Monday, 27 September 2010
The Wave, Muscat, leads the Extreme 40 series in 2010. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
The America's Cup. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
by Anne Hinton
While the Audi MedCup series has announced title sponsorship from Audi secured for the world's leading monohull sailing series until 2013, and second-placed team overall in the 2010 series, Quantum Racing, will be supporting the TP52s with the build of a new boat for the next season, it was always inevitable that the America's Cup teams would need to concentrate on multihull skills for the next America's Cup in 2013 (venue tba).
TEAMORIGIN racing one of the boats used for the last monohull America's Cup campaigns. With a degree of irony the wording on the spinnaker 'race for change' is somewhat appropriate to the latest America's Cup developments. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Following the conclusion of the Audi MedCup in Cagliari, Sardinia, yesterday, in which British America's Cup team, TEAMORIGIN, finished the season in fourth position overall, skipper Ben Ainslie wrote a piece for Britain's Telegraph newspaper, ending with the words "with the move to multihulls in the America's Cup, it looks like we will be racing Extreme 40s next year."
NZL380 - Emirates Team New Zealand's winning TP52. Image copyright Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.
Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper, won the America's Cup with Team New Zealand in 2000, and is seeking to return it to New Zealand. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Today, the winners of the Audi MedCup 2010, and only team to successfully defend the trophy, Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper, Dean Barker, has written on his Kiwi Yachting Consultants blog that he will be attending the last event in the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2010, in Almeria, Spain, next month, signalling an even faster move in the direction of this professional international 40 foot catamaran circuit.
Ben Ainslie (left) and Jimmy Spithill (right) competed against each other in The 1851 Cup recently, in the last monohull America's Cup designs. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.
Red Bull and ECOVER Extreme 40s charge downwind in breeze. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
BMW ORACLE Racing's Australian skipper, Jimmy Spithill, had not campaigned multihulls until the last America's Cup cycle, but got into multihulls and was easily able to defeat holders Alinghi, noted cat sailors, with the technological development of the largest wing ever built on the USA trimaran. Loick Peyron (the Frenchman who part-helmed the Swiss catamaran Alinghi 5, defeated in this year's America's Cup) has mentioned, wing-sail multis are easier to sail than conventional soft rig boats too. The next edition of the America's Cup will be sailed in wing-sail 72 foot catamarans, known as the AC72.
Loick Peyron (aka Mr Multihull), who helmed the Alinghi 5 catamaran in the last America's Cup match, is already sailing an Extreme 40. Image copyright onEdition.
Extreme 40s upwind against the light. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Extreme 40s Groupama 40, Gitana and ECOVER downwind against the light. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
There is no doubt that if Spithill can transfer so readily into a multihull, then challengers will be able to do so too. What the Challengers are up against is that BMW ORACLE Racing has one whole America's Cup cycle's worth of lead in both sailing multihulls and the technological development of the boats, foils and rigs.
Some members of America's Cup teams have dabbled in/are part of the Extreme 40 circuit, such as David 'Freddie' Carr, grinder with TEAMORIGIN, who is part of the Oman Sail Masirah Extreme 40 crewed skippered by Loick Peyron. Here, ETNZer Andrew McLean (left) joined Mike Golding's (right) ECOVER for the Cowes event this year. However, Extreme 40s require different fitness regimes from monohull sailing - the racing being more akin to 20 minute intensive bursts of circuit training. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Emirates Team New Zealand have been very successful with the ACC version 5 monohulls, such as that shown here. These boats will be used for the last time at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Dubai in November 2010. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Emirates Team New Zealand have shown that practice and experience with the same crew make perfect, time and again, in their monohull sailing. Equally, Paul Campbell-James, skipper of The Wave, Muscat, is the most improved boat on the Extreme 40 series in 2010 for the same reason: time on the water, in the boat, with the same crew.
The Wave, Muscat. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Extreme 40s turn downwind in breeze. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
The America's Cup crews are likely to initially be lower down the scorecard those than established campaigners on the Extreme 40 circuit, but input of time and resource, plus the quality of competition they have to sail against, should help bring them up to speed quite rapidly.
The old and the new: The Wave, Muscat, Extreme 40 passes in front of BMW ORACLE Racing's last monohull America's Cup yacht. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
Extreme Sailing Series™