Racing

Designers Gather to Discuss America’s Cup Class

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A team of 19 designers recently met in Valencia, Spain, to begin working on a new decision rule for the 34th America’s Cup.

“The teams want a new boat. The fans deserve one too,” said Russell Coutts, four-time winner of the America’s Cup and CEO of BMW Oracle, winner of the 33rd Cup match. “It will not be a ‘defender’s boat.’ It will be the product of genuine discussion and dialogue.”

The Valencia meetings, chaired by BMW Oracle Racing’s design coordinator, Ian Burns, featured 10 nationalities with winning records in every level rating class, from the Volvo Ocean Race to the Jules Verne Trophy. Also in attendance were structural and performance experts with experience creating rules for the Whitbread 60 and Volvo 70 classes.

The group discussed two different multihull concepts, with LOAs of 20 and 25 meters, created by the Morelli & Melvin design office. The group is also considering a 27-meter monohull concept draft by Bruce Nelson.

The requirements for all three concepts include fast, dynamic and close racing, high levels of athleticism to race the boats to their optimum, and advanced, efficient and cost-effective technologies. Other requirements include logistical efficiency to facilitate transport to a regular series of regattas, a concept distinctive to the America’s Cup, and sufficient versatility to enable racing in any venue in winds from 5-35 knots.

“The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of our sport, so the boats should be physically demanding to race well and produce fast, competitive racing to engage new fans,” said Burns.

Publication of the new class rule will be no later than September 30.

To follow the latest news from the 34th ACC design, please click here.

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