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America's Cup – Sailing is Being Changed by These Phenomenal Machines

10th September 2013
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America's Cup – Sailing is Being Changed by These Phenomenal Machines

#americascup – As one of the biggest sceptics on the subject of the 34th Americas Cup and their use of 72–foot catamarans, I thought I would find it hard to admit that I might be wrong. After watching the racing in San Francisco on Sunday its not so difficult after all. The boats are not perfect, in fact if there is to be a second generation then there are a number improvements to the rule.

These would encompass proper movable elevators on the rudder and a general improvement of the adjustability of the control services. This would lead to a safer boat. Probably a slightly reduced wing size and some way of reducing the reliance on the hydraulics powered by the coffee grinders.

The most important people on the teams are the guys who work on the electronics and the hydraulics, as we have witnessed these systems are fragile.

But here is the kicker, sailing is being changed by these phenomenal machines, kids round the world are trying foils on all sorts of boats, and some of the experimenters are big kids... our sport is in need of a new infusion of enthusiasm and a new wave of thinking, I think these boats are it.

Until you have seen these boats for real you get very little concept of the speed, TV does not do them justice. San Francisco is the most incredible natural amphitheatre to witness these incredible machines and the equally superb teams.

Hopefully today we will witness more of the similarities of team Oracle and Team New Zealand.

Anthony Shanks (in San Francisco)

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