With the America’s Cup boats having one design hulls and wings, it seems that the focus is on the foils – their design and how they are controlled. how do the design & hydraulic teams work together, and who leads the development process throughout ? with oracle did you get briefed in terms of what they needed for the foils ? are you able to give us a quick explanation of the development process ?
The scope of design has revolved around what has been learnt along the way, inluding the last America’s cup, where, in hind sight, foil design was far from being as advanced relative to these boats as they are now.
It will be interesting for the viewers as you will see a whole range of differing designs.
I feel the board shape, draft and max beam ability, along with the strategy of usage crossovers, will assist heavily in winning the America’s Cup.
In addition, the hydraulic and electronic control of the board movement has been a very challenging process to refine.
Speeds and accuracy of operation are imperative hence the design development between the foil shape designers and the control system engineers has to be a close collaboration.
Human power and management of that energy is going to be crucial – how much ergonomics are put into the process? Are the sailors adjusting to the hydraulic systems or it is the other way around?
The America’s cup rules define a certain quantity of stored hydraulic power available for the boat under it’s one design ruling. This rule, also defining the capacity of only 6 crew members, forces us to be very considerate of how we produce and how we preserve that energy over the 25 minute race period.
The efficiency of producing the oil has been a very complex refinement and the playbook of the sailors definitely plays a big part in the timings and efficiency’s of that usage
What are your thoughts on Team NZ’s cycle pedestal solution, and can you see both advantages and weaknesses to the concept? We cannot see any winch or rope on the boat…
The bike choice of Team NZ is obviously a decision very well studied and tested. i think all teams have looked at the process as an alternative and everyone has their own take on how much power input vs ergonomics vs performance result. It will be a very interesting process to see evolve.
Certainly if you look at the pro bike rider scene, there is plenty of power output available to utilize.
Which one of the new large technological developments of this cup do you feel will be integrated onto the yachting world afterwards?
I’m sure, as we see already, that foiling will be the way forward with a whole range of production boats.
All types of technology filters down through the yachting scene in some form and depending on how custom and or costly the development follow on is , I’m sure the yachting world will benefit.
This is one of the great by products of the America’s Cup events
With the fail attempt of Team Australia and the fact that so many Australians are involved in the cup with different teams, what do you think is missing for someone to put an Australian challenger forward ? Is it about money or more about leadership ?
To develop an America’s Cup team is obviously a big undertaking. It requires a massive financial commitment, a passion of the sport commitment, and to have the ability to evolve over time and multiple campaigns
It is very hard for a new entity to start fresh into the scene, without having previous campaigns to gain this evolution from.. But every team started somewhere!!
Leadership is always key and is 100% required, but generally the cup challenge will evolve from someone’s total passion for the sport and fro the challenge!
What’s next for you when the cup is over?
I would personally love to be involved in another America’s Cup program and in the interim will continue involvement in the m72 race circuit and as much offshore sailing as I can do.