Video: Ben Ainslie explains America's Cup foiling technology
by Chris Jefferies
Land Rover BAR skipper and team principal Ben Ainslie has given America’s Cup fans an insight into how his crew maintains stable flight on their AC45 foiling catamaran. In a new video (below) Ainslie explains that the key to stable flight on the BAR testing yacht T3 is maintaining a consistent speed.
He adds that while the Land Rover BAR team must work together to cope with the variable wind and wave conditions, the skipper is responsible for making the small adjustments needed to keep the race strategy on track.
Paul Campbell-Jones, wing trimmer at Land Rover BAR, also gives a quick explanation of his role, which involves adjusting the wing to catch as much wind power as possible without capsizing the yacht.
The remaining four members of the Land Rover BAR team are grinders, who use sophisticated hand cranks to generate the power needed for making adjustments to the foils and the wing. This job requires considerable fitness and athleticism, as BAR recently demonstrated in a head-to-head grinding challenge with NBA star Bobby Portis.
Ben Ainslie concludes the video by explaining the role of the two sets of foils on board: the rudders, which are used for both lift and steering; and the hydrofoils, which provide the raw propulsion power to lift the hulls out of the water and get the AC45 up to its top speed of more than 40 knots.
Land Rover BAR will take to the water once again later this month for the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth, which runs from July 21-24. Ainslie and his team will hope to overtake the challenger series leaders Emirates Team New Zealand, who they currently trail by ten points.