Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle Racing

First phase over

But no conclusions yet from America's Cup Evaluation Trials

Sunday July 25th 2010, Author: Tim Jeffery, Location: Spain

A strong sea breeze on the final day of the America’s Cup television trials concluded what has widely been regarded as a highly successful evaluation.

Over the past four days two RC44s and two Extreme 40s have been loaded with a plethora of cameras and microphones and put through match racing manoeuvres to help find new camera angles and test surround sound format. Race courses were also modified by changing the percentages of upwind and downwind work to see if it helped keep the yachts engaged at close quarters.

“I’d have to rate the trials an unqualified success,” said BMW Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts. “We plan to do this again in the coming weeks and months, but I think we found some things that work that we’d like to explore again down the road.”

One camera angle that got people’s attention was at the top of the mast looking down on the yacht. In HD format, the picture jumped off the screen with clarity and crispness. Those angles combined with the surround sound format helped create an immersive experience.

The trials were also used to test monohulls versus multihulls and the excitement they lend to television. A new yacht design is being created for the 34th America’s Cup, and concept papers have been issued to rule writers to create a monohull and multihull design.

The monohulls were the focus of the trials on Days 1 and 4, while the multihulls were featured on Days 2 and 3. Each design was sailed in light to strong winds during its time on the water.

Next month, positioning and performance data will be experimented with during the 1851 Cup in Cowes, England. The regatta features BMW Oracle Racing and TeamOrigin in a series of match races aboard V5 America’s Cup Class sloops off the Isle of Wight.

“We have a long way to go still, but we’re very upbeat about this process,” said Coutts. “We really want to transform the next Cup to make it appealing and enthralling for television, and we feel we’re heading down that path.”

Excerpts from the footage can be seen here

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