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Displaying items by tag: America's cup

#americascup – Oracle Team USA has forced a winner-take-all final race for the 34th America's Cup after posting a come-from-behind win in Race 18.

Kiwi skipper Dean Barker started the race to leeward of rival Jimmy Spithill and held the lead around the first turning mark. The Kiwis kept the lead by 7 seconds at the leeward gate but Oracle Team USA has speed to burn on the upwind legs and simply sailed past the Kiwis. Oracle Team USA led by 57 seconds at the windward gate beginning the penultimate leg and finished with a 54-second advantage.

"It's not over. We've got to finish it off," said skipper Jimmy Spithill. "We've worked very, very hard to come back from where we were. And, the guys want it. You can sense it onboard and you can sense it around the base - the whole team just wants it. There's this huge wave of momentum we've been riding for the past few days and it just build and builds and builds, and we're going to carry that in to tomorrow."

Race 17 began with a double penalty off the line for Emirates Team New Zealand for not keeping clear as the windward boat. ORACLE TEAM USA was able to pull ahead and round the first mark 17 seconds in front. The team defended their position and held on to cross the line 27 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand.

Tomorrow's Race 19 is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. PT and the winner will win the 34th America's Cup.

Race 17 Performance Data
- Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
- Elapsed Time: OTUSA - 24:04, ETNZ - 24:31
- Delta: OTUSA +:27
- Total distance sailed: OTUSA - 11.8 NM, ETNZ - 11.6 NM
- Average Speed: OTUSA - 29.62 knots (34 mph), ETNZ - 28.63 knots (33 mph)
- Top Speed: OTUSA - 44.02 knots (51 mph), ETNZ - 46.33 knots (53 mph)
- Windspeed: Average - 16.8 knots, Peak - 20.0 knots
- Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA - 8/6, ETNZ - 7/5

Race 18 Performance Data

- Course: 5 Legs/10.11 nautical miles
- Elapsed Time: OTUSA - 22:01, ETNZ - 22:55
- Delta: OTUSA +:54
- Total distance sailed: OTUSA - 11.7 NM, ETNZ - 11.9 NM
- Average Speed: OTUSA - 31.92 knots (37 mph), ETNZ - 31.23 knots (36 mph)
- Top Speed: OTUSA - 45.79 knots (53 mph), ETNZ - 47.57 knots (55 mph)
- Windspeed: Average - 19.3 knots, Peak - 21.8 knots
- Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA - 7/7, ETNZ - 10/6

Published in America's Cup
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#americascup – Oracle Team USA won Race 15 by 37seconds over Emirates Team New Zealand to sweep the day after winning Race 14 by 23 seconds.

Oracle Team USA has clawed its way to 8-5 on the scoreline, after trailing by 8-1 on Wednesday. Emirates Team New Zealand needs one more win to win the America's Cup while Oracle Team USA has to win out, four more victories.

In a near carbon copy of Race 14, Oracle Team USA started Race 15 to leeward of Emirates Team New Zealand to lead by 3 seconds at the first turning mark. The defender stretched its lead to one minute at the second turning mark, before the Kiwis made inroads on the upwind leg. The Kiwis made another charge on the second downwind leg, but Oracle Team USA was too far ahead to overcome.

The deltas were 23s in race 14, 37s in race 15.

Barker said it was always going to be a difficult day with big variations in wind at the top and bottom of the course. It was patchy and there were a lot of shifts. Two starboard start-box entries didn't help."

Barker said Oracle sailed really well, managing the first downwind legs well, establishing good leads. "We gave them opportunities we should not have done. We fought back, got close at times, but it was Oracle's day."

Races 16 and 17 (if necessary) are scheduled for tomorrow at 1:15 and 2:15 pm PT.

34th America's Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)

- Emirates Team New Zealand - 8 - Oracle Team USA - 5

Published in America's Cup
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#americascup – Another one-race day at San Francisco as wind and tide conspired against the race committee's best endeavours to get the second race away.

They came close to succeeding. The boats were well into the two-minute start sequence when the plug was pulled for the third day in succession.

Emirates Team New Zealand started today one point away from taking the America's Cup to New Zealand.

The team ended the day in exactly the same position as it started it, but with a win in the one race sailed, Oracle put another point on the board.

The team lost race 12, the only race to be held today. Oracle gained another point and now trails New Zealand eight points to two. The first team to nine wins the America's Cup. Oracle won the start and led to the finish. The delta was 31s.

Standings (first to 9 points wins)
Emirates Team New Zealand - 8
Oracle Team USA - 2

Published in America's Cup

#americascup – The wind won the day at San Francisco when Day 7 racing of 34th America's Cup was postponed until this morning. With an ebb tide of a strong 2.7 knots the wind limit at the start time was 20.3 knots.

The ebb tide flows against the wind direction and creates a challenging sea state for the AC72s.

The wind continued to build as it does at this time of the year in San Francisco and the race committee pulled the plug at 1.31pm when the wind strength was a consistent 25 knots.As the AC72 returned to base gusts of 32 knots were experienced.

On Wednesday wind conditions will start to moderate and so will the strangth of the tide.

Races 11 and 12 are rescheduled tfor today, at 1:15 pm and 2:15 pm San Francisco time.

Emirates Team New Zealand leads Oracle 7-1. The winner of the 34th America's Cup will be the first team to score nine points.

Published in America's Cup
16th September 2013

America's Cup Still Up For Grabs

#americascup – Today is a layday in the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco after a ferocious weekend of racing in which defenders USA racing the 75ft catamaran Oracle put in an astonishing Lazarus act to snatch more wins, with the pace being indicated by seven lead-changes in just one race. This prompted seasoned observer Gary Jobson to comment that there have already been more place changes in this series than in any since the cup became an international challenge series in 1870.

And there's more to come when racing resumes tomorrow. Grant Dalton's Emirates New Zealand team now lead by 7 point to 1, but defender USA's seemingly lowly score is distorted by the fact that they had to win two races before they could even begin to amass points - they'd incurred a severe rule infringement penalty set by the International Jury before this final challenge series started.

New Zealand need only two more wins to clinch the nine points for overall victory, so with eight wins required, the Oracle team still has a mountain to climb. Nevertheless their performance over the past two days shows that while it's still a slim hope, it's not impossible. That said, the Kiwi train is very much on the direct line, and they almost added another point yesterday. They were in the lead when racing was called off by the race officers as the wind had edged above the agreed maximum speed of 23 knots, set after the fatal accident to the Swedish challenger back in the Spring. Tensions are such that Kiwi commentators wondered if the race would have been so readily scrubbed if the Americans had been in the lead.........

It could all end tomorrow if there are two more Emirates New Zealand wins. But the programme has the potential to draw out the agony right through to Monday September 23rd if Jimmy Spithill and his Oracle USA team can continue to work miracles.

Published in Racing
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#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)

Published in Your Say
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#americascup – Pre-start favourites New Zealand helmed by Dean Barker gave much encouragement to their supporter by winning the first three of four brisk races in San Francisco over the weekend as the finals of the 34th America'a Cup got under way.

Racing in 72 ft catamarans, the first race saw the US (helmed by James Spithill) briefly ahead. But the Kiwis not only appeared to have a slight upwind edge, they also tacked better, and were soon back in the lead to win by 36 seconds in a 22 minute race.

The mood was notably low in the American Oracle Camp, as they are already carrying a two-win penalty as punishment for having illegal trimming weight in an earlier part of the series. The formula for the finals is that the first winner of nine clean races is the new champion, but the Oracle situation is such that they have to win two extra races before their tally towards nine wins is even begun.

The Oracle mood wasn't improved by Saturday's second race. Aggressive pre-start manoeuvring by the Kiwis saw Oracle head to wind and powerless at the signal. A US protest against that manouvring was waived away by the umpires, and New Zealand went on to a clear 52 second win.

But the Americans came out swinging for Sunday's first race, and by snatching the inside position at the first mark, things were looking up. However, on the second beat, the Kiwi superiority in beating and tacking was very forcefully demonstrated, and they finish first with a lead of 28seconds.

Sunday's second race saw everything fall America's way. They'd the best of the start, and continued to hold their lead to the downwind gate. On the beat, the Kiwis tried to draw them into a tacking duel, but the Oracle crew stayed aloof, working the shifts instead, and they took their first win by seven seconds.

Today is a layoff, and battle is resumed tomorrow (Tuesday).

Published in Racing
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#americascup – Today, the monster in its fully finished form finally emerges from its cave. For sure, we have a pretty good idea of what it will look like. Yet the convoluted preliminaries for 34th America's Cup have gone on for so long now that anyone who reckons they know what has been happening is probably deluded. And as for what it's really going to be like off San Francisco today, it's anyone's guess – curtain up on any show is a world away from dress rehearsal.

There's one heck of a difference between tests and trials, and defender and challenger selections. All we know is that two 72ft catamarans will be pushed to the limit, and the rest of the world will briefly pay attention to our sport of sailing, mainly in the hope of seeing a spectacular and very expensive crash before dinner.

But for sailing enthusiasts, mixed feelings only begins to describe it. Horrified and slightly guilty fascination is probably the most general reaction. Not to worry, folks. It has always been that way. The America's Cup is indeed sailing's sacred monster. But it's undoubtedly our monster. And it's just about the only way the general public connect with sailing. So we have to live with it with the best grace we can manage, for it's completely pointless trying to assert that it has nothing whatever to do with us.

It's grand guignol goes afloat. And it's the apogee of the times in which we live, for it's now way beyond the international. It's beyond the supra-national. It's globalisation par excellence. It may in theory be New Zealand challenging America. But the multiple-nationality mixes in the crews have made traditional concepts of sailing for your own country irrelevant. So it's completely appropriate that it's taking place in sailing waters off the world capital of electronic technological development in the American state which is home to the world headquarters of the entertainment industry.

If this all seems way over the top, worry not - be of good cheer. For just about every staging of the America's Cup has provided some of the most over-the-top events of its era. Larger than life characters. Spectacular and often dangerous maritime technology. And expenditure that does nothing whatever to reduce the popular perception that sailing is basically a rich man's sport.

All that together with all the jolly interaction of minutely detailed rule interpretation, legal rows and international incidents. The miracle is that so far nobody seems to have gone to war, but it's early days yet. Certainly back in the 1890s the disputes that our own Lord Dunraven got into with the New York Yacht Club weren't that far from the "send a gunboat" reaction which played a key role in international diplomacy at the time.

The schooner America shortly after her launching in New York in 1851. A swift and seamanlike vessel, she was able to sail across the Atlantic before winning the new Queen's Cup – subsequently the America's Cup - at Cowes that same year. A whole world away from today's hazard-laden 72ft catamarans, America survived a colourful life until 1945, when she was finally destroyed in a snowstorm in Annapolis .

Faced with all this, those of us who prefer the quiet life seek solace in contemplating the boats and the sailing, even if the last time the America's Cup was in a form to which ordinary sailing folk can relate was when it was staged off Perth in Western Australia in 1987. The racing was in 12 Metres with great sailing. This was thanks to the afternoon breeze wrongly known as the Fremantle doctor. It's actually the docker, from the days when it regularly brought becalmed sailing ships into port each afternoon. But it has been gentrified with suggestions of health benefits, as was Fremantle itself thanks to the America's Cup.

Whatever, it was a real racing series, using boats with which the world of sailing could identify. But after Dennis Conner won and took the trophy back to America, the short but happy period with 12 Metres came to an end, and since then we've had to get used to a new scenario each time round, sometimes with boat which are very odd indeed.

But then that's always been the case when we look at the America's Cup in its entirety. Recently, in talking here about Harry Donegan of Cork and his cutter Gull which he raced in the first Fastnet of 1925, we talked of Gull as having been designed by the young Charles E Nicholson, who went on to design some formidable racing craft, America's Cup boats among them.

In fact, it was Nicholson's first America's Cup challenge design, Shamrock IV of 1914 for Thomas Lipton, which was perhaps his most remarkable of all. The previous series of 1903 had seen things get out of hand entirely, with the Americans successfully defending with the 143ft Herreshoff-designed Reliance. She was lightly built out of such a toxic mixture of metals that it's said she hissed when put afloat, and after keeping the cup with three straight and convincing wins, she had to be dismantled as her seaworthiness could no longer be guaranteed.


Charles E Nicholson's hull design for the 110ft Shamrock IV in 1914 was very advanced for its time


Shamrock IV's rig was much more primitive than her hull design

The new rule for the proposed 1914 series saw boat sizes reduced, but for his first attempt Nicholson went high tech, producing a skimming dish 110ft long. Unfortunately for the challenge, the Great War broke out as this extraordinary boat was sailing across the Atlantic - challengers had to do this in the early days of the Amrica's Cup, as America herself had sailed to England in 1851. But when Shamrock reached New York, the series was postponed for the duration of the war, and when it finally took place in 1920, even though the Americans had had six years to create a faster boat, Shamrock IV came within one race of winning.


The hull lines of the J-Class Endeavour of 1934 were much less advanced in concept than the hull lines of Shamrock IV twenty years earlier.


With the bow overhang longer than the stern, the J Class Endeavour is a rather odd-looking boat

Subsequently, Bermudan rig took over with the introduction of the J Class in 1930, but although the rigs were more modern, it could be argued that the J Class marked a distinctly retrograde step from Shamrock IV in hull design. I know they're continuing to build J Class yachts these days, but for the life of me I can't find them attractive. The sterns look all wrong, or maybe the bow overhang protrudes too much Whatever the reason, the J Class rule produces sterns which seem to rise too quickly, while the bow overhang is excessive to give a sort of back-to-front profile.

Thus a comparison between the hull lines of Shamrock IV and Endeavour – supposedly the most beautiful J Class of them all – shows a sweet hull in the case of Shamrock, yet with Endeavour you've a hull which is going to pull half the ocean behind her.


The great racing off Perth in 1987, when Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes (pictured) wrested the cup back from the Australians. This was the last occasion in which the America's Cup was sailed in boats which bore some resemblance to normal yachts.


The Dennis Does It. Dennis Conner with the America's Cup after winning it back from the Australians in 1987.

It's all a long way from today's catamarans which aren't really described as boats at all – they're platforms underneath wings. And any disturbance of the water is minimal. So it could be argued that the only connection with the America's Cup in times past is that they're being sailed by people, but even there we have difficulty in discerning their humanity, as they're kitted out like bikers in the TT on the Isle of Man.

But somewhere in it all, there are real people. There isn't much Irish involvement this time round. But with names like William Henn and Lord Dunraven and Willie Jameson and Thomas Lipton and Harold Cudmore resonating down the years in America's Cup history, we cannot deny that slightly horrified fascination as the 34th series gets under way today in San Francisco.

Not least of the fascination lies in seeing what happens afterwards. We aren't talking about everyday ordinary folk here. The kind of hyper-successful people who get to make America's Cup challenges and defences genuinely do believe that when something goes wrong, then it undoubtedly is somebody else's fault. Their code is summed in this spin on an old piece of verse:

And when that one great scorer comes,
To write against your name,
He writes not that you won or lost,
But how you spread the blame.

Published in W M Nixon

#AmericasCup - The America's Cup has been rocked by news of a cheating scandal in Oracle Team USA that has seen the team docked two points and three of its members banned from the event.

According to Reuters, the penalties are "unprecedented" in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.

It emerged that one-class 45ft catamarans that the team raced in a preliminary event in July, and again in a youth race last week, had weighted bags with lead and resin stuffed into their frames.

Though the team's skippers and managers claimed no prior knowledge, and argued that no advantage had been gained from the illegal ballast, the international jury investigating the incident decided that points should be docked from the main 72ft boat racing division.

It also banned from the race crew members Dirk de Ridder and two other shore crew, while a fourth sailor was suspended for the first four races of the series.

Reuters has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#AmericasCup – The Swedish Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran has capsized during training in San Francisco Bay and has suffered severe damage.

At least one crew member from the chllenger of record is reported to be seriously injured and receiving CPR. Local media reports also say not all crew are yet accounted for.

The boat is reported to be a total loss and support boats including the Coast guard are on scene dealing with the rescue of crew members and wreckage from the upturned craft. Tugs are responding to Artemis AC72 wreck, just north of Treasure Island.

Emergency crews were on site and performing CPR to a crew member who had been trapped under the platform of the yacht for an estimated 10 minutes according to an America's Cup news source. 

A live video link of rescue efforts from CBS here

Artemis Racing is a professional sailing team challenging for the 34th America's Cup.

Artemis Racing is competing in the America's Cup World Series, the Extreme Sailing Series and on the RC44 Championship Tour.

The team represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS)

No official statement yet. Updates as we have them. 


Published in News Update
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Page 6 of 8

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.


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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