Sunday, February 28, 2021

Prada Cup Over; America's Cup postponed this week.

The America's Cup, scheduled to start this coming weekend, has been postponed due to a Covid-19 lockdown in Auckland. I watched the Prada Cup Finals on YouTube. As far as I could determine this was the only way to view it in North America. I'm not particularly invested in all the hoopla and idolatry of professional sailing, but I find the technology on these AC75 foilers fascinating. Aside from the racing clips, the most detailed technical analysis I have found has been by a Brit YouTube channel, Mozzy Sails aka Tom Morris with fellow RS800 sailors, Rob Gullen and Tom Partington. A tip of the hat to these three who are doing an admirable job of sleuthing via the Internet, since all three of them remain firmly ensconced in the U.K., not on-site in Auckland

Before the Prada series started, I wrote a somewhat negative piece about the new AC75 foiling monohulls. Well after watching the Prada Cup, what do I think now. (In no particular order.)
  • These foilers are maneuverable. These are the quickest Cup class ever in the tacks, jibes, and mark roundings. Essentially you are spinning around on two, sometimes one narrow pivot point with no boat in the water (if you do it right)..
  • These courses are narrow. After the start, the time to the boundary is equivalent to what you would see in a collegiate or frostbite short course. It does help in keeping the boats close, at least in the beginning. The start and the first tack become crucial.
  • These boats are mega-complicated. Looking in from the outside, we probably only know about 1/10 of what is going on in getting these boats around the course.
  • A key indicator of which team will win is probably the team with the best software integration. How accurate and responsive are your controls, which for the most part depend on computer control. Ineos UK remarkable turnaround from being the dog of the Practice series was attributed to a huge upgrade in her software control.
  • It looks to be another blow-out win in this America's Cup. If the Prada Cup competition is any indication.
  • Does the 40 kt. speed make for a better viewing experience? For me the jury is out. I'll wait for my wife to chime in.

1 comment:

Alden Smith said...

The main thing I like about the Americas cup this time round was that we won it! The downside is that we may not get to defend it here in New Zealand - bugger.