Going where no one has gone before
Published on May 15th, 2019
by Duncan Johnstone, Stuff.co.nz
America’s Cup defense ace Glenn Ashby has labelled the next boats “daunting” as their troublesome foil arms go through a crucial second testing phase in Italy.
Ashby revealed the exciting numbers being produced by the simulator work and also the eagerness of the sailing crew to get on board the new foiling 75-foot monohulls to be used at Auckland 2021.
“The simulator side of things has given us some really good insights into what the boat’s performances will be. Some of the numbers we are seeing at the moment are quite in excess of the 50-foot catamarans we used last time, both upwind and downwind,” Ashby said.
“It’s quite daunting at times to see what you can and can’t do with the boats but the simulator is the perfect environment to push the boat to the limit before you get off the dock with them.
“Last time the simulator was a fantastically valuable tool for us and it will be this time around as well. We are learning a lot indoors but have to get wet at some stage pretty soon and we are certainly looking forward to that.”
Ashby, who skippered the 2017 win, said Team New Zealand’s build process was going well and they were on course for a mid-year launch. That launch has been set back about three months by problems with the one-design foils arms that will be supplied to all competing teams.
Challenger of Record Luna Rossa were in charge of that key component but struck problems with their first production late last year. Team New Zealand designers have helped them overcome the strength issues and fingers are now crossed that the foil arms hold up during testing in Italy over the next three days.
“Once they have been signed off they will be distributed out to the teams that have been in production,” Ashby said.
“We will see some of the big teams launching around July-August and we plan to be on the water ourselves in the next two or three months. But we basically can’t do anything until those foil arms arrive from Italy.
“The boats themselves are going to be very, very different. They are pioneering technology and we just can’t wait to get on the water and give it a run.”
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and The Netherlands have also been accepted. Here’s the current list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT)
• Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED)
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events (CANCELLED)
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match