What’s that?

© ORACLE TEAM USA / Guilain Grenier


While looking at photos of the AC72s ORACLE TEAM USA 17 stands out for one distinct reason, the “pod” that runs along the centerline under the trampoline. No other AC72 has such a feature, so we chased down ORACLE TEAM USA design team member Mario Caponnetto for a description.

SFO Feb Testing Session © ORACLE TEAM USA / Guilain Grenier


“The ‘pod’ is one of the aerodynamic devices we put in the boat. The aim is to reduce or to close the gap between the base of the wing and the water. This helps reduce the drag of the wing and improve efficiency. This is a sort of ‘ground effect.’ It also has a structural reason, as the cables of the spine are attached to the pod,” says Caponnetto.

Two weeks ago we posed the question “What’s that?” to a device noted on the bowsprit of Emirates Team New Zealand’s cat. We received more than 100 comments on our Facebook page, and last week got a response from the Kiwis. We’re pretty sure they had tongue firmly planted in cheek when they said it was a “sonar-like device that emits sounds to warn marine mammals, large sharks and sea birds of our approach to avoid high-speed collision that would potentially be damaging for both marine life and the AC72.”

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