With design teams drawing on the aeronautics and aerodynamics expertise of Airbus and the McLaren Formula One team, the new superfast America’s Cup boats are harnessing the power of the wind like never before, a former professional sailor told reporters.
Team New Zealand are to defend the America’s Cup in March off the coast of Auckland, with teams from Italy, the UK and the US battling in a challenger series through January and February for the right to face them.
The regatta is to be sailed in new AC75 foiling monohulls that are capable of speeds of more than 50 knots (92.6kph) as they glide above the surface of the water.
“I have seen them come past me, and it’s pretty impressive,” former Team New Zealand member Mark Orams said of watching the yachts as they were put through their paces at Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
“We have machines that are flying with the invisible power of the wind. They’re flowing at not twice the speed of the invisible power, but three times,” Orams said.
“Its like a lot of things, you don’t realize how fast things are going until they go past you,” he added.
Like the foiling catamarans of the two previous America’s Cup regattas, the AC75 boats are designed to be lifted out of the water by their massive double-skinned wingsails and kept stable above it by hydrofoils.
Both draw heavily on design attributes from aeronautical engineering, Orams said, with the goal to reduce wind drag so strong that people could not stand up in the face of it.
“It’s no accident that Airbus designers are working with the American team. It’s no accident the McLaren Formula One team and their aerodynamics team, which is dozens strong, have been working with the British,” said Orams, who is now the dean of graduate research at the Auckland University of Technology.
“The faster the yacht goes, the more important aerodynamics become. It has very much changed the game and the traditional yacht design you’re pretty much just throwing out the window,” he said.
The foils could be the defining factor in deciding the winner of the world’s oldest sporting trophy, Orams added.
Teams have been restricted to just one set of foils for the entire regatta and cannot change them depending on weather and sea conditions.
“You have to have a lot of thought into how you adjust to the variety of conditions,” he said. “Boats could go out in a race and it could be 5 knots or 25 knots. Those are vastly different. So you have to have to a really good all-round set of foils and the ability to adjust them in the way you sail the boat.”
After a long week cooking and cleaning in the cramped households of Hong Kong, a group of Philippine domestic workers are using their Sunday off for an unlikely hobby: cricket. They are proving rather good at it. Despite no background in the game, scant coaching and little time, the SCC Divas have made a startling impact, winning Hong Kong’s development league twice in their first two seasons and going unbeaten since stepping up to the main divisions this year. Along the way, they have inspired the Philippines’ first national women’s cricket team, providing seven of its players, while shaking up Hong Kong’s sleepy
The treatment of Pacific Island rugby union players in the professional era is compared to colonialism in a new documentary film produced and narrated by former Samoa international Dan Leo. Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby accuses World Rugby and the sport’s elite nations of exploiting the player resources of the Pacific Islands while retaining almost all of the wealth that those players create. The island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have a combined population of only 1.5 million people, but provide almost one-quarter of all professional rugby players. At last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, 42 players
The cutting-edge yacht that Team New Zealand are to use to defend the America’s Cup took to the water in Auckland yesterday, with crew members describing it as a “flying machine.” The 23m yacht features innovative foil arms, which lift the hull above the surface of the water into the air, reducing drag and increasing racing speed. Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said that the vessel — which is expected to reach speeds of more than 50 knots (93kph) — was part racing yacht and part aircraft. “It is a boat and it has to go through the water, but it’s also
‘THAT HURT’: Ferran Torres scored an inspired treble, and despite Sergio Ramos leaving the pitch with a hamstring strain, Germany could not stem the tide Spain on Tuesday dealt Germany their worst defeat in 89 years with a stunning 6-0 victory in Seville to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals, joining France, who came from behind to beat Sweden 4-2. Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scoreline in a friendly in 1931. “That hurt,” German midfielder Toni Kroos said. “The Spanish team showed us at every turn how it’s done — with and without the ball.” “There are no excuses. Now we know where we stand,” Serge Gnabry added. Spain were as sublime as Germany were abysmal in Seville, where