Platform aerodynamics, I think, made the difference between the American boat and the Kiwi boat.” Tom Speer, wing designer, Oracle Racing
We could have titled this, Six Extra Feet of Wing, But Do You Know How to Use It? The way “Fresh” Burns tells the story, and he should know, having been head of performance for Oracle Team USA, there were multiple turning points in Oracle’s desperate, early losing days of the San Francisco America’s Cup. The American boat was losing on every tack, every gybe. Then the Mere Grinders came to the Mighty Chiefs and said something like, “Look, we can tell when the boards are loaded and when they’re not loaded. Why don’t we try moving them when they’re not loaded?”
“… The multi-million dollar hulls (or “platforms,” as they became known) had to …”
“… This year’s Cup was one of the best for a very simple reason: it came down the most talented sailors, racing on the fastest boats, on the best patch of water in the world. I can’t wait to see it again.”
Day 11 on Big Blue was a practice day between race days. With the wind at 15-18kts, the sailing team set out to improve their manoeuvres. The day started with practice racing against Emirates Team New Zealand and then progressed to foiling gybe practice.
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