Finn sailor, Dan Slater, is one of the latest additions to the 2012 New Zealand Olympic Sailing team Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 31 May 2012
Our apologies for the delay in this newsletter, but the unveiling of the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 took priority. Sail-World along with TVNZ and TV3 were the only media organisations allowed into the Cookson Boats' yard to see the building progress.
In this edition of Sail-World, we feature the first photo published anywhere in the world of an AC72 in a near finished state.
We are sorry that we are unable to bring a full photo essay on the boat, but the usual security arrangements are in place, and what is of passing interest to America's Cup fans is real analysis gold for rival America's Cup syndicates.
The focus of the teams, as Emirates CEO Grant Dalton explained, is not so much on the current boat but the next one.
Finding out just what a rival team might be thinking is of vital interest to others, to both check their own thinking, and obviously see the approach being taken by the opposition.
Nick Holroyd (Design Co-ordinator) and Grant Dalton (CEO) in front of the first AC72 for Emirates Team NZ Richard Gladwell
Certainly the size of the project takes a while to hit home. Not so much in the size of the catamaran, or platform itself. But we are sure that will look awesome when the main beam is in place, which should have already happened.
The real giveaway as to the size is the amount of tarmac required at the Viaduct Basin just to prepare the wingsails for launching and fitting these to the boats.
It is only when you see the now huge vacant flat area, and then be told that all of that will be required to fit and swing the boats, that you get an idea of the scale of these flying machines.
We have also featured two video interviews with Grant Dalton and Nick Holroyd, design co-ordinator of Emirates Team New Zealand in this issue of Sail-World. Our apologies fro the background noise, but they were conducted in a building facility, with the AC72 literally being built around us.
The AC72 hull in position ready to receive the main beam at Cookson Boats Richard Gladwell
Offshore the situation with the dismasting of Artemis Racing, appears to be quite serious, with the wingsail said to be in several pieces, and it is believed that there has been some form of structural failure. Not just the torn skin fabric and a few broken frames that have become part and parcel of the work list for shore crews involved in AC 45 wingsail repairs. From what we understand, Artemis Racing are expected to miss a substantial part of the European summer. The wingsail was constructed in partnership with Future Fibres, who are based in Valencia, Spain.
The Volvo Ocean race fleet lined up and aimed for the finish in Portugal PredictWind.com
Sail-World also understands that Artemis Racing have initiated a 'clarification' of the earlier protests/requests to the International Jury over the allowed interactions between training partners which has been twice the subject of Jury Decisions. However whether this latest development is related to the Emirates Team NZ/ Luna Rossa arrangement, or a contingency plan to work in some way with Oracle Racing if the wingsail issues are as serious as they seem.
All of which highlights the issues for any team if a wingsail is dropped during the two-boat training. Unless a team has the budget to build several spare wingsails the impact of dropping a rig in the training phase is probably more significant than racing – as the whole tuning and development program is set back for weeks or months.
On other sailing news we have most of it covered in this issue.
As well as staying abreast of America's Cup developments, we will be shifting our focus to the Volvo Ocean Race finish, which is said by Volvo Ocean race to be about 36 hours away. As can be seen from the Predictwind graphic, the boats are in line abreast – all lined up and crawling to Lisbon at speeds of less than 10kts, with front runner Abu Dhabi down to just 5kts.
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