Please select your home edition
Edition
KZRaceFurlers

America's Cup- Defender names design team nucleus ahead of new Rule

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz on 7 Feb 2014
Oracle showing their clean under-body design. - America’s Cup Chuck Lantz http://www.ChuckLantz.com

The America’s Cup Defenders, Oracle Team USA, have announced an 18 strong design team nucleus ahead of the 35th America's Cup.

The team includes two designers poached from Emirates Team NZ - both are US nationals.

In turn, two NZ designers, Kevin Burrows and Asim Khan, with the US team for the 2013 America's Cup campaign are not amongst those listed today.

The US team has made much of the nationality of the team, of whom 11 are returning from the previous campaign. That is the same number of US nationals in the design nucleus, which inflated to a team of about 30 designers for the last campaign.

'We’ve collected a talented group of designers for this campaign and a majority of them are American,' says Australian Grant Simmer in the team's media statement.

Simmer returns as General Manager of Oracle Team USA. 'We have a good mix of experience and expertise across the disciplines where we think the design challenge for this next America’s Cup will be contested.'

Among the returnees from previous campaigns, wing design manager Scott Ferguson (USA) is back for a third successive America’s Cup with Oracle Team USA. A collegiate All-American sailor, Ferguson has 30 years of design experience and is an expert in masts, spars, and now wing sails.

'It’s exciting to be back and trying for three in a row with Oracle Team USA,' Ferguson said. 'We know this is going to be a big challenge as the competition is always getting better. We’ll be working to a new class rule again with more constraints, but there should be a plenty of scope for innovation.'

Among those new to the team are Len Imas (USA) and Hal Youngren (USA), who worked with Emirates Team New Zealand during the previous Cup, contributing to the design of a Kiwi boat that came within an ace of winning.

Hal Youngren has been an Aerodynamic Optimisation/CFD Consultant to US aircraft and aerospace industry specialising in aerodynamics and aircraft design. He undertook aerodynamics design and development support for Alinghi America’s Cup challenges in 2003 and their unsuccessful multihull defence in 2010.

Len Imas underook hydrodynamic and aerodynamic modelling and optimisation analysis for 32nd and 33rd America’s Cups and Volvo Ocean Race projects. He has previously worked for three America’s Cup teams as well as aerodynamic modelling analysis for North Sails Performance Racing Group. Dr Imas also has an academic role with the prestigious Stevens Institute (USA) as an Associate professor specialising in computational hydrodynamics.

'It’s still amazing to think that the final was so close, and that it all came down to one last race,' Imas said. 'Now, it’s great to sit down with these guys, learn what they were thinking and to start work again with the new team.'

A surprise omission from the line-up is top structural engineer Dirk Kramers (USA) whose America's Cup experience extends back into the 12 Metre era. He is highly regarded in multihull circles.

The Oracle Team USA design team met as a group for the first time in San Francisco this week and is awaiting the release of the new America’s Cup Class Rule next month.

'In many ways, the release of the design rule is the starting gun for the 35th America’s Cup,' said Simmer. 'From that moment on, the clock is ticking towards the start of race one, and time which is your most precious currency in these campaigns, starts to get spent. We need to be ready to work from day one and spend our time wisely.'

The Oracle Team USA design team nucleus for the 35th America’s Cup:

Paul Bieker (USA), Dimitri Despierres (FRA), Len Imas (USA), Hal Youngren (USA), Aaron Perry (USA), Bryan Baker (USA), Juan Vila (ESP), Scott Ferguson (USA), Christophe Elberding (GER), Thomas Hann (GER), Steven Roberts (FRA), Jose Luis Vela (ESP), Tom Speer (USA), Eric Jolley (USA), Andrew Gaynor (USA), Ian Burns (AUS), JB Braun (USA), Kurt Jordan (USA)

The new Class Rule is expected to be announced in March, maybe with the new Protocol. Venue for the Cup is expected to be announced later, once the tortuous negotiations with San Francisco have been completed.


Earlier this week , the US team also announced the re-signing of skipper Jimmy Spithill. The crew is expected to reduce to about eight sailors in the new Protocol, who will sail a 60-65ft catamaran, which is expected to achieve similar speeds to the AC72.

Last month it was announced by Swedish challenger Artemis Racing that it had snaped up Thiha Win, a mechanical systems engineer with Emirates Team NZ. The team has made no comment on the two latest losses, however it is operating on a limited funding basis until a decision is made whether to lodge a Challenge for the 35th America's Cup.

Emirates Team NZ's Managing Director, Grant Dalton is currently in Europe.

RS Sailing 660x82Mackay BoatsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

An interview with Patrick Kennedy about the Ida Lewis Distance Race
I interviewed Patrick Kennedy, chair of the 2017 ILDR, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution. With this year’s Ida Lewis Distance Race set to unfurl the weekend of August 18-20, I caught up with Patrick Kennedy, chair of the 2017 ILDR, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the event’s new partnership with the 2017 J/Fest New England.
Posted on 14 Aug
An interview with Marianne Davis about the CORK International Regatta
I interviewed Marianne Davis, co-chair of the CORK International Regatta, to learn about the regatta’s state of affairs. While the various CORK regattas' registration lists include international sailors, these events are some of the gemstones in Sail Canada’s yearly championship calendar, making them of extra importance to Canadian sailors. I recently caught up with Marianne Davis, co-chair of the 2017 event, via email, to learn more about the CORK International Regatta’s evolution and its current state of affairs.
Posted on 7 Aug
A Q&A with the RORC’s Nick Elliott about the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email, to learn more about the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race. When one stops to consider the world’s best ocean races, the Royal Offshore Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday, August 6, 2017, is never far from mind. I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the amount of work that goes into pulling off this world-famous regatta.
Posted on 1 Aug
Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
A Q&A with Tom Trujillo about the Transpacific Race’s 49th running
Sail-World interviewed Tom Trujillo, the Transpac Race’s PRO, via email to learn more about this classic bluewater race. The Transpac Race (est 1906) is in a rarefied group of four races that are considered sailing’s greatest bluewater Corinthian challenges, and it welcomes a wildly diverse fleet of bluewater-worthy boats. The 49th running of this classic race is currently underway, so Sail-World caught up with Tom Trujillo, the race’s principal race officer, via email to learn more.
Posted on 7 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
A Q&A with Kimball Livingston about San Francisco high school sailing
I emailed with my friend and colleague Kimball Livingtston to learn about San Francisco’s latest sailing revolution. I started hearing whispers of shifts in the San Francisco Bay high school sailing scene a couple of months ago. A few inquiries led me to my good friend and colleague Kimball Livingston, a world-class sailor, scribe, and StFYC staff commodore who isn’t one to keep his seaboots dry when the topic turns to opportunities for the next sailing generation. I caught up with KL via email to learn more.
Posted on 13 Jun
A Q&A with Andrew Howe about winning the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Andrew Howe, the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race’s winning co-navigator, to learn more about their race. In 2015, skipper Greg Marston and the crew of Ti, a 1967 Alden Mistral, racing under celestial rules, were the overall winners of the Marion Bermuda Race Founders Division, beating boats that were enjoying GPS accuracy. On the eve of the 2017 edition of the race, I reached out to Andrew Howe, the team’s co-navigator, to gain perspective on this impressive win and hear about his 2017 plans.
Posted on 7 Jun