Revealing Reveals – The new AC75 launches

As the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup nears, the intensity ramps up and with four teams revealing their box-fresh AC75s, it’s abundantly clear that different solutions have been found for very similar questions. The design teams have worked feverishly to deliver their best and latest thinking whilst the electronics and mechatronics engineers have been hard at it to produce the control and power-delivery systems that will define each team’s campaign. So what do we know so far?

With three teams sailing, what we are seeing is fast-flight being achieved by a combination of Barcelona-specific hull design and clever-thinking on controls. For Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, we are only seeing a fraction of their potential, shorn as they are with legacy foils and foil arms. That will change. The performance however of Alinghi Red Bull Racing has everyone sitting up and taking notice with the team running full-span bespoke foils which clearly have an enormous effect on performance.

Hulls

Hull differences and bustle treatment are more nuanced. Easy to say that Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli are from the same stable of progressive thinking, so too perhaps INEOS Britannia, but Alinghi Red Bull Racing has thrown a spanner in the works with their chine on the bow and full length, considerable, bustle leading to the stern.

All the teams have gone for T-section shapes at the stern run-off but it’s in the bow area where the differences are most marked. INEOS Britannia have real volume in their in-built immediately voluminous bustle, whereas the Italians and Kiwis have aggressively flared bow profiles back to the foil arm boxes.

Decks

The deck area is key. For anyone that has seen an overlaid flow diagram of an AC75, the biggest disturbance air passing over the yacht is at deck level and it’s here where designers and technicians have worked the hardest. The Italians have a beautifully contoured naked carbon approach, moulding the side pods evenly into the deck and aft off the transom. Emirates Team New Zealand does the same with a raised ellipse stern that screams aero.

All very revealing reveals.

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www.americascup.com

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