The INEOS Britannia shore team and technicians had a busy day dockside Friday in Palma with the crucial first-stepping of the ‘Silver Arrow’* T6 LEQ12 carbon mast and rigging.
This followed a busy day on the water with a ‘Silver Arrow’ liveried LEQ12. Helmsman Luke Parkinson partnered up with Giles Scott as helmsmen, while the forward roles were carried out by Bleddyn Mon and Iain Jensen.
A total of four runs were made with take-off around 16 knots and a maximum foiling speed around 25 knots.
On return to the dock some minor damage to the port foil wing was spotted at haul out, and a repair was carried out overnight.
At roll-out on Friday attention to detail was the name of the game with painstaking measurements taken, re-taken, double-checked and agreed as the team left nothing to chance in this high precision approach to the America’s Cup.
The mast was manufactured by Southern Spars and has elliptical swept back spreaders and a set of fractional outer stays as well as a set of inners terminating just below spreaders.
A tape measure was used frequently to measure from mast head to central point aft of cockpit and spirit levels were frequently used on mast forward face in what turned out to be a six-hour operation to set the rig up to the team’s satisfaction.
Eventually, after sundown and illuminated by the base’s floodlights; at 18:00 the stays were removed and the process of un-stepping the mast began.
As a validation tool, getting the platform perfect and leaving nothing to chance is vital to good data being captured.
As a mark of where the team are going and what they are trying to achieve, it was a demonstration that this time, under the watchful guide and instruction of the Mercedes AMG-F1 Applied Science team, science and engineering precision will be the guiding force in this America’s Cup campaign.
No ‘recon-able’ action was planned for Saturday 26 November but another day of rig tuning is scheduled for Sunday November 27.
The Recon Team was led by Justin Chisholm.
Note * – You have to go back to the 1930’s to find the genesis of the ‘Silver Arrows’, a nickname given by the German media to the all-conquering Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix racing cars of the era between 1934-1939. In the newspaper headlines they were called the ‘Silberpfeil’ and the distinctive livery has stayed with the team to this day.
Out in Palma, Mallorca, at their winter testing base, the INEOS Britannia Team looked like they were honouring the Mercedes slogan of: ‘the best or nothing’ with their stunning, silver arrow liveried LEQ12 on day two of their tow-testing winter programme.