domingo, 31 de enero de 2010

USA weekend training

Flying past a local cruiser.

Still some sails to put away!

Making the most of the light winds.

The long days!

USA have been putting in some long hours on the water the last few days. This has given photographer Gilles Martin-Raget the chance to get some great shots of her in action.

sábado, 30 de enero de 2010

Rule 53!

Alinghi Cartoon by Mark O'Brien
Alinghi´s cartoonist´s interpretation of the latest sticky point between the two teams.

Alinghi today

Hard to believe that just a few miles inland they were shutting the local ski slopes due to high winds. They just seem to be trying to make the most of the few days they have left.
Out she goes, with a solid breeze on the water. George Johns / Alinghi

Alinghi 5 just launching off the runway. George Johns / Alinghi


The long tow back in. George Johns / Alinghi

The sun sets on a pleasant day in Valencia.One can just make out the interesting silhouette of the new tennis centre. George Johns / Alinghi

Alinghi 5 yesterday

Flying a hull as she speeds upwind.George Johns / Alinghi

The Defender having her chance to practise her starts with the Race Comittee boat. George Johns / Alinghi

A good example of just how wide she is. George Johns / Alinghi

Looks to be another daggerboard configuration - slightly less curved?George Johns / Alinghi


The two furling sailing - one out and the other ready. The size of the sails shown by the presence of the foredeck crew.George Johns / Alinghi

Alinghi 5 looks like a safe conservative solution the Deed of Gift Match. Watching her train, there is a clear purpose about her and her clinical approach is clear in every sail change or maneouvre.

USA the yacht

This video (although it doesn´t show the new rigid sail) is a great introduction to just how impressive this big trimaran is. The question is will it be imrpessive enough?

USA training

USA heads out to sea

Flying with the gennaker up, Valencian coast in the background.


That just looks fast!

(Source:BMW Oracle Racing)The day began with a blast reach under wing sail and headsail in blustery conditions, taking the trimaran USA nearly ten miles offshore. "I think today would have to be our best day in Valencia and to be honest, it would be up there all time, in terms of ticking things off the 'to do' list," said sailing team coach Glenn Ashby (AUS) at the end of the day.

"Early on, we sailed in quite a lot of breeze. We had high 20s at times at the top of the mast just before we got going and it was still right up there for the first hour or so."

The team decided to back off for a short time to allow the wind to settle, but then spent the rest of the day in race training mode in moderate winds.

"We did some top mark rounding drills, setting up and getting timelines down for those. We got the stopwatch out for quite a few inline sail changes and those were improving all day. We worked on a lot of our systems for boat handling and the crew work is getting quite good now, so as far as taking a few steps up the ladder, today was fantastic."
If you think those photos taken by Gilles Martin-Raget from a helicopter today were impressive, wait till you see the video!


More litigation from the challenger

'International Jury Chairman, David Tillett AUS) left, with another Jury member, Bryan Willis to his left, in a Hearing for the Volvo Ocean Race.' Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race ©


(Source: Alinghi )Just hours after BMW Oracle failed to disqualify Alinghi in New York before the America’s Cup Match race, Russell Coutts and his BMW Oracle team attacked the Defender on another front lodging a request for redress with the International America’s Cup Jury.

This brings their total Jury applications to seven one week prior to the Match beginning. “Having failed to disqualify us in New York before the Match date, BMW Oracle are now not happy with the decisions of the New York courts and expert panel opinions. The Jury will deal with these applications along with others in due course and we are looking forward to starting the race for the America’s Cup on the 8 February,” said Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator.
So what doees this mean? Well the International Jury for the 33rd America's Cup consists of five members: David Tillett (Australia) Chairman ,John Doerr (Great Britain) , Josje Hofland (The Netherlands) , Graham McKenzie (New Zealand) and Bryan Willis (Great Britain) . Apart from the normal jury duty during the Cup, Justice Kornreich has referred the five technical questions to the Expert. The Panel’s recommendations were confirmed by Justice Kornreich in her recent decision. The Jury’s appointment is to help in the quick resolution of the remaining rules issues, including revision of the Société Nautique de Geneve (SNG)-ISAF agreement and the draft Notice of Race. It is however intended that their decisions should be consistent with the Court’s decisions - do they have he power to overturn rulings from the Court?

Under a ruling from the New York Supreme Court, the International Jury does have the ability to function as a normal Jury, and can make and amend rules covering the regatta as it sees fit. Previously the International Jury were subject to a degree of approval for some decisions from SNG. It is not known when, or how the International Jury will meet to consider the matter, as they are thought to not yet be located in Valencia.

As the redress concerns Rule 53, it seems that it is something that can be dealt with by the International Jury.

viernes, 29 de enero de 2010

When it all goes wrong!

Full moon in Valencia

Regatta Operations tidying up at the end of another long practice day.

The Spanish and Valencian flags flying in the late afternoon sunshine.

Alinghi's mast silhouetted next to it's crane high above the base.

The full moon hovers over the Veles e Ventes building on a very still night.

Training continues..

USA looking like she has a motor.

Flying two hulls without even a jib!

Alinghi 5 steaming off under gennaker. (Photo credit: Alinghi)
Alinghi team skipper and tactician Brad Butterworth relaxes for a moment aboard Alinghi 5. (Photo credit: Javier Salinas / Alinghi)

Both teams had a long day on the water, making the most of the breeze. USA even returned after the sun went down.

Alinghi open day


Alinghi is hosting a Public Open Day on Sunday 31 January from 09:00-18:00 – All are welcome!

America’s Cup visiting times are: 11:00-18:00 seven days a week

Rita Barberá invited the public to come and see the America’s Cup at the Alinghi base and said: “I feel very touched to see the Auld Mug again. It’s back home! This is going to be a unique edition of the Cup. Common sense has prevailed. This America’s Cup has to be decided on the water. The 8 February is round the corner and there is going to be an event!”

The America’s Cup trophy back in Valencia

The America's Cup
The sterling silver ewer once known as the ‘£100 Cup’ and named the ‘America’s Cup’ after America, the yacht of the same country that fought off the British fleet around the Isle of Wight in 1851, is the most sought after trophy in the sport of sailing.

It has resided at the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) in Switzerland since 2003 when the representing team, Alinghi – a first time challenger – wrestled it from the two-time winner, Team New Zealand, and returned it to Europe for the first time since the original race.

Alinghi successfully defended the America’s Cup for SNG in 2007 securing the trophy’s Swiss residency until today when the Cup arrived at the Defender’s base in Port America’s Cup, Valencia, where it will be exhibited to the public in the house of the America’s Cup at the Alinghi base.

On site to welcome the trophy’s arrival were Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, who had just completed a day’s race training on Alinghi 5; Rita Barberá, the Mayoress of Valencia; Ricardo Peralta, Spanish government delegate and Vicente Rambla, vice president Valencia regional government.

From left to right: Ricardo Peralta, Spanish government delegate; Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president; Alec Tournier, SNG general secretary; Rita Barberá, the mayoress of Valencia and Vicente Rambla, vice president Valencia regional government

“It is fantastic to see the Cup back in Valencia and in its home at the Alinghi base; I very much hope that visitors will enjoy the America’s Cup during its stay,” said Ernesto Bertarelli, team president.Ernesto's first smile in some time announcing to the press the verdict of the NY courts earlier in the day.(Photo credit: Alinghi)

Ernesto Bertarelli announced the NY courts decision to the press that were in attendance. There is now no reason why there cannot be a race on the 8th February, even if the final fate of the Cup is decided off the water at a later date!

Tom responds..

Justice Kornreich tells teams to go racing

New York Supreme Court confirms America's Cup Match for 8 February

Source: Alinghi

Justice Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court informed the America's Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève, and the challenging Golden Gate Yacht Club today via telephone conference that she will not hear the American challenger's complaint regarding the ‘constructed in country' requirement of the Deed of Gift before the 33rd America's Cup Match which is scheduled to begin on 8 February.

This means the 33rd America's Cup is free to proceed as ordered by previous New York rulings: in Valencia on the 8, 10 and 12 February.

“This is excellent news. We are delighted that BMW Oracle's attempts to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America's Cup in court have been denied. We look forward to meeting them on the start line here in Valencia on 8 February to race for the Cup; something they can no longer try to avoid,” said Ernesto Bertarelli – two-time America's Cup winner – on hearing the news when returning ashore after today's race training session.

It's big...

With the Veles e Ventes in the background.

Stern view as she passed.

Entering as the sun goes down.

Some of the guests taking photos from the bow as they enter the port.

Entering the Port America's Cup.

Larry Ellison's Rising Sun entered the Port in Valencia this afternoon, just before the presentation of the Cup at the Alinghi base.

Rising Sun was meant to be only 120 meters long, but at some point, Larry changed his mind and decided that it should be 138 meters instead. And even though it’s not officially stated anywhere, it’s supposed to because he wanted to have a bigger boat than Paul Allen of Microsoft’s Octopus, 128 meters.

The boat is built by Lürssen in Bremen, Germany, and is designed by Jon Bannenberg, with a total living space of 8 000 square meters.

Length: 452.75ft (138 m) long
Cruising speed: 28 knots
Four diesels giving an output of 48 000 horsepower.
Production cost: US$200+ (In fact, it’s for sale.)
Total living space: 8 000 square meters.
Huge inside swimming pool
Extensive wine cellar
A cinema
Basketball court that doubles as a helicopter pad
Suites for 16 guests
82 rooms on five storeys
Space for private submarine

Not sure if there is space onboard for the Cup if he wins?

Official Supplier to BMW ORACLE Racing

With the launch of Racer’s Edge® LWS, Catch the Wind has been named an Official Supplier of BMW ORACLE Racing, the American Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup. Catch the Wind will equip BMW ORACLE Racing with a Racer’s Edge® LWS unit capable of precise measurement of wind speed and direction up to 1,000 meters in front of the BOR 90, BMW ORACLE Racing’s trimaran.

“In competitive sailing, accurate information on wind speed and direction can be a race-winning advantage,” said John Kostecki (USA), tactician for the BMW ORACLE Racing team. “We have chosen Racer’s Edge for the 33rd America’s Cup.”

Check out the video for another one of their products. As you can see from the image below, the new product is very compact to be used on deck.


Mario Caponnetto interview

Anthony Massobrio [AM]. Why this choice of a rigid wing on your trimaran, instead of a conventional sail? Isn’t this a radically new and risky choice?
CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing Team

Mario Caponnetto [MC]. Rigid wings are not really radically new in yacht racing. They have been used for many years in high-performance catamaran races and by others racing boats. By the way, a rigid wing first appeared in America’s Cup in 1987. What is radically new is its size. The wing, with its 57 m above deck, is the largest wing ever. It is 80% larger than a 747 aircraft wing. No one on our team had designed anything like this before, and this scared us a little bit at the beginning. Starting from the white paper and evaluating pros and cons, we decided to quickly move forward in the project. This project came true thanks to the enthusiasm of our chief designer, Mike Drummond.

CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing Team

[AM] What are the benefits and the shortcomings (if any) of a rigid wing, with respect to a conventional sail?

[MC] The main advantage of a rigid wing is shape control. In other words, depending on the angle and the velocity of the wind, there is an optimal sail geometry, optimizing the aerodynamic pressure field. This makes it possible to extract maximum propelling power from the wind, or in other terms to maximize efficiency. On a conventional sail, material works from the structural point of view like a membrane, and shape control is difficult. Some specific shapes are impossible to obtain, and the final shape is a compromise. With a rigid sail, shape is much easier to control without compromises. Furthermore, during navigation, there is always feedback between imposed shape and achieved shape, whereas with traditional sails, it is already an issue to identify the sail shape during navigation.

[AM] I guess the rigid wing benefits have its downside in terms of weight?

[MC] Not quite so. A conventional sail supports only traction loads and not bending loads. The wing having a thickness makes it possible to distribute loads on the two sides of the structure, which results in its being very light.

To sum up, the rigid wing weight is comparable to a conventional mast/sail system. With a one-dimensional analogy, we should think of a sail as a rope supporting a weight (the wind pressure) at its center. If one wishes to reduce its sag, tension will increase. Therefore, its thickness and weight should be increased to avoid a breakdown. If we replace the rope with a cantilever, the weight of the structure will be smaller, given the same displacement. Understand that huge forces are required to put tension on a conventional sail to the point of stressing the boat structure itself. In comparison, a finger is enough to control the rigid wing.

[AM] What are the aerodynamic benefits of the rigid wing?

Once again, one of the main benefits is shape control, aiming to control lift forces and to reduce drag forces. To do so, the wing is made of a front rotating element and eight independently rotating flaps. This makes is possible to change the vertical aerodynamic load. Between every flap and the frontal element lies a slot that favors air flow between the two sides of the wing. This makes it possible to delay the stall and to dramatically increase the maximum lift. In practice, the wing is able—even with light wind—to lift the central hull of the trimaran out of the water and reduce its resistance, even though the wing lateral surface is less than half that of a conventional sail.

CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing Team

The wing’s horizontal sections are more aerodynamically shaped than a thin sail. A sail profile is efficient at a certain angle of attack, more or less, when the flow is tangential to the frontal edge of the sail. At smaller or larger angles, a flow tends to separate from the sail, thus reducing its efficiency. The rigid wing, with its rounded front edge, is much more tolerant to variations in the angle of attack. Even at a small angle of attack, the wing will still create lift and push the boat, whereas the sail will beat like a flag and restrain the boat. This is a noticeable advantage during maneuvering—in particular when tacking—and is one of the benefits that is most valued by our team’s sailors.

[AM] How did you develop the wing project?

[MC] It was developed during a very few months, in house. The project was headed by Joseph Ozanne, who linked aerodynamic, structural, electronic, and shipyard engineers. The entire aerodynamic project has been based on numerical simulations without [the use of] a wind tunnel.

CFD work has been carried on by Francis Hueber and me. In a very short time, the optimization work on the wing profile has been carried out with the STAR-CCM+ CFD code by our partner CD-adapco, exploiting a remote supercomputing cluster.

For us, it was very important that the CFD code was able to give indications of the wing’s behavior as far as stall is concerned. That behavior was later validated during sea trials. Furthermore, we created a database of optimal wing shapes, based on all the possible wind situations. The database is installed onboard and allows us to optimize wing efficiency at any moment.

What really impressed us during the very first trials was better wing performance with respect to conventional sails. Therefore, at the end of the testing phase at our San Diego base, it was decided to use the wing for the next America’s Cup matches. This shows the value of the project we carried out.

[AM] Could you please give us more details on the aerodynamics simulation aspects?

CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing TeamMario Caponnetto is currently responsible for CFD at BMW ORACLE Racing. He graduated from University of Genova in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and he has worked with industrial CFD since 1989. He is the co-founder of the CFD consultancies company Caponnetto-Hueber.

[MC] STAR-CCM+ is a finite-volume approach to CFD. This is really nothing new at all. Its theory can be found in textbooks. What interested us was the practical implementation.

First of all, we exploited the “client-server” architecture of the CD-adapco software. We could use a remote supercomputing cluster facility located in Italy. While sitting in our offices in Valencia or San Diego, we could check in real time the progress of the simulations running on the cluster. This happened thanks to a lightweight client—or if you like, the final user—based on a Java interface and a C++ server—or if you like, the supercomputing cluster.

Second, of course, use of the supercomputing cluster leveraged the STAR-CCM+ capability to scale well (i.e., to exploit the capability to divide the processing tasks between several processors in parallel). This was necessary because computational meshes for aerodynamics can reach several million elements.

The third success factor was process automation. STAR-CCM+ includes a CFD simulation engine (the solver), but also all the preprocessing (including construction of the computational mesh) and post-processing phases. This means we could build one complete workflow, or pipeline, and implement it over and over again during our optimization studies.

[AM] So CFD is a tool for the happy few?

[MC] Situations like America’s Cup or Formula 1 require tremendous accuracy and detail because the engineering situation is pushed to the limit and the optimization requirements for quantities like aerodynamic drag can be orders of magnitude more sensitive than in mass production boats or cars.

I think that A.C. will continue to be one of the best benchmarks for CFD tools that can, in industrial situations, be applied in standard design offices, based on small clusters or even PCs.

CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing Team

Nowadays, all CFD processes should be automated in industrial situations, whereas A.C. pushes the application of the code to its limits, in terms of physics, computational mesh, and hardware resources. This creates a feedback process between the STAR-CCM+ developer, CD-adapco, and CFD teams in America’s Cup or Formula 1, and the feedback has a positive fall on other sectors.

For instance, we evaluated several models representing turbulence, from the standard k-e to k-w SST to almost direct simulation via LES, whereas in repetitive industrial automotive or marine simulations just k-e or k-w will be adopted as daily model.

[AM] Could you disclose to the public some tips and tricks you implemented in your CFD activity?

[MC] What I can disclose is that we used the STAR-CCM+ technology for automatic meshing. Both arbitrary isotropic polyhedral and Cartesian [oriented] trimmed cells are usable. There is no absolute rule on using the former or the latter. Polyhedra may be preferable to capture vortex phenomena, whereas the Cartesian grid underlying trimmed cells may be preferable when a preferred flow direction is present. In both cases, a special treatment is used for boundary layer phenomena.

[AM] Coming back to sea trials—what were the changes for your sailors?

CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ Optimizes Sail Properties of the Largest Wing Ever for the BMW ORACLE Racing Team

[MC] Several changes. It goes without saying that America’s Cup sailors are among the best, especially when talking about trimmers. We talk about people who developed in a lifetime the sensitivity, based on talent and experience, on how to make sails “breath.” Then, engineers (all of them yachtsmen but amateurs) asking yachtsmen to follow our graphs and tables, so contrary to intuition… it was not easy at the beginning, but sailors, after testing out our idea in practice, became its strongest supporters. Because they were asking designers why one wing shape was better than another, CFD visualization capabilities were really useful to support the engineers’ explanations to sailors. I think that in a high-tech sports activity, it is important to find a common language between engineers and “pilots,” and in that sense, CFD has been a very good communication tool.

[AM] What is your America’s Cup forecast?

[MC] It is difficult to say. Anything could happen due to meteorological conditions. Also, boats are quite different from each other.

Our competitors did a good job with the advantage of designing their boat around rules they made themselves after seeing our boat. For instance, they decided an engine could replace arms’ force and allowed movable ballast.

We tracked the new rules and adapted our boat accordingly. Fortunately, there is still not a lot of time to wait. The America’s Cup match will take place in Valencia on February 2010.

[AM] Mr. Caponnetto, we wish you and your team good luck. Thank you for the interview.

| Published February 1, 2010

BMW ORACLE Racing: Weather Team

What's in a bow?

The reverse bow on Alinghi 5 slicing through the oncoming waves.

Alinghi 5 sports a very refined reverse bow design, not that dissimilar to her competitor USA.

The intention of the design is to principally allow the bow to pass with least resistance through the oncoming waves. This means that the pitching motion (up and down) of the yacht hull is minimised, allowing it to remain continue forward on a straight a trajectory as possible.

As shown in the photo above, it allows the water to pass easily over the yacht hull making for a wet ride. We will publish a semi-technical article this weekend which will shed more light on this design trend.

Cup Trivia: NASA Riblets

On February 4, 1987, skipper Dennis Connor and his ten-man crew guided the Stars and Stripes racing yacht past the finish line at Fremantle, Australia, to recapture sailing's most coveted prize, the America's Cup. Representing the San Diego Yacht Club, Connor and Stars and Stripes scored a 4-0 sweep in the best-of-seven finals over Australia's Kookaburra III.

Stars & Stripes
The hull's underside was coated with a "riblet" skin
that helped the craft slide through the sea more smoothly.
(photo credit: Sally Samins - PPL MEDIALINK)

A key piece of NASA technology assisted in the win. Stars and Stripes design coordinator John Marshall disclosed the boat's "secret weapon" as the hull's underside, coated with a "riblet" skin that helped the craft slide through the sea more smoothly.

The assist came from NASA Langley Research Center technology originally developed as a means of improving airplane fuel efficiency by reducing the drag caused by the friction of turbulent airflow over an airplane's skin. V-shaped and angled in the direction of the airflow, the grooves are no deeper than a scratch but have pronounced effect on air turbulence. This technology offers similar advantages for vessels moving through water.

The first riblets were machined on flat aluminum sheets and tested in a Langley wind tunnel. When engineers of the 3M Company, St. Paul, Minnesota, learned of the tests, they suggested molding the riblets into a lightweight plastic film with an adhesive backing. The film could be pressed into place on an airplane, eliminating the need for welding and allowing a relatively inexpensive retrofitting to existing airplanes. Langley accepted 3M's offer to produce riblet tapes for research and used them in 1986 tests on a Learjet. In flight tests, the film riblets demonstrated a drag reduction capability of about eight percent, similar to the results of wind tunnel tests using the metal sheets.

The technology also helps reduce hull friction for vessels moving through water, which increases speed. The Boeing Company, 3M and the Flight Research Institute of Seattle, Washington collaborated on the development of the first water tests of riblet film in 1984.

More important than its contributions to racing is the technology's potential benefits to air transportation. Langley's long range goal of doubling riblets' drag reduction capability to 15-16 percent would translate into a five percent reduction in fuel costs, a savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually for U.S. commercial airlines. Riblets also could be used in oil, gas and water transmission lines, and on submarines and jet engine turbine blades.

Once again an efficient solution stems from a solution already existing in nature.Early in the game of riblet research, Langley found confirmation of grooving's effectiveness in a clue from nature: it was learned that fast swimming sharks have riblet-like projections on their skins. Called dermal denticles, they are made of the same material as shark's teeth and typically have four or five grooves on what appears to the naked eye to be such a smooth surface.

For more information, check out NASA Langley's Technology Commercialization Program Group (TCPO) Homepage.

Clarification..

Latest NOR maintains in 1.5 d) that RRS 49 to RRS 54 (inclusive) are deleted. For avoidance of doubt anything that may have been prohibited by such rules is permitted

However the complications arose when Alinghi added the RI 24 about environmental protection to actually restrict rule 53 (see definition in previous post).

24 TRASH DISPOSAL AND ENVIROMENTAL PROTECTION
Boats shall not put trash in the water, or fail to fully recover anything (other
than discharged water ballast) intentionally left by the boat in the water. A
boat’s Chase Boats shall use reasonable efforts to recover any trash or other
item left in the water from the boat.

Could this be the real intention of Alinghi?

For the Record: Fred Meyer

“The latest flurry of legal documents and public statements from Larry Ellison’s Golden Gate Yacht Club further demonstrates his overriding ambition of winning the America’s Cup without racing for it on the water. Not only is BMW Oracle pursuing its ninth attempt to disqualify the Swiss Defender through a New York court with a skewed interpretation of the Deed of Gift, but they have also intensified their legal campaign on another front.

BMW Oracle is determined to angle the America’s Cup competition in its favour, this time through a four-point redress to the International America’s Cup Jury on rules set out in the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions issued by SNG for the 33rd America’s Cup. The challenger has still not comprehended that what it has forced is a “Deed of Gift Match”. There is no Mutual Consent – even the New York Supreme Court has told them that the rules are those of the defending yacht club, a fact stated very clearly in the Deed of Gift itself.

To address Tom Ehman’s attacks on the legality of Alinghi’s sails: history and facts support SNG’s interpretation of the Deed of Gift’s ‘constructed in country’ requirements as recently declared by American historian, John Rousmaniere: “Unlike hulls, sails were not regarded as subject to nationality restrictions – not by sailors, not by sailmakers, and not by the donors and the trustee New York Yacht Club.

We have been clear: if BMW Oracle succeeds in disqualifying the Defender’s sails then there will be no Match, Russell Coutts will have won the America’s Cup for Larry Ellison without sailing. An irony unto itself given Russell’s use of 3DL sails on every AC team he has raced with since 1995; New Zealand, Switzerland and now the USA.

As further example of their double standards, BMW Oracle are attempting to circumvent the ‘Trash Disposal and Environmental Protection’ rule in the Sailing Instructions to continue to freely pollute the waters of Valencia by discharging a cocktail of chemicals under their hulls to make their boat go faster. SNG insists that both competitors respect Spanish waters as they do their home waters. ed We cannot say if what USA are using on their hulls is as lethal as the Defender states (we have it on good authority that it is completely enviromentally friendly) - and although Rule 53 prohibits this action, it was Alinghi who chose to remove the rule. One only has to remember the riblets of Dennis Conner in 1987 on Stars and Stripes. ISAF Rule 53 states: A boat shall not eject or release a substance, such as a polymer, or have specially textured surfaces that could improve the character of the flow of water inside the boundary layer.

And while we are setting the record straight, their claim of a ‘Singapore Agreement’ is pure fabrication. The signatures that Tom Ehman has been flaunting were on an early draft that was discarded and subsequently developed on before BMW Oracle aborted the meeting by suing our club for a ninth time.

SNG remains determined that the winner of the America’s Cup will be decided on the race course and not ashore. We will see you on the start line on the 8 February.”

ed. I find it hard to believe that BMW Oracle are not confident enough to compete against another yacht using 3DL sails whatever their origin, especially considering that she is using a solid sail. Surely the sails will not be the deciding factor. The rules that have been omitted for this Cup (ISAF 49-54) seem to be the sticky ones: skin friction, ballast and manual power!

Click here to download the current edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing.

Amended 33rd America's Cup Notice of Race (Refer to 1.5 for the changes that are causing all the stir!)

Alinghi training

Some quick photos of Alinghi 5 training yesterday. It was the first time she had ventured since the weekend due to the recent bad weather. She doesn't need much breeze to make her fly.

All eyes are on the task ahead as Alinghi 5 practises off Valencia.
The enormous 1,100 sqm gennaker is unfurled aboard Alinghi 5.
Alinghi 5 flies the windward hull during a training session off Valencia.