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Bay Area America's Cup
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a lot of questions about this one--starting with how they got an almost 25% up wind speed boost out of that boat.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5096

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both boats went faster as the regatta went along--both at peak speed, and the duration of time they went fast. The last four starts were classics, beginning with the Oracle rolling the Kiwis, despite the Kiwis effort to luff them. Watching those big-ass boats accelerate so fast as they approached the line and tried to figure out where the advantage was, and whether or not they could get there, was marvelous.

Clearly over the first 8 races the Oracle boat was significantly slower than the Kiwis, and over the remaining races, the Oracle boat was significantly faster. Three ways to do that: 1) reduce drag--do something with the foils and fins to get a little less drag. I'm guessing they did that. 2) get a little more horsepower. You could see that the Oracle boat had a better end plate at the end of the wing, and kept the wing within inches of it. They had a different streamlined king-post than the Kiwis, but it looked to me like the Kiwis would have less drag. 3) figure out how to sail the boat faster. I think this was part of it. Racing with top guys you learn that some people can just get a given piece of equipment to go faster. How to push it, and so forth. Both teams improved in that respect--but the Oracle team improved more.
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 408
Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Both boats went faster as the regatta went along--both at peak speed, and the duration of time they went fast. The last four starts were classics, beginning with the Oracle rolling the Kiwis, despite the Kiwis effort to luff them. Watching those big-ass boats accelerate so fast as they approached the line and tried to figure out where the advantage was, and whether or not they could get there, was marvelous.

Clearly over the first 8 races the Oracle boat was significantly slower than the Kiwis, and over the remaining races, the Oracle boat was significantly faster. Three ways to do that: 1) reduce drag--do something with the foils and fins to get a little less drag. I'm guessing they did that. 2) get a little more horsepower. You could see that the Oracle boat had a better end plate at the end of the wing, and kept the wing within inches of it. They had a different streamlined king-post than the Kiwis, but it looked to me like the Kiwis would have less drag. 3) figure out how to sail the boat faster. I think this was part of it. Racing with top guys you learn that some people can just get a given piece of equipment to go faster. How to push it, and so forth. Both teams improved in that respect--but the Oracle team improved more.


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goinoff



Joined: 01 Feb 1998
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/sports/oracle-completes-voyage-to-history-to-win-americas-cup.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1380205059-jgcBwyUu0iFAINJNhoRP0Q

The full extent of what Oracle did to change that crucial speed equation is not yet clear. Modifications were made to multiple aspects of its AC72, from the hydrofoils to the wing sail that was its primary power source. And unlike Team New Zealand, Oracle sailed with a new measurement certificate — reflecting changes to its boat’s configuration — for every race as it searched relentlessly for incremental improvements.

Russell Coutts, the most successful skipper in the Cup’s modern history and Oracle’s chief executive, shared some details, looking as relieved as he did delighted.

The major changes in my view were the balance of the boat, where obviously the load sharing between the foils is critical, so we adjusted that quite a lot,” said Coutts, an engineer by education.

We changed that loading by manipulating the wing shapes and flaps. So we didn’t actually change anything in a physical sense. We just changed the setting, so we more bottom-loaded the wing and more off-loaded that, and that created a different loading for the foils. And that was probably the biggest change we made.

And then there were a bunch of little changes that just reduced the drag a few kilos here and a few kilograms there, and all the sudden you have an edge.

Coutts said the other major factor was his team’s growing confidence in its yacht.

“Everyone talks about the technology: ‘What changes did you make?’ ” Coutts said. “The guys on board changed a lot. For sure there was a use of the technology change where we manipulated the force or manipulated the balance of those forces, but the guys on board the boat changed their technique, so there’s this fantastic human element to this which really won the day in the end, which is great.”


Last edited by goinoff on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5096

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks goinoff, I hadn't seen that. I kind of assume that with Oracle horsepower and money behind them, they have a pretty good set of models of loadings and forces on the different pieces of the boat. We all know that a slight change in downhaul, or mast track placement, or rake angle, can give us a boost in speed and/or control. Obviously they got more control so they could go for more speed. Pretty awesome.
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bmartinez



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 3
Location: bay area

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.3news.co.nz/OPINION-Pure-and-simple-the-fastest-boat-won/tabid/415/articleID/314775/Default.aspx

"A big factor in Oracle’s sudden improvement upwind has been put down to something called the Stability Augmentation System, or SAS. The device is a control for the boat’s balance while foiling with the simple push of a button. This proved to be a big difference between the set ups of the two boats, and not just in performance. ETNZ had a manual system for controlling the daggerboards and the rake of the foils, with one of the crew burdened with that responsibility. Oracle’s system was automatic, leaving a body spare to be utilised elsewhere. Much was made of the defender’s three pronged afterguard of Spithill, Tom Slingsby and Sir Ben Ainslie up against Barker and Davies, and maybe that was where that body went. Questions were also raised about how the system worked. The class rule of the AC72 didn’t allow any form of stored energy, essentially saying it was up to the grinders to power the control systems. ETNZ queried the Race Jury for clarification before the series began in reference to the computerised SAS, and the Jury gave it the thumbs up. It still took the defenders time to calibrate the system, but it’s believed this was the single biggest influence on the upwind performance turn around for Oracle, and the winning of the Cup."
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, well they apparently skirted the rule against automatic systems.

The other thing though, is I wonder in in the last race NZ didn't simply choose the wrong side of the course at the gate.
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goinoff



Joined: 01 Feb 1998
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: The latest..... Reply with quote

Is Oracle’s win in danger? 3News reports that ETNZ is preparing a legal challenge to Oracle’s win based on their electronic stability system.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Team-New-Zealand-to-take-legal-action-against-Oracle-after-Americas-Cup---reports/tabid/415/articleID/314959/Default.aspx?

At the same time, Facebook gossip-monger and NZ radio personality Paul Veitchy reports:

There’s some serious rumors coming out of San Fran that something big is going to come out around Oracle and the pre regatta penalty.. and the improvements made to the boat. The rumor mill is in over drive.. watch this space…. bloody interesting talking to several parties this avo about it…

We also saw this from another source: The yanks put a computer on board after they were down 8 – 1, and should not have been allowed to make this change mid series. So I said why didn’t the Kiwis put one on too, and he said they didn’t have the fun tickets. This computer came out of Boeing, and is the latest in technology, and this made the difference to their boat speed, foil angles and all that other shit that navigators used to wank away about, and was implemented automatically on board, where as the poor cousin Kiwis still had to do all theirs manually. So there you go this is what the press is saying in NZ, but don’t know how true all of this is. Could be sour grapes…
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windgood



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: On water

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to SFGate,

Nearly two weeks before the climactic finish to the 34th America's Cup, Oracle Team USA made some highly technical changes to alter the balance of its boat and move more of the load onto its rudders.

It was Friday the 13th, a very unlucky day for Emirates Team New Zealand, as it turned out.

The American-backed defender was suddenly able to get on foils upwind and stay on them. But the main reason for the dramatic improvement in the boat's performance had nothing to do with mechanical changes, chief executive Russell Coutts said in an interview Thursday.

Rather, it was a different approach to getting from Point A to Point B, that is, taking wider angles but thereby finding extra speed to make up for the greater distance, he said.

"Sixty-to-70 percent of it was technique, and 30-to-40 percent was technology," Coutts said after winning a record fifth America's Cup.

The changes had a remarkable effect on the finals. Oracle was down 6-to-minus-1, and the Kiwis needed just three more wins to take the Cup. They won only two more races. Oracle won 10.

According to team owner Larry Ellison, Coutts told him, "It doesn't make any sense that the Kiwis are so much better than we are upwind." At that point, it didn't make any difference what the two teams did the rest of the race because of the dramatic New Zealand advantage on the upwind third leg.

Then came Oracle's changes to the wing and the rudders, along with the new technique and the fresh perspective provided by substitute tactician Ben Ainslie, now working closely with strategist Tom Slingsby.

"They got about a minute and a half faster upwind than they were about nine days ago," Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said. "We were about 50 seconds quicker then, and now they're about 50 seconds quicker than us. They've done a really amazing job to turn that around."

Coutts said the team didn't change any components, but it changed the camber - or curvature - of the wing and closed the lower flaps somewhat.

"We moved more load onto the rudders," he said. "That was particularly advantageous when the boat is sailing upwind."

Oracle also made subtle changes to the shape of its foils that reduced the drag on them, used a shorter spine in the bow of the boat to reduce the drag and changed the top of the foresail to a flatter, more high-speed shape, Coutts said.

"You add all those things up, and it resulted in a significant difference," he said. Most of the changes came Sept. 13, a lay day. "We were still losing races at that point," Coutts said, "but our guys got better and better at getting the foils exactly right."

According to Slingsby, the team went back to the foiling technique it was practicing a month ago. Its work on the foils was sidetracked, he said, because of the lead-weights scandal involving the AC45s in the America's Cup World Series. Sailors and other employees were distracted by the case and being called to testify before the international jury, which eventually docked the team two races and dismissed three employees from the regatta, including wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder.

"With the 45s scandal, we sort of lost our way with this foiling technique," Slingsby said Thursday. "We didn't get the time to practice it with the new race crew" with Kyle Langford replacing de Ridder. Two weeks ago, he said, "we had to switch back to the mode we were doing a month ago."

He agreed with Coutts that the foiling technique was a bigger factor than the changes on the boat.

Coutts instructed his sailing team to take wider angles to the wind on the upwind leg. "If you're doing 23 knots upwind at 40 degrees to the wind, and another course is 48 degrees to the wind and 30 knots, that's preferable," Coutts said. "We went to going faster with a wider angle.

"Once the boat picked up speed and you were able to get on the foils, you could close the angle somewhat. The greater speed more than made up for the extra distance you sailed."

At the end, he said, "our guys had better technique than Team New Zealand."

A yachting expert named Peter Lester told a New Zealand TV network that Oracle was using a computer-automated system to get its boat up on the foils. He said skipper Jimmy Spithill merely had to press a button to put the boat on foils, thanks to something called the "stability-assistance system."

"That's complete baloney," Coutts said. "We weren't allowed to be automated. The measurers never would have allowed that." He added with a chuckle, "We were quite happy to have Team New Zealand believe that."

Another report alleged Oracle had received a secret supply of equipment from Core Builders Composites, the Oracle-owned company in New Zealand that built the wings, foils and other parts of the boats.

"It might have been a case of beer," Coutts quipped. "No, we didn't get anything from Core Builders that late."

Asked why he didn't attend the team's victory news conference Wednesday, he said he preferred that Ellison take credit for putting on a highly successful finals and that Spithill, Ainslie and Slingsby get the limelight for "a remarkable performance."

"It was their moment," he said. "The fans want to hear and speak to the athletes, and to Larry Ellison, who has had his share of the criticism."

Ellison explained why he was so conspicuously absent during the regatta, for which he and Coutts had set up the format and chosen to go with high-tech 72-foot catamarans.

"There was a lot of criticism of these boats," he said. "Rather than me responding, I thought it's going to be up to the (sailors) to show what these boats are like on the water. Let the regatta get started, and let people judge for themselves what we've done."
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 426

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windgood wrote:

"There was a lot of criticism of these boats," he said. "Rather than me responding, I thought it's going to be up to the (sailors) to show what these boats are like on the water. Let the regatta get started, and let people judge for themselves what we've done."

Yes indeed, let's not forget, with all this talk about a historic come back, that the Kiwi would have won the cup had three races not be suspended while they were well ahead.

Why the races were suspended? Besides conspiracy theories, it was because of what "the boats are like on the water", they become anchors if the wind drops below 12 knots and cannot be sailed safely above 20 ...

Anyway, the worst thing is that four years from now this will probably happen again, unless the city wises up and refuses to shell out the millions the municipality (i.e. us) now have to pay.
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