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America's Cup- Erle Williams on the AC45

by Richard Gladwell on 10 Mar 2011
Erle Williams in 2009 about to embark on another Round the World race aboard Puma Racing. Volvo Ocean Race/Sally Collision

Erle Williams is one of those sailors who has done pretty well everything in big-boats. After a few years roaring up and down Auckland's harbour on 18ft skiffs, he moved over to be a watch captain aboard the Dutch yacht Flyer at the ripe old age of 22. That was followed by the key role of bowman aboard KZ-7 for the 1987 Louis Vuitton Cup, followed by Admirals Cups, more America's Cups and Volvo Ocean Races.

He's one of the few that have sailed monohull at more than 40kts. Lately he has raced, J-class, supermaxis and more.

Williams has now completed a unique trifecta - sailed aboard three America's Cup classes - 12 Metre, IACC and ACC, and now the AC-45 (giving a bit of licence as the AC72's little sister).

We caught up with Erle Williams after he had his first sail aboard the AC45 and asked for his comparisons and comments.

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