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Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

During their recent trip to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Chicago, we had a chance to visit with the Land Rover BAR team, and got see what goes into hydrofoil racing, from the engineering of the boats to the sheer fortitude of each crew member.

Sailing with Land Rover BARInstead of a soft main sail, the AC45F sailboat has an airplane-like wing that measures 70.5ft tall.

Sailing with Land Rover BARThe boat is constructed from lightweight materials, including honeycomb aluminum and carbon fiber, bringing the total weight of the boat to just over 2900 lb.

Sailing with Land Rover BARHydrofoil daggerboards help lift the boat from the water as speed increases, reducing drag, providing higher speeds.

Sailing with Land Rover BARThe boards can be raised, lowered and angled to impact the boat's speed, its attitude, and stability.

Sailing with Land Rover BAREvery part of Land Rover BAR's gear, from the boat to maintenance gear and hospitality is packed up and sent to the next race in metal shipping containers.

Sailing with Land Rover BARSailor Matt Cornwell demonstrates the use of the grinder, which is hand-cranked to provide power to the boat's hydraulics and electronics.

Sailing with Land Rover BARElectronics used to communicate from race control to the boats while on the water.

Sailing with Land Rover BARThe stunning view from Chicago's Navy Pier prior to the start of the race.

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BARThese horns were ridiculously loud. They almost made us spill our drink. Twice.

Sailing with Land Rover BARA crew member from a competing team works on rigging from a precarious position at the top of the wing.

Sailing with Land Rover BAROur friendly U.S. Coast Guard keeps watch on the day's festivities.

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BARThe view from the bow of our spectator boat.

Sailing with Land Rover BARSeeing Chicago from Lake Michigan is breathtaking - still one of the greatest skylines in the world.

Sailing with Land Rover BARThe Land Rover BAR team heads out in preparation for the race. By the time the day is done, each sailor can expect to burn about 6000 calories.

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BARSkipper Ben Ainslie and crew in action during a practice session. (Photo by Mark Lloyd - Lloyd Images)

Sailing with Land Rover BARWith sufficient wind, these boats can hit speeds up to 35 knots (40 mph.) (Photo by Mark Lloyd - Lloyd Images)

Sailing with Land Rover BARIt's pretty amazing to see the hydrofoils in action - including the crew, there's almost 3800 pounds being lifted off the water. (Photo by Mark Lloyd - Lloyd Images)

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BAREach boat has five crew members aboard, including a Helmsman, Bowman, Grinder, Trimmer and Wing Trimmer. (Photo by Mark Lloyd - Lloyd Images)

Sailing with Land Rover BARFive additional crew members are responsible for maintenance and engineering, and an 11th team member is on standby to sail.

Sailing with Land Rover BAR

Sailing with Land Rover BARIn the end, the Land Rover BAR team scored a podium position, and came in 2nd place overall in the Chicago competition.

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