America's Cup World Series

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America's Cup World Series
Sport Sailing
Founded 2011
Related competitions America's Cup
AC45s rounding the first mark in San Francisco, 2012

The America's Cup World Series are preliminary match/fleet race regattas used as heats in the lead up to the 2013 America's Cup and the 2017 America's Cup.

The yachts[edit]

The World Series uses AC45 catamarans, a one-design wingsail catamaran designed specifically for the event by Oracle Racing. The AC45 was conceived as a smaller version of the larger AC72 class rule which was used for the 2013 America's Cup. The class was modified in 2015 to incorporate hydrofoiling capability for improved performance, with boats achieving peak speeds of 37kt.[1]

The AC45 has the following specifications:

  • build: honeycomb core, carbonfiber sandwich
  • length: 13.45 m (44.1 ft)
  • beam: 6.90 m (22.6 ft)
  • weight: 1,290–1,320 kg (2,840–2,910 lb)
  • maximum draught : 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
  • air draught : 21.5 m (71 ft) without extension, 25.5 m (84 ft) with extension
  • wing: 20 m (66 ft) 83.5 m2 (899 sq ft) wing element with three slotted flaps
  • extension: 4 m (13 ft) high, 8.7 m2 (94 sq ft) area
  • jib area: 48 m2 (520 sq ft), provided by sail loft of team's choice (2011–2013 series), provided by North Sails (2015–2016 series)
  • gennaker area: 125 m2 (1,350 sq ft), provided by sail loft of team's choice (2011–2013 series), provided by North Sails (2015–2016 series)
  • builders: Core Builders (NZ), TP Cookson (NZ)
  • crew: 5 + 1 guest
  • daggerboards: two conventional leeboards (2011–2013 series) with raking L-type elevators (2015–2016 series)
  • rudders: two balanced spade rudders (2011–2013 series) with T-type horizontal stabilizers (2015–2016 series)

Testing platform[edit]

The AC45 are authorized to be taken out of measurement to serve as a testing platform for the America's Cup. Oracle Racing released photographs of an AC45 hydrofoiling with L-type appendages on 18 June 2012, a premonition of Team New Zealand's larger foiling AC72 Aotearoa test boat spotted in Auckland in September of the same year. In February 2015 Oracle Racing and Artemis Racing tested two AC45s modified by Core Builders; They featured L-type hydrofoils, horizontal rudder stabilizers, shortened jib-only bowsprits extending into a centerline pod under the wing, flaring topsides, closed transoms, opened hulls with deep cockpits for binnacles and wheels, replacing the tiller. Ben Ainslie Racing, Team New Zealand and Team Japan have also carried out similar experiments with the platform.

2011–13 World Series[edit]

Nine events were held between 2011 and 2012 in the lead up to the 2013 America's Cup.

2015–16 World Series[edit]

The series was revived as heats ahead of the 2017 America's Cup. The AC45 specification was changed to accommodate hydrofoiling capabilities, with the winner of the series earning two points and the runner-up receiving a single point in the new America's Cup Qualifiers. At least three events are to be held each year, with Portsmouth, Gothenburg, and Bermuda as venues in 2015.[2][3] Following the withdrawal of Luna Rossa Challenge the regatta to be hosted by Cagliari was dropped from the schedule. Events in Oman, New York, Chicago, Portsmouth and Toulon were subsequently announced for the 2016 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peak speed, raw data", 150828.zip/20150828125400-NAV-USA.csv (Göteborg: AC Race Management), 2015-08-28, event occurs at 13:20:42.002 
  2. ^ Italy hosting America's Cup World Series opener in coastal city of Cagliari stuff.co.nz, 23 January 2015
  3. ^ Italy to host first World Series regatta nzherald.co.nz, 23 January 2015