Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BMW Oracle Debuts Wing Sail in San Diego

[Source: BMW Oracle] BMW ORACLE Racing, the American Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup, today installed an almost 190-foot airplane-like hard wing sail and completed the first short test sail of the team’s latest technology on San Diego Bay.

A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, the wing on the BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is nearly 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m).
“This is just an amazing moment,” said James Spithill (AUS), helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing. “As sailors, we’re just very excited to try this out. We can’t thank the guys on the build and shore teams enough as they’ve put in a massive effort to get this ready for us.”

BOR 90 sails with her wing. San Diego, 10 November 2009. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

“This was a colossal undertaking,” said Tim Smyth (NZL), who, along with Mark Turner (NZL), oversaw the wing construction team in Anacortes and in San Diego.

“Building a wing of this size was something new for all of us, and we’re proud our guys were able to rise to the challenge.”

The wing was attached to the BOR 90 trimaran for the first time today. The wing sail was first unveiled on Sunday evening, when the assembly tent on site at the team base in San Diego was opened up for the first time. After a day of load testing, it was installed on the boat platform early this morning.

BOR 90 sails with her wing. San Diego, 10 November 2009. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

The initial testing sessions will consist of gently working up the loads on the boat and wing as the sailors become familiar with the new system.

Full-scale testing of the cutting-edge rig will continue over the coming weeks as BMW ORACLE Racing prepares to face Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup Match.

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At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure is ugly

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chapeau, wingsail looks good. But i think the time until february is very short.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous JamieF said...

To 2:32 AM anon

it may look ugly (dependent on the viewers "affiliation") but sure it is fast. Efficiency of a wing sail is two to three times better than that of a regular sail.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like it's got 2 masts

Looks exciting

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Norby said...

looks like you don't know much about mast(s).

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm ..........if they do not use a foresail than it is not a sloop rig than it is a catrig.............and in the NOR it says "USA" will use a sloop rig.......................

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can the wing handle Valencia weather conditions in feb ??

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Sean Jones said...

It looks to me they are testing it as a mainsail?

Looks to still be room for a foresail and they would just not heve to reef the main...just let off some power through the gap in the reinforment or what someone called the "second mast?"



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