What the America’s Cup designers have to say about the AC72

Published on July 2nd, 2013

It has been nearly a year since the first AC72 set sail, and these boats continue to amaze us. Scuttlebutt checked in with two of the design experts for their impression on the boat.

Through the design and development of the AC72, what have been some of the surprises of the boat’s sailing characteristics?

Ian Burns (AUS), Design Team Coordinator, Oracle Team USA – 7th campaign:
No one really contemplated flying when the rule was created. So, the biggest surprise is that the boats fly so well, and fast. Wing development has almost become less of a priority compared to daggerboard and rudder development because of flying.

Pete Melvin (USA), Design/NA for Emirates Team New Zealand – 3rd campaign:
We have been surprised at how fast these boats have become both upwind and downwind. There have been enormous performance gains made through all the innovations the teams have developed. The foils have been a huge learning experience for both the design and sailing teams, and have made it possible to sail these boats at full power and speed in more wind than would have been possible without the foils.

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