Archive for November, 2009

Alinghi Intrigue – could another Wing be on the way?

November 27th, 2009 No comments

There is an interesting article on the Alinghi website – an interview with Grant Simmer – that hints at some fairly major modifications to our favourite giant catamaran.  One has to read between the lines, but with statements like ….

Can you hint at the modifications that will be made to Alinghi 5 over the coming days?
Grant Simmer: Well, you will see them at the end of the week! The thing about this boat is that everything is so massive that you have to plan months in advance to make virtually any component in the boat. We have been manufacturing these pieces in Villeneuve, Switzerland, where we still have a factory (the same one that built the boat) and the boys have done a good job and delivered the parts on time so we will spend next week installing them.

…. one can only speculate as to what the pieces are that were planned months ago and just delivered.

Alinghi in UAE - larger rig and straight daggerboards

Alinghi in UAE - larger rig and straight daggerboards

Yes – I do believe that is a straight daggerboard. I wonder why they got rid of the S shaped ones?

L Hydroptere sets another record

November 14th, 2009 No comments

Awesome picture!  Here is the fastest big multi in the world – L’Hydroptere – as she sets yet another record, this time over a full nautical mile.

The most awesome tri in the world!

The most awesome tri in the world!

Sorry Larry – I do really dig your BMW trimaran thing but … this is something else!  50.17 knots over a full nautical mile – that’s 92.91 km/h for you non-nautical folk.

The record was set in 28 knots of breeze – nearly twice the speed of the wind in a fairly bumpy sea.  When this thing does a circumnavigation (yes – it will happen) it will blow these jules verne records out the window.  Mind you, it could be a handful in the southern ocean!

“For 30 years, passion and daring have carried me forward, but this victory really belongs to our indomitable, tight-knit team. The historic record of more than 50 knots over one nautical mile is powerful because it lies at the frontier between the twin capacities of this extraordinary flying trimaran that is both a high-speed craft and an ocean-going sailboat. Our team now holds the top two speed records in the world, 51.36 knots over 500 metres and 50.17 knots over one nautical mile, and we can now concentrate on ocean sailing in 2010”, commented Alain Thébault.

The 60ft L’Hydroptère (from the Greek hydros, water, and ptera, wing), is a hydrofoil trimaran (the foils are actually underwater wings). It is a sleek and elegant craft with a central hull and a mast 28m high, stabilised by two side floats separated from the hull by huge 24m carbon crossbeams built at the Airbus plant in Nantes. The innovative design of the boat, which flies on submerged wings, cleverly constructed out of carbon and titanium, make it much faster, more durable and lightweight (only 6.5 tonnes). The flight envelope of the prototype is continuously defined and validated on a 3D flight simulator developed specifically for this carbon bird, which represents the new generation of extreme sailing.

Alain Thébault, designer and skipper of this Formula 1 of the seas, had always dreamt of making a boat fly. After 20 years of research and development, the flying boat is now a robust, powerful craft thanks to the help of eight retired engineers from Dassault Aviation and EADSAirbus who volunteered their time. l’Hydroptère is the perfect combination of cutting edge technology, performance and human adventure. This unique project was created by a team of sailing buffs, engineers, technicians and aircraft manufacturers. In 2006, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) joined the team and became “Official Scientific Adviser” to assist in advanced fields such as aero-hydrodynamics, composite materials, structural behaviour and video imaging.

The amazing flyijng trimaran

The amazing flyijng trimaran

I wanna be there!!

I wanna be there!!

BMW Oracle Wing – more pics

November 13th, 2009 No comments

WOW!!!! That is really all there is to say about this.  The most awesome change to a boat I have seen in years!  Anyone who doubted the BMW team’s ability to adopt their boat to what looks like being a light air race has to look at this stuff.  Here we have this huge wing-sailed trimaran in what looks to be glassy conditions flying the center hull!

BMW Oracle Trimaran exposing its belly

BMW Oracle Trimaran exposing its belly

More pics below.  For an excellent article subscribe to the Daily Sail!

No centerboard - center hull in the air

No centerboard - center hull in the air

BMW Trimaran Sails with the new mast

November 11th, 2009 No comments

Well – they got it away!  Sailing with a wing instead of more traditional mast and sail, the BMW trimaran tested their new wing today.  The sheer scale of this should not be under-estimated.  It is bigger than a 747 Wing, and I guess they have to take it down when not sailing since the boat would take off on its own if the wind came!

BMW Oracle maiden sail with new Wing

BMW Oracle maiden sail with new Wing

From the BMW Oracle website:

The American Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup left the dock with its giant wing sail attached for the first time, marking a major milestone in the campaign.

The wing was first unveiled on Sunday evening, when the tent where it had been assembled was opened up. After a day of load testing, in the early hours of Tuesday morning it was attached to the BOR 90 trimaran for the very first time.

“This is just an amazing moment,” said James Spithill, the helmsman for the team. “As sailors, we’re just very excited to try this out. We can’t thank the guys on the build and shore teams enough as they’ve put in a massive effort to get this ready for us.”

A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, the wing on the BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m).

Getting the BOR 90 off the dock with the wing was a major mission in itself. The wing needed to be attached to the boat in near calm conditions, before Spithill carefully maneuvered away from the dock with the wing down, in a horizontal position, assisted by numerous RIBs.

Hoist the mainsail!

Hoist the mainsail!

The first several testing sessions will consist of gently working up the loads on the boat and wing as the sailors become familiar with the new system.

Full-scale testing of the cutting-edge rig will continue over the coming weeks as the team prepares to face Alinghi in the America’s Cup Match in February 2010.

America’s Cup to return to Valencia

November 10th, 2009 No comments

In a letter written today to New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich following the unsuccessful discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the America’s Cup Defender, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), has confirmed that it will conduct a Deed of Gift Match with GGYC in February 2010 in Valencia, which is the date and venue repeatedly requested by GGYC and previously ordered by the Court.

Good news for those of us living in Spain!  There must be a few rather angry chaps down in the Gulf though.  We now will see how these boats hold up in the winter in Valencia.  I stand by my theory that the cup will be decided by whoever still has an intact boat at the end of the series.  Valencia can deliver some nasty seas this time of year. Bring it on!!!!

Actuel Capsizes in the English Channel

November 10th, 2009 No comments

Not quite the way it is supposed to be – this pciture of “Actuel” after her capsize shows the other side of life on these extreme machines.

Actuel afrer her capsize

Actuel after her capsize

Apparently she was sailing at around 20 knots in 24 knots of breeze when she very suddenly pitchpoled.  Looking at the photo it is not hard to guess that she hit something – probably a shipping container.  Unfortunately there are rather a lot of them floating around, and they tend to float like icebergs – not much above the water.

More can be found on the Daily Sail …

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

Oracle Wing Mast Unveiled

November 9th, 2009 No comments
BMW Oracle Trimaran Wing Mast

BMW Oracle Trimaran Wing Mast

The latest development by the BMW Oracle Racing team was unveiled today when an enormous solid wing sail was prepared to be wheeled out of the tent at the team base in San Diego. Perhaps they are not so upset at losing their rig last week after all!
A wing of this scale has never been built for a race boat. In terms of size, the wing on BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m).

The primary advantage of the wing over a soft sail is that it is easier to control and does not distort. This makes it easier for the trimmers on board to maintain an optimum aerofoil shape in a wide range of conditions.

Full-scale, on-the-water testing of the wing will begin later this week as the team resumes sea trials in preparation for the 33rd America’s Cup Match in February.

BMW Oracle dismasted

November 6th, 2009 No comments

So it’s now one-all in the dismasting stakes!  With both BMW Oracle and Alinghi having now suffered a dismasting one has to question the reliabiity of these boats. Perhaps the outcome of the America’s cup, should the race ever move out of the courthouse, would be more determined by who makes it through all 3 races!

Alinghi are now saying they will move the race to Australia on the east coast.  Given that it could only be in Valencia if in the northern hemisphere,  according to the various legal wrangles, this is not that surprising.  The Swiss team is not popular in New Zealand and the only other possible southern venues would be South America or South Africa – the latter undoubtably too rough for these fragile craft.  Expect the venue to be somewhere very sheltered!!

More on the dismasting …

RIBs that follow the BOR 90 during testing sessions recovered the damaged mast and returned to the base later in the evening.

The team will spend Tuesday night assessing all the available data to gain a full understanding of what happened.

“We really need to go back and look into the numbers and see what footage we have. Right now, it’s too early to say why and where it failed,” Spithill said.

“The biggest priority was making sure everyone was safe and getting back to the dock and now we’ll evaluate (what happened).”

That process was well underway on Tuesday night.