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America’s Cup

Oracle Team USA secret weapon for the Cup : a kite developed by Airbus and Kai Lenny

samedi 1er avril 2017Christophe Guigueno

Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]

For the 35th edition of the America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup which starts on May 26 with the Louis Vuitton Cup, Oracle Team USA as developed a secret weapon : a kite-wing conceived by their technological partner from Europe and the paddler – kitesurfer star Kai Lenny.

« The idea cam to us on July 16th 2013 after a friendly race we organized in the bay of san Francisco between our 72 feet catamaran and Kai Lenny on a kitesurf Kitesurf #Kitesurf , » said to SeaSailSurf.com a member of the American team.

This video presents the navigation in the bay :

Oracle Team USA was preparing the 34th America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup they won against Emirates Team New Zealand few weeks later. The Kiwi team was the first team to be able to sail on their foils.

« We took it as a lesson, » added the team member who wants to keep his name secret. « We understood that we had to work more on the development of new technologies and our sailing session with Kai Lenny gave us the idea to develop a new kind of wing-sail that could help the catamaran fly. »

A kite developed by Airbus engineers

Winner of the 34th America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup , Oracle Team USA was ready to work on new projects and when they signed with European planes builder, in 2014, it was time to develop this new sail. Airbus was already working on flying wings, first for passengers transport and, in another project, to help cargo ships to save fuel. The Oracle Team USA idea came at the good moment for Airbus as confirmed to SeaSailSurf.com a French engineer involved in the project :

« After the company signed with the American team, we built a team of senior engineers to work on this mid wing-sail, mid-kite able to make a 50’ catamaran to go faster on its foils. As we were missing kitesurfing experience, especially in the way to trim the flying sail, we were happy to work with the young kitesurfer of Russell Coutts’ team. »

Kai Lenny in the crew

As everybody was focused on the first sails in the Bermuda, Oracle Team USA made secret first tests in the bay of San Francisco on foiling AC45 AC45 #AC45 . Kai Lenny was said to be on-board to help the crew managing this new king of sail. Now the challengers are arriving in Bermuda, the American team should be able to present the kite to all and announce than Kai Lenny will be full member of James Spithill crew for this 35th America’s Cup.



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