Sea tri­als un­der way

Yachting World - - Front Page -

The first F50 sailed on 18 Oc­to­ber for sea tri­als, and the sailors will get their hands on the boats in Novem­ber, work­ing up to the first event in Syd­ney in Fe­bru­ary. In the mean­time the crews have been prac­tic­ing on a sim­u­la­tor in Slough, of all the glam­orous lo­ca­tions. Also cre­ated by Artemis Tech­nolo­gies, the sim­u­la­tor is a full-mo­tion sin­gle hull with cock­pits de­signed to rad­i­cally ac­cel­er­ate train­ing times. Chris Draper, Great Britain team man­ager and wing trim­mer, said it was sur­pris­ingly re­al­is­tic. “It’s quite scary. I mean it’s so real that you al­most start to think about jump­ing out of your cock­pit and run­ning across the boat.”

The sim­u­la­tor gave the teams an op­por­tu­nity to try the flight con­trol joy­stick and sys­tems, and be­gin de­vel­op­ing some rou­tines and com­mu­ni­ca­tion loops, as well as get­ting a feel for the per­for­mance of the F50s.

“On our last few runs on the sim­u­la­tor we were get­ting 100% fly time. Locked in wind­ward heel and rip­ping around, bearing away, round­ing up and so on for seven or eight min­utes. If that’s what we’re go­ing to be achiev­ing, then the fight con­trol sys­tem is work­ing very well.”

Once the teams get up to speed on the real F50s, sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mance leaps are ex­pected. Two sets of all-new foils have been con­structed for each boat, one light airs, one heavy.

Safety is a big com­po­nent. The crews have al­ready

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