[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] Progress continues for Emirates Team New Zealand with several of the sailing team in the UK for a testing session onboard the new AC45 ‘F’ catamaran.
Progress continues for Emirates Team New Zealand with several of the sailing team in the UK for a testing session onboard the new AC45 ‘F’ catamaran.
The AC45 ’F’ for ‘foiling’, is a natural progression of the non foiling model used in the last America’s Cup World Series, and has now been converted to a fully foiling catamaran that will race starting at the first World Series event in Portsmouth in July
It is not Emirates Team New Zealand’s first involvement in the AC45F; designers Neil Wilkinson and Chris Mellow played major roles in leading the conversion to make the boats fly. Wilkinson lead the design of the new foil control system while Chris Mellow lead the project management of the entire process.
“The new foiling version of the AC45 catamaran has brought the boats in line with current foiling technology,” said Glenn Ashby who was in Southampton accompanied by Jeremy Lomas and Richard Meacham as they were given a short and intense shore side session examining Ben Ainslie Racing’s own AC45F.
A strange scenario it seems, but the event wasn’t exclusively for Emirates Team New Zealand. All teams were permitted time to study the new features, systems and deck layout which make the ‘F’ foil as part of preparation for the first hit out in two months time.
It is the understanding of the onboard working systems and the subsequent conversion to crew dynamics, which will give any team an advantage in the one design class.
“It has been an extremely valuable few days here in Southampton having the opportunity to assess, test and sail with the new foiling AC45F class boat,” said Glenn Ashby.
The sailing sessions gave the sailing team a taste of action to come, “The racing will be fantastic on these boats and having full foiling reaching starts to mark 1 and then downwind to the gate in a fleet environment will be extremely exciting.”
“The boats are very challenging to sail and operating the dagger boards rake and up/down in the manoeuvres accurately around the course will be key to a good performance.”
“We are grateful to the guys at BAR for their hospitality and assistance over the past few days which allowed various sailing team representatives to be able to sail and learn about how we will need to prepare for the first event.”
Emirates Team New Zealand have a planned training camp on the teams own AC45F in late June which will be its only preparation before practice racing on the 24th July.