Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

America's Cup: Dry laps in the Mule

by Bernie Wilson/APNews 19 Mar 2019 00:39 GMT 19 March 2019
NYYC American Magic - Pensacola, Florida - February 2019 © Amory Ross

Top America's Cup correspondent, Bernie Wilson spoke with NYYC American Magic skipper and CEO, Terry Hutchinson to get an update on the team's progress at their Florida winter base. The New York Yacht Club team is working up towards the 36th America's Cup in their 38ft foiling monohull being used as a test platform ahead of the launch of their first AC75

Out on Pensacola Bay, the combination of a fantastical-looking test boat called the Mule and technology from aviation giant Airbus is giving the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic a flying start toward trying to win the America’s Cup in two years.

When the 38-foot Mule reaches a certain speed, it undergoes a striking visual transformation as it rises up on hydrofoils and slices across the top of the waves. American Magic confirmed this week that it is sailing “dry laps” at its winter base in Florida, with the Mule’s hull never touching the water as it flies on foils all the way around a course that’s roughly six miles long and two miles across.

“When we get the right breeze direction ... we can do 16 miles of sailing out of the water. It’s amazing how fast that happens,” Terry Hutchinson, American Magic’s executive director and skipper, said in a phone interview.

Although spies from rival syndicates have certainly seen the development, American Magic revealed just this week that it has been doing dry laps for about a month.

It’s a big step because American Magic is the only one of the seven teams for the 2021 America’s Cup that has built the closest thing allowed by the rules to what the actual race boat, the AC75, will look and perform like. American Magic is building its first AC75 in Rhode Island and expects it to be finished by the middle of the summer.

American Magic isn’t patting itself on the back because teams never feel they have enough time to prepare for sailing’s marquee regatta.

“It’s significant only in that it’s teaching us the steps to improve our success day in and day out for boat one,” Hutchinson said. “It’s one of these milestones that everyone’s going to have to achieve. We all know that the boat that can stay out of the water for basically the entire race and achieve 100 percent fly rate, that’s going to be a hard boat to beat. It’s nice to be laying the foundation in the early days to be figuring it out, but we also know there’s a long way to go.”

And as dry laps go, “You’re really only as good as the last one, so if we touch down on the last one, our coach, James Lyne, lets us know about it: ‘That doesn’t count,’” Hutchinson said.

The Mule was launched in Newport, Rhode Island, last fall. The team set up its winter base in Florida in December.

Automotive giant Roger Penske, one of the team principals along with Doug DeVos and Hap Fauth, nicknamed the boat Mule, a term for a test car. “That just stuck,” Hutchinson said.

It performs anything like a mule. Canting arms tipped with T-foils mounted on both sides of the hull make it look somewhat like a nautical insect. In full flight, the boat rides on foils on the rudder and the leeward foil arm, with the windward foil arm out of the water. When the boat tacks, the foil arms switch positions.

Hutchinson said the team has tacked and gybed through three or four laps without touching down.

“I guess what it says is the concept works, which is exciting,” Hutchinson said. “It bodes well for America’s Cup racing.”

That said, “There’s a lot of work to do. Just because we do it here doesn’t mean it will happen straightaway in the 75-footer. It took us a while to get to this point. Without the help of Airbus, we wouldn’t be experiencing this as quickly as we have in the manner we have.”

For the full story see www.apnews.com

Related Articles

America's Cup Rialto: Out of sight in the Paddock
Circuit training in The Paddock, wind pressure affects dry tacks and gybes, dodging a 30-40kt squall American Magic's Defiant left their base around 1030hrs on a fast 10nm foil-borne around for another training session out on Course E - between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as "The Paddock". Posted today at 2:35 am
America's Cup Rialto: Defiant's 'glamour day'
After a batten failure, American Magic headed back out for a three hour plus sail on a 'glamour day' After losing an hour or so through gear failure, American Magic headed back out onto the Waitemata for a training session out on Course E - between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as "The Paddock". Posted on 6 Aug
America's Cup: Arb Panel rules on CIC application
The Arbitration Panel for the America's Cup has ruled on the Stars + Stripes' application The Arbitration Panel for the America's Cup has rules against the application made to it by the US Challenger Stars + Stripes Team USA. Posted on 5 Aug
America's Cup: NZL60 now on permanent display
The 2000 America's Cup winner NZL-60 has joined the 2017 champion on permanent display in Aucklanaly NZL-60, the winner of the 2000 America's Cup has gone on display outside the Emirates Team NZ base in the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. In the 30th Match for the America's Cup, RNZYS became the first club outside USA to successfully defend the America's Cup. Posted on 4 Aug
America's Cup Rialto: Aug 3 - New York train alone
American Magic looked to have settled into a training routine putting in five hours on the water American Magic looked to have settled into a catch-up routine to close out the five months they have been off the water. NZL-60 the 2000 America's Cup champion has been refurbished and will go on public display at the ETNZ base. Posted on 3 Aug
America's Cup Rialto: August 1 - AC75's compared
American Magic sailed their AC75, Defiant compared to ETNZ's AC75 Te Aihe While American Magic sailed their AC75, Defiant on three days of the four available, last week, Emirates Team New Zealand have opted to sail only their 12 metre long test boat Te Kahu. Here's some thoughts and images on what we've seen. Posted on 1 Aug
America's Cup Rialto: July 30 - A revealing day
American Magic looked to have dropped into a solid training routine New York Yacht Club's American Magic looked to have dropped into a solid training routine, necessary to catchup the five months that the team has been unable to sail their AC75, Defiant. Posted on 30 Jul
America's Cup: US$35,000 set as refit minimum
NZ government has clarified the requirements which must be met obtain border exemption The New Zealand government is, from July 2020, allowing foreign flagged vessels and yachts with booked-in refits or repairs to enter New Zealand. The minimum repair/refit value has been set at NZ$50,000 (US$33,300) Posted on 29 Jul
America's Cup Rialto: July 28 - First hookup
The two America's Cup teams enjoyed a fresh easterly breeze and flat water, before doing a hookup. On the water the two teams worked to a very different regime - with the Kiwis doing various runs and manoeuvres - but of course with only four crew on the 12 metre long test boat. Updated with video of the day Posted on 28 Jul
America's Cup: David versus three Goliaths
America's Cup: Stars + Stripes Team USA want a green light to take on the Big Boys The fourth Challenger for the 36th America's Cup has sought confirmation of their AC75 build and buy/lease program from the Arbitration Panel, so that they can take on the three so-called Super Teams in the upcoming Prada and America's Cup. Posted on 28 Jul