America’s Cup: British find fault with supplied equipment

Published on December 17th, 2020

Auckland, New Zealand (December 17, 2020) – The first day of racing in the America’s Cup World Series couldn’t have gone much worse for INEOS TEAM UK. Entering the day with a boat struggling during foil lift-off and maneuvers, the Brits lived up to the hype when problems led to losses in boat races.

However, they are aren’t owning their misstep as they claim it involved the foil cant system (FCS), a one-design supplied part that all teams are required to use.

Before racing started, the team was forced to delay docking out due to a valve driver board malfunction in the FCS. The team quickly replaced it with a spare supplied system, only for it to overheat ahead of their first race against American Magic.

After another set of repairs, made on the water by the engineering team, BRITANNIA made it to the start with a matter of seconds line for their second match, but the boat proved difficult to maneuver, causing a nosedive which ended their race. This occurred when the FCS battery shut down completely.

“We had issues with the ‘one design’ supplied foil cant system,” explained Team Principal and Skipper Ben Ainslie. “We tried to race but ultimately the battery failed. We did not have control of the boat all day.

“It’s clear that the teams need to come together and fix this (the FCS). With the amount of time and energy that goes into these campaigns it is certainly frustrating to lose a day’s racing. This could happen to any team, but it would be a lot worse if it happened to someone in the Challenger Series or the Match itself. We all need to come together to resolve this.

“Earlier in the campaign there was a problem with the supplied foil arms and all the design teams worked together to solve that. Let’s hope we can do the same to solve the FCS.

The INEOS TEAM UK team will work through the night to attempt to repair the issue and hope to make it out back out on the water for Day 2 of the America’s Cup World Series tomorrow when the team are scheduled to race twice against the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.

UPDATE: In response to the British team’s concern about the FCS, Emirates Team New Zealand distributed a statement regarding the equipment on December 18, 2020:

The foil cant system (FCS) is a one-design supplied component designed and developed by ACE (America’s Cup Event Limited) for all competitors. It has been used since the inception of this class.

• All teams are responsible for the installation, ongoing maintenance and operating procedures of their own systems.
• All teams are provided with full operating and maintenance instructions and programs to ensure effective and reliable performance.
• For the past few months there is a weekly coordinated call between all teams every Friday in an open and transparent environment to discuss the system and address any developments collectively.
• The maintenance and start up schedule that has been developed is a comprehensive schedule that is shared and in possession of all teams.
• In Emirates Team New Zealand’s experience, if all maintenance and start up procedures are followed correctly, the system operates as designed.
• Emirates Team New Zealand has no access system to ensure these procedures are followed by any of the teams.
• In answer to INEOS TEAM UK’s suggestion that they only received a software update at 12pm December 17, this is completely incorrect and inaccurate. The last software update was delivered to all teams on December 11 following extensive consultation with all teams. Not midday yesterday.
• As far as The Defender is aware, INEOS TEAM UK’s Foil Cant System is fully operational.


The ACWS resumes tomorrow at 3:00 PM NZT weather permitting, with exact start time published every racing day on the americascup.com. The ACWS is December 17-19, with the final result to determine the initial pairings for the two stage Christmas Race on December 20.

America’s Cup detailsDecember 17-20 detailsResultsYouTubeTime converter

U.S. viewers can watch all racing live on NBC Sports Gold. NBC Sports Network and www.nbcsports.com will carry most of the racing either live or with a time delay, and all races will be available on replay (see schedule). International viewers can watch racing live and on replay via the America’s Cup website and the America’s Cup YouTube channel (see details).


36th America’s Cup
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 were also accepted. Here’s the list:

Defender:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

Challengers:
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA) – WITHDRAWN
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN

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 events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match

Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021

AC75 launch dates:
September 6, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2
October 17, 2020 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 2
October 20, 2020 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 2
November 19, 2020 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 2

Details: www.americascup.com

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