Tuning (Updated)

There’s some encouraging footage coming back from Auckland via the excellent Justin Mitchell YouTube channel of the Brits sailing in anger in a practice race against American Magic and looking sharper than we have seen to date. A lot of issues look like they’ve been resolved. It’s certainly tacking faster and the mainsail control looks slick. It still seems like a struggle to keep flying but the speed out of the tacks looks better and the platform is more solid, canting properly now to windward upwind.

©Ineos Team UK

Downwind VMG looks a bit of a struggle though and against Magic they look like they are sailing higher angles to keep flying. But the positive news is that they are getting around racecourses now. That’s a huge improvement and all credit to the team. Still a long way to go to compete effectively and I just hope the sands of time aren’t ebbing away too fast.

© Sailing Energy / American Magic

Ultimately, Magic is a few clicks faster and overtakes on an upwind leg in this unofficial practice race. That’s a bit concerning for Ineos. Looking at how the American boat is working and especially its speed out of the tacks is something to behold and its stability of flight is to be noted. And check out their flat bear-away at the final top mark. Wowzas. Full on. But beautifully controlled. That scalpel shaped hull looks mighty and it looks like it’s working effectively. Marcelino Botin has designed a weapon here. Watch this:

Full credit and thanks to Justin Mitchell for the footage from YouTube – Justin if you read this please contact me. Can’t find any details for you – a man of mystery!

Justin updated his YouTube channel today and you just have to see this video. Massive wipe-out from American Magic in the second race whilst chasing down Ineos on the final leg. We can take away that Ineos is quick in a breeze. Mighty quick. All credit to them.

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2 thoughts on “Tuning (Updated)

  1. Hi Magnus, Back around 1973 Joe Lockley and I designed a single seat, tubular steel iceboat called the Lockley Skimmer 45.  Lockley Recreational Products also built car top sailboats (Sea Witch, Sea Devil and Sea Swinger) and ATV’s ( Buckaroo and Wrangler). The famous builder and iceboater  Mead Guegon helped us tweak the design .  We built and sold over 5,000 boats. I wrote a basic manual on how to iceboat that went with each unit. It included basic iceboat language including the term “peel-off”.  What you refer to in your article as a bear away.  In these foiling cup boats I would suggest the term peel- off is much more descriptive as it indicates a movement where the boat bears off the wind and gets a very significant boot in the arse in speed almost instantaneously.  It is much like flooring the pedal on a Corvette, it kicks you back in your seat as the boat immediately leaps forward and gains significant speed. It is an exciting maneuver and quite often hairy. It can result in a very quick capsize or spin out. The cup foilers are definitely peeling-off.  Bearing away in a displacement hull, as you well know, is pretty much a ho hum although you may heel over a bit more before letting the sheet out.  P.S. Best’s history of iceboating states it well : When an iceboat rounds the windward mark and peels off downwind, there is a tremendous surge of power. In just seconds, the boat can triple its speed. This is due in part to the centrifugal force of the turn and to the fact that a broad reach is an iceboat’s fastest point of sailing. To take advantage of this, instead of running straight down wind as soft-water boats do, iceboats do far better by tacking downwind. Often the runner comes off the ice at this moment, and a skillful skipper uses the boost to steer more directly for the downwind mark, without losing speed.

    May I suggest “peel-off” is a much better term for what the cup boats are doing.  Perhaps you could introduce your readers to this.  Cheers, Hank Evans

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