Sailing a 72 in 25 knots
Yesterday was our first day of sailing the 72 in good breeze. The Americas Cup Protocol has wind limits set for 5-33 knots which by anyones estimation is high, particularly in a wing sailed 72ft catamaran.
Spring in Auckland often brings periods of strong SW flow and this for us is most representative of conditions we need to prepare for San Fran. Yesterday we had breeze averaging in the mid twenties and gusting up to a max of 30kts. It would be an understatement to say that the boat doesn't have your full attention in conditions like this!
It is a unique feeling when you charge off downwind at speeds north of 40knots. However in the back of your mind you are constantly thinking of the what if situations where something breaks or goes wrong. Needless to say it would not be a happy ending.
It is amazing how the confidence builds in pushing further up the range of conditions. You certainly have to have a huge amount of respect for the boat. One simple mistake and you run the risk of doing massive amounts of damage. But we need to keep pushing because as we know San Fran will have it's fair share of stronger breeze days