Oracle Team USA dominated the headlines on September 25th of last year, when they came back from a huge 8-1 deficit to win the 34th America’s Cup by finishing 44 seconds in front of Emirates Team New Zealand in the last race of the competition. The cutting edge design of their 72-foot catamaran, referred to as an AC-72, made it possible for them to pull out ahead of the other teams and take the win.
Building the AC-72 was a collaborative effort which involved designing and building a catamaran in less than 3 years at a cost of about $8 million. After completion of the catamaran, Team Oracle was faced with the crucial decision of which partner to choose for supporting, transporting and lowering their 72-foot catamaran masterpiece into the water. The partner they chose was TOMCAT.
TOMCAT worked closely with Oracle Racing to create a rolling cradle and span that would be responsible for supporting the full weight of the boat, moving it from the assembly area to the water, and finally lowering it into the racing medium known as the San Francisco Bay. The rolling cradle system was built using custom spans made from TOMCAT custom 60’ Heavy Duty Spigoted Truss Span and consisted of just two sections of truss. TOMCAT chord splices were used for each 30’ section. The span was not only used by the crane to lift and lower the 72-foot catamaran into the water, but also for lifting and lowering it into the rolling cradle when it was in the assembly area. After the successful delivery of the boat into water, the team went on to make their thrilling win by staging the biggest comeback in the 162 year history of the competition.
The same quality materials and high level of expertise that TOMCAT provided to Oracle Racing is also available to its clients within the support structure industry.