America’s Cup: When water is a problem

Published on November 5th, 2022

The America’s Cup defender has kept its design team active with its passion project to break the land speed sailing record of 126.2 mph set in 2009.

Their craft is ready, their base on Lake Gairdner in South Australia has been ready since August, but rain continues to keep the salt lake more wet than dry. Here’s an update from the Kiwi team:

The fronts continue to come through with good breeze but it persistently has rain mixed with it. So the opportunities for a sail remain few and far between, but the valuable lessons continue.

“Even the short few windows we have had over the past few days have been both interesting and rewarding. Literally with only a 30 minute sailing opportunity, some of the things we thought about here in New Zealand through the design process have changed due to what is being learned,” explained Sean Regan.

“Every minute that Glenn is out there his understanding for how the craft feels and performs is growing so every night he’s coming back with changes and tweaks that are actually going to be performance gains for us.”

A big area of importance has been moving away from using tow testing to get Horonuku up to speed by being towed by one of the Toyota Land cruisers, to self-starting explained Regan, “You’re allowed to give him a push and with that, he is off and then he starts learning how to sail laps on his own. How big the laps are, are becoming increasingly dictated by the water still in motion across the lake.

“As he builds momentum through those laps, he’s then pushing into a run at a lot higher speeds and that’s ultimately what he’s looking to do for the record run. I think really the thing now is pushing that top in speed and we’ve just got to be patient.”

It is a quieter few days ahead with light breezes expected so the tireless shore crew of Buddi, James and Tim continue to work on Horonuku in the lake side workshop. The forecast is for some bigger breeze on Tuesday being targeted as the next sailing day. The question is yet again, how much rain will be mixed with that wind?

Time and patience will tell.

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