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America's Cup - New York first to announce AC75 Challenger designer

by Stuart Streuli NYYC and Sail-World.com/nz on 20 Oct
Bella Mente Quantum Racing has signed an exclusive partnership with Botin Partners for the 36th America's Cup Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series
Bella Mente Quantum Racing (BMQR) has announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Botin Partners Naval Architecture to design the AC75 yacht it will sail in the 36th America's Cup.

The syndicate will represent the New York Yacht Club, which has returned to the America's Cup arena after a 15-year absence. The prestigious East Coast USA club announced its intention to Challenge within a week of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup being released by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Circolo della Vela Sicilia.

Patrizio Bertelli, Patron of Italian team for the Challenger of Record, CVS, revealed in a newspaper interview that the AC75 class will be a monohull. That information was confirmed a few hours later by Emirates Team New Zealand, who are leading the design and rule development process.

Botin Partners is one of the world's most reputable yacht design firms, with an impressive track record of success across many classes, particularly large monohulls.

'Botin Partners has been the premiere monohull designer for the last decade,' said BMQR CEO/Skipper Terry Hutchinson. 'We have had a great relationship with the Botin design office through five TP52s, and it just feels like a natural fit.'

BMQR is the combination of two successful American keelboat programs, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente Maxi72 program and Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing team. Over the past decade, Quantum Racing has sailed Botin Partners' designs to five world championships in the TP52 class. Locking in the design team early allows BMQR the opportunity to begin development of its AC75.

'Any good team needs to learn how to communicate and understand each other,' said Hutchinson. 'This takes time. The ability to start assembling this team now is critical as we have ground to make up against the established teams.'


Marcelino Botin, the founder and president of Botin Partners, has extensive experience in the America's Cup having been the principal designer for Emirates Team New Zealand from 2004 to 2011, including the 32nd America's Cup when ETNZ won the Louis Vuitton Cup and narrowly missed defeating Alinghi in the America's Cup Match. ETNZ dropped one race when leading and managed to set three spinnakers (none of which set), and losing another by 1 second after completing a pre-finish penalty. Alinghi won the 2007 series 5-2, but was in the New York Supreme Court defending their choice of Challenger a few months later.

'Our ambition is to win the America's Cup, and BMQR, with the New York Yacht Club as challenging club, has in our view the best chance to achieve this goal,' said Botin. 'We have enjoyed a long relationship with many of the members of this team and feel very comfortable working with a group that has proven over the years to be extremely competitive.'

In the media release from the team it was claimed that the team already had a rough outline of the rule currently available.

The concept drawings for the new AC75 are due to be released to a Challengers Meeting to be held in mid-later November in Auckland, and with the full class rule being released at the end of March 2018.

Entries open on January 1, 2018.

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