For me, the biggest surprise of the AC75 reveal for the next America’s Cup cycle wasn’t the boat itself, but that the ‘late November’ reveal date that was announced months ago is already here. How the eff it is already late November is beyond me. We’re now a blog dedicated to cliché office water cooler jokes/small talk like that one. Quota fulfilled.
Seriously, this boat. What is it? I originally compared it to a B-Wing from the Star Wars universe. If you’re a ‘beyond the movies’ fan of the franchise like I am, you know what I’m referring too. If not:
Now the new boat:
The AC75. 75 feet of what exactly? In my mind, this is the by-product of the consistent demand from an apparent majority of Cup fans who wanted a monohull. I think it was foolish to ever think that the return to a monohull would reminiscent of the traditional IACC 82 footers from the turn of the century.
From the video produced and posted by ETNZ (here), it looks like there will be five pedestal winches, and from the demo 3D video it looks like the helm is tucked up pretty far forward in the pit. Easier communication?
What happens when foiling with weather foil in its upright and locked position and it bumps into the other boat? I guess all the practice in junior sailing days of dodging anchor rollers in junior sailing will finally pay off. I think the additional ‘invisible’ freeboard courtesy of both foils will keep these boats farther away from each other than anticipated when engaging. Maybe that is intentional?
From Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton: “Our analysis of the performance of the foiling monohulls tells us that once the boat is up and foiling, the boat has the potential to be faster than an AC50 both upwind and downwind. Auckland is in for a highly competitive summer of racing in 2020 / 2021.”
It seems that Dalton and his design team put a premium on boat speed so it begs the question, is this just an attempt to story top Larry Ellison’s past two cups or do they actually want to give the fans what they want — better racing?
I honestly didn’t mind the multihulls. I thought the racing was exciting when it was close, but at the end of the day those races were very few and far between. Now throwing all of the multihull coaching and practice out the window and unveiling a whole new boat just seems to bring every team back to square one and thus lowering the overall level of the racing product. We all knew the ETNZ was embracing the ‘bad-boy’ role in Bermuda by not signing the framework agreement with the other challengers and Oracle. But, to the victor goes the spoils. This is ETNZ’s game now.