1
How the 2013 Louis Vuitton
Cup was won
Gaetan Lion
San Francisco August 2013
2
Introduction
In August 2013, two teams Emirates-New
Zealand and Luna Rossa-Italy competed in a
best of 13 series. New Ze...
3
Two metrics
We concentrate our analysis on two metrics:
1) The avg. Boat speed/Wind speed multiple. If the wind
clocks a...
4
Sailing Efficiency
Average
wind speed Sailing Efficiency
in knots NZ Italy NZ advantage
Race 4 14 113.0% 114.9% -1.7%
Ra...
5
Sailing Efficiency vs Wind speed
Wind speed vs Sailing efficiency
111%
112%
113%
114%
115%
116%
117%
118%
119%
120%
10 1...
6
Boat/Wind Speed Multiple
Average
wind speed Speed multiple
in knots NZ Italy NZ advantage
Race 4 14 1.92 1.81 6.5%
Race ...
7
Boat/Wind Speed Multiple scatter plot
Wind speed vs Boat speed/Wind speed multiple
1.50
1.75
2.00
2.25
10 12.5 15 17.5 2...
8
Combining Sailing Efficiency
& Boat Speed
New Zealand Time Savings
Combined Combined
Sailing eff. Boat speed Calculated ...
9
Combining Sailing Efficiency
& Boat Speed scatter plot
Boat speed/Wind speed multiple vs Sailing efficiency
1.4
1.6
1.8
...
10
Weighing NZ crew vs boat
performance
Boat Crew
Race 4 78.2% 21.8%
Race 5 70.3% 29.7%
Race 6 59.5% 40.5%
Race 7 88.4% 11...
11
Conclusion
• The final of the 2013 Louis Vuitton cup
was not competitive. The NZ team wiped
out the Italian one on all ...
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How the 2013 louis vuitton cup was won

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This is an analysis of the 2013 Louis Vuitton final in August 2013 in San Francisco. The two teams were Emirates-New Zealand and Luna Rossa-Italy. This analysis shows that the New Zealand crew were far superior sailors. And, the New Zealand boat was far faster. This match up was really uncompetitive as the Kiwis turned out so dominant. But, it was an interesting experiment in how to sail and race AC-72 catamarans.

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How the 2013 louis vuitton cup was won

  1. 1. 1 How the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup was won Gaetan Lion San Francisco August 2013
  2. 2. 2 Introduction In August 2013, two teams Emirates-New Zealand and Luna Rossa-Italy competed in a best of 13 series. New Zealand won 7-1. They only lost one race due to a mechanical failure. The match up was plagued by mechanical failures affecting both teams. However, 5 races were unaffected by such troubles (Race 4 to Race 8). Analyzing those five races confirm two things: 1) the New Zealand boat was much faster; 2) the New Zealand team sailed much better.
  3. 3. 3 Two metrics We concentrate our analysis on two metrics: 1) The avg. Boat speed/Wind speed multiple. If the wind clocks at 10 miles per hour and the boat goes at 20 mph. This multiple is 2. Obviously, boat speed is a key advantage. You want this multiple to be as high as possible; 2) Sailing efficiency. This equals sailed distance/Course distance. A figure of 200% would indicate a boat sailed twice as long a path as the course distance. You want this number to be as low as possible and as close to 100% as possible.
  4. 4. 4 Sailing Efficiency Average wind speed Sailing Efficiency in knots NZ Italy NZ advantage Race 4 14 113.0% 114.9% -1.7% Race 5 13 113.0% 114.9% -1.7% Race 6 14 112.6% 115.5% -2.5% Race 7 18 111.2% 112.2% -0.9% Race 8 11.5 116.0% 119.9% -3.3% The New Zealand team (NZ) sailed much better in all different wind speed ranges (from very slow at 11 knots to close to the wind speed cap at 18 knots). This translated into an advantage of 1 to 3%. Given that the races were typically around 25 minutes long. If the two teams had the exact same boats, the NZ team would win by a range of 15 to 45 seconds because of more efficient sailing (shorter sailed distance). The only way the Italian team could overcome this handicap is by having a boat that is 1 to 3% faster than the NZ one.
  5. 5. 5 Sailing Efficiency vs Wind speed Wind speed vs Sailing efficiency 111% 112% 113% 114% 115% 116% 117% 118% 119% 120% 10 12.5 15 17.5 20 Average wind speed in knots Sailingefficiency(distance sailed/coursedistance NZ IT Same info as shown on previous slide. NZ is far superior and invariably much closer to the ideal figure of 100% (sailing exactly the same distance as the course which is impossible).
  6. 6. 6 Boat/Wind Speed Multiple Average wind speed Speed multiple in knots NZ Italy NZ advantage Race 4 14 1.92 1.81 6.5% Race 5 13 2.19 2.10 4.2% Race 6 14 1.77 1.71 3.8% Race 7 18 1.62 1.52 7.1% Race 8 11.5 1.85 1.74 6.1% Regardless of wind speed conditions, NZ’s boat was faster than the Italian one (from 4% to 7% faster). Assuming both teams would have identical sailing performance, the faster NZ boat would translate into wins ranging from 1 minute to 1 minute and 45 seconds. Those are huge win margins on a course that takes typically around 25 minutes.
  7. 7. 7 Boat/Wind Speed Multiple scatter plot Wind speed vs Boat speed/Wind speed multiple 1.50 1.75 2.00 2.25 10 12.5 15 17.5 20 Average wind speed in knots Avgboatspeed/Avg.windspeed multiple NZ IT Same info as previous slide, but shown visually.
  8. 8. 8 Combining Sailing Efficiency & Boat Speed New Zealand Time Savings Combined Combined Sailing eff. Boat speed Calculated Actual Race 4 -1.7% -6.1% -7.8% -8.0% Race 5 -1.7% -4.0% -5.8% -5.7% Race 6 -2.5% -3.7% -6.2% -6.5% Race 7 -0.9% -6.6% -7.5% -7.7% Race 8 -3.3% -5.8% -9.0% -9.0% As shown, New Zealand won all 5 races by huge margins representing from 5.7% to 9% of the elapsed time. That would be like winning a 100 meter running race by between 57/100th to 9/10th of a second (ridiculous winning margin).
  9. 9. 9 Combining Sailing Efficiency & Boat Speed scatter plot Boat speed/Wind speed multiple vs Sailing efficiency 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 110% 112% 114% 116% 118% 120% 122% Sailing efficiency Boatspeed/Windspeedmultiple NZ IT The optimal quadrant is the upper left one. And, NZ has always a better optimized position close to this quadrant.
  10. 10. 10 Weighing NZ crew vs boat performance Boat Crew Race 4 78.2% 21.8% Race 5 70.3% 29.7% Race 6 59.5% 40.5% Race 7 88.4% 11.6% Race 8 64.0% 36.0% Average 72.1% 27.9% In average, the NZ team won because of superior boat speed (72%) and because of superior sailing efficiency or crew (28%).
  11. 11. 11 Conclusion • The final of the 2013 Louis Vuitton cup was not competitive. The NZ team wiped out the Italian one on all counts; • Nevertheless, it was a very interesting experiment in sailing AC 72 catamarans at peak speeds up to 47 knots or 54 mph!
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