International sports, sailing
(video) Valencia, Spain (GenevaLunch) – Fast, but relatively affordable and fair for everyone: this is the new boat class that sailing’s top race, the America’s Cup, is trying to draw up, or at least that is the word coming out of the first designers’ meeting 18 May in Valencia, where the last race was held. BMW Oracle soundly thumped Geneva’s Alinghi, with both teams racing boats whose masts rose to the skies and whose high-tech prices were equally out of sight.
“The World Sailing Teams Association has been asked to help write the rules for the new class. Nonaligned experts will be used to ensure fairness to all teams, which will have the chance to review the new class rule before it is finalized,” reports AP/Mercury News in a long feature on the attempt to move the race beyond its traditional sparring and get it more focused on sailing.
Russell Coutts, a one-time Lake Geneva region man, is the new CEO of the 34th America’s Cup, expected to be held in 2012 or 2013. He said after the meeting that “The teams want a new boat; the fans deserve one too.”
They should know by September 2010, the deadline that’s been set for announcing the new design.
The first issue is whether to develop a monohull or a multihull. “The monohull proposal will give significantly faster speeds upwind and downwind compared to boats used in 2007,” the 34th America’s Cup says in a press release. Three boats were presented by designers Bruce Nelson and Morelli/Melvin, who were chosen because they have no connection to BMW Oracle, the defending champion, and the Challenger of Record, Club Nautico di Roma/Mascalzone Latino.
The boats presented and discussed are two multihulls (20m and 25m) and one monohull (up to 27m).
Coutts noted that it will “not be a ‘defender’s boat” but “the product of genuine discussion and dialogue.”