Dreaming about the sea: 5 facts about the world of sailing

5 illustrated facts about the world of sailing: from osmosis from aeronautics to the discovery of Vitamin C

Home race Dreaming about the sea: 5 facts about the world of sailing
Dreaming about the sea: 5 facts about the world of sailing

From this year, Pirelli is tying its name with the Emirates Team New Zealand who is busy in the 35th edition of the America's Cup. “Water is just another road” and, like any old road, the sea also brings with it curious facts that even enthusiastic fans may not know.

Through these 5 illustrations, we tell the tale of the sailing world from an unprecedented perspective.

Osmosis from the world of aircraft to the nautical world has always been evident: there have been times when the yachting sector has experimented with solutions that have subsequently been used elsewhere.

Carbon, for instance, is the material shared by both the boats competing for the America’s Cup and aircraft.

Not everybody knows that Vitamin C should be attributed to the Navy at the time of the great ships, with thousands of crew members on board.

The curse of sailors was scurvy, a disease that caused bones to swell, a high fever, anaemia, muscle pain, owing to the lack of fresh fruit an vegetable in their diet.

In 1747, James Lind, a Royal Navy surgeon, inspired by the work of another English doctor, John Woodall, added a portion of oranges and lime to the daily rations of sailors suffering from scurvy, and observed that this new diet improved their health.

Compared with the traditional sailor's outfit, comprising shorts, a polo shirt and a pair of the famous deck shoes, today we have to familiarise ourselves with a host of protective apparel that resembles motorbikers' clothing.

High-tech clothing, that is quick to dry, that does not weigh when worn, that provides freedom of movement and prevents slipping on the hull during manoeuvres: the evolution of a sailor's clothing has focused much more on performance and on maximum output “on the track”.

Compared with the America's Cup which we are familiar with things are much quicker and faster with motorboats: the crew needs to be fitter, literally more athletic. 

In view of this, the Emirates Team New Zealand has introduced the "pedal power revolution”: the grinders on the boat are operated by cyclists to provide greater speed and power for the production of the necessary power for the  hydraulic systems compared with traditional arm motion.

Wind is the sailor's raw material: understanding where it comes from, how to exploit it to move the boat, making a prediction simply by looking at the sky is his or her main ability.

One of the oldest members of the Emirates Team New Zealand is Roger Badham, who studied meteorology at university for 10 years, and who in fact is a  weatherman for the kiwis.

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