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From the America's Cup Rialto: Dutch to announce Base

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 19 Jan 2019 10:35 GMT 19 January 2019
Scheveningen where Team The Netherlands is to establish an America's Cup Base was the venue for the Finish of the Volvo Ocean Race in June 2018 © Jen Edney / Volvo Ocean Race

America's Cup news for the week ended January 19, 2018: Team The Netherlands to announce at new Headquarters on Wednesday; Top New Zealand America's Cup and composites builder working with Stars & Stripes Team USA; Engine supplier for AC75 announced; Dutch expected to be seeking America's Cup event for Scheveningen; and Kiwi marine firms in overdrive

ClubRacer.be a long established sailing website focussing on the sport in Belgium and The Netherlands reports that the Dutch Challenger "Team The Netherlands" will stage the opening of the team Base in Scheveningen on 23 January 2019.

The announcement was confirmed to Sail-World in the early this morning (NZT) by a team spokeswoman for Team The Netherlands.

She confirmed that the event would take place on January 23, 2019, when they would be opening their Headquarters in Scheveningen, which is a town and large marina on the Dutch coast near The Hague, and was the venue for the finish of the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race in

ClubRacer.be also makes mention of an America's Cup World Series event being sought by the Dutch team for Scheveningen in 2020. That would appear to tie in with comments made by Emirates Team New Zealand on November 30, 2018, when they announced that eight late Notices of Challenge had been received, and mentioned that some were conditional.

“We understand there will be questions around what a conditional challenge is,” explained Dalton in the media release at the end of November.

“To give some context, an example is where we might have a challenge that is conditional on there being an America’s Cup World Series event in that specific challenger’s country. This, obviously, is something that cannot be determined today and also needs agreement with the Challenger of Record.”

Since that statement, three late Challenges were accepted, Royal Malta Yacht Club (Malta Altus Challenge) and Long Beach Yacht Club (Stars & Stripes Team USA) were made unconditional, and the information from ClubRacer.be confirms that it is likely to be the Dutch team who are seeking an ACWS event. It is not clear how that will be dovetailed into the ACWS calendar - which had three events scheduled for 2020, along with one or two which may be held in 2019. So far only one ACWS event has been scheduled for Cagliari, Sardinia in October 2019.

ClubRacer.be also reports two other key signings by skipper Simeon Tienpont, skipper of Team The Netherlands, with Dirk Kramers, a longtime and highly respected America's Cup composite and structural engineer reported to joining the team along with Peter van Niekerk, as crew manager. The latter was part of the crew of Alinghi for their 2003, and 2007 America's Cup wins. He has also sailed three Volvo Ocean Races, the last being as part of the crew of Team AkzoNobel skippered by Simeon Tienpont.

Top builder snapped up by Stars & Stripes Team USA

The news is the second major item on startup for the three newly announced teams.

Earlier Stars & Stripes Team USA announced further details of their Challenge including releasing some images of the build of their first AC75 being built at Composite Builders in Michigan (believed to be unrelated to the Oracle Racing firm of Core Builders Composites).

The design used is that of the first base design from America's Cup Defenders, and one and maybe two of the other late Challengers will also be tapping into the first design from the New Zealand Defenders. Stars & Stripes Team USA advised that they would also be using a second base (and updated) design supplied by Emirates Team New Zealand for their second built.

Advising the Long Beach Yacht Club's team on boat construction is long time Core Builders Composite co-principal Tim Smyth, who is still residing in New Zealand. He ceased to be a Director of the Warkworth based America's Cup builder in June 2018, being replaced by Russell Coutts.

Smyth's co-principal, Mark Turner also came on board as a Director at the same time as Coutts, replacing one of Larry Ellison's advisers who also resigned from the Board in June 2018. Smyth is now believed to be a free agent.

The input of Tim Smyth - recognised as one of New Zealand's leading composite engineers and an innovator in many areas of carbon composite construction in both the marine and other industries, adds real strength to the Composite Builders team in Michigan.

It is not known if Team The Netherlands will be building one or two AC75's. Malta Altus Challenge confirmed earlier to Sail-World that they would be building only one AC75 along with a development prototype similar to the AM38 or the Mule, sailed by American Magic. [Sail-World expects to feature a story later this week, along with an interview with Emirates Team New Zealand sail designer, Burns Fallow on the radical two skinned mainsail rig to be used by the AC75. American Magic is currently sailing with such a rig on their development boat.]

It is unlikely that two teams will be able to make the first America's Cup World Series event in Sardinia in October 2019, due to the lateness of their entry and startup, along with the imperative that the teams being only sailing thoroughly tested AC75's and with well-trained crews. Unless a team currently has an AC75 under construction which is the situation for five teams, then it is most unlikely that the other two teams - Malta Altus Challenge and Team The Netherlands will be on the start line in Cagliari. Those absences will require a Protocol change to be agreed with the Challenger of Record.

For more on Stars & Stripes Team USA's AC75 build click here

Malta Altus Challenge is expected to announce further details of their Challenge and key hirings in early February.

Power unit of AC75's announced

Maxon Motor has been selected as the supplier of electric motors to operate hydraulic valves, drive clutches, rudders and foils. Teams may also use motors for driving simulator platforms and numerous test jigs.

Maxon Motor Australia Managing Director, Brett Motum, said in a written statement that it has been working with key members of the Emirates Team New Zealand’s design and engineering team. “The motors selected have high power density, and they are configured to operate under extreme conditions. The DC motors are also at the forefront of technology - like the nation of New Zealand, they are also small but powerful. "

Maxon Motor is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. Maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA's Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications, for example. To maintain its leadership in this demanding market, the company invests a considerable share of its annual revenue in research and development. Worldwide, Maxon has more than 2500 employees at eight production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries.

Kiwi Marine industry in boom times

Lead item on the prime time TVNZ news on Saturday evening was a report on the increase in work for the New Zealand Marine industry, featuring interviews and footage with Southern Spars who are believed to be building at least 13 AC75 spars, supplying most of the Challenger fleet and Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.

Also featured were Protector and Rayglass who were the recipient of a large order for 24 of their RIBS for use in the 2021 America's Cup and other sailing events. Protector first became the goto brand for America's Cup chase boats and regatta management ahead of the 2000 America's Cup, and have remained as the predominant supplier at several America's Cup regattas.

Both companies reported that the overflowing order books had created resource issues - Southern Spars Mark Hauser said they had hired 40 new staff so far and are looking for 30 more. Rayglass were in a similar situation with positions available at all levels from apprentices to management. Both companies have been employing apprentices as a way of strengthening their staff with full order books for the next three years and beyond - with a mix of America's Cup and other projects not related to the America's Cup.

For the TVNZ news report click here

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