How to Win the 35th America’s Cup

Published on February 13th, 2017

Dirk Kramers is Head of Engineering for Land Rover BAR, and a man with a long and incredibly rich history with the America’s Cup.

Originally from Hengelo in the Netherlands, Dirk’s America’s Cup journey started back in 1977 when he began designing masts for the successful Defenders of the America’s Cup, the Courageous / Independence team, then settling in Newport, Rhode Island for the next America’s Cup in 1980.

Since then he has had an uninterrupted relationship with the oldest trophy in international sport, designing rigs for Le Defi in 1983, and the rigs, beams and rudder for Team Dennis Connor’s successful catamaran defence in 1988.

He was then hired as Chief Engineer for America3, winning the America’s Cup with that team in 1992, and then losing with them in 1995, before another unsuccessful campaign with the Young America team in 2000.

Dirk then joined Alinghi as Chief Engineer, winning the America’s Cup with them in 2003 and 2007 before losing to BMW Oracle Racing in 2010. In 2013 he became Chief Engineer for Oracle Team USA, winning the America’s Cup in San Francisco for an extraordinary sixth.

But when defense tactician Ben Ainslie left to start up his own team, he made the good call to bring Kramers along to join him at Land Rover BAR.

With six America’s Cup wins under his belt, Kramers explains why the last eight years of development in the America’s Cup have been so fascinating for him personally, and where he and his design team’s focus has been on the new America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats, the foiling catamarans that will be campaigned in the 35th America’s Cup.

Background: The 35th American’s Cup has attracted six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) that will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, with a series of qualifiers beginning on May 26, 2017 that lead to the start of the America’s Cup Match on June 17, 2017. Complete schedule.

Source: ACEA

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