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Displaying items by tag: America's cup

The two America’s Cup Challenges made through the Royal Yacht Squadron by Lord Dunraven of Adare in County Limerick in 1893 and 1895 both had elements of controversy writes W M Nixon. And such serious ill-feeling emerged after his challenge of 1895 that Dunraven was subsequently relieved of his Honorary Membership of the defending New York Yacht Club, an extreme and unprecedented step which led to international diplomatic moves to smooth the waters between the UK and the US.

Dunraven – who had been introduced to sailing by the great John Jameson aboard the famous racing cutter Irex in Dublin Bay in the 1880s – made his challenges with large cutters designed by the renowned G L Watson. And the 1893 matter of potential friction was successfully resolved when Dunraven’s contention that there should not be an inshore course option was successfully upheld in order to ensure truer wind conditions.

lord dunraven2The G L Watson-designed Valkyrie II (left) racing against Vigilant in the 1893 America’s Cup. Valkyrie II was a near-sister of the Royal cutter Britannia which was built the same year

But with the second challenge by the 129ft Valkyrie III in 1895 at New York harbour, he became so incensed by what he felt was the intrusion of the huge spectator fleet into the racing area that he made a formal complaint about about it. And after Valkyrie III was held responsible for minor collision in the second race for which which he tended to blame the spectator fleet, he withdrew from the series with further grievances.

Both the Dunraven challenges ended in defeat, though he was only beaten by 40 seconds in the final race of 1893, with Valkyrie II starting to perform to her true potential. But they had successfully raised the standard of yacht raced in the America’s Cup to a much higher technical level. However, the 1895 effort ended not only in defeat, but with a high level of acrimony which lasted until this year, with the Dunraven challenges almost air-brushed out of some histories of the America’s Cup.

Yet as time has passed a greater realization has developed of Dunraven’s other achievements, for he was a man of many talents – for instance, he successfully co-chaired the Conference which brought Land Act settlement to Ireland in 1903. And some historians of the America’s Cup feel that in the hectic world of the 1890s, the American defenders may have come down a little too heavily on a Challenger who became very isolated in his efforts in 1895 after he had begun to look like a contender in 1893.

Certainly when the next series was held in 1899 – with Sir Thomas Lipton challenging through the Royal Ulster Yacht Cub with Shamrock I – the race area was rigorously patrolled by the US Navy to keep spectator vessels well away. And in later stagings of this pinnacle of world sailing, cognisance was also taken of Dunraven’s feeling that the course should be moved further away from the adverse effects of land upon wind behaviour.

So in this year of 2016, a year in which America seems to be increasingly mired with internal political controversy, it’s good to know that during the summer Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven (1841-1926) was finally inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame for his contribution to course-setting protocols, and his pioneering of the Golden Era when huge yet technically-advanced yachts raced for the Holy Grail of international sailing.

Published in America's Cup

Super Sunday in Portsmouth, double points on offer, excellent flying conditions on the water and thousands of fans thronging on the shoreline. Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR was at the top of the first day leader board and got royal support for the start of day two, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, getting a close up look from the support boat. After the three races it's a win for for the home team and a double celebration as they went to the top of the series lead overall. See video below.

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There were perfect conditions for the thousands of fans who came out to watch the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series action close in to shore at Portsmouth yesterday.

Land Rover BAR led in front of their home crowd. See video below.

 

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ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand put on a spectacular show in Chicago during official practice at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series on Friday.

The teams sit one-two on the overall leaderboard, but on Friday, neither team could stay upright. The Kiwis were the first to fall, capsizing late in a close match with ORACLE TEAM USA, the Kiwis came off the foils, crashed down hard, and rolled into a capsize, with some crew members falling off the boat or jumping off the top hull. All crew were safe and accounted for and the Kiwis recovered quickly to start the next race just 15 minutes later. 

It was in the next race that ORACLE TEAM USA went over.

The team was well back in the fleet race, and appeared to be surprised by an approaching boat. As skipper Jimmy Spithill rolled into a crash tack to avoid collision, the team didn’t have time to let off a line, pinning the wing sail, and resulting in a capsize.

As with Emirates Team New Zealand, the American team was able to recover and resume racing.

Published in America's Cup

The wingsail on ORACLE TEAM USA’s racing yachts and the wings on airplanes operate in similar fashion. As Ian “Fresh” Burns explains, a significant amount of force is generated to propel the boat faster or lift a plane off the ground.

And, the team is utilising the aerodynamic know-how of Airbus to help achieve optimum performance on the water.

Who needs an engine, these days?

 

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The (Bermuda) Government has spent just over $14 million on the America's Cup as of December 2015, the House of Assembly heard on Friday, with the figures being provided by Minister of Economic Development Dr Grant Gibbons following Parliamentary Questions from MP Wayne Furbert.

According to the Potential Economic Impact [PEI] assessment previously released by the ACBDA, the direct spending on-island for the America's Cup is estimated to be "in the region of approximately $250 million."

In 2009, the Irish Government spent €10m on a stop over and the Green Dragon entry in the Volvo Ocean Race.

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#FranckCammas - French America's Cup skipper Franck Cammas could be returning to the water as soon as next month after nearing losing his foot in a boating accident late last year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Team France's top man had his right foot "partially severed" when he was run over by the rudder of his foiling catamaran during training in Brittany in late November.

However, after successful surgery Cammas was assured he would not lose the use of his foot as the arteries and nerves were unaffected.

And according to Bermuda's Royal Gazette, the Solitaire veteran and Volvo Ocean Race winner is making significant progress in rehab for his injury.

“Now I can spend more time onshore working with the designers and engineers on the new boat,” he said after having his cast removed last week.

It's thought that Cammas could be back on board in time for the resumption of the America's Cup World Series in Oman on 27-28 February.

The Royal Gazette has more on the story HERE.

Published in America's Cup

The first images of Sir Ben Ainslie's new racing yacht have come in, and the British racer is calling the boat the most advanced he's ever had.

The British design team who built the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing AC45 T2 craft have likened it to a fighter jet, citing use of cutting edge technologies from both the automotive and aerospace industries.

At 45 feet, Ainslie's T2 boat is a prototype design for the America's Cup team whose final build, yet to come, is expected to reach speeds in excess of 50 mph.

 

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With just seconds to go to race two of the America's Cup World Series in Bermuda Artemis Racing managed by Iain Percy ended up in a pre-start collision with the umpire boat. There was damage, but no injuries... and amazingly Artemis went on to win the race.

Artemis Racing grabbed the lion's share of the spotlight, writing an epic comeback story on Sunday at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Bermuda.

On the race course, the three double-point races had three different winners with Artemis Racing proving the most consistent performer on the day to take the win.

But this was an unlikely victory. Not only did the Swedish challenger arrive at the event in fifth place out of the six teams, but in the pre-start ahead of race two, the team was involved in a collision with an Umpire boat, incurring serious damage.

In work worthy of an F1 pit crew, the Artemis Racing squad stripped off the broken bow sprit and the now useless Code Zero sail in record time. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team was lining up for the next start. Incredibly, they blasted of the starting line with more speed than anyone else and won not only the start but the second race.

In the third and final race, the Swedish team needed to make a pass on the last leg to grab a fourth place finish and secure the points needed to win the regatta.

Emirates Team New Zealand, with an impressive win in race three, extends its advantage on the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series leaderboard.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Bermuda Results

1. Artemis Racing: 2 - 1 - 4 - 52 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand: 5 - 2 - 1- 50
3. ORACLE TEAM USA: 1 - 3 - 5 - 48
4. Land Rover BAR: 3 - 6 - 2 - 44
5. SoftBank Team Japan: 4 - 4 - 3 - 44
6. Groupama Team France: 6 - 5 - 6 - 32

More from Artemis Racing:

Artemis Racing claimed a dramatic victory in the final Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event of the year.

The team headed to Bermuda with plenty to prove, and after racing was abandoned on Saturday, three races were scheduled for Sunday.

Team Manager and Tactician, Iain Percy, spoke of his relief after a trying few months.

"I'm very proud of the team. We had a lot of pressure to perform. I know perfectly well that we have a talented enough team to win these events, but things haven’t gone our way, we’ve hit the odd rock and capsized, and suddenly everyone was questioning us.

To deliver under that heat, and under the circumstances of the crash, was pretty impressive".

Artemis Racing made a great start in race one, and led most of the way before being pipped by Oracle Team USA at the finish line. In the pre-start of race two, with just a few minutes of the countdown left, the team was involved in a collision with an Umpire boat, incurring serious damage, and it appeared that Artemis Racing would be knocked out of the event.

Just moments before the starting gun fired, the team ducked behind the Japanese boat, and as Outteridge turned up towards the line, he was confronted with an Umpire boat heading directly towards him. The closing speed would have been in excess of 25 knots.

“At that point we couldn’t go anywhere,” Outteridge explained. “He went straight between our bows but thankfully nobody was hurt. There was a serious amount of damage to our boat though.”

Iain Percy said, “my first thought was for the safety of the umpires on the boat, we were all pretty shaken up”.

The Artemis Racing squad stripped off the broken bowsprit and the now useless Code Zero sail in record time. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team lined up for the next start. Incredibly, they blasted off the starting line with more speed than anyone else and won not only the start but also the second race.

Outteridge continued, “We owned that start… It was huge payback for all the hard work from the guys who stripped the gear off, checked the boat, and got us ready just in time.”

Iain Percy spoke of his admiration for his Skipper, "There really was no time for pep talks, and we were frantically ripping carbon and rope off the boat trying to clear it. Before we had a moment to breath, it was 1:30 to the start.

I have to say, what Nathan Outteridge displayed there, is why everyone says he’s so talented. I’m not sure there are many people in the world that could have showed that composure and nailed the start the way he did, absolutely incredible".

In the third and final race, the Swedish team needed to make a pass on the last leg, and pulled off a fantastic foiling gybe to grab a fourth place finish and secure the points needed to win the regatta.

Winning the Bermuda event means that Artemis Racing rises to fourth place in the overall series rankings, and puts an important marker down in the venue for the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

"To be the first team to win an event in Bermuda, the venue of the next America’s Cup is just great for our team. We love it here; we’ve been training here all year, getting ready for the main event in 2017. Our results elsewhere haven’t been great but all that matters is how well we sail in this venue", said Outteridge.

It was an important victory for the team who struggled in the first two events in Portsmouth and Gothenburg, and Iain Percy spoke of what it will mean for the wider group.

"We’re a big team, and for every one of the sailors to go out today and perform, is a real boost going into the winter. You can’t buy that; you can’t put a value on a team knowing 100% that they are here to win this competition. Everyone will be working that little bit harder, and we’re going to have that little spring in our step through the whole winter. It’s going to project us towards winning in 2017".

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda Results

1. Artemis Racing: 2 – 1 – 4 – 52 points

2. Emirates Team New Zealand: 5 – 2 – 1– 50 points

3. ORACLE TEAM USA: 1 – 3 – 5 – 48 points

4. Land Rover BAR: 3 – 6 – 2 – 44 points

5. SoftBank Team Japan: 4 – 4 – 3 – 44 points

6. Groupama Team France: 6 – 5 – 6 – 32 points

And from Team BAR:

Sir Ben Ainslie's British boat finished fourth in this third leg. Land Rover BAR came third in the first race, but endured a tough second round after a technical issue saw them slip from first to last place.

They came second in the final race, while the regatta was won by Artemis Racing who are led by Britain's two-time Olympic champion Iain Percy.

Land Rover BAR are third overall with Emirates Team New Zealand leading.

"It was one of those days. We're still third, we still feel we've got the best team and I believe we will win the World Series," said Land Rover BAR crew member David Carr after his team finished fourth out of the six boats that competed.

The Bermuda leg followed events in Portsmouth and Gothenburg this summer.

Light wind saw racing abandoned on Saturday in Bermuda, which will host the America's Cup itself in 2017, and three shorter rounds were held on Sunday.

The Bermuda leg is part of a lengthy qualification process that will count towards the 2017 America's Cup Challenger Series, the winner of which will take on Oracle in the 2017 America's Cup.

It will be the 35th staging of the oldest competition in international sport which was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight.

Published in America's Cup

The British America's Cup challenger, Land Rover BAR, has launched its latest testing boat – T2 – at their home in Portsmouth. This boat will increase the momentum already developed with the initial launch of 'T1' last October. It's the next stage in the relentless pursuit of technological excellence that will culminate in the design and build of the final race boat to challenge for the America's Cup in 2017.

T2 is designed to drive forward a new era of British maritime design and technology. The boat uses the latest technology from both the aerospace and automotive industries to create the marine equivalent of a fighter jet. T2 will fly on foils the size of a wakeboard, whilst lifting the weight of a fully occupied London taxi

Published in America's Cup
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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