.

The Safety Rules, generated from the 37 Safety Recommendations created in the wake of the death of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson on May 9 were agreed in principle by all four teams on May 22. Subsequently, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa said they weren’t happy with two of those recommendations and have challenged the procedure by which they became rules of the regatta by lodging protests with the International Jury.

The International Jury is scheduled to meet on Monday.

“All the challenger boats are in measurement trim and can race,” confirmed Regatta Director Iain Murray. “To win the America’s Cup you have to go out and win races. If you don’t turn up, you don’t win races, you don’t get points, you don’t win the America’s Cup.”

“What everyone will struggle to understand is Sirena saying he’s taking his stance on principle,” added Barclay. “This is the most unprincipled action I can think of because Luna Rossa’s case is before the Jury. There is no reason not to compete, not to try and put the first score of the regatta on the board.

“This gesture has no merit, will not get any sympathy and hurts fans, the other teams, their partners and guests, the city of San Francisco and all our stakeholders too,” Barclay continued.

“I urge Sirena to race. Having the Italian boat on the start line on Sunday is best for everyone, including Luna Rossa.”

Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand said: “We’re here, we’re ready to go racing. Whether Luna Rossa decides to race or not, we’ll be out there, spending time on the race course.”

However, the Luna Rossa version is more straight forward:

July 2, 2013
Luna Rossa protests the Race Director

San Francisco, 2nd of July 2013 – Today the team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 will file a protest before the International Jury of the 34th America’s Cup against the measures introduced by the Regatta Director on Friday 29th of June (Regatta Notices 185 and 189).

Luna Rossa considers that, by issuing these documents, the Regatta Director has blatantly breached the rules governing the 34th America’s Cup and has exceeded his jurisdiction and authority.

As everybody knows, one of the fundamental pillars of any America’s Cup is the Class Rule, which was proposed by the Defender and accepted by the Challengers at the moment in which they challenge.

It can only be changed with the unanimous consent of the competitors (AC72 Class Rule – Art. 4), as it has been the case more than a dozen times in this Cup.

This is the fundamental guarantee that preserves the rights of the challengers and prevents the Defender -or any other third party – to change the rules of the game abruptly and/or unilaterally, as the Regatta Director is trying to do in this case: a clear attempt to make illegal our boat just days before the start of the event, with the excuse of safety.

Luna Rossa is indeed in favour of the introduction of new and more stringent safety regulations (it has approved 35 out of the 37 Recommendations of the Regatta Director), but the measures regarding rudders, rudder elevators as well as the increased displacement have nothing to do with safety, since their only reason and effect to increase the speed and performance of the boat.

Luna Rossa has also asked that the protest is heard before the first race of the Round Robins, scheduled the 7th of July (Luna Rossa vs. Emirates Team New Zealand).

As it was clearly stated at the press briefing in Alameda the 17th of May, Luna Rossa is eager to race in the 34th America’s Cup and be respectful of the rules governing it, but it will not accept any imposition contrary to the rules under which it has challenged.


On Twitter the Race Director claimed that the Jury could not convene earlier as it is under ISAF Rule.
I would say the Race Director could have postponed this race until the Jury had reached a decision. It is clear to me that Luna Rossa will now also seek and get a redress by the Jury…double work…to keep the public and sponsors satisfied??

America’s Cup 33: Cup won by BMW Oracle for the USA!

Subject to the hearing of a protest from Alinghi, the BMW Oracle trimaran has just won the second race in the best of 3 contest and the Auld Mug is probably back to the USA.

The latest update is that Alinghi has withdrawn its protest, so the BMW Oracle win seems definitive.

Happy Valentine’s Day for the US of A:-)

Last edited by Happy Hotelier on February 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Ameria’s Cup 33: Beat My Wing – Alinghi 1 – 0

A tweet coined BMW Oracle aptly Beat My Wing. Why aptly? Because BMW Oracle uses a very high tech new type of wing sail. It looks like an airplane wing and in the upwind leg they even took away their jib and let the wing sail do all the work. Truly amazing technology:

Here you can see the main sail’s wing form. Usually sails are made of one or another soft material, in the early days of sailing it used to be cotton. The BMW Oracle wing has a rigid structure. Like in an airplane wing the aft part can be trimmed separately from the front part to have a proper wing form on either tack. Between the front part and the aft part there is a split that varies according to the trimming and provides a venturi effect like the jib and mainsail split in the more traditional setting.

In an amazing downwind leg that BMW Oracle entered with a 3.26 minute (approximately 1 statutory mile) lead over Alinghi, it simply sailed away from Alinghi with a lower course and a higher speed than Alinghi to win with a ten minutes delta (approximately 3.5 km lead) and then Alinghi had to make a penalty turn, because of a near collision in the dial up to the start when tacking shortly before the start in the way of BOR while BOR clearly had to start luffing before Alinghi had completed its tack.

Another quote: Alinghi’s Sail is Fail, Bor’s Wing is King

17:22
Alinghi appear not to have completed their penalty properly and so the final delta is 15 minutes and 28 seconds.
17:08
And USA cross the finish line to provisionally win Race 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup. Delight for the American team and certain vindication in these conditions for the concept of the solid wing sail and the trimaran platform.
16:53
Alinghi shedding some water ballast again trying to keep the power on in the lighter conditions. Something like 10 minutes to the finish line.
16:46
Hard to judge what the delta will be, but the biggest recent Cup Match margins were in the 27th America’s Cup in 1988, the Deed of Gift ‘mis-match’, when USA’s Stars and Stripes consecutively defeated New Zealand’s KZ1 by 18 minutes and 15 seconds and then 21 minutes and 10 seconds.
16:43
Over half way down the downwind leg now.
16:37
USA extending all the time, sailing deeper and faster all the time than Alinghi who are now 3440 metres behind. Certainly the consensus at the moment is that the power and efficiency of the BMW ORACLE Racing Team wing is actually more telling downwind.
16:26
So USA is making 26 knots downwind and seem to consistently be able to fly their windward hulls for longer, peaking now at 28.5 knots of boat speed. Wind speed at the finish is eight knots at 160 degrees. And great work from Harold Bennett and his crew getting this race away, a great spectacle.
16:24
Alinghi gybe first, USA respond almost immediately. USA leading by 2980 metres or so.
16:13
And USA peak speed there is around 25 knots as they spear deeper and faster ‘downind’ than Alinghi in a puff, and as soon as they get their bow lower and sail faster than Alinghi for any length of time then their gains multiply. Now over 2000 metres of lead to USA. Big changes in course as the apparent wind builds and the leader powers up, Jimmy Spithill USA helmsman bringing the bow down and sailing deep and fast. Alinghi pressing well too.
16:11
So net on that upwind leg BMW Oracle pulled back something around 5 minutes on Alinghi, including that initial deficit.