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America's Cup- Media Conference in Valencia - its a Multihull

by Richard Gladwell on 13 Sep 2010
34th America’s Cup Media Conference opened by Cam Lewis. .. .

The Challenger, Club Nautico di Roma, and the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club, held a joint media conference today in Valencia to announce the key points of the 34th America's Cup. Here are the key points:

Media conference opened by Cam Lewis, with Russell Coutts as the first speaker.

Coutts signals major changes ahead, talks of maintaining continuity and having to resolve falling interest levels. Wants to address the Facebook generation and not the Flintstone generation.

Wants to create America's Cup Race Management to run the 34th America's Cup. Cites the cost of competing way out of line with the returns needing Patrons or benefactors. says that it will not be possible to reach this level in one cycle.

Announced the creation of America's Cup World Series which will be sailed annually.

New class of boat will be known as the AC72.

The race management will be streamlined and rules changed to allow more raid fire racing and changes to courses, venues will be selected according to their ability to have certainty of wind.

Costs will be cut along the lines previously announced with non-sailing periods, and other cost reduction measures.

'The AC72 will test the best, but a tight design space will keep the racing tight.'

Five questions of the multihull were asked, around how it would transfer to the screen, and the overwhelming answer was 'yes'.

'The AC72 will be very special, very powerful and very demanding.'

The yacht has just been announced as a wingsailed multihull with foils and front-sails.

Peter Melvin has taken the stage and says that the brief was for fast and tight racing.

The wingsail will have the ability to have sections or elements removed for heavy airs.

Vincenzo Onorato says that the monohulls used in the America's Cup feel like a truck to drive and he would rather be in a Ferrari.

Says that the new AC72 class will be 20% less to campaign.

Onorato announces the Year for the 34th America's Cup as being 2013.

Russell Coutts takes the stage after the Defending and Challenging Club Commodores have spoken, and announced the AC45 class to be raced in the Youth America's Cup. These boats will travel the world as part of the AC World Series.

The boat will also be used for the first year of the AC World Series in 2011.

The AC45 class will be a one design, and will be built in New Zealand and will be sailing in December. The wing and platform will be one design, but the foils while initially being one design will be allowed to test other options provided they are cheaper.

Factors behind the choice of the multihull over the monohull were the excitement of the boat, the need for less crew and the ease of transport - and being able to fly boats. Differences in design should not result in massive differences in performance. In the end it boiled down to a 'coolness' factor.

The Challenger Selection Series will be determined by the Challengers in conjunction with the Regatta Director. The venues for the AC World Series will be announced later, however there will be three AC World Series events held in the America's Cup year, 2013.

Pete Melvin says ease of transport a big factor behind the catamaran choice.

AC World Series will start in Europe. San Francisco will be one of the potential venues.

Russell Coutts expects to get more teams in the multihull format than in the monohulls. He expects more new teams to enter as the new team will not be so daunted competing against the existing teams.

Says that he expects that some of the best monohull sailors will become the best multihull sailors. Although some of the strategies will be different, he believes that the quality of the matching racing in multihulls will be of a good standard.

Will have the ability to shorten the first leg length to negate the advantage that a boat has previously gained from the winning the start.

Also believes that there will be passing opportunities on a reaching leg in a multihull which were not possible in a monohull when the reaching legs were used in the America's Cup.

Coutts says that not all Challengers are convinced of the move to the multihull and they would have rather just pushed the repeat button, however while most are a little shocked initially, they can see the possibilities.

Coutts and Onorato talk of having an America's Cup over two venues, however it has to be fair and equal to all parties. Onorato says it is his dream to have an America's Cup in Italy.

Coutts says that he does not believe BMW Oracle Racing have an advantage in opting for a multihull, given that BMW Oracle Racing have three years experience already.

Youth AC teams will have to be nationals of the yacht club they represent. All key decisions will be taken by the Regatta Director, including their age.

When questioned as to whether the multihull should have been dropped from the Olympics, Coutts says that he believes and error was made in dropping that event from the 2012 Olympics.

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