Get To Know The Crew Positions On AC Boats

April 30, 2017

With less than a month to go until the sailors hit the waters in Bermuda for the America’s Cup, take a minute to learn about the roles and positions each crew member of the team plays.

In explaining the team members, the America’s Cup said, “Each team is allowed 6 crew members onboard the America’s Cup Class boats which will be raced in the 35th America’s Cup.

“All systems on the boat are powered by the crew, no engines or batteries are allowed, so the athletic demands are higher than ever before. The combined weight of the crew cannot exceed 525kg [or 1157lbs] meaning that teams must maximize power while keeping weight down.

“Long hours in the gym combined with carefully crafted nutrition programs have produced the most high performance generation of America’s Cup sailors yet.

“The America’s Cup has always attracted the very best sailors in the world, and in their hands the boats will produce fast and unpredictable racing and some of the closest finishes in America’s Cup history.

“The helmsman is responsible for speed, starts and split-second decision-making. The skipper is key to the team, he must have the X factor to make a good team great. Generally the skipper is also the helmsman, however in the case of Emirates Team New Zealand Glenn Ashby is the skipper while Peter Burling is the helmsman.

“The wing trimmer harnesses the power of the towering sail by controlling the camber and angle of the wing for the best performance and speed in all race conditions. Paul Campbell-James is wing trimmer for Land Rover BAR.

“The tactician has to have a nose for the wind and a chess player’s brain, and be the eyes of the helmsman. He is the central processor of all onboard data and information. On these boats, the tactician is also a grinder. Chris Draper is tactician for SoftBank Team Japan.

“Each team has four grinders onboard [including the tactician]. A grinder is constantly turning the handles on the grinding pedestals to charge the hydraulic system with energy to move all the components that influence the performance of the boat. Chris Brittle is a powerhouse grinder for Artemis Racing.”

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