Please select your home edition
Edition
Crewsaver ErgoFit 50N
Product Feature
Rooster Carbon Tiller For the Laser(r)
Rooster Carbon Tiller For the Laser(r)

America's Cup: Dry laps in the Mule

by Bernie Wilson/APNews 19 Mar 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: Luna Rossa's AC75 foiling - Video
First video released by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli of their AC75 foiling in Cagliari, Sardinia First video released by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli of their AC75 foiling in Cagliari, Sardinia. Posted today at 11:52 am
America's Cup: The Agony and Ecstacy
Like all professional sports, race results in the America's Cup mean more than just bragging rights “A little bit of boat speed makes you famous” once said an America's Cup skipper. The unsaid flip side is that a lack of it, will relegate you to obscurity. Posted today at 1:06 am
Burling and Tuke announce new ocean ambition
Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have announced the establishment of Live Ocean Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have announced the establishment of Live Ocean, a registered New Zealand charity with a focus on ocean conservation. Burling and Tuke say they're excited about what may be their biggest challenge of all. Posted on 10 Nov
America's Cup: Two AC75s line up in NZ and UK
Two videos that show some of the similarities and differences between the Brits and Kiwi's AC75s America's Cup teams sailing against each other, other than at sanctioned events is illegal under the Protocol for the next America's Cup. Here is the next best thing - two videos that show the similarities and differences between the AC75 designs Posted on 8 Nov
America's Cup: Te Aihe nosedives at high speed
Spectacular high speed AC75 nosedive caught on camera Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 had a high speed nosedive while sailing upwind in moderate to fresh winds on the Hauraki Gulf today. The sequence was caught on camera, at long distance, by Sail-World NZ. Posted on 7 Nov
America's Cup: A closer look at Te Aihe
America's Cup: A closer look at ETNZ's AC75 Te Aihe, as she waited for the wind earlier in the week Light winds earlier in the week in Auckland probably didn't do much for Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup workup, but it did allow a closer look at their AC75 Te Aihe, as she waited and waited for the breeze to arrive. Posted on 7 Nov
America's Cup: Putting the Spark into Te Aihe
Real-time data from race boat to chase boat – Spark announces the next step with Emirates Team New Z Spark New Zealand has announced that it is trialling a 5G service on the water for Emirates Team NZ The trial 5G service covers parts of Auckland Harbour, off Milford and Takapuna, where Emirates Team New Zealand do some of their test sailing. Posted on 4 Nov
America's Cup: Te Aihe warms up on the Waitemata
An image gallery of Te Aihe (the Dolphin) at play Monday morning under North Head. Te Aihe, Emirates Team NZ's first AC75 got out of the boatshed for another training session, this morning as the Southern Hemisphere moves into late spring. Here's an image gallery of Te Aihe (the Dolphin) at play under North Head. Posted on 4 Nov
America's Cup: Agreement signed after CEO spat
CoR/D and World Sailing have reached agreement for the next edition of the America's Cup. Three weeks after Emirates Team NZ issued a statement accusing then World Sailing's CEO, Andy Hunt of "attempting to circumvent the [negotiation ] process by contacting the New Zealand Government" the parties have announced the signing a formal agreement Posted on 31 Oct
America's Cup: Images of INEOS Team UK
John Green captures the the sea trialling of Britannia, UK's latest America's Cup challenger. Isle of Wight based photographer, John Green, is fortunate to be living in the epicentre of world sailing, and the birthplace of the America's Cup. Here he captures the sea trialling of Britannia, UK's latest America's Cup challenger. Posted on 30 Oct