America’s Cup: Affordability in question
Published on November 26th, 2017
The big reveal of the AC75 to be sailed in the 36th America’s Cup has tongues dragging. What was expected was a mononull, not a transformer. The boat looks like it was designed by committee…working off input from a focus group.
So much for making the boat relatable.
With teams having planned to use the TP52 and Maxi 72 circuits to prepare, they may be better served focusing on eSports. After World Sailing launched the 2018 e-Sailing World Championships, the e-America’s Cup can’t be far behind.
Even British sailing legend Ben Ainslie, skipper of the soon to enter Land Rover BAR team, is timid with his support for the new platform. After he had pushed hard to retain the foiling catamarans, he likes how the new AC75 design has kept to the extremeness of that era but is fearful how the design has done little to curb costs.
“I was expecting something extreme, where we’ve come from with foiling multihulls. This is an extreme design and it will really push the designers and engineers to find ways…that this boat sticks together. Structurally it is a real challenge.
“It is definitely really appealing from a competition standpoint. But the one thing I would say about this boat is it will be very expensive. It won’t be a cheap campaign to be successful, to beat Team New Zealand. As it stands, that will limit the number of teams who come down.”
Ten-time America’s Cup participant Dennis Conner, who has won the cup four times and lost it twice, shares his observations: