America’s Cup: Designing the best AC75

Published on February 2nd, 2021

With the newly created AC75 for the 36th America’s Cup, yachting historian Jacques Taglang and yacht designer Francois Chevalier have analyzed the designs of the four entrants. As each team built two boats, here is the progression each took to arrive at the best solution:

The first four AC75s built in 2019—we have already featured them on the blog—have had their share of surprises. Built in view of the 2020 America’s Cup World Series regattas in Cagliari and Portsmouth, they are now destined to be scrapped (!) as these races have been canceled.

As we could see then, the design teams had come up with very different architectural solutions in answer to the new rules. As a result, it was not easy for them to be sure about what the second boat would look like. However, everyone retained that it was essential to design a slim hull under the main hull, a kind of long keel, to facilitate the take-off.

It’s never obvious to redraw the shape drawings of a boat for which we have no documents from the designer’s office. The design teams are increasingly comprised of hydrodynamic and aerodynamic engineers, and the amount of creative work left to the designers is increasingly reduced.

For our own part, we’ve never spent so much time understanding to reproduce the lines of these yachts. It is difficult to reference, as usual, the designers’ personality. If it’s impossible to mistake a William Fife’s drawing with a Nat Herreshoff, from now on the ideas fly, as much as the crafts! And each one builds on a powerful idea to avoid slowing down in maneuvers or wind changes, and quickly recover speed.

To review their team-by-team analysis, click here.

Racing returns Feb. 13-22 for the Prada Cup Finals in a best of thirteen race series between INEOS Team UK (GBR) and Luna Rossa (ITA).

The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The winner of the PRADA Cup will then face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.

More information:
• Prada Cup format, standings, and how to watch online: click here.
• Complete America’s Cup coverage: click here
• Additional America’s Cup information: click here

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