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Posts Tagged ‘Alinghi 5 Catamaran’

Tres Cool – Syz and Co catamaran

June 8th, 2010 No comments

What a beautiful boat – Lake Geneva sure is the breeding ground for hte world’s best looking multihulls!  You may remember a rather nice 90 foot catamaran called Alinghi which orignated here not so long ago?  Well here is her smaller foiling cousin – not technically correct since there is no relationship except that they are both on the same lake, but you get the idea.

Syz and Co Catamaran on Lake Geneva

Syz and Co Catamaran on Lake Geneva

Syz and co built this rather beautiful catamaran to go for outright speed records and contest the Bol d’Or Mirabaud (the annual long race on the lake).

For outright speed the foils may be the way to go

For outright speed the foils may be the way to go

We wish them luck with their endeavours (with more than a twinge of jealousy!).

Beauty and the Beast – Alinghi vs USA

February 5th, 2010 No comments

Next week monday two very different boats take to the water in a best of 3 race series.  Alinghi – the Swiss entry – is a beautiful, stiff and light catamaran.  Clearly able to sail in very light air she looks to be the favourite for low wind conditions. BMW Oracle – USA – is a typical american – loud, brash and strong.

Prior to the fitting of the wing sail to USA this scribe would not have rated her chances against the beauty that is Alinghi.  A clearly heavier boat, with a trimaran configuration that is only as efficient as the cat if the center hull is out the water.  Added to that this is a bendy boat (she clearly flexes – stiff it is not) and it all looks a bit messy.

But what have we seen in the past few months?  USA flies her center hull in nearly all conditions, so she is more a cat than a tri.  Very early on they removed the centerboard and rudder on the center hull.  She added a wing sail that made her way more powerful without adding load to those obviously stressed hulls.  If she does emerge victorious this wing sail will be the weapon that delivered the knockout punch.

The wing is almost twice as efficient as a normal cloth sail in delivering lift (propulsion).  Added to that it is a lot easier to control which means they were able to go bigger with the wing.  And that they did!  Just compare the picture below of Alinghi to the USA one below that and it is clear that the wing is a huge sail area advantage (remember you can almost double its size in terms of the propulsion it can supply).  So now we have a somewhat bendy, relatively heavy, trimaran that looks more like a cat with a sail plan that could just make the difference.

On the Swiss side we have a work of art – a catamaran built to outclass every cat before it – an absolute picture of perfection.  Except it doesnt have a wing sail.  Is this important?  They say not. Not much change for some time on Alinghi apart from the centerboards.  USA went from a straight board to C shaped boards to provide added lift on the leeward hull.  Alinghi, interestingly, went the other way. They launched with really interesting looking S shaped foils but now seem to have settled on straight ones.

Alinghi in Valencia (c) Ed Baird / Alinghi

Alinghi in Valencia (c) Ed Baird / Alinghi

Look at how perfectly setup that rig is.  Forestay nice and tight.  Sails beautifully shaped.  Hulls parallel (no twist).  Clearly a boat that is perfection in the design that it is.

So – will Beauty slay the Beast?  Monday will probably yield the answer.  Clearly the weather will play a huge role, but I dont go with the argument that USA will struggle in light air – they have shown with this massive wing that they can fly the center hull in glassy conditions.  Having said that,inidications are that there will be a fair amount of wind Monday, so it may end up being a heavy air race.

I doubt that by the end of the first race there will be a series left.  I expect one boat to dominate – they are just too different for it to be otherwise.  My money is undecided at this point, although the wing would seem to tip it in USA’s favour.

One outcome still quite possible is significant failure of either boat.  These are huge boats, with significant loads and forces.  Dont rule out surprises!

I will be in Valencia tomorrow to check the boats out first hand.  More from the front line!

New York Supreme Court confirms America’s Cup Match for 8 February

February 1st, 2010 No comments

Justice Kornreich tells teams to go racing; no decision or hearing will take place before the Match

Justice Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court informed the America’s Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève, and the challenging Golden Gate Yacht Club today via telephone conference that she will not hear the American challenger’s complaint regarding the ‘constructed in country’ requirement of the Deed of Gift before the 33rd America’s Cup Match which is scheduled to begin on 8 February.

This means the 33rd America’s Cup is free to proceed as ordered by previous New York rulings: in Valencia on the 8, 10 and 12 February.

“This is excellent news. We are delighted that BMW Oracle’s attempts to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America’s Cup in court have been denied. We look forward to meeting them on the start line here in Valencia on 8 February to race for the Cup; something they can no longer try to avoid,” said Ernesto Bertarelli – two-time America’s Cup winner – on hearing the news when returning ashore after today’s race training session.

I’m not altogether clear as to whether this means there could be more arguments after the the race if the Swiss win.

Valencia, 2/1/10 Alinghi in Valencia Alinghi 5 sailing in Valencia George Johns / Alinghi

Valencia, 2/1/10 Alinghi in Valencia Alinghi 5 sailing in Valencia George Johns / Alinghi

Is it just my imagination or do the Americans have a serious lack of forestay tension?  Not that surprising, given the engineering challenges, but it cant help them point much.

BMW Oracle Wing, Alinghi in Valencia

January 19th, 2010 No comments

Happy 2010 all you out there!  Here we have some great pics of the latest from Valencia.  All is well as we come close to the February match date.  Or is it?

Not really.  You see – they are still squabbling!  The Americans say the Swiss have sails not made in Switzerland.  The Swiss say their sails are made in Switzerland, and anyway the rules dont cover sails.

Whether the rules cover sails has yet to be agreed by a judge – and it seems that is the only way anyone can agree on anything in this ridiculous match.  For what its worth, my reading of the rules says “sails not included”.  But I’ afraid that’s not really worth that much 🙂

Anyway – let’s just enjoy the amazing spectacle of the Americans putting that gigantic mast up and the Swiss pottering about offshore in the cold waters of winter in Valencia (I am sure a lot of the sailors would rather be in the gulf).

How's that for a huge sail!  BMW Oracle Wing Sail being hoisted.

How's that for a huge sail! BMW Oracle Wing Sail being hoisted.

On the water - probably glad there is no wind!

On the water - probably glad there is no wind!

Your author is nothing if not meticulously fair – here are two pics of our favourite Catamaran – Alinghi – also in Valencia.

Alinghi Catamaran rests at her berth

Alinghi Catamaran rests at her berth

Alinghi Catamaran pottering about in Valencia

Alinghi Catamaran pottering about in Valencia

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?

Americas Cup

October 4th, 2009 No comments

The nonsense continues in the courts with the swiss contesting the length of the Oracle boat (seems Oracle didn’t include their rudders in the length calculation which would be normal practice) while the Americans aren’t too happy with the choice of venue, citing lack of wind and security as issues.

So they return to court and we return to boredom.  It’s a real shame that this cup has become such a legal farce.  To keep you – the viewer – content I publish below pictures of the two boats…

BMW Oracle Trimaran

BMW Oracle Trimaran

Stunning shot of the American tri showing just how large she is!

Alinghi 5 Catamaran

Alinghi 5 Catamaran

Ahh – yes – the rudders on the cat stick out the bottom (thus don’t contribute to the length).  All seems a bit nitpicky to your scribe I have to say.

Our favourite catamaran in the whole wide world arrives in the Gulf

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

The Swiss Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup docked in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah on Wednesday morning after a 12 day, 4,400nm voyage aboard Rickmers Singapore, a cargo ship.

The 193m ship left Genoa, Italy, on 18 September with the giant catamaran, Alinghi 5, two masts, seven support vessels and approximately 20 containers on board. It travelled across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and Gulf, across the Red and then Arabian Sea before docking in Saqr Port, Ras al Khaimah in the Arabian Gulf at 06:30 CET on Wednesday 30 September.

Alinghi coming off the cargo ship in Ras al Khaimah

Alinghi coming off the cargo ship in Ras al Khaimah (Photo Carlo Borlenghi)

“We are extremely happy that the shipment, including Alinghi 5, arrived safely in Ras al Khaimah,” said Grant Simmer, design team coordinator. “All the equipment that we used in Genoa was onboard so now we can set up our base and workshops and get going. We will be doing some modifications to the yacht over the coming days and the team members are arriving and getting settled so it’s going to be a busy few weeks, we hope to be sailing again as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate the support that we are getting from the local community and from the government of Ras al Khaimah,” he added.

Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO of RAK Investment Authority, added his pleasure at the team’s arrival: “We welcome the arrival of Alinghi to Ras al Khaimah for the preparation of the 33rd America’s Cup event and we also look forward to welcoming BMW Oracle.”

The Alinghi catamaran will travel to the America’s Cup Island of Al Hamra over the coming days along with its entourage and for the next four months the team will be focused on training for the Match for the America’s Cup which starts on 8 February 2010.

Story from Alinghi website.

We now wait for the Americans with their giant trimaran, and then – as they say – “Let the games begin!”.