The countdown is ticking until the very first match race of this 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda – but before then the six teams have a busy routine of qualifiers, new ships to launch and bases to open.
The initial match battle between your challenger and defenders Oracle Team USA begins on 17 June, 2017, just 200 days away. Between occasionally each group needs to introduce their AC50 racing design, and compete in Louis Vuitton America’s Cup ’round robins’, which begin on 26 May. Land Rover BAR, Groupama France and Emirates Team New Zealand also need to set up complete group bases in Bermuda. A pretty complete to-do list for the following couple of months then.
Brand new year, new boats
The teams are allowed to introduce their AC50s no earlier than 150 days prior to the start of Qualifiers, therefore by late December or early January we expect to begin to see the new America’s Cup course AC50s launched in Bermuda as the build-up to the Cup in June begins in earnest. These new catamarans, although over 20ft shorter versus ships found in the 2013 America’s Cup, remain two times as effective and significantly more advanced. The technology and cruising strategies will be a real step-up.
The new boats have actually cockpits in which crew can crouch straight down, reducing windage, and skippers will have settings round the tires with that they can modify the angle of attack of foils. There was limited freedom inside design regarding the boards, so teams went through considerable development to try and guarantee the proper selection for various wind conditions.
A brand new section of considerable development has been around the aerodynamics of the 77ft wingsail. The style guideline determines decoration, not what goes on to it under power – or in other words, its fold and deflection.
Like, Land Rover BAR happens to be using input from Jaguar Land Rover engineers, making use of finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. They analyse the deformed shapes associated with the wing under various conditions, re-analyse the aerodynamic properties in CFD, then loop back to see how this new shape will distort, before re-checking how that brand new shape performs at every rib of framework. This is the same technology Land Rover use to always check exactly how their vehicles will answer high motorway speeds or rough roadways. The software can analyse 80 million computational cells in each test.
“This is complex work in the fine grain for the wing’s performance,” responses Andy Claughton, Land Rover BAR’s chief technology officer. “We are also seeing how a Clysar – the film covering the wing – distorts, and exactly how that impacts the speed of this motorboat.”
By the time teams are racing against each other in the qualifiers, their ships are going to be sailing at 3 x the rate of wind – more or less 3.5 tonnes of device travelling at 85kph. They’ll be in a position to foil in six knots of true wind, making around 20 knots.
Bonus points carried to Bermuda
Sir Ben Ainslie’s British challenging team Land Rover BAR sealed the America’s Cup World Series total win once they won the last occasion of this series, held in Fukuoka, Japan in November. Land Rover BAR won its 4th World Series event having a competition to spare, that also earned the team the overall World Series triumph. This gives the British team a two-point benefit going to the next round robin phase. The defender, Oracle Team United States Of America, completed 2nd in the World Series overall, and in addition received one bonus point.
Therefore, what are the results next? All six groups, including the defender, Oracle Team USA, now race one another twice inside round robin Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, which start 26 might, 2017 in Bermuda. The very last put team is eliminated at the conclusion with this stage, as the remaining four challengers compete the directly to contest the Cup in the semi-finals and last of Louis Vuitton Challenger Playoffs.