It is always a big deal in any America’s Cup cycle when the first tranche of AC Class yachts is revealed. Fans and teams alike pore over every photograph and video they can get their hands on to analyse what each of the teams’ design departments have come up with.
That eager anticipation is ratcheted up several levels, however, when the teams are given the much rarer opportunity to design to a completely new America’s Cup class rule – as is the case for the 36th edition of the America’s Cup with the advent of the 75-foot foiling monohull AC75 Class Rule.
Even more exciting and challenging is the fact that designing and building a foiling monohull of that size has never ever been done before. It is an utterly new concept – and that means the designers are out on their own, breaking new ground with precious little, if any, relevant data available to refer back to.
It is now a tantalizing prospect that four teams – the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (Challenger of Record), NYYC American Magic, and INEOS TEAM UK – could all launch their first AC75 yachts in the next few weeks.