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Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Sports oldest trophy: Auld Mug



History
The America's cup is sports oldest trophy, having been first awarded in 1851 when the Yacht America won a race around the isle of white, giving the competition it's name, and starting over 170 years of hurt for Great Britain who have failed to gain it back ever since. Since 1870 the competition has been held every two years, often with a challenger series before hand to determine who would become the "challenger of record" and be able to go toe to toe with the previous winner in a sailing match race. Very quickly the competition attracted the wealthy who, since the 30's, have spent vast amounts of money trying to build the fastest racing yachts afloat in attempt to win Auld Mug.


The J Class, perhaps some of the most beautiful yachts ever made were the america's cup boat of the 30's and are still made and raced today

Although there are class rules dictating limits within which the boats most conform generally these have left huge scope for teams to innovate and push the boundries, unfortunately this was taken to an extreme and a huge legal battle over what was eventually the 2010 americas cup nearly destroyed the competition forever. Having always been a monohull competition the billionaire owners of Team Alinghi and Oracle fought for years over if each others boats (a catamaran and trimaran respectively) were legal. Eventually the dust settled and the next two editions were fought on catamarans.

The AC 75
Having successfully won the cup on the last edition Team New Zealand got to set the rules. They had refused to sign up to an agreement from Larry Page to continue using cat's so he took his ball and went home to set up a rival series. Luna Rosa thus became the challenger of record and had some input into the new rules, they'd previously been very vocal about wanting to return to monohulls and has threatened to quit over the small AC50's used in the previous edition. The result is the AC75, an absolutely ridiculous machine that almost defies belief.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQUl_hf6yo8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk99LkioFvM

That sound you hear that sounds like a gale? yeah that's the wind around the rigging because these things go at 50knots (~60mph) powered purely by wind, the chase boats are struggling to keep up with them. That hum is the second video? no that's not an engine that's what a foil going through the water sounds like at those speeds. This is a radical new design with a huge area for optimisation, the video above refers to the teams 1st boats used for development but they've all now launched their second boats which are even more extreme. What will be immediately obvious to anyone who's looked at a cruising yacht, or even an offshore racing yacht, is how slick these boats are. Aerodynamics play a huge roll in the AC75 with every source of drag eliminated as far as possible and boats being designed to exploit ground effects while going over the water. The sails drag across the maindeck in order to seal the high pressure area on the windward side from the low pressure leeward and on the second boats both ineos and new zealand seem to have taken this further with large chines under the boat in what looks like an attempt to seal off the gap under the boat too.

Teams have 11 crew which is made up of 1 skipper, 1 flight controller, a trimmer and 8 grinders. All the power on the boat except for moving the foils has to come from people and the energy required to constantly move the massive amount of sail area these boats have is enourmous. The grinders will work almost constantly to pressurise the hydraulic systems on the boats that do the actual moving.

The Teams
There are 4 teams competing for the America's cup this year and in the 2 race series that proceed it, a 5th from Malta had been hoped to compete but in the end failed to meet some deadlines.

Team: Emirates Team New Zealand [NZ]
Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Boat: Te Rehutai

Method of Christening: Mechanical lever ensured reliable champagne smashing
Billionaire: Matteo de Nora
Overview: The defending champions are, as expected for the people who wrote the rules, looking extremely good. They are on two foils for the shortest time of anyone except maybe american magic and the boat is absolutely flying. Crucially they seem to be running much bigger sails then the competition in the same wind which is a huge advantage if this bares out. As the defender they automatically get a spot in the final but will compete in the run up series.

Team: American Magic
Club: New York Yacht Club
Boat: Patriot

Method of Christening: Again used a big rear end metal arm to smash the bottle
Billionaire: Hap Fauth, Doug DeVos and Roger Penske
Overview: My pick for the prettiest boat in the fleet, it looks like some sort of anime whale. The stern looks very different to the other boats which may point to a different strategy to their competitors, who knows how that will play out in head to head races

Team: Luna Rossa Challenge
Club: Circolo della Vela Sicilia
Boat: Luna Rossa

Method of Christening: Traditional wife of billionaire owner smashing by hand, as expected from an italian team
Billionaire: Patrizio Bertelli
Overview: A close second for the nicest looking boat the italian team are desperate to win the AC having appeared in several finals over the years. Their skipper has won it twice though so perhaps this is their chance. The bow of the boat had some work done on it recently so perhaps not all is well with the design team.

Team: Ineos Team UK
Club: Royal Yacht Squadron
Boat: Britannia

Method of Christening: Popped a cork and sprayed, this weeks mechanical issues almost certainly a consequence of this
Billionaire: Jim Ratcliffe
Overview: Thought by many to have been the favourite to challenge for the cup there's been rumours of huge issues with the team and or boat as it was towed in slowly after a practice run and hasn't been seen for a week. Rumours are flying that there has been some major damage to the boat whilst others claim the team realises it's behind and are making major modifications to the boat, the only people who know are in the team. Britannia is one of the more radical designs with Adrian Newey of Red Bull part of the design team and people pointing to a possible scoop on the deck as a secret aerodynamic weapon. The teams best asset however is probably Sir Ben Ainslie, the most decorated olympic sailor in history and architect of one of the greatest sporting combacks of all time. In the 2013 America's cup Team Oracle was 8-1 down, Ainslie was brought in to try and turn things down and 8 straight victories followed to retain the cup.

The Races
Dec 17-20: The Americas cup world series and Prada Christmas Race, a warm up series to get teams used to the boats whilst matchracing
Jan 15-Feb 22: The Prada Cup, the series that decides the challenger of record
Mar 6-21: The America's Cup, Team New Zealand vs the Challenger.

Sailing seems cool! any other stuff to follow
The Vendee Globe is on! almost the complete opposite of this inshore series with huge teams is people sailing by themselves round the world as fast as they can.
Thread here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3947598

Loving Africa Chaps fucked around with this message at 19:01 on Dec 13, 2020

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Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



There was another practice session today with all 4 teams getting out. Wind was at the absolute lowest level at which sailing will be allowed in the races, this video (and channel) has some good commentary if a little biased towards ETNZ. Luna Rossa are looking increasingly confident in their manouvers with them starting to take the second foil out the water while their still turning. One interesting point of difference in the boats is Britannia has all it's grinders on their own pedestal facing outward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egAWgqCzU7c

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




I can do an effortpost later but worth pointing out how the Americans went from "greatest comeback in Sporting history" to "abject, dismal failure" in the last 2 defenses lol

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Crunchy Black posted:

I can do an effortpost later but worth pointing out how the Americans went from "greatest comeback in Sporting history" to "abject, dismal failure" in the last 2 defenses lol

The would be great, i'm very much an americas cup casual so would be good to get your input.

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




Jesus Christ.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Crunchy Black posted:

Jesus Christ.


Hahaha, it's streaming on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne-covgb3ao

First races today and ETNZ aren't unbeatable! American Magic managed to beat them in a very close race. Luna Rose lost by about 3 mins to the defenders.

Huge issues for Ineos though in the other two races. They kept coming off their foils in the practice races earlier in the week and during today's races failed to finish either due to a failure of the hydraulic system for the foils which is a competition supplied component. One of the chase boats had to keep them off the rocks after they stopped a second time.

Baneling Butts
Dec 9, 2012



Just found this thread! I've been following the America's Cup since I'm in NZ, hoping to go out to see the boats race next weekend.

Good news: team UK seem to have fixed their issues and are now 4-0 in the Prada Cup

Bad news: holy poo poo that American Magic crash!

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Baneling Butts posted:

Just found this thread! I've been following the America's Cup since I'm in NZ, hoping to go out to see the boats race next weekend.

Good news: team UK seem to have fixed their issues and are now 4-0 in the Prada Cup

Bad news: holy poo poo that American Magic crash!

Yeah it's an extraordinary turn around, particularly yesterday in the low wind speed. Almost as amazing as American magic's loss of form! The boats definitely better but you also had Ben Ainslie absolutely bossing the starts too which was a huge advantage on day 1.

This was an great video discussing the poor form of Ineos, the boat is definitely way more controllable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2hMu6keSbo

Can't get enough of watching these AC75's. Hopefully we get a few more teams next cycle.

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




Thanks for bumping this thread, idk why I couldn't find it in my bookmarks, so crossposting from Nautical Insanity--but uh yeah looks like American Magic is done.




Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Crunchy Black posted:

Thanks for bumping this thread, idk why I couldn't find it in my bookmarks, so crossposting from Nautical Insanity--but uh yeah looks like American Magic is done.






Watched the full race and it was noticeable how tense the Comms were in the run up. Bad decision making by Dean Barker when they had a huge lead. Also wtf I had no idea the skipper was grinding, no wonder Comms were difficult

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Loving Africa Chaps posted:

Watched the full race and it was noticeable how tense the Comms were in the run up. Bad decision making by Dean Barker when they had a huge lead. Also wtf I had no idea the skipper was grinding, no wonder Comms were difficult

It seems to me as a layman the American boat is the most specialized towards "normal" conditions. It seems to lack lift in light wind and command and control in difficult conditions. It had a lot of performance before Christmas, and was going very well before the gusting and subsequent capsize, even with a poor start.

I hope they can get back to racing, but fixing that boat by Friday seems a tall order. Getting Defiant out may be their only option.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Humbug posted:

It seems to me as a layman the American boat is the most specialized towards "normal" conditions. It seems to lack lift in light wind and command and control in difficult conditions. It had a lot of performance before Christmas, and was going very well before the gusting and subsequent capsize, even with a poor start.

I hope they can get back to racing, but fixing that boat by Friday seems a tall order. Getting Defiant out may be their only option.

On the full coverage they showed they are running much smaller foils than Lunna Rossa or Ineos which will mean less drag and higher speeds but much less lift so a less controllable boat and that tallies with exactly your observations.

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

Nice write up OP. However there was a cat in the competition back in the 80s! Crafty Dennis Conner.

Been watching the races as Iím a kiwi so kind of have to.

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Loving Africa Chaps posted:

On the full coverage they showed they are running much smaller foils than Lunna Rossa or Ineos which will mean less drag and higher speeds but much less lift so a less controllable boat and that tallies with exactly your observations.

Yeah, I noticed that too. Dean Barker will rightfully get a lot of poo poo for the American performance thus far, but it could be that they pushed the envelope a bit too far with how little is still known about sailing these crazy boats. The mental workload on him seems the biggest out of all the boats.

I'm loving these races though. 3 Days of completely different conditions and strategies. I haven't watched Americas Cup before but i really like the AC75s, and that pulled me in.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



I hadn't realised Dean Barker was the skipper for 2013 when he lost 8 in a row from 8-1 up.

Ratios and Tendency
Apr 23, 2010

MURALI



Yeah he was exiled from NZ.

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




If anyone has speculation/scuttlebutt re: Defiant, American Magic, etc. please speak up. I'm still of the opinion that fiber will never be a strong enough repair to not be a concern on Patriot, but transporting and commissioning a world class GP boat even with unlimited resources in less than a week seems a gargantuan task. Sailing Anarchy salts are saying they've heard a battery box broke loose and caused the puncture but I haven't seen a reliable source for that.

Big Taint
Oct 19, 2003



I doubt youíre going to find a lot of detailed pictures of how these boats are constructed but looking at the few pics I can find the damage appears to be forward of the foil. The foil box is probably the highest-loaded part of the hull so any damage to that is real bad.



Given the location and shape/size of the hole I would buy that battery-ripped-loose theory. They obviously hadnít specced the battery box to withstand a 45kt flight and landing. That said, the foils may not have been either, and with a chunk of hull missing unexpected things may have happened structurally that arenít as obvious as a hole.

If thatís what all is, and the hole is in a relatively unstressed part of the skin, itís on the easier end of the spectrum to repair. I donít know if that is a one week fix though, these guys are a little beyond the West Systems and sawdust that I deal in.

I figure theyíll fix it and have a go, should at least be a show when the foil fails under load and the whole boat explodes. If they donít, at least they crashed out while leading.

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

From the interviews I've heard, I suspect they have given up on catching INEOS in the group stage, and are focusing on getting Patriot ready for the semi final. I'm not sure if they can legally forfeit all the remaining group stage races. I they can't, they would need a different boat that meets regulations, but isn't necessarily competitive, while fixing Patriot. Defiant would probably fit that bill I think.

There is a video on how the boats where transported to NZ on those giant Antonovs, so they could if they can pick up the bill. I was under the impression they where training in Aucland with defiant before unveiling Patriot though. Was it flown back to the US?

[Edit] Defiant was in NZ this fall at least
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi2O66PKAlc

Humbug fucked around with this message at 18:46 on Jan 20, 2021

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




Yeah its my understanding Defiant is still in NZ but no one knows just how bare they stripped her or *exactly* where in NZ.

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Crunchy Black posted:

Yeah its my understanding Defiant is still in NZ but no one knows just how bare they stripped her or *exactly* where in NZ.

I see. Looking at the rules there is apparently a strict limit on the number of components that can be made. Your theory that it is stripped bare seems very plausible to me.

https://www.americascup.com/en/official/the-class-rule

Humbug fucked around with this message at 19:12 on Jan 20, 2021

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Crunchy Black posted:

Yeah its my understanding Defiant is still in NZ but no one knows just how bare they stripped her or *exactly* where in NZ.

Planet Sail on YouTube said it was sitting outside the shed and implied it probably did have systems but would be incredibly uncompetitive and the systems are likely incompatible.

Composites can be pretty repairable and it sort of looks like it might be a panel that blew out so they may well get it done. I think a big issue will be potentially salt water damage to.the electronic systems.

Baneling Butts
Dec 9, 2012



Humbug posted:

From the interviews I've heard, I suspect they have given up on catching INEOS in the group stage, and are focusing on getting Patriot ready for the semi final. I'm not sure if they can legally forfeit all the remaining group stage races.

The schedule's been altered so it's just one race between Ineos and Luna Rossa on both Saturday and Sunday.

Though, if Ineos wins on Saturday, they'd win the round robin; would they still run the race on Sunday in this case?

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Baneling Butts posted:

The schedule's been altered so it's just one race between Ineos and Luna Rossa on both Saturday and Sunday.

Though, if Ineos wins on Saturday, they'd win the round robin; would they still run the race on Sunday in this case?

I'd expect so for commercial reasons and I imagine both teams want the practice and on water development time.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Italian but the automatic translation says Luna Rossa have made some big changes for this weekend. Makes sense, worst that happens is they end up in the semi finals which is what it was looking like anyway so it's the perfect time to take some risks with their setup


https://twitter.com/SmilexTech/status/1352548574303817730?s=19

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Really fantastic racing today, would highly recommend watching the full thing Vs the highlights. Bodes well for the final.

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Loving Africa Chaps posted:

Really fantastic racing today, would highly recommend watching the full thing Vs the highlights. Bodes well for the final.

Agreed. That was great racing. Really close all the way. For how how crazy the boats are, races still seem to be decided by the crews on board. There doesn't seem to be a Mercedes in F1 style design domination here.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Humbug posted:

Agreed. That was great racing. Really close all the way. For how how crazy the boats are, races still seem to be decided by the crews on board. There doesn't seem to be a Mercedes in F1 style design domination here.

We haven't seen ETNZ's final form yet!

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



https://twitter.com/americascup/status/1354296966554013697?s=19

Patriot lives!

Baneling Butts
Dec 9, 2012



Aw, the band-aids are a nice touch!

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Wow. Top speeds of 53 knots in the first race with the chase speedboats struggling to keep up. Keeping the boats under control seems a struggle.

American magic crash down hard with both foils down. No apparent damage to boat or people. It seems to me the poor controlability of the boat continues to bite them

Humbug fucked around with this message at 09:08 on Jan 29, 2021

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Humbug posted:

Wow. Top speeds of 53 knots in the first race with the chase speedboats struggling to keep up. Keeping the boats under control seems a struggle.

American magic crash down hard with both foils down. No apparent damage to boat or people. It seems to me the poor controlability of the boat continues to bite them

I agree, Patriot has huge control issues. It's so much more twitchy through the manouvers than the other boats and Dean Barker always looks likes he's working much harder on the wheel. Luna Rossa in contrast was just super smooth for the majority of the races. They're also yet to even vaguely compete in a start so far which puts them at a huge disadvantage every race

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

Loving Africa Chaps posted:

I agree, Patriot has huge control issues. It's so much more twitchy through the manouvers than the other boats and Dean Barker always looks likes he's working much harder on the wheel. Luna Rossa in contrast was just super smooth for the majority of the races. They're also yet to even vaguely compete in a start so far which puts them at a huge disadvantage every race

Absolutely. The commentators was critical of their very small sail plan, but it looks like that is all their foils can take. They lost the rudder turning the top gate 3 times in a row.

Big Taint
Oct 19, 2003



Itís possible they could have similar performance to their ac34 win, it took them a while to dial the boat in but when they did...

Baneling Butts
Dec 9, 2012



Congrats to Luna Rossa! I'm looking forward to the finals, hopefully it'll be a little more competitive than the semifinals.

We went out to the beach to watch the races today, here's some photos! They look a little out of focus due to the heat haze, but it was still cool to see them flying across the water.


Even without commentary it was easy to tell that race 4 wasn't close.


Lots of action on the water! AC75s, party boats, helicopters, jet skis ...


Zoomed out to show how far they were from the beach.


The Italian team standing on their boat after winning.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Rough exit for patriot with a failure of their canting system. Jimmy Spithill is now 11-0 against Dean Barker since being 8-1 down. Barker seemed to have no confidence in the start Vs Spithill and Bruni who just bullied them every time.

The final Vs Ineos should be really good.

Humbug
Dec 3, 2006
Bogus

That was rough. Looking forward to the final.

I wonder what position Team NZ is in? American Magic managed to beat them before Christmas. Ineos and Luna Rossa seem to have made massive performance gains since then, both in design and execution. Will the lower amount of racing experience in these boats hurt them?

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Humbug posted:

That was rough. Looking forward to the final.

I wonder what position Team NZ is in? American Magic managed to beat them before Christmas. Ineos and Luna Rossa seem to have made massive performance gains since then, both in design and execution. Will the lower amount of racing experience in these boats hurt them?

Good point. There's been a ton of development from the teams who've been racing and and whilst I'm sure they've been doing tons of race simulations they'll be the most inexperienced team come the final.

Crunchy Black
Oct 24, 2017

CASTOR: Uh, it was all fine and you don't remember?
VINDMAN: No, it was bad and I do remember.




Yeah the commentators last night said Luna Rossa are claiming theyíre 10% faster since racing began in earnest

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Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



First day of the Prada Cup final, first race was a wash but second close. Lunna Rossa seem to have a significant upwind advantage

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