Cupdate, Royals, foiling cats —Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

AC72’s may be replaced by a smaller version for the 35th America’s Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand Day 14, San Francisco
For fans of the America’s Cup, these are nail-biting times as the much-anticipated design rule, as well as the Protocol, for the 35th America’s Cup is due out any day, and the rumor mill is running amuck with possibilities and maybes. Some teams are awaiting the design rule and Protocol to make their final decision about challenging for the Auld Mug, and plenty of Cup-level sailors are looking to these documents to help determine their fortunes for the next Cup cycle.

While there’s a lot of smoke blowing over the water at the moment, San Francisco-based journalist Kimball Livingston, of the excellent website The Blue Planet Times (, recently talked with Gino Morrelli, one of the principals at the LA-based design shop Morrelli and Melvin, to get his pulse on what the boats will look like for AC35. Morrelli and Melvin, it will be remembered, were responsible for the AC72 class catamarans that were used to contest the 34th America’s Cup, and they have once again been tasked with creating the class of yacht that will decide the fate of AC35.

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72, NZL5 runs race drills with Luna Rossa in their build up to meet Oracle Racing in the America's Cup. 30/8/2013.

According to Livingston’s report, inside this issue, the new boats will be smaller and will use less crew, but they could still prove faster than the AC72s, as foiling will be fully embraced from the design onset, allowing technology and innovation to trump wing size and LOA.

Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72, NZL5 practicing for the America’s Cup for the first time after modifications.

'In our last iteration, the boat was 62 feet, but now we’ve handed it over to Oracle and Russell [Coutts] and the boys to fuss it out with the Challenger of Record and Iain Murray,' said Morrelli. 'Between them, a lot can happen. We’re now out of the loop, but something’s cooking… At some point they have to pull the trigger and publish the design rule and let people start working on the new boats, even if they don’t decide the venue until deep in the process.'

Speaking of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper, Dean Barker, recently had the chance to go sailing with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are visiting New Zealand. 'On Friday, Team New Zealand had the great honor of hosting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in a match race battle between the two of them,' wrote Barker on his blog.

Getting a special wave - James Cook High School aboard Steinlager 2

'We raced on board the two Sail NZ IACC yachts on a tight course outside the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron,' continued Barker in his report. 'I was fortunate to sail with William back in 2010 when he was last in New Zealand, but this time [I] was on board with Kate racing against William, which was a great experience. Kate was certainly very competitive and it became quite evident she was happy to beat William in both the races we sailed.'

Get the full story on the Royals latest yachting-related outing, inside this issue.

Mike Sanderson’s Stratis SL33 sailing in Auckland

Also in Auckland, Sail-World’s New Zealand Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on hand to snap some great images of Mike Sanderson’s SL33 'Stratis' out foiling around. For anyone who has a serious yearning to go foiling, the SL-33 is available as a production boat that can be retrofitted for high-flying speed runs. More, inside.

2012 Route Halifax-St. Pierre Race
Mike Evans

Also inside, be sure to check out the latest news from the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, the Route Halifax - Saint-Pierre race and the Clipper Round the World Race.

Passing HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in the AC boats - James Cook High School aboard Steinlager 2

Finally, be sure to check out the great photo gallery that Richard Gladwell took of the famous Kiwi ocean racer, 'Steinlager 2, as she passed by the Royals, who had just finished their day of sailing in the 'Royal Matchrace on Auckland'. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,