Land Rover BAR has once again strengthened its sailing team with the addition of Xabi Fernández. The Spanish sailor has a tremendous depth of experience, with a gold and silver medal in the Olympic 49er (with Iker Martinez) from 2004 and 2008, along with three 49er world championship titles.
He has been just as successful in the rather different discipline of long distance racing offshore, with a second place in the Barcelona double-handed non-stop round the world race (also with Iker Martinez) and a podium finish in the Volvo Ocean Race. Xabi Fernández also has experience of the America’s Cup, having raced with Luna Rossa in the 34th edition in San Francisco.
SOFTBANK TEAM JAPAN COMPLETES TWO MONTH TEST PROGRAM
With just over thirteen months until the 35th America’s Cup, SoftBank Team Japan has been wasting no time in their testing program having spent eight solid weeks sailing their AC45 Sport “Otosan” on the Great Sound in Bermuda.
Following a fantastic training conditions last week that saw the team get out on the water four out of five days, we caught up with Skipper and CEO Dean Barker to give as much insight as possible into the design race the team is chasing. Here’s what he had to say about the team’s design goals, what they’re learning about the AC45 Sport, and the advantages of sailing alongside other competitors during this phase:
In a scene more reminiscent of The Matrix than Master and Commander, Land Rover BAR have launched the third in their series of testing boats.
Audio communications network; jacked in and levels tested. Check.
Computer; booted, logged in and network live. Check.
Fibre optic and six-axis motion sensor arrays; online, calibrated, tested and responding. Check.
The rules only allow the team to build one full-size 50 foot America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat. However, the team can build shorter (45 foot) versions as test boats – T3 is one of these, and while it looks very like the final race boat, it’s a few feet shorter. The rules also define much of the hull shape and structure, making wing and hydrofoil control systems one of the key technology battlegrounds.