Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Finals – The Hunting

Wow today’s racing took a few years off any Kiwi’s life, who was watching the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Finals between Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Artemis Racing.  Out of the 3 races each team took a win each.  The the last race was won by 1.3 seconds by ETNZ, after having a lead then miss judging the lay line into the final gate and having to do an unplanned gybe.

You can find a great round up races 4-6 over on LiveSailDie.

Each team seems to have a completely different strategy to winning a race.

Artemis are hitting out hard from the start, they have a lot of plenty of speed on a beam reach, having rolled and come from the lee to have the lead at the first mark.  This puts them in the lead and in a position which they can defend their lead from.  They very much become the hunted.

ETNZ seem to have a lethal up wind mode of being able to point higher than Artemis while maintain the same if not faster speed.  This gives them a greater Velocity Made Good (VMG), meaning they make progress to upwind towards the top mark a bit faster than Artemis do.  ETNZ keep themselves close to Artemis at the 2 mark (1st bottom mark) and can then start hunting. It’s obviously not much though, given how close the racing was today.  Although in saying that ETNZ once in the lead in a race so far have just extended their lead.

What will tomorrow bring?  Racing / coverage starts at 5:00am NZST

You can find some great coverage from LiveSailDie, they’re running a live blog during the racing.

Coverage can also be found on: Sky’s FanPass, Radio NZ (AM, FM, Freeview and Live Blog)

The Pitch Pole – Some Insight to ETNZ’s Capsize

Emirate’s Team New Zealand capsized (pitched poled) during the starting sequence of race 4 of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series semi finals against Britain’s Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (35th America’s Cup, Bermuda).

Some insights from Andy Claughton – Chief Technology Officer for Britain’s Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing who was a research and design coordinator in past Cup cycles from 2000 to 2007 with Team New Zealand.

A pitch pole resulting from a bear-away is an unforced error.  I know I’ve had a few bear-aways not go to plan that have sometimes ended up with me joining the swim team.  Ben Ainslie did a great job of putting the Kiwi’s in a tight spot, with the windward starting mark being close-ish.  Is this the tightest bear-away for the wind conditions, we’ve seen from a team in the 35th America’s Cup so far?

Bear-away’s can be tricky.  Key points to a successful bear-away are:

  • Get your boat flat before you initiate it – hike out more, and or easy your sails to remove the heel.
  • Keep it flat during the maneuver – you can use a combination of things to do this:
    • Move your body weight to maintain a near flat heel
    • Ease both sails during the maneuver; the jib should be just of luffing so it has maximum pull while only adding a minimum to the heeling moment.  Easy the main rapidly to allow the jib to pull your boat around/down, but not add anything to the heeling moment that you can’t balance.

sources: America’s Cup Yachting World – Elaine Bunting, Stuff