ORACLE Racing in final preps for ACWS – Cascais
By ORACLE Racing Comms // Aug. 1, 2011
ORACLE Racing’s two AC45 catamarans arrived in Cascais, Portugal, signaling the team’s final round of preparations for the inaugural America’s Cup World Series, scheduled Aug. 6-14.
The regatta pits the U.S. champion team against all of the challengers for the 34th America’s Cup for the first time. And it will demonstrate the vision that has fast-forwarded one of the oldest competitions in sport into a high-seed, innovative and modern event.
ORACLE Racing will field two crews in the event, headed by America’s Cup stars James Spithill and Russell Coutts, respectively the youngest skipper and the most successful skipper in the 160-year history of the event.
“The America's Cup World Series will showcase all of the teams racing right in front of the spectators,” said Coutts, the ORACLE Racing CEO who has won the Cup a record four times. “So I expect fans to see hard, fast and dramatic racing taking place right in front of them.”
Spithill, who was 30 years old when he won the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010, expects a fierce challenge, not just from the competitors but also the conditions. Cascais is renowned as a windy venue, and it’s lived up to that reputation the past few weeks.
“We’ve been looking forward to Cascais for a long time now,” said Spithill of Australia. “We’re very anxious. Obviously, there are some nerves. We want to get out there and have a good result. You have to be consistent and have good team work. These boats reward good team work.”
The team’s two AC45 catamarans arrived last Thursday, July 27, after a 10-day voyage from Savannah, Ga., that wound through Algeciras, Spain, before being trucked overland to Portugal, proof of the smart logistics and easy transportation that were a key part of the AC45 design concept.
The shore crew began assembling the boats over the weekend and preparing for the expected arrival of the sailing team tomorrow.
“It’s about a four-day turnaround from pulling the pieces out of the containers to wheeling the assembled boat out the door for its first sail,” said Wolfgang Chamberlain, ORACLE Racing’s shore team manager in Cascais. “We started on Saturday and the first scheduled day of sailing is Aug. 4, so we’re well on schedule.”
Link to full article: ORACLE Racing in final preps for ACWS – Cascais
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
Spithill in America’s Cup Uncovered
The premiere episode of America’s Cup Uncovered, the weekly news magazine showcasing the America’s Cup, is now available online at America’s Cup Uncovered – Episode 1.
The episode includes a day in the life of ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill. In the feature he explains his motivation behind his personal goal of winning the America’s Cup.
“When I was 3 Australia II won,” said Spithill, who grew up in Pittwater, north of Sydney. “Two of my neighbors, Colin Beashel and Rob Brown, were part of Australia II. When Australia II won, all the people in the bay – it was just a small community, no roads, you had to get there by boat – all got together and obviously it was just a long party at the Beashels following the victory.
“When you’re a young kid seeing that, growing up, you go to school by boat, you naturally know that’s what you want to do. I wanted to be one of those guys that won the America’s Cup,” Spithill said.
“To me, nothing else matters more than winning this next Cup.”
The 5-minute feature on Spithill begins at about the 13-minute mark.
Link to video: America’s Cup Uncovered – Episode 1
A new class of catamaran
By Roger Renstrom, Plastics News Correspondent // July 29, 2011
Polymer-matrix composites pervade the AC45 wing-sailed catamarans competing in Portugal next week for the kickoff event of the 34th America’s Cup.
The one-design America’s Cup 45 fleet, manufactured by Core Builders Composites Ltd. in Warkworth is a group effort using resin, structural cores and carbon-and-aramid-fiber tapes and fabrics from suppliers such as Advanced Composites Group, Euro-Composites Group, Gurit Holding AG and Adhesive Technologies Ltd.
Boat and wing builders Tim Smyth and Mark Turner oversee Core’s 70-person operation in a 55,000-square-foot production plant north of Auckland.
Competitors in AC45 World Series races leading up to the final matches will be using the smaller, 45-foot multihull wing-sail catamarans built by Core in Warkworth. The AC45 kickoff begins Aug. 6-14 in Portugal, off the coastal town of Cascais, near Lisbon.
Core raced to complete the entire fleet of new multihull AC45s for the World Series, compressing design and construction into one simultaneous process, according to Core Builders’ Smyth. In August Oracle launched design work that continued into the manufacturing phase, which followed in September.
All of the AC45 components are made with pre-impregnated epoxy materials — mostly from Heanor, England-based ACG — and vacuum bagged for curing. Echternach, Luxembourg-based Euro-Composites makes the yacht’s honeycomb core using phenolic-coated Nomex meta-aramid fibers and a non-metallic lightweight structural material. Wattzil, Switzerland-based Gurit supplied wing-spar materials including its M-grade Corecell foam, known as M-foam.
For the bulkheads, Core vacuum-cures Nomex and M-foam cores and carbon-fiber/epoxy prepreg and applies a modified epoxy urethane undercoating.
“The industry has evolved and advanced,” Smyth said. “Designers specifying these materials are more aware of properties. There was a fudge factor in the old days. Now designs are down to theoretical limits although not as much as aerospace.”
Link to full article: A new class of catamaran
Photo: Composites help give the AC45’s their speed (Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA).