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Archive for July, 2009

War of the Monster Multihulls

July 9th, 2009 No comments

It is hotting up in the “spend and ignore the recession” America’s Cup multihull build race.  BMW Oracle have launched a new version of their 90 foot trimaran, and so far have not lodged the customs house papers so they can still change it further.

BMW Oracle Trimaran V2 sea trials off San Diego

BMW Oracle Trimaran V2 sea trials off San Diego (Photo Gilles Martin-Raget)

Its hard to get an idea of just how big this beast is from that photo.  The little glitches at the end of the boom are people! Take a look at the following pic for a better idea as to the scale …

How big is bog?  BMW Oracle closer up during sea trials off San Diego

How big is bog? BMW Oracle closer up during sea trials off San Diego (Photo Gilles Martin-Raget)

While all that goes on the Swiss are progressin as well, emplying the services of the biggest and most powerful helicopter in the world – the Mil Mi-26 – to carry the hull in to Lake Geneva.

Alinghi carried into Lake Geneva by Helicopter (Photo by Bruno Cocozza/Alinghi)

Alinghi carried into Lake Geneva by Helicopter (Photo by Bruno Cocozza/Alinghi)

The Swiss are opting for a Cat instead of a Tri which would be faster particularly in light air, but poses significant build and design challenges (there is an issue with a huge mast pushing down on an area where there is no boat – in the middle).

There is also a bit of a mystery surrounding a huge V8 mounted on the back beam.  I presume it is related to hydraulics – there are numerous tubes leading away from it. Not sure how all that works under the rules!

The mystery V8 on the rear of the Alinghi cat

The mystery V8 on the rear of the Alinghi cat (Photo by Philippe Chapin)

A final pic of the boat just before lift off showing the sheer scale of it…

Alinghi on the tarmac before liftoff

Alinghi on the tarmac before liftoff (Photo by Philippe Chapin)

Alinghi unveil their monster

July 6th, 2009 No comments

Alinghi unveiled their base defender on the weekend.  I say base because they may modify it extensively before it is final.  For one thing the current soft sail configuration may be changed to a solid rig although I think that is unlikely given the engineering challenges involved.  From the Alinghi website ….

Alinghi, the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, unveiled its 90ft catamaran this weekend in Villeneuve, Switzerland. This multihull represents a culmination of Swiss multihull heritage and is the first step in Alinghi’s development process towards the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010. The boat will be launched by helicopter next week on Lake Geneva before the process of ‘debugging’ begins and the boat goes sailing for the first time. “

Alinghi AL-5 construction. Villeneuve boatyard. Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

Alinghi AL-5 construction. Villeneuve boatyard. Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi