Emirates Team NZ designers comment on the three semifinalist boats
Emirates Team NZ issues a monthly newsletter that often is as educating as informative. In the May issue of this 2-page newsletter, the challenger's design team makes some very interesting observations on the yachts of the other three semifinalists of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
According to Grant DaltonManaging Director of Emirates Team New Zealand
Click for more info, general manager of the kiwi challenger, all boats are capable of winning the semifinal and "only one thing is for sure: there will
be no easy races in the semi-finals or the final".
Here is the integrity of their very interesting observations, as they appear on the newsletter:
BMW Oracle USA-98
USA 98-is certainly nothing less than one would expect from the self-professed “technologically most advanced team in the competition”. The hull design looks like a progression of the Bruce Farr/Oracle style, with no obvious signs of Juan Kouyoumdjian’s input.
Oracle have pushed the rules to the limit in making a 50% change to their first boat USA 87, effectively giving them 3 new hulls to sail during the 2007 challenge. Their appendage package has echoes of 2003 with a relatively long bulb which is slumped and has a chine with lawn mower (helicopter) winglets, a set up appropriate for moderate sea breeze conditions.
Alone among the challengers BMW Oracle ran a jumper less rig in the rounds robin, another indication of their prodigious spending power. The American boat has shown good speed in all conditions, but their chances of topping the challenger standings were undermined by headfoil failures in Act 13, and round robin 2.
Desafio Espanol ESP 97
This Reichel-Pugh, Scott Graham design has performed well during the rounds robin, claiming the scalp of Oracle and doing enough to claim fourth place in the standings.
The hull is traditionally proportioned and exhibits moderate bow fullness, similar to USA-98. The bulb is of moderate length with quite aggressive slumping, but no chine.
Generally the appendages match the hull shape in terms of seeking optimum performance in light to moderate airs. The hull has similar beam to the other semi-finalists.
Luna Rossa ITA 94
The Italians have gone for the most extreme hull shape in the fleet, having aggressively square sections throughout the length of the boat, coupled to an aft center of buoyancy position.
This style of hull should perform well upwind in moderate to strong winds, but the boat seems less happy downwind in light airs. The designers have been experimenting with different fin and bulb configurations during round robin 2 to optimize the boats performance profile.
Skipper Franceso de Angelis talked about finding the “right pieces of the puzzle” at the skippers’ press conference, so clearly there is more development to come.
The four semifinalists
Luna Rossa's ITA-94. Valencia, 9 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Desafío Español's ESP-97. Valencia, 9 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
BMW Oracle's USA-98. Valencia, 9 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Emirates Team NZ's NZL-92. Valencia, 9 May 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing