Cammas beginning to feel the excitement
Groupama Team France will become the fourth America’s Cup challenger sailing their AC Class 50 on Bermuda’s Great Sound next week. They join SoftBank Team Japan, Artemis Racing, and Land Rover BAR in their final development and training programmes for competition starting on May 26.
Emirates Team New Zealand, who have been training in Auckland, plan to air freight their yacht to Bermuda on April 11.
Franck Cammas, skipper of Groupama Team France, says just a little bit more patience ... “Like all the members of the team, you’re surely itching to see the French AC Class put in her first tacks in Bermuda,” he said yesterday. “Rest assured it won’t be long now.
“The team is now in place in Bermuda and the base has been operational since mid-February. The assembly of our flying catamaran is drawing to a close with a series of conclusive structural tests and rule compliance checks. Weather permitting, we’ll be launching early next week for our first sea trial in the Great Sound.”
“The whole team is very excited at the prospect of unveiling the fruit of a year and half’s research and 45,000 hours of construction to you. I’d like to congratulate and thank all the men and all the women who’ve worked on the boat.”
“We have about 78 days to go until our first duel. We’re sparing no effort, both on shore and at sea, alone or up against our rival sparring partners, to hone and improve our techniques and our racing machine so that we’re firing on all cylinders on May 26, 2017, the opening day of the 35th America’s Cup.”
For all six America’s Cup teams entered in AC35, the boats their number one teams are now sailing are the same America’s Cup Class catamarans they will be sailing in for the Cup qualifying round-robin matches starting May 26. All the teams are gathering now. Emirates Team New Zealand’s pedal-powered racer, leaving home on April 11 by freight plane, will probably be the last team training on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
That 70-plus days till real competition may seem like a long time for the average Joe or Jane tuned in to the Cup work-up. But to teams trying to squeeze the last bit of speed out of their 50ft flyers and trying to control them and keep them flying, it is like tomorrow. Boats will be sailing for their America’s Cup lives in those early rounds.
Some of the most visible elements of the boats are common to all of the competitors. These are basically one-design boats. The two hulls are built to strict identical standards in both shape, height, length and width. Hulls must weigh the same.
The length overall must be 15 metres. The total width, called the beam, must measure 8.48 metres. The rigid wing mainsails must all stand 23.6 metres from the crossbeam pod they stand on.
The surface of the sails, the cockpits and the crossbeam structures are one-design ... all the same.
The difference comes beneath the surface, inside the rigid wing and below the water in the two hook-shaped foils that fly the hulls above the waves and the twin rudders. And the difference comes in the hearts of the sailors and the result of the intense training from now until the first gun on May 26 here on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
• For sailing news or updates, Talbot Wilson can be reached at 595-5881 or 278-0143
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