Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fitting Sailing Course for Auckland

I know we are not allowed to count our chickens. But it is tempting...

This is the America's Cup race course in San Francisco Harbour. The Louis Vuitton Regatta and the America's Cup Match racing happened here.

Last time Auckland hosted these races for the America's Cup event they were largely held in the Hauraki Gulf.
If we did that again - and maybe we have to for reasons I am not aware of - then the City of Sails might miss out on the kinds of opportunities that San Francisco's race course location offered.
Here are some dimensions of the San Francisco Harbour area where the racing is being held. The green dot in the middle is Alcatraz. You can see that the red lined America's Cup zone (in the course map above) is about 8kms long and narrows to about 1.5kms (on sea) in width.
This shows some dimensions of Auckland's waterfront. It would be tight to fit the same sort of America's Cup course zone into this water space. (NB: another good reason not to reclaim more of the harbour). But it is probably do-able for AC72 racing.
This shows dimensions of Auckland's Upper Harbour. Many of you will have sailed in this piece of water. Sheltered from chop, but a great sail because of good steady winds. Probably not at the same strength regularly as we have seen in San Francisco - but often very frisky - as I have experienced.

There is a narrow point between Meola Reef and Birkenhead.
These are the main dimensions of the AC72 flyers we have seen in action in San Francisco - by the way - in terms of economic development I understand we made one or to of these at Hobsonville - and we could make more if required.

While some commentators hark back to the more traditional form of America's Cup boat racing - these high tech flyers do bring huge excitement and interest. Formula One on water.

You can see here that the maximum draft of an AC72 is 4.4 metres. That's the maximum depth it needs to sail. Of course when they are flying they need much less water than that.

But the big thing is the wing sail. The mast height is 40 metres.
This makes for a very interesting race option for Auckland. We could put the course under the Harbour Bridge. Or perhaps the starting box, or the finish.

And if we built the Skypath people could cycle across while the racing was happening - well - I do like cycling so why not...

But given the races last a little over half an hour, for some races NZTA could close one of the clip-ons on the bridge to traffic and open it up to pedestrians.

We are the City of Sails. So let's bring it right close to home so everybody can enjoy it up close. The photo opportunities would be fantastic.

Maybe the finish line could be off the end of Wynyard Point, or Queens Wharf. The prestart and starting line could be positioned so the best view is from the bridge. Can't wait.

3 comments:

Robert Cross said...

If only we had predictable wind direction like San Fran. You cant reach back and forth up the harbour and call that match Racing. Possibly alternate between courses in the Harbour,Rangitoto channel and the Inner harbour may provide enough options.

Robert Cross said...

A shame the wind direction is not reliable as it is in San Fran.
Maybe a choice of courses. Harbour, Rangi Channel, off east coast bays and the inside of Waiheke may provide enough options.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

I like your comparisons between the Akl and SF harbours - they makes sense.
They also reminded me of my first publication ever on anything in NZ, back in 1995, in the NZ Journal of Geography:
"Auckland - New Zealand's Los Angeles or San Francisco?"

Rgds;
--Dushko


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0028-8292.1995.tb00359.x/abstract

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fitting Sailing Course for Auckland

I know we are not allowed to count our chickens. But it is tempting...

This is the America's Cup race course in San Francisco Harbour. The Louis Vuitton Regatta and the America's Cup Match racing happened here.

Last time Auckland hosted these races for the America's Cup event they were largely held in the Hauraki Gulf.
If we did that again - and maybe we have to for reasons I am not aware of - then the City of Sails might miss out on the kinds of opportunities that San Francisco's race course location offered.
Here are some dimensions of the San Francisco Harbour area where the racing is being held. The green dot in the middle is Alcatraz. You can see that the red lined America's Cup zone (in the course map above) is about 8kms long and narrows to about 1.5kms (on sea) in width.
This shows some dimensions of Auckland's waterfront. It would be tight to fit the same sort of America's Cup course zone into this water space. (NB: another good reason not to reclaim more of the harbour). But it is probably do-able for AC72 racing.
This shows dimensions of Auckland's Upper Harbour. Many of you will have sailed in this piece of water. Sheltered from chop, but a great sail because of good steady winds. Probably not at the same strength regularly as we have seen in San Francisco - but often very frisky - as I have experienced.

There is a narrow point between Meola Reef and Birkenhead.
These are the main dimensions of the AC72 flyers we have seen in action in San Francisco - by the way - in terms of economic development I understand we made one or to of these at Hobsonville - and we could make more if required.

While some commentators hark back to the more traditional form of America's Cup boat racing - these high tech flyers do bring huge excitement and interest. Formula One on water.

You can see here that the maximum draft of an AC72 is 4.4 metres. That's the maximum depth it needs to sail. Of course when they are flying they need much less water than that.

But the big thing is the wing sail. The mast height is 40 metres.
This makes for a very interesting race option for Auckland. We could put the course under the Harbour Bridge. Or perhaps the starting box, or the finish.

And if we built the Skypath people could cycle across while the racing was happening - well - I do like cycling so why not...

But given the races last a little over half an hour, for some races NZTA could close one of the clip-ons on the bridge to traffic and open it up to pedestrians.

We are the City of Sails. So let's bring it right close to home so everybody can enjoy it up close. The photo opportunities would be fantastic.

Maybe the finish line could be off the end of Wynyard Point, or Queens Wharf. The prestart and starting line could be positioned so the best view is from the bridge. Can't wait.

3 comments:

Robert Cross said...

If only we had predictable wind direction like San Fran. You cant reach back and forth up the harbour and call that match Racing. Possibly alternate between courses in the Harbour,Rangitoto channel and the Inner harbour may provide enough options.

Robert Cross said...

A shame the wind direction is not reliable as it is in San Fran.
Maybe a choice of courses. Harbour, Rangi Channel, off east coast bays and the inside of Waiheke may provide enough options.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

I like your comparisons between the Akl and SF harbours - they makes sense.
They also reminded me of my first publication ever on anything in NZ, back in 1995, in the NZ Journal of Geography:
"Auckland - New Zealand's Los Angeles or San Francisco?"

Rgds;
--Dushko


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0028-8292.1995.tb00359.x/abstract