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America's Cup

Where Now for Land Rover BAR?

The big move is underway for the Land Rover BAR team as the 35th America’s Cup begins to ramp-up in Bermuda.

This is the real deal, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is over.

Land Rover BAR finished top and with two vital bonus points that they take into the next stage of the competition for the 35th America’s Cup.

But before that can happen, the team must move their sailing operations from Portsmouth to Bermuda.

The first two shipments of boats and equipment have left the base in the Camber Docks in Old Portsmouth.

3 shipments (July, November and December) - including:

42 x 40 foot containers full of kit
1 x Crane
1 x R1 – Race boat
1 x T3 – Test boat
1 x fully equipped gym
Team support RIBS
1 x challenge to #BringTheCupHome

The BAR Team - Click image for a larger image

The new sailing and hospitality facility located in Bermuda’s Royal Navy Dockyard has been under construction since mid-summer and sailing began there for the team in early December.

About fifty per cent of the team will move to Bermuda, but many of them will be on rotation from Portsmouth, which will remain the core of the operation and the teams home.

In addition to the team members in Bermuda 54 family members will be moving full time including 30 children (Inc 6 babies - now that's a lot of nappies!)

Back in the UK, the team has built a ‘Virtual Chase Boat’ to allow engineers and performance analysts to monitor all the sailing in Bermuda from the Dell EMC Mission Control in Portsmouth.

BT, the team’s Technology in Sustainability Partner has built the data channel that allows 190 sensors and four video cameras on the AC boat to report in real time back to Portsmouth.

Once there, the performance analysis is supported with tools developed with help from Title and Exclusive Innovation Partner Land Rover.

T3 AC45X - Click image for a larger image

The teams are not allowed to launch their new AC boats until after the 27th December, so BAR are training in Bermuda with their T3 AC45X test boat until then.

The teams have been testing ideas for their actual AC race boats on the AC45X boats, including aerodynamic fairings, daggerboard shapes, rudder shapes and uprated control systems.

In order to test the performance of rudders for the longer AC Class boats, BAR has been using rudders on extended gantries.

The AC Class boat 'R1' will leave for Bermuda in late December and BAR expect to launch their 'R1' at the end of January or early Febuary.

R1 is the result of all the work the design team has put in over the last two years.

The shape of the mainsail-wing, the hulls, the pod under the wing and the crossbeams are all one design, fixed by the AC Class rules.

The aerodynamic fairings, daggerboards, rudders, wing structure and control systems are free areas for the individual design teams to produce.

This is where they will hope to make performance gains.

Richard Hopkirk, Engineering Manager commented . . .

“The next few months of sailing and development with our race boat (R1) will be some of the most important in this America’s Cup."

"And while the design and engineering teams will be split, are communications technology will ensure that the team in Portsmouth will be an integral part of the onwards development programme."

"It’s an exciting new way of operating in the America’s Cup, and is closer to the F1 model than what’s been done in the Cup before.”

The next stage of the 35th America’s Cup is the"America's Cup Qualifiers" starting on 26 May 2017.

All six teams, including the defender Oracle, will race in this double round robin series, where one of the challengers is eliminated.

Oracle then drops out and the four remaining challengers go into the "Challenger Playoffs" for a first-to-five-points semi-finals and and finals.

The winner of this is the actual Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup match - first-to-seven-points - against the defender Oracle USA.

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