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Thread: ETNZ's Last Ride, Lessons Learned, Look Into The Future

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    ETNZ's Last Ride, Lessons Learned, Look Into The Future




    In a video interview, Emirates Team New Zealand's Technical Director, Nick Holroyd outlines the changes he expects to be made to the team's second AC72, on Day 30, as New Zealand is decommissioned and packed away.

    Reading between the lines in this video interview with Sail-World's America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, it is reasonably plain that New Zealand, the team's first AC72 was always something of a design and test platform, and the team's next AC72 will be the real race thing. But even so it is somewhat hard to believe that the fastest boat that has never raced, will be put into mothballs after just 30 days use.

    Holroyd expects the biggest changes to be made in the area of foils, and also the platform structure, as the second AC72 is beefed up in some key areas to take higher than expected loads, and also to provide a fast and reliable race platform.

    'The boat has come a long way since we started sailing July, with the evolution of systems. I look across 20 years of development that went on in the IACC class, and we were still developing those boats after 20 years. So we are just scratching the surface in what these boats can potentially do.'

    'The big areas we are going to need to move forward are to take what in essence is a pretty marginal sort of structure and make that reliable for racing, and making the boat easier to sail and ergonomically better.'

    'The idea is to give the sailors more control and keep the boat close to optimum. That is where I think the big gains are still to be made.'

    'The boards are another big area of gain. We have learned a lot with control of the boards in this boat, and the next generation of boards will be a big step again.'

    Holroyd says generally the changes will be subtle, as they didn't have the time to conduct a full design review and the second boat will be a development of the first. But despite hitting speeds of over 40kts the first AC72 is still not consistently hitting its designed speed numbers, 'but we are getting closer and closer to our polar targets', he adds.






    Emirates Team New Zealand have become the first, and probably only team that will use its allocated 30 days for the first phase of sailing AC72's.

    According to the virtual Official Noticeboard the team has a zero alongside its name in terms of sailing days left. Luna Rossa has 18, Artemis Racing 23 and Oracle Team USA 22days. Many pundits see that as a measure of the current state of play in the 34th America's Cup. In reality it is hard to argue against, but Emirates Team NZ's MD, Grant Dalton seemed to be more focussed on what lay ahead, rather than the margin the team may have on the rest of the field. In fact it never came up.



    Looking back on the five months that have elapsed since their first AC72 was launched, and the gains that have been achieved. 'I know that the boat we have now is significantly quicker than the one we launched in July. It is a percentage thing. If you gain one or two percent in an area, it becomes a big number because of the speed we are sailing. Let's say if the gains all added up to 10 percent and we are sailing at 40kts downwind, then suddenly it is doing 44kts, in crude terms.

    'All teams will be experiencing this, you just make gains so quickly.

    'The sail-ability of the boat and being able to push or lean on the boat, is I think very, very important', he added.

    A veteran of America's Cup, Volvo and Whitbread and round the world multihull racing, Dalton says the focus in the Emirates Team NZ program will now shift from speed to reliability. 'We have to stop throwing experiments at the boat, and have to start getting the thing around the track day after day without breakage. We can potentially lose our series by having a breakage.'

    'At the point we are now at, we have to move from a technical base to a reliability base. We got good at that in the last campaign. And there are lesson from that which we will bring across into the new boat. By the time we leave NZ we have to have a package, that in theory, we can get around the track without any issues.'

    During the video interview, and chat beforehand, Dalton revealed that the team were caught a little unawares by the weather system that hit Auckland last Thursday, resulting in a tornado that caused substantial damage and caused three deaths.

    The breeze cracked in from the NE, an onshore wind in Auckland, working against and outgoing tide, which in the area they were sailing in is ebbing at up to three knots, but regardless of strength, can create significant seas. 'It was building a decent seaway on top of a Pacific swel, and with the tide going out, it just stands it up. As anyone knows that lives in Auckland, trying to get out of the Rangitoto Channel in an decent NEasterly is a good way to break your boat.'

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    Winging It Towards America






    Richard Gladwell of www.Sail-World.com snapped these pics today or Oracle Racing's 2nd wing enroute to the shipping docks for delivery to the USA.

    The second wingsail for Oracle Team USA left Core Builders Composites facility in Warkworth this morning to begin its journey to San Francisco.

    There the wingsail will be installed on the repaired USA-17, which is expected to be sailing in early February 2013.

    Today's journey was similar to the previous one, with the load having to travel down the main highway, and then weave through some suburbs because of load height issues.

    Along with several other photographers, Sail-World was on hand to catch the action as the load travelled over Auckland's Harbour Bridge


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