Feb 23, 2017

Oracle AC50: Bow down & Man overboard

-- Update: Video now released by Oracle Team USA showing indeed crew went flying on a gybe. -- Photo: Oracle Sailing Coach Philippe Presti , full sequence at his fb page - This might be the scariest shot & situation I've ever seen. Taken from below the aero add-ons of Oracle AC50 bowsprit,
Luckily enough and thanks God sailor was not hurt.

TNZ bike stations might get better grip? to avoid this, but while tacking & gybing crews are all over the place. Last Cup we had some tragic pitchs and also a great save by New Zealand on a bareaway that was only possible on their hull high volume design.

With improved foils, beachcats like A-Cats have reduced hull volume, as pitchs situations are reduced greatly with lifting foils, same concept we've seen with AC50s where TNZ fat hull has been deprecated for slimmer hulls a la Oracle past AC72.

Although its the way to go in terms of optimal aero efficiency, pitchs situations cannot be avoided fully, more with latest extreme bow down trim for AC45Turbo and now the AC50s.

You can duplicate the same trim on an A-Cat, you will see is super fast but you'll lose control and you'll feel always on the verge on pitching hard, at least that is the sensation I got when setting winglets with too much rake, or when the adjustable trim lock gets loose and the casting/blade system trims back, setting the rudder tip/winglet towards inside the hull, which effectively elevates the transom and puts bow down trim, and at least with the asymmetric winglets I'm using, they override main foil setup which in the breeze is plain scary.