Kiwi Surprise – Bike Grinders and more…
Emirates Team New Zealand took the America’s Cup world by surprise when they launched their race boat on Valentine’s Day with bicycle grinding stations.
TVNZ showed video and Sail-World’s Richard Gladwell published a series of photos. In the team’s video, design coordinator Dan Bernasconi explains how they made the decision to go with the bicycle grinding stations. Video and photos available on CupExperience.com – click here.
The bicycle grinders are not the only surprise. We’ll have to investigate how Glenn Ashby trims the wing. Look closely at the photo above, and you’ll notice there is no winch on the deck.
This is a pretty extreme shape for the daggerboard wing: a polyhedral “inverted gull wing” – the shape used for the WWII Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber.
It works pretty well in light air – Richard Gladwell reported that the Kiwis were foiling smoothly in as little as four knots of wind. See Richard’s articles here and here.
Oracle Unveils Race Boat Hours After Kiwi Launch
Oracle unveiled their race boat at a party on Valentine’s Day evening. They christened the boat the next day.
Luciana Corral smashed the champagne bottle with a mighty swing. Fortunately the shore crew had built a protective “bottle protector.” Click the photo to see the video.
Spithill on Bicycle Grinding
Naturally, the hot topic at Oracle’s party on Tuesday was the Kiwi grinding stations.
“We looked at it hard, as I know all the teams did, and it’s a compromise,” Spithill said. “Nothing is straightforward. You can get more power on the pedal, but there’s other compromises. You take windage and it’s a little harder getting on and off the pedals, so personally I don’t think that decision will be the deciding factor. We looked at it hard to see how it works out and they are the only team to do it so far from what we’ve seen. We haven’t seen Artemis’s boat yet, but I don’t think they would have done it. Whether it will be a good decision only time will tell and really until we see them sailing up here in the Great Sound we won’t really have any idea of where they’re at.”
Where is the AC72 That Won in 2013?
Oracle’s winning AC72 in the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.
I’m on my way today to Newport News to help plan the “Speed and Innovation in the America’s Cup” exhibit that will open in May. I’ve been asked to be “guest curator” – an honor and a lot of fun, working with a great team.