Four months after first presenting their concept for the AC75 class yacht to be used in the 36th America’s Cup, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and challenger-of-record Circolo della Vela Sicilia, together with their respective teams, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa, have now made public the detailed rules governing the new boats.
“We are pleased to publish the class rule on time as per the Protocol. It has been a detailed collaboration with the challenger-of-record on all aspects of the rule, including the one-design and supplied parts. We feel we have done a great job containing costs on certain aspects while leaving the rule open enough for the America’s Cup to continue as the driving force of innovation and technology in sailing,” said Dan Bernasconi, design coordinator for Emirates Team New Zealand.
Included in the new AC75 rule are strict limitations on the number of components that can be built by each team, including hulls, masts, rudders, foils and sails, thereby encouraging them to do more R&D in simulation and reduce costs. Foil arms and the cant system are also going to be standardized to save design time and money.
In addition, a “soft wing” mainsail concept has been developed for the AC75 that is expected to have a trickle-down effect on sailing in the future.
“This marks a definite milestone and a turning point from developing the rule to developing the boat,” said Bernasconi. “Overnight we have to completely change our thinking, from trying to write a fair rule, to doing our best to design the fastest boat within the constraints of the rule. We have to stop thinking about what we intended the rule to mean and start trying to pick it apart for what the words actually say and see where there might be room to squeeze some advantage.”
According to the protocol, fans can expect to see the results of all that picking a year from now when the first AC75 yachts are allowed to start launching. To see the actual rule, click here.