A longer bowsprit for Alinghi 5
[Source: Alinghi] After a few long days and late nights for the shore crew and some of the sailors and designers Alinghi 5, the Defender’s giant catamaran, emerged from the boat shed at the team base in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, on Friday. If you look closely you’ll see the difference!
And in case you can’t spot the modifications, Alinghi.com catches up with Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator:
What’s been happening in the shed over the last few days?
Grant Simmer: Since we started sailing in Ras Al Khaimah six weeks ago we have been out on the water almost every day and subsequently developed a long job list of things to develop and things to do. These last few days the shore team and sailors have been working really hard on getting those jobs done. The big ticket item was replacing the forward spine; we now have a longer forward spine tube, with all the rigging associated to that. Fitting the new spine and making sure that the rigging is tensioned correctly is a big part of the job which is happening today. The spine took approximately 4,000 man-hours to build in Villeneuve, Switzerland, and arrived in Ras Al Khaimah last weekend. The boat came out of the shed this morning and we are doing some structural checks before sailing again on the weekend.
Alinghi 5 with the new, longer bowsprit. Ras Al-Khaimah, 26 November 2009. Photo copyright Javier Salinas / Alinghi
What affect will this longer bowsprit have on Alinghi 5’s performance?
Grant Simmer: The longer bowsprit gives us the opportunity to add more sail area and change the balance of the boat downwind. It won't have any affect on the upwind sailing; only on the downwind performance of the boat.
How – logistically – does a development step like this come about?
Grant Simmer: All these projects start off with the sailors and designers defining the development areas; then it goes to the engineers to design the components; then it goes to the shore team and boat builders base in Villeneuve, Switzerland, where they manufacture the part and finally it comes here under the supervision of people like Tim Gurr who runs the shore crew here in Ras Al Khaimah. Once it arrived at the base, Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen, the boat captain, organised the installation, always under the watchful eyes of the engineers who make sure that everything goes together properly so that we can get out sailing safely over the weekend!