Nathan Outteridge: This Year’s Model

Published on September 9th, 2013

The 34th America’s Cup is proving to be the place for Nathan Outteridge to showcase his talents both on and off the water. After a roller-coaster ride as helmsman for Artemis Racing this past year, the 26-year-old Aussie talent has taken the best of the experience to apply to his own sailing in the 49er and the Moth, as well as to position himself in a good place for the 35th America’s Cup.

Over the past week the sailing world has enjoyed the benefit of his knowledgeable commentary from the racecourse of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and now the 34th America’s Cup.

While it’s all wrapped and packed up at the Artemis Racing base, the team’s helmsman is taking every opportunity to train on San Francisco Bay for the upcoming 49er World Championship in Marseille, France (September 21 to 29), and the Moth Worlds in October in Hawaii.

Here are excerpts from a Sailing World interview where Outteridge talks about all things AC and what’s next on his dance card.

What have you learned transitioning from the 72 back to the smaller boats?

NO: You just learn how much easier little boats are logistically – we can show up, be in the water in half an hour, go sailing for 2 hours, come in, pack up in half an hour, and that’s your day done. Whereas just trying to get the big boat in the water, even the 45, you need extra people to launch the boats, pack the boats up, you need coach and safety boat support, so it’s all the extra things required. It’s much more difficult. We’ve learned so much more about our little 49er sailing just this week, which would take months to do on a big boat just because of the practicalities of the boats.

Foiling and the Moth: what translates from the 72 to the Moth?

NO: I learned a lot from the Moth to put into the 72, and then sailing the 72 and feeling how that works and having a bunch of really smart designers to give you information was really interesting. The main thing I learned was that your control systems are extremely important, and your foil shapes are really important.

A lot of my Moth sailing was through feel – you try something, you learn, and you feel the change. I’ve been getting good explanations from some of our design team as to why something happens on my Moth, the logic going on behind it because before I’d keep crashing and just change it until I worked it out. So while translating exactly from the big boat to the Moth is quite different, the principles are still the same.

I don’t really have much time to try the ideas for the Moth that we have, but I think in the next year you’ll start to see what we’ve learned throughout the last three years with the 72 will trickle down to little boats, like the Little America’s Cup C-Class – they’re all foiling around like 72s.

I’ve been in the 49er class where it’s just myself and my crew and our coach, then we get a few experts come in and help every now and then, and our budget is so small. I spend a lot of time at the base just trying to talk to people on the team, then it’s trying to harness that information and follow it in the right direction.

Click here for full interview.

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