New America’s Cup Monohull Design Introduced

America's Cup AC-75 concept for 36th runningThe next America’s Cup will be raced on foiling monohulls. THE AMERICA’S CUP CLASS AC75 BOAT CONCEPT REVEALED

The Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa design teams have spent the last four months evaluating a wide range of monohull concepts. Their goals have been to design a class that will be challenging and demanding to sail, rewarding the top level of skill for the crews; this concept could become the future of racing and even cruising monohulls beyond the America’s Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand currently holds America’s Cup and will defend at the next running. Luna Rossa is the officially designated challenger, and both have a say in the design.

One of the problems with foiling boats traveling at 40 knots or more, is that things go bad very fast. And if that results in a capsize, a catamaran is in need of help to be righted. The AC-75 boats will be fully foiling, and self-righting in the event of a capsize.

The 36th America’s Cup match race will be held in 2021. (Preceded as always by the Louis Vuitton Regatta to select the challenger.)


Volvo Ocean Race (Leg 2 – Day 16)

The boats are back in cold weather, after a quick trip through the tropics. They should make Cape Town in about 5 more days (or less). The video below is the review of Week 2, it is mildly interesting in that it includes the equator crossing. (And so the visit from King Neptune.)

Leg 2 – Position Report – Monday 20 November (Day 16) – 13:00 UTC

1. MAPFRE — distance to finish – 1,832.6 nautical miles
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +32.8
3. Dongfeng Race Team +39.7
4. team AkzoNobel +62.8
5. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +83.7
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +88.0
7. Team Brunel – Stealth Mode

1300 Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) is 0800 Eastern Standard Time.

Team Brunel was in 2nd place when they invoked stealth mode. They had been in last place for a while, but have been steadily pulling ahead. The stealth mode lasts 24 hrs. and keeps the competitors from knowing where you are or what you are doing.

After 16 days and about 5500 miles of sailing, less than 90 miles separates the fleet.

Volvo Ocean Race: One Week Into Leg 2

After a week of open ocean sailing, less than 1 nautical mile separates the 1st and 2nd place boats. (They are about a third of the way through this leg of the race.)

The highlights video is from Thursday, but it gives you an idea of what the conditions are like.

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 2 – Lisbon to Cape Town

The 2nd phase of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway yesterday. This is a 7000 nautical mile leg from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa. From not quite winter, in Portugal, through the tropics to not quite summer in Cape Town. It is important to sail the Southern Ocean in summer, because in winter it is impossible. In May of this year a 19.4 meter wave was recorded. (That is just shy of 64 feet for you folks who struggle with the metric system.) That’s about a 6 story building.

This is a bit of video of the start of Leg 2 under what looks to be nearly ideal conditions. Flat seas, and lots of wind = lots of speed.

There is better video if you are interested in more, but this is accessible to the non-sailing audience, and is fun.

Volvo Ocean Racers Pass The Island of Porto Santo and Head North

Only 33 miles separate the lead boat form the 7th. This is after about 900 nautical miles and 4 days of sailing. Downwind flyers – the fleet pushes north – Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

The only thing of note to happen so far: Vestas 11th Hour Racing had a failure of a hose.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, having survived a scare when a ballast tank hose failed, dumping 800 litres of water in the bilge, was first around and is now charging towards the new ‘virtual mark’ set yesterday, dubbed Porto Santo North.

800 liters (or more than 200 gallons) of water in a place you don’t expect it, can be a bit disconcerting on a boat. (And yes, I know from personal experience.) There is video, but it isn’t particularly interesting. Click thru if you are interested.

The position of the fleet is as follows. (Or was, earlier in the day.)

  1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — distance to finish – 572.0 nautical miles
  2. MAPFRE + 12.2nm
  3. team AkzoNobel +13.3
  4. Dongfeng Race Team +22.9
  5. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +29.7
  6. Team Brunel +32.7
  7. Turn the Tide on Plastic +33.0

Volvo Ocean Race: Start of Leg 1

The 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race is scheduled to start today, at 08:00 Eastern Daylight Time. This is a race around the world. (From Spain, to the Hague.) It is NOT nonstop, but is run in a series of legs. Leg one runs from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal around the Portuguese island of Porto Santo. That makes leg 1 about 1450 nautical miles in length.

Prior to the start of the main race, the festivities kicked off in the past few weeks with round-the-buoy racing. This is only interesting because it gives you a nice view of the boats – the open 65, that all teams are using.

Of a bit more interest is this video from from 6 years ago that gives a flavor of what open ocean racing must be like. (Remember all that water, is cold. Some of it is ice cold.) The boats in the 2011-2012 race were open 70s. A bit different than those introduced 3 years ago.

Volvo Ocean Race:  Leg One Begins Oct. 22

Leg 1 routeThe Volvo Ocean race is an around the world yacht race held every 3 years. Volvo Ocean Race: Course confirmed for Leg One >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

In a departure from the traditional long first leg down the Atlantic Ocean, this year the race starts with a (relative) sprint from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal.

The map on the right, above, shows the route, click for a larger view. The “relatively short” course is not to be taken lightly. 3 years ago one boat sank and another was dismasted before they got out of the Mediterranean.

“The leg course we’ve chosen is approximately 1450 miles. There’s a varied weather outlook for that course, quite complex for the Atlantic, which will present some challenges for the crews and we expect them to arrive in Lisbon after approximately a week.”

The Volvo Ocean Race changes a bit every 3 years, but it starts in October, and it is a race from Europe to Europe, around the world, by way of a variable number of legs. This iteration is composed of 11 legs, and will end at the Hague. It is expected to be over in June of 2018.

This year’s race features a 65 foot one-design, that was new in the 2014/2015 race. (“One design” means all the teams boats are the same design.) My sailing friends like to dis the America’s Cup boats, because foiling catamarans are such high-tech machines. While the 65 is a monohull, it is pretty high tech, with a canting keel, carbon-fiber mast, and carbon-fiber rigging. All boats are using North brand sails, and they have the same sail inventory.