AC34, Oracle: Bundock confirmed for San Diego and AC72 Construction on its way...
All pics ©2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Click image above from Plymouth to check how Coutts seems to be delegating the helm to Bundock in the last fleet race.
After helming the Wildcat in the complete range of wind I can understand a little more modern edgy designs behaviour like the AC45, but the Wildcat has huge advantages possibilities in the mid range compensating the lesser margin on the breeze, where is only manegeable due to its super refined control provided by the rudders/daggers foil and compensation system designed by Fischer. You are always in control but you need to 'drive' quite lively all the time. I also had several semi pitchs ac45 style (see below) with nice speedy smooth recoveries, you learn to race with them too as you find the limits that to my surprise are quite broad in our steep chop.
So I'm still wondering which approach the Oracle Design team lead by Mike Drummond, will use for their AC72 after the AC45s experience, as right now you can´t match the AC45 with other design with more margin in the breeze (say a MorrelliMelvin 45)
For sure they will need super fine helms to ride these type of AC72 designs, and Bundy / Spithill seems to be the right choice for the job.
Coutts is right on the spot remarking that they didn´t have issues at Cascais, and that this game was only for the best sailors on the planet and as Bundy says: "if everything seems under control you are not pushing hard enough"
Whichever the case, one thing remains certain, San Francisco is far from provding calm to mid range conditions, although you'll never can guarantee prevailing local conditions, high chances of gusts and breeze are expected.
From Oracle press release newsletter ...
"Oracle Racing announced last month that Coutts would be turning over the helm of Oracle Racing Coutts to Darren Bundock of Australia. Bundock is a two-time Olympic silver medalist (2000, ’08) in the multihull class and a seven-time world champion.
He’ll take the helm and Coutts will move into more to a tactical role combined with his land-based chief executive’s duties.
The team recently acquired two additional AC45 boats and is using them to finalize concepts for the wing and appendages. Construction of the team’s first AC72 is already underway, with tooling created by Core Builders Composites in New Zealand." ....
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