Archive | America’s Cup

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British Challenge accepted for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Royal Yacht Squadron Racing] Royal Yacht Squadron Racing (RYSR) has had its challenge accepted by the America’s Cup defender, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. RYSR is the affiliate club of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the challenging club for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), now the official British entry for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Signing of the America's Cup Notice of Challenge. Photo credit Jessica Dobbs

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), having won the 34th America’s Cup, holds the America’s Cup in accordance with the terms of a Deed of Gift dated 24 October 1887 and will be hosting the event in three years’ time, although the location is yet to be confirmed, being either San Diego or Bermuda.

RYSR submitted its Notice of Challenge to the GGYC during the two-month open entry period which closed on Friday 8th August. The entry has now been formally accepted.

Each team that challenges for the America’s Cup is required to do so through a host club.  The America’s Cup started its long history at the Royal Yacht Squadron when the schooner America beat a fleet of British racing yachts to the finish line there on 22 August 1851, watched by Queen Victoria.

“We are delighted that Ben Ainslie Racing, led by Sir Ben, has asked Royal Yacht Squadron Racing to challenge on his behalf and are sure that, if anyone can bring the Cup back to its original home, he and his excellent BAR team can,” commented Simon van der Byl, CEO of RYSR.

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Five teams to challenge for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: America's Cup] Six teams have entered the race for the 35th America’s Cup:

ORACLE TEAM USA (USA), the defending champion
Artemis Racing (SWE)
Ben Ainslie Racing (GBR)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA)
Team France (FRA)

“It’s exciting to look at the roster of teams who are lining up against us,” said Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA, the winner of the last two America’s Cup matches. “We’re facing five strong challengers who have a lot of resources, talent and experience.

“But our team is very competitive. We love challenges – the bigger, the better. It’s very easy to get motivated when you see what we’re going to be facing.”

The 35th America’s Cup begins in 2015 and 2016 with the America’s Cup World Series, raced in venues around the world. This feeds into the main events in 2017, which will narrow the field to just two: the top challenger and the defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, who will then face each other in the America’s Cup Match.

Teams will be given the opportunity to host America’s Cup World Series events at a venue of their choosing, while the final venue for the 35th America’s Cup will be either Bermuda or San Diego, with the selection to be made before the end of the year.

Under the rules of the event, late entries may be accepted at the discretion of the America’s Cup organizers.

Quotes from the challenging teams:

Iain Percy, Artemis Racing: “We are not only in this competition to win the 35th America’s Cup, but to dominate the America’s Cup arena for the next decade. I’m also passionate that Artemis Racing is about more than simply winning; it’s about producing a legacy and winning in a certain way.”

Ben Ainslie, Ben Ainslie Racing: “We are delighted that Royal Yacht Squadron Racing’s challenge for the 35th America’s Cup has been officially accepted. The America’s Cup originates from the Squadron and it is our goal to return the Cup to where it belongs.”

Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand: “New Zealand has a long and proud history in the America’s Cup. We see some formidable opposition taking shape in the 35th America’s Cup and we have no illusions about the job ahead. We have been working quietly behind the scenes towards this day almost since the last day of the 34th America’s Cup. Now the real work begins.”

Max Sirena, Luna Rossa Challenge: “This is Luna Rossa’s fifth challenge to the America’s Cup, an historic record. Not only does it underline the attachment of our team to the America’s Cup, but it also shows our determination to bring the Cup to Italy. This edition will be very competitive and our team has already been preparing for several months now in view of a challenge that promises to be spectacular and exciting right from its preliminary events, the America’s Cup World Series, that will take place next year.”

Franck Cammas, Team France: “Team France is very proud to be a challenger for the 35th America’s Cup. We are taking the first step of a journey that we know will be very difficult. With Olivier de Kersauson, Michel Desjoyeaux and our team, we are determined to represent France at the highest level from a sporting and technological point of view. I thank all of our partners and supporters, as without you, we would not even see the beginning of our journey, much less the road ahead.”

The teams for the 35th America’s Cup will be introduced at a press conference in London, England on September 9.

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Artemis Racing launches its challenge for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 19 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Artemis Racing] Today, Artemis Racing officially launched its challenge to win the 35th America’s Cup at an inspirational event in Sweden’s capital. Guests were treated to a rare chance of seeing the America’s Cup trophy first hand at the Moderna Museet, on Skeppsholmen Island at the heart of Stockholm’s proud maritime history.

Torbjörn Törnqvist, Team Principal of Artemis Racing said: “Sailing is my passion, and I’m very proud to once again represent Sweden in the America’s Cup. Given our experience from the 34th America’s Cup, what the team went through and achieved, we have an incredibly strong culture, a belonging to the team. Building on our core group from the last campaign, we have been able to secure talent across all areas, and I strongly believe that Artemis Racing is a team capable of winning the 35th America’s Cup”.

Artemis Racing will again challenge alongside Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS), the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, for what will be their second campaign together in the pursuit of winning the oldest competition in sport.

“The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of international sailing. KSSS is proud to be a challenger once again through Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing team. We are also very excited by the prospect of involving Swedish sailors in various ways in the project. We want to extend our gratitude to Torbjörn Törnqvist for making this possible” commented Staffan Salén, KSSS Commodore.

From left, Torbjörn Törnqvist, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Percy officially set their sight on the 35th America’s Cup. Stockholm, 19 August 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

New team members were announced, including Swedish Olympic champions, Fredrik Lööf and Max Salminen, as well as America’s Cup veteran Rod Davis.

Lööf is one of the most successful Swedish sailors of all times and a long-time friend and competitor of Team Manager Iain Percy. With a wealth of experience, he has participated in an incredible six Olympic campaigns, winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics and bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Star class, and at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the Finn class. Lööf’s career highlights also include three Finn World Championships, two Star World titles and a third place finish in the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race.

On joining the team Fredrik said “I’ve been fascinated by the way sailing has been evolving over the last few years, with these new foiling boats and incredible TV production. I was really inspired by Artemis’ last campaign and having a Swedish boat on the start line again, and being part of it this time, is very exciting. Winning the America’s Cup and bringing it to Sweden for the first time would be something very special”.

One of the most promising talents in Swedish sailing, Max Salminen, still just 24, struck gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games alongside Fredrik Lööf in the Star class.

Artemis Racing also welcomed Sailing Coach Rod Davis. In his extraordinary America’s Cup career –now his 9th campaign – Davis brings an unparalleled wealth of experience to the team, having covered a variety of roles from bowman to mainsail trimmer, skipper, and more recently coach of Emirates Team New Zealand. Rod won a gold medal in the Soling class at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, and Olympic silver in the Finn class in Barcelona 1992. His track record also includes winning the Admiral’s Cup and the Sardinia Cup several times, as well as seven World Champion titles.

The Team has already amassed an incredible 61 America’s Cup Campaigns between its members, including 14 victories. Team members (including two designers) have competed in 21 Olympic Games, winning 11 medals, including seven Gold medals.

“Where some teams may have one Olympic gold medallist, we have six of them, however the focus is very much on the team, and there is no individual bigger than the group. We are not only in this competition to win the 35th America’s Cup, but to dominate the America’s Cup arena for the next decade.” Said Team Manager and Tactician Iain Percy. “I’m also passionate that Artemis Racing is more than simply winning, it’s about producing a legacy and winning in a certain way”.

The crew that aims to take on Oracle Team USA. Stockholm, 19 August 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

Harnessing fresh talent and inspiring younger team members is at the core of Artemis Racing’s new challenge, and the Team launched an internship programme which will give top Swedish students a chance to become directly involved in the key areas that make up a successful America’s Cup Team, spending up to 12 weeks working in the team base in Alameda, CA, USA, across different departments.

Artemis Racing also aspires to be the most sustainable and responsible team in the America’s Cup, announcing a number of initiatives including plans to ‘up-cycle’ or, ‘re-purpose’, their future base at the 35th America’s Cup venue.

The Team also announced partnerships with Pelle P, as the official clothing supplier and Cosworth Group, as technical supplier.

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AC62 Upwind Performance (part 2): Foiling – when and where?

Posted on 08 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Andrew Mason of VIRTAC provides an excellent and in-depth analysis of the upwind sailing aspects of the AC62′s, the recently-unveiled boats to be used in the 35th America’s Cup:

In Part 1 of this article we discussed the likely shape of the AC62 polar curve and how it affects the viability of upwind foiling in shifting wind conditions. In this article we will look at the decision making process of when and where to foil, and the tools and techniques that can be used to help predict these situations.

AC62 Foiling Evolution

America’s Cup designers such as Pete Melvin and Paul Bieker have talked about making the AC62 foil in lower winds than was feasible with the AC72. However, when the dimensions for the AC62 are compared with a scaled down AC72, the boat is heavier relative to its righting moment and sail area. This does not indicate a boat that will be more likely to foil in light winds than the AC72.

It is possible that the teams may reduce aerodynamic drag on their AC62s even more than was achieved by the Oracle team with their Cup-winning boat, but paradoxically, this may not make upwind foiling more advantageous, as it would improve the lift/drag ratio of the boat and make the high, non-foiling mode even more efficient.

Unlike the AC72, the AC62 allows dynamic control of rudder foil angle of attack. As a result, it may be possible to improve the efficiency of the main foils of the AC62 as they will not need to be as self-regulating in the heave axis. This may deliver some gains in the upwind foiling mode, as side-force can be generated more effectively when flying height can be precisely controlled. But how much more efficient upwind foiling will become is unclear, and whether upwind foiling mode can improve on the VMG available in the high-pointing displacement mode is also uncertain.

Some America’s Cup designers now believe that hulls are simply “foil delivery systems” and that hull design is no longer important, but this may be a naive view. It is a safe bet that the AC62s will be able to foil upwind in most conditions, but it is far from guaranteed that they will do so the majority of the time while racing.

Performance Prediction Difficulties

In order to accurately predict the behavior of the AC62 upwind it is necessary to use a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) that can balance the forces and moments involved and determine the boat speed for a given true wind speed and direction. The problem is that for the 34th America’s Cup, many of the VPPs used by the teams were not able to do this satisfactorily for an AC72.

One of the primary reasons for this is the shape of the AC72 polar curve. It not only has multiple upwind VMG peaks, but for some wind angles it also has multiple boat speeds for the same wind angle, due to the hysteresis loop.These multiple solutions cause difficulties for the solvers used in conventional VPPs, which are designed to find a single equilibrium point. As a result of this limitation, a common problem for the conventional VPPs was getting different results when different starting conditions were used for a calculation.

Just because a force and moment equilibrium exists for a given wind speed and angle does not mean that it is achievable. The AC72 polar curve is “path dependent” in nature; that is, the performance achieved for a particular point of sail and wind speed is dependent on what headings and boat speeds preceded the current state. As a result there may be multiple equilibria possible for a given wind speed and direction.

AC72 polar curve

For example, with the idealized AC72 polar curve shown above there are two stable boat speeds possible at 60 degrees true wind direction: 21 knots and 29 knots. Which of these speeds the boat adopts depends on the path it has taken. The 29 knot speed is only achievable if the boat has previously borne away beyond 60 degrees, risen up on foils, then luffed up back to 60 degrees.

In some cases a force and moment equilibrium may exist for which there is no path available for a give wind speed. For example, it is likely that a wind speed exists for an AC72 where foiling can be maintained, but not initiated. An example of this may be where the boat has been foiling happily in 15 knots of wind but where the wind speed then drops to 12 knots. Even though the boat may not be able to get onto foils when the breeze is a steady 12 knots, it may be able to maintain foiling in that wind strength if it is already on foils.

This situation also occurs with planing boats, in that it is often possible to maintain planing when the wind drops slightly below the wind speed needed to initiate planing. However, in the case of foiling cats, the issue is more pronounced and causes significant issues for conventional VPPs, as these are designed to find a single equilibrium for forces and moments, not trace out the path to that equilibrium point to see if it is achievable.

The behavior described above is not just restricted to the AC72. Smaller foiling catamarans such as the Flying Phantom and GC32 also have sawtooth shaped polar curves upwind, with their high-pointing displacement mode having slightly better VMG than their low foiling mode. This makes it very likely that the AC62 will have similar behavior, and have similar problems with VPP predictions. The inability of conventional VPPs to resolve path dependencies and the resulting inaccuracy of their predictions has resulted in several of the teams for the next America’s Cup committing to new VPP development.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

The benefits of Wallying on foils in an AC62 will be substantial, but the penalties for getting it wrong will also be great. For example, if forced to sail a header for any period of time due to the proximity of a boundary or a competitor, the VMG obtained from sailing on foils will be dramatically worse than would be available from sailing in high mode.

Foiling on a header

The decision of whether or not to pull away and foil is a complex one based on how much the current tack is lifted, how far it is to the layline or boundary, and how soon a heading shift is expected. The maximum benefit occurs if the wind direction is headed just before the boat reaches the boundary or layline, but if this period is not long enough or the lift hasn’t been big enough, the gain may still not be greater than the distance lost pulling away to get onto the foils.

The mathematics required to calculate the the risks and benefits is complex, having many similarities to the methods used to value financial derivatives, such as the Black-Scholes model for options pricing. But these methods are complex and computationally expensive, and there is currently no on-board instrument system that is capable of weighing the future probability of lifts and headers versus the time available and the cost of initiating foiling. In the meantime, the decision when and where to foil upwind needs to be based on the intuition of the sailors.

Wallying Simulation

The complexity of the trade offs involved in the decision to foil upwind makes it essential for the helmsman and tactician to have an instinctive sense of when and where to Wally, and the only way of training this intuition is repeated race practice in different wind conditions. Although this may be possible with training boats such as foiling AC45s, SL33s or GC32s, these will not necessarily replicate the trade-offs required for the AC62, nor will they provide a controlled environment where their decisions can be measured and compared to the optimal course.

This is one situation that is ideally suited to a simulator, as scenarios can be repeated many times in a short period, course options can be compared to optimal outcomes, and sailors can benefit from an ideal learning environment. VIRTAC is specifically set up to foster this learning process, with the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based opponents who are capable of evaluating and executing wallying strategies based on intelligent routing algorithms.

In this way helmsmen can compete against a synthetic competitor that always makes optimally informed decisions based on the probabilities, making the quality of a helmsman’s choices and their effect on the position in the race immediately apparent.

Postscript: Why is it called Wallying?

Several readers have asked where the term Wallying came from. The idea behind the technique has been around for some time, most commonly referred to as “footing to the header”, but the 1987 America’s Cup was first time that a yacht’s instrumentation system automated the calculations and provided recommendations based on the yacht’s polar curves.

Stars & Stripes 87

To avoid the on-board TV cameras and microphones revealing a new technique that the Stars & Stripes crew considered a key competitive advantage, the crew referred to a fictitious crew member, Wally, when course adjustments were relayed to Dennis Conner, the helmsman. Messages from the navigator such as “Wally suggests two tenths faster than target, Dennis” were clear to those on-board, but baffling to those unaware of the technique being used. Wally helped win the America’s Cup and has been immortalized ever since.

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Emirates Team New Zealand challenges for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 08 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has lodged a challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.

Out-going Commodore Steve Burrett announced that the challenge would go ahead at the Squadron’s annual meeting last night.

The Squadron will be represented by Emirates Team New Zealand. Challenges must received by the defending yacht club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, by midnight Friday, San Francisco time.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has been involved with all but one New Zealand America’s Cup campaign since 1987, winning at San Diego in 1995 and successfully defending at Auckland in 2000.

Emirates Team New Zealand challenges for the 35ht America’s Cup. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Mr Burrett said: “New Zealand has a distinguished history in the America’s Cup and we expect Emirates Team New Zealand will once again make New Zealand proud, just as it has done many times in the past.

“We wish the team well and we look forward to contributing to the success of the 35th America’s Cup.”

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton says the team is pleased to be able to be in a position to challenge with the confidence of being able to represent the country well. “This is the official start of a long, hard journey. We do not under-estimate the challenges ahead.

“We look forward to working with the other teams to create a great event.”

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AC62 Upwind Performance: To foil or not to foil… (part 1)

Posted on 05 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Andrew Mason of VIRTAC provides an excellent and in-depth analysis of the upwind sailing aspects of the AC62′s, the recently-unveiled boats to be used in the 35th America’s Cup:

One of the most useful aspects of the VIRTAC simulator will be the capability for sailors to learn and practice the optimal strategies for foiling, both upwind and down. These are not as simple as they might first appear, particularly the upwind case.

During the 34th America’s Cup, held in San Francisco last year, the ability of the Oracle team to foil their AC72 upwind at key points in the later races proved to be an invaluable asset and a significant factor in their victory.

Since then, the AC62 class has been defined as a successor to the AC72, with foiling upwind in as little as 12 knots of wind mentioned as an objective. Whether this design goal is achievable and whether it will translate into consistent upwind foiling is another matter.

The Foiling Moth

The international moth is typically used as an example of the benefits of sailing on foils on all points of sail, as it goes without saying that foiling upwind is essential to winning races in the class. However, there are two key differences between the AC62 and the moth: the waterline lengths of the two vessels, and the presence of a wing-sail on the AC62.

The short waterline length of the moth means that its limiting hull speed is quite low, meaning that its potential speed in displacement mode is poor, making foiling essential in all conditions where it is possible to achieve liftoff. The AC62, by comparison, has a long waterline length and a narrow hull beam, allowing it to be driven at high speed in displacement mode with relatively little drag.

Chris Rashley by Dylan Fletcher

In addition, the moth uses a soft sail which has a lower lift/drag ratio than that achievable with a wing-sail. The result of these two factors is that while the moth achieves its best speed made good to windward (VMG) when up on foils, the AC62, like the AC72 before it, is likely to have two upwind modes with similar VMG: a high, displacement mode; and a low, foiling mode.

Some examples of this are shown below. These diagrams are performance polars for both Oracle Team USA and ETNZ captured from telemetry data during three races of the 2013 America’s Cup. The races were held in three different mean wind strengths (increasing left to right) and while there is both bias and noise in the data, one very clear trend stands out: a sawtooth shape in the upwind polar curve between 35 and 65 degrees true wind direction.

AC72 telemetry data

Both boats show a good VMG at around 40 degrees true wind direction, with little increase in speed through the water as the upwind heading is freed off until around 55-60 degrees true. At this point the boat accelerates rapidly as it gets onto foils, reaching a speed that is significantly faster than before.

Unfortunately, in most of the cases shown the VMG achieved at this broader angle is slightly inferior to that seen in the higher, displacement mode, plus the crew had to sacrifice some distance to windward and do some hard work to get up on foils. Even worse, on the narrow America’s Cup course, the boat is now approaching the course boundary at a faster rate, and will need to tack sooner and more often than when sailing in high mode.

An idealized version of this style of polar curve is shown below, with the addition of a hysteresis loop between foiling and non-foiling modes. The hysteresis loop occurs because once the boat is up on foils and going fast it will be possible to head up a few degrees without sacrificing performance. As the angle to the true wind is further reduced, a point will come where the boat drops off foils and returns to the slower displacement mode.

idealized AC72 polar

These polars indicate that foiling upwind in the AC72 should have had little or no tangible benefit, yet that is clearly not what occurred in the 2013 America’s Cup. Although Oracle Team USA only foiled upwind on a few occasions, when it did the effect was devastating. So why the disparity between the measured performance data and the race results?

Much of the answer is found in a technique known as “Wallying“, first formalized by Ockam Instruments and used by Dennis Conner and the Stars &a Stripes crew during the 1987 America’s Cup.

Wallying

If a yacht is sailing towards a mark that is directly to windward, the best performance that can be obtained is referred to as velocity made good relative to the wind direction, or VMG. This can be illustrated using a typical polar performance curve, as shown below for a 2007 ACC yacht, where the single best VMG is a found by a line perpendicular to the wind direction and tangent to the polar curve.

ACC polar curve

When the wind direction shifts, but is expected to shift back prior to the yacht reaching the lay line, it is possible to improve on the speed made good towards the next mark by using a technique that involves sailing at a angle lower than VMG. This is illustrated below: when the wind lifts by 10 degrees, the optimal velocity made good in the course direction (VMC) is achieved by freeing off almost 5 degrees.

Lifted ACC polar curve

In this case the performance gain is small but significant, about 1/10th of a knot, or about a 1.5% improvement. But what happens when the polar curve for an AC72 encounters a shift of the same magnitude?

Lifted AC72 polar curve

In the case of a 10 degree lift, the changes are dramatic: the optimal course requires that the boat bear away by 20 degrees, the boatspeed jumps from 20 knots to nearly 30 knots, and the VMC improves by a massive 20%. As the magnitude of the lift increases the advantage of the foiling mode over the non-foiling mode increases even more dramatically.

Even when the wind is steady there are other areas where a sawtooth polar curve with a high-speed foiling mode is useful. In some tactical situations being able to rapidly increase or decrease lateral separation from an opponent in a great advantage. In this case, having a polar curve with two different modes having very similar VMGs allows a crew to sail fast to break a cover, or alternatively sail higher and slower to give an opponent bad air. In San Francisco where different sides of the course could have tidal streams flowing in opposite directions, being able to point high or foot off at high speed without sacrificing VMG was of great tactical benefit.

AC62 Upwind Foiling

The unusual shape of the polar curve of the AC72 explains why in the most recent America’s Cup the two finalists only foiled occasionally, rather than whenever the wind was above a threshold. But will the AC62s designed for the next Cup stay off foils for much of the upwind legs, or will the foiling mode have improved so significantly that the high-pointing displacement mode is no longer viable? If both modes are still similar in VMG, what strategies will govern when to foil and when to stay in the higher and slower mode? What changes are required in the Velocity Prediction Programs (VPPs) and Race Modeling Programs (RMPs) used by the design teams to model the performance of the boats? And how will the use of a simulator help to refine sailing techniques when two different sailing modes are available?

More to come in Part 2

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Ben Ainslie Racing strengthen their British America’s Cup Challenge

Posted on 01 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Ben Ainslie Racing] Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) today announced six additions to their British America’s Cup Challenge. The new team members will significantly strengthen BAR’s bid to bring the Cup back home to British waters.

Britain’s Paul Campbell-James has joined the sailing team and brings a great deal of technical knowledge, combined with a solid record as both a mono and multi-hull racer. He represented Italian entry, Luna Rossa Challenge, filling the role of helmsman onboard ‘Swordfish’ during the 2012/13 America’s Cup World Series, moving into a reserve Helmsman and Performance Analyst role for the team’s 34th America’s Cup campaign.

Previously, Campbell-James had dominated the Extreme Sailing Series, claiming two championship titles in 2010 and 2011. Before that he raced the 49er skiff with the British Sailing Team, and had an active and successful match-racing career winning the British National title four times, the British Universities Team Racing Championship and the University Match Race World Championship, whilst studying for his degree in Ship Science at the University of Southampton. He commented;

“It’s been my dream to race in the America’s Cup since I was age 12 and to do it with the Union Jack on the wing and to compete for my country, with my mates next to me, would be pretty special. I’m proud to be joining BAR and looking forward to working towards bringing the Cup home.”

Sir Keith Mills with The Duchess of Cambridge, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Charles Dunstone in front of the America’s Cup. London, 10 June 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

The design team, headed up by Technical Director and two-time America’s Cup winner, Andy Claughton, has recruited New Zealand’s Mark Bishop, who will bring additional composite engineering skills to the design team line up. Mark was responsible for the composite structures on a wide range of racing yachts including the VO70’s Telefonica Azul and Abu Dhabi’s Azzam. He has also worked on high-speed offshore powercraft that can reach speeds well in excess of 200 mph, with multiple world championship wins in both monohulls and catamarans.

Yves Mignard (FRA) also joins to focus on 3D design and modeling. Yves was part of the hugely successful Groupama Sailing Team during their winning Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 campaign, and joined Oracle Team USA for the end of their successful 2013 defence.

BAR shore team signings include Michel Marie (FRA) who takes on the position of Composites Manager. Michel’s wealth of America’s Cup experience includes a succession of senior management positions, with Alinghi (2000 – 2007) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007 – 2010), and has been part of three winning America’s Cup teams. Mark Cartwright (GBR), a specialist in designing and installing electronic systems, has been brought into the shore team to set up the electronics department.

Portsmouth’s Ben Williams completes the new line up, joining as team Strength and Conditioning Coach.

BAR Team Principal, Ben Ainslie, commented on the new team developments. “Across the board we are bringing together the right blend of skill, knowledge and experience that we need to take us to our goal. These are all great additions to the team.”

Since BAR’s launch in June – at the Royal Museums Greenwich, and in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge – the team have also secured £7.5 million in government funding towards a new Team HQ on Portsmouth’s Camber Quay. Building work started on the 1st July and is expected to be complete by 1st May 2015.

Ainslie concluded, “We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have had since the launch, which gives us a lot of confidence. There are new developments happening every week, and these are setting solid foundations for our development and growth over the coming years.”

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Statement from the America’s Cup Teams Meeting

Posted on 29 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: America's Cup Event Authority] ORACLE TEAM USA hosted a meeting with four of the teams who have entered the 35th America’s Cup or plan to by the 8th August 2014; Luna Rossa, Artemis Racing, Team France and Ben Ainslie Racing.

A positive meeting saw a number of points debated, the key points agreed between all parties present were:

• Regular meetings encompassing all teams in order to work collectively to maximize the potential of both this America’s Cup and future editions.

• Each team plan to host an America’s Cup World Series event in either their own country, or a country of their choice.

• All the teams present agreed that they would commit – if they were to win the Cup in 2017 – to continue with the America’s Cup World Series.

• A commitment to further reduce the costs for both this Cup and future editions.

• Support for the choice of host venue, be it Bermuda or San Diego.

• A working group to agree on the date and event structure of the 36th America’s Cup, to lay the foundations for a sustainable event.

The proposed America’s Cup race course in Bermuda

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