Sep 12, 2011

AC45s Full Throttle at Plymouth: Only a Catsailor knows the Feeling

You don´t have to be Nostradamus to knew what was going to happen at Plymouth. What a Show, as an spectators event and for the dinos as even we had on leg 6 a match race between 3 boats few meters apart each other with Oracle 4, Artemis and TNZ.

Aereal Photos: ACEA/Gilles Martin Raget | AC45s at Plymouth: Day 1 & 2 Replays

Sadly Artemis broke some Wing gear and abandoned right there.
The rest as expected with 3 capsizes and several near ones including both Oracles, Energy and New Zealand.

But the A fleet managed to fly and save pitchs on +25-30knots of wind on the AC45s. It was extreme sailing at its best. GreenComm was quite good until meters to the finish, a pity for sure. Oracle 4, Team New Zeland, Artemis, Energy and Oracle 5 were pushing hard.

The AC45s delivered what we imagine in these conditions: No margin whatsoever for the rookies but for sure also some deep pushs and saves with bows coming out to continue the rush racing in many ocassions.

Comparing boats on the same class with same lenght, mast, weight and width as the F18, is possible to have more margin without losing performance, and the Nacra Infusion as I repeated here many times, is the best example of that. Confirmed again this Saturday in local F18 racing in +27knots harsh conditions, I just didn´t worry about capsizing with the Spi when digging the bow, full speed recover , the main concerns were bare aways and manouvers, ( I capsize like GC for sliding on the tramp and not releasing the main)

Team New Zeland beyond being performers in every condition also has Morrelli&Melvin as their designers, and Pete Melvin knows a lot about anything related to design and racing but also about margin, he is the responsible of the Infusion wide range and ability to push the limits even on +25knots. A must for the super overpowered AC72 for SF.

But the AC45 is a fine machine that provided a speeding platform for the top teams that were up to the challenge.
Highest of respect for the crews, really toughs conditions, if Cascais was good, this was even better, a good preview of San Francisco Bay 2013.

Photos click all to enlarge
Korea pitch at 00:49mins of Day 

GreenComm capsize at 1:12mins of Day 2 Replay
Oracle 4 on the limit by Martin Raget

Corum lifting  by Ricardo Pinto

Oracle 4 almots pitch at first mark by Giulian Grenier

Aleph pitchs by Giulian Grenier

Speed racing 30mph

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