DoGZilla : a wing sail for the America’s Cup


11/2009 –

BMW Oracle Racing, the challenger of the 33rd America’s cup installed an almost 190-foot airplane-like hard wing sail and completed the first short test sail (on november the 10th) of the team’s latest technology on San Diego Bay. A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, the wing on the BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is nearly 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m). “This is just an amazing moment,” said James Spithill (AUS), helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing (see also our article). “As sailors, we’re just very excited to try this out. We can’t thank the guys on the build and shore teams enough as they’ve put in a massive effort to get this ready for us.”

The wing was attached to the BOR 90 trimaran for the first time today. The wing sail was first unveiled on Sunday evening, when the assembly tent on site at the team base in San Diego was opened up for the first time. After a day of load testing, it was installed on the boat platform early this morning. The initial testing sessions will consist of gently working up the loads on the boat and wing as the sailors become familiar with the new system. Full-scale testing of the cutting-edge rig will continue over the coming weeks as BMW ORACLE Racing prepares to face Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup Match.

At the same time, the defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, Société Nautique de Genève, has published the Notice of Race that will govern the 33rd America’s Cup. As per the Deed of Gift the winner of the regatta will be the first boat to win two races in a best of three series.

The first race is scheduled to take place in Valencia (Spain) on Monday February 8th, 2010. The second race is scheduled for Wednesday February 10th. If required, the third race is scheduled for Friday February 12th. Nevertheless, the Société Nautique de Genève confirmed that negociations are still ongoing for the race to take place in Australia.


Photo Credit : bmor / Gilles Martin-Raget


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