Category Archives: Oracle USA in Bermuda

Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup boat is so fast ‘It doesn’t quite feel like you’re in control’

Oracle Team USA training in Bermuda. At right is skipper Jimmy Spithill, a two-time winner of the America's Cup, both times with Oracle.
Oracle Team USA training in Bermuda. At right is skipper Jimmy Spithill, a two-time winner of the America’s Cup, both times with Oracle. photo: Oracle Team USA

Oracle Team USA, the defender of the 2017 Americas Cup, the most prestigious sailing race in the world, is making big speed gains in their new boat – setting a new team speed record this week while training in Bermuda.

The team broke 46 knots (or 53 MPH) in their new AC50 yacht, meeting the fastest speeds of the larger AC72 boats from the 2013 cup.

“It doesn’t quite feel like your in control,” Scott Ferguson, a lead naval architect for Oracle Team USA who was on board at the time, said.

That’s understandable. Even for some of the best sailors in the world, skimming above the water at those speeds is a frightening experience.

These yachts use foils – winglike surfaces extending below the boat’s twin hulls – to lift the entire craft of the water and escape its drag. The high speeds mean sailors must wear helmets and impact-resistant clothing.

Foiling has completely changed the America’s Cup, a big element of an effort by software magnate and Oracle Team USA financier Larry Ellison to make the sport spectator and television-friendly.

The racing was indeed a spectacle of epic proportion, but with TV ratings of about one million viewers, it was still far from worth the estimated $100 million price required to field a team, Reuters reported.

Oracle Team USA is Fast

To cut costs for the 2017 cup in Bermuda, the boats will be smaller and regulations will restrict development to the wing, foils, rudder, and the hydraulic systems that move many of these appendages around. This means the teams will have fewer areas with which to eek out an advantage before racing begins next year.

“I expect that the competition will be much closer [in 2017],” Ferguson said.

But due to the already high speeds, what little changes they can make go much further.

“We were always trying to make gains of tenths of a knot,” Ferguson said. “Now, a change can find a knot or a couple of knots.”

A designer of racing yachts for around 25 years, Ferguson worked with Luna Rossa, the Italian challenger for the cup from 2000 to 2007. The University of Michigan-trained naval architect then joined “the home team,” as he put it – he’s been at Oracle Team USA ever since.

Ferguson was part of the shore team at the 2013 cup in San Francisco, when Oracle Team USA made an improbable comeback from an 8-1 deficit to win the first-to-nine event. The team arrived at the event with a slower boat, but managed a series of technical and strategic changes that eventually turned the tide.

At the time, Ferguson was responsible for the wing – the massive, rigid structure that substitutes for a sail. Changes made to the wing’s setup played a large part in the team’s come-from-behind victory, former Washington Post contributor Bruce Knecht wrote in “The Comeback,” his chronicle of the 2013 race.

Now, Ferguson in charge of many more elements of the boat, and the challenge is immense. Especially with the competition right next door.

Emirates New Zealand and SoftBank Japan, two challengers for the cup, are also based in Bermuda. The teams regularly spar out on the water, which can be both a good indicator of Oracle’s relative progress and an ever-present source of pressure on the Oracle crew.

But now they have a new team speed record on their hands – another milestone on the long, exhaustive journey to the 2017 regatta.

The team will compete on May 7-8 in the New York harbor as part of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, an international list of races leading up to the 2017 event.

source:  businessinsider.in

Forming foundations of America’s Cup village

Looking toward the South Basin project from Dockyard.  By the Oracle Team Base.
Looking toward the South Basin project from Dockyard. By the Oracle Team Base.

A huge cargo of steel piles has been unloaded in Dockyard as part of the South Basin project.

The piles will be drilled into the seabed to secure the reclaimed land that will form the foundations of the America’s Cup village.

The steelwork arrived in the West End last week on board the BBC Tennessee from Baltimore in the United States. Project managers expect to start driving the piles into the earth within the next couple of weeks.

Andrew Dias, the general manager of the West End Development Corporation, told The Royal Gazette that the project was “progressing well” and remained on time and on budget.

“The steel as well as the other infrastructure is now on site, although obviously not on the reclaimed land as the aggregate is still being spread out,” he said.

“We have taken delivery of 2.15 tonnes of steel piles, 1,726 sheet piles, 37 Y-shaped piles and 39 anchor piles.

“The steel work to create the perimeter is expected to take around eight weeks to complete, at which time a concrete cap will be added to the steel structure.”

From Royal Gazette, Simon Jones

Oracle Team USA submit plans for Bermuda Base

Oracle team USA arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle base in Dockyard.  provided by the America’s Cup

It was nice to see this article on Bernews today:

A planning application for a base for Oracle Team USA — which is setting up in Bermuda in advance of the America’s Cup – has been submitted, calling for four new buildings and two floating docks.

Plans Submitted For Oracle Team Base

According to the application [PDF here], the project would see changes at South Basin, South Arm, Dockyard, and Sandys, “involving temporary infrastructure comprising 4 new buildings to house boats and sails, two tents, 7 containers, tower crane [160 feet high], 1 ancillary building to house fibre optic infrastructure, 2 disposal boreholes, conversion of existing single storey garage building to create shower/changing/toilet facilities, 6 feet high chain link fence and two floating docks [318 feet maximum length].

Oracle Team USA captain arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle Home-base in Dockyard, Bermuda. provided by the America’s Cup

Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, is one of six teams set to compete for the 35th America’s Cup, alongside Artemis Racing from Sweden, Ben Ainslie Racing from Great Britain, Emirates Team from New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy and Team France.

Team skipper Jimmy Spithill previously said, “The objective of being here this week is to start work on setting up our base, our home, in Bermuda. It’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and see the welcoming we’re getting here from Bermudians. It’s very, very exciting to see where we hope to be going out and defending the America’s Cup.”

Renderings of the future Oracle Team USA base in Dockyard  provided by the America’s Cup
Renderings of the future Oracle Team USA base in Dockyard provided by the America’s Cup

“Our plan at Oracle Team USA is to be sailing out on The Great Sound at the beginning of May. It’s important for us to hit that deadline, so we’re working to put a plan in place to achieve that,” added Mr Spithill.

“Our team members, the designers, the athletes, their families and kids, we’re all coming here from now onwards really – looking for houses, schools, getting integrated into the local community.

“For me personally having been here the past couple of days, the local people here are really behind it. I have no doubt it’s going to be a fantastic America’s Cup here.”

 

Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda

Here is a great article that we found over on sail-world about Skipper Spithill arriving in Bermuda:

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill is dockside in Bermuda this week, along with other team members, to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition for the team as it moves to the new host venue of the America’s Cup over the coming weeks.

‘The objective of being here this week is to start work on setting up our base, our new home, in Bermuda. It’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and experience the welcoming we’re getting from Bermudians,’ Spithill told the local media on Tuesday morning at Dockyard, on the west end of the island.

Oracle Team USA captain arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle Home-base in Dockyard, Bermuda. Oracle Team USA – Bermuda January 2015 – photo: Oracle Team USA media

‘Our plan at Oracle Team USA is to be sailing out on the Great Sound at the beginning of May. It’s important for us to hit that deadline, so we’re working to put a plan in place to achieve that. Our team members, the designers, the athletes, their families and kids, we’re all coming here to Bermuda from about now onwards really – looking for houses, schools, getting integrated into the local community. For me personally, having been here the past few days, the local people here are really behind it. I have no doubt we’re going to have a fantastic America’s Cup here.’

Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda

The new Oracle Team USA base will be set up at Dockyard, which is where all team bases will be located as well as the public village for the America’s Cup competition in 2017.  Oracle Team USA will set up the first team base and Spithill says it needs to be operational as soon as possible.

‘From a work point of view, the plan that we’re going through this week with ACBDA (America’s Cup Bermuda), WEDCO (the West End Development Corporation) and BCM McAlpine and others is going to result in a very functional, efficient base so that our designers and engineers have a great spot, our athletes have the working area they need and the on-water operations is all integrated. The thing is that the race track is right here as well, so I think we will be very efficient and very productive when we are here working.

‘It’s very important to Oracle Team USA to get set up here first,’ Spithill continued. ‘I look at it like we’re the home team – we’re responsible for the Cup coming to Bermuda, we’ll be the first ones to set up here and get integrated into the community. And in my experience, it’s so important to have the home crowd behind you. The local Bermudians are going to be a big part of the result. We need them to get behind our team if we want to win. That’s a key part. It was key last time. We want to welcome them with open arms they way they’ve welcomed us. It will make a difference to us.

Oracle team USA arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle base in Dockyard. – photo: Oracle Team USA media

Oracle Team USA – Bermuda January 2015 – Oracle Team USA

‘I think people here will be blown away when they see these boats,’ Spithill concluded, talking about the foiling AC45 and AC62 catamarans used in the America’s Cup racing. ‘Most people, when they think sailing, they think of cruising boats. When they see us here sailing for our training sessions, they’ll think they’re looking at some kind of spacecraft. These boats literally fly. They do over 80km/h on the water. They have to be powered by just the wind and the athletes on board. I think people will be really impressed and I think kids will be really excited by it too. Hopefully it helps groom a new generation of sailors.’

Oracle Team USA has a final training session scheduled in San Francisco next month before moving its operations to Bermuda, with a target to start training sessions on the Great Sound at the beginning of May.
by Sail-World

America’s Cup Team Oracle USA Arrives

Oracle team USA arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle base in Dockyard.

America’s Cup team Oracle Team USA are starting to set up their base in Bermuda, with skipper Jimmy Spithill saying “it’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and see the welcoming we’re getting here from Bermudians.”

Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, is one of six teams set to compete for the 35th America’s Cup, alongside Artemis Racing from Sweden, Ben Ainslie Racing from Great Britain, Emirates Team from New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy and Team France.

America’s Cup Team Oracle USA Arrives

Jimmy Spithill said, “The objective of being here this week is to start work on setting up our base, our home, in Bermuda. It’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and see the welcoming we’re getting here from Bermudians. It’s very, very exciting to see where we hope to be going out and defending the America’s Cup.”

“Our plan at Oracle Team USA is to be sailing out on The Great Sound at the beginning of May. It’s important for us to hit that deadline, so we’re working to put a plan in place to achieve that,” added Mr Spithill.

“Our team members, the designers, the athletes, their families and kids, we’re all coming here from now onwards really – looking for houses, schools, getting integrated into the local community.

“For me personally having been here the past couple of days, the local people here are really behind it. I have no doubt it’s going to be a fantastic America’s Cup here.”