September 13, 2010

34th Americas Cup - New Class AC72 and Protocol Announced

The reading on the Americas Cup website says that the World's oldest Sports Trophy has always pioneered yacht design, so this time it is to move on from the mono hulls, to the cats we have seen in the beginning of this year 33rd Deed of Gift Challenge.
Must admit that I have confused feelings about this. My inner soul still misses the mono hulls, and the races we have seen from 1999 to 2007, in the 30th to the 32nd edition races. Another note is that mono are used for all match racing events all over the globe. But, it is fair to say the speed of the cats in the Deed of Gift race was very impressive, and may be with two similar craft things will also be closer then to what we saw from the BMWOracle dominated 33rd edition race.
Here is some specification for the new AC72 Class as outlined on the Americas Cup web site:
34th Americas Cup AC72
LOA - 22.0 meters (72 feet) Beam - 14.0 meters (46 feet) Displacement - 7,000 kilograms (15,500 pounds) Wingsail area – 300 square meters (3,229 square feet)
Ease of assembly: The AC72 can be assembled in two days and disassembled in one to accommodate the shipping schedule for the America’s Cup World Series events. Platform configuration: Either a conventional layout catamaran, one with cockpits and helmsman stations in both hulls, or teams will have an option of designing a central pod to centralize all the wing and sail-handling controls. Wingsail or soft sails: The AC72 class rule allows for wingsail and soft sail options to promote racing through a broad range of conditions. Power source: Engines are banned but electrically driven valves to control the wingsail might be permitted. Rudders and daggerboards: The rule limits a maximum of four underwater appendages, two rudders and two daggerboards. To reduce costs, standardized, one-design daggerboards are being considered. Construction materials and methods: Limits on high-modulus carbon-fiber have been put in place for hull construction. The class rule outlines a minimum outside skin weight of 600 grams per square meter, similar to other racing boats of that size. Core materials may either be foam or honeycomb. High-modulus carbon will be allowed in the wingsail, to add stiffness and strength. Onboard cameramen will be carried during racing.
The protocol drafted by Defender; Golden Gate Yacht Club, and Challenger; Clud Nautico di Roma was also announced.
Highlights include:
- New, exciting class of boat, the AC72 wingsail catamaran
- New annual World Series starting in 2011
- New Youth America’s Cup from 2012
- Transformed media for television broadcast and online
- Shorter, action-packed race format
- Race delays minimized
– new boat and venues with reliable wind
- Independent race management and fully empowered International Jury to avoid show stopping disputes
- Effective cost cutting measures
- Branding freedom for teams
- One global website for all team and racing content

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