The focus of the sailing world shifted yesterday to San Francisco, where the Defender and Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup shaped up briefly in ideal sailing conditions.
Nothing conclusive could be drawn from the encounter, however we have plenty of images in this edition thanks to Guilain Grenier of Oracle Team USA, and US website pressure-drop.us who were on the water for what was a long day.
We have almost 40 images of the day in this edition of Sail-World, again it is not really possible to draw conclusions from a series of still shots with no video, and no eye witness reports on the trialing. However it would be fair to say that while Oracle Team USA-17 still has some of the residue from the earlier edition, several of the more obvious issues appear to be resolved.
Both Artemis racing and Oracle Team USA, seem to sail more in a displacement rather than foil assisted mode upwind, than do either Luna Rossa or Emirates Team NZ's first AC72 catamaran. For USA-17 Mk 2, downwind foiling seems to have improved in consistency and reliability.
The platform twisting which was such a feature of USA-17 Mk 1, has been dampened, but not eliminated. Whether that is now having any effect on the foiling performance and speed of the newer version, is hard to say from images, but we are not seeing much of the rearing and crashing that was apparent previously.
The images from pressure-drop.us are significant in that they are taken by an independent source, and not the PR-genre designed to show the boat in a favourable light, as happens with many teams and campaigns.
America's Cup train-spotters will have a field day with these sets of images. It is interesting to go back and look at the extensive galleries of images from Emirates Team New Zealand, in particular, and spot the differences between the Auckland based AC72's and the San Francisco group.
We have several stories from the New Zealand marine scene, in this edition of Sail-World.
Doyle Sails have another success with third place in the Vendee Globe, powering British singlehanded sailor Alex Thompson in his non-stop race around the planet. His full suit of sails was designed and built in Doyles facility in Avondale, Auckland - and that includes laminating the cloth. Catch the full story in this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter.
Southern Spars are already well down the track with production of masts for the Volvo Ocean Race, with three spars and a boom completed. We take a look at the production line that has been set up in Auckland. Southern Spars have a fine record of success in round the world racing for boats finishing with the rigs pointing in the right direction. And it was no surprise, with the Volvo Ocean Race organiser's emphasis on having boats finish each leg, that they went to Southern Spars for the spars for the one-design Volvo Ocean Race fleet.
Also in this edition is a story of a 50ft yacht holding successfully on anchor during the ex-Cyclone Oswald, which hit Brisbane in late January. Despite all the talk around safety and what to do and what not, most forget that their first line of defence is a reliable anchor, and this was demonstrated once again with the Manson Supreme doing all that was asked of it and more.
Many forget that once you are able to hold you boat in a position in a crisis situation, you are well down the track for surviving. The old adage of 'it is not the first mistake that gets you, but the second or third', is very true in sailing. Being able to anchor your boat securely and in the confidence that it will do the job, is crucial, and stops that first mistake. It is the one piece of equipment where you ignore price, and look solely at functionality and track record. Even so, Manson Anchors are very competitively priced for excellent quality.
35 metres of dock created in just 35 minutes using the Lancer Airodock system Ronald Winstone
At the other end of the scale, Lancer Industries has announced the first sale of their Airodock, a remarkable inflatable floating dock. This literally allows you to walk on water, and form a portable dock astern - in just 35 minutes. Aimed initially at the superyacht market, the Airodock has a lot of other uses, and we'll follow the development of the Airodock with great interest.
Having fun on the Airodock at Piha Ronald Winstone
From Yachting New Zealand in conjunction with Emirates Team New Zealand we have the announcement of the Red Bull America's Cup Youth Team, which will be lead by two Olympic medalists. As we write a series of trials are underway in which a second New Zealand team is vying for a place in this regatta.
Stay tuned for the outcome.
XXIX Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse YCM / Carlo Borlenghi
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