Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

America's Cup- Melvin updates on the new Class Rule development

by Americ'as Cup Media/Sail-World on 3 Feb 2014
Pete Melvin has been re-engaged to assist with writing the Class rule for the 35th America’s Cup ACEA /Gilles Martin-Raget

Pete Melvin has come a long way since the first boat he built as a 6-year old, which, unfortunately, would not float.

But he didn’t let that initial setback discourage him. Now a respected and successful sailor, designer and engineer, Melvin has been hired by the Defender and Challenger of Record of the 35th America’s Cup and tasked with coming up with the class rule for a second consecutive time.

'The process is to listen to the requests and desires of the Defender and Challenger of Record, which includes reducing the costs of the boats and in fact of the entire campaign. On the boat side, that means smaller boats, with less crew, and less personnel involved in design, logistics, and reduced construction costs,' Melvin says.

'We are looking at concepts that are similar to the AC72 - a foiling cat with wingsail. The consensus from teams is that this was a good concept and we want a smaller version in the 60 to 65 foot range. We’re looking at various ratios of beam to length and wing size and power and running VPPs on those boats to see performance, speed, controllability etc.

'We’ll get all the numbers together and then we’ll work with the teams to get consensus on what the new configuration should be from among a few options and then we’ll write the Class Rule around that exact configuration.'

Melvin says he’s getting a broad range of support and help from teams and other stakeholders.

'We’ve already started to re-write the rule. We’ve had a lot of input from the different teams around things like safety, size and cost that they would like to see. And the measurement committee from the last Cup has given input on the way the rule should be written to make it easer to measure and administrate.'

For the 34th America’s Cup, Melvin’s design firm, Morrelli & Melvin, were the lead designers in writing the America’s Cup Class Rule, the first time a multihull class rule had been established for the Cup. He was also a key designer with Emirates Team NZ for the 34th America's Cup, having worked with then BMW Oracle Racing in the 33rd America's Cup between Oracle and Alinghi in 120ft multihulls.

'Last time (America's Cup 34) was a whirlwind as we had concepts but there was also a monohull proposal and both rules were being developed at the same time,' he says. 'This time, we have a better idea of what’s involved in the process of developing a concept into a class rule, but we have a shorter time window. So we’re under pressure to be efficient and quick.

'We’ve had good support from most teams and good feedback on items like safety. Three or four of the teams are giving us technical help with creating concepts and running VPPs and it’s good to have that broad base of involvement.'

The input is welcome, especially with the focus on reducing costs. In addition to making the boats smaller than the AC72s used last time, there is talk of making some aspects of the boat one-design.

'We believe significant cost reductions could come from making some items one-design. We’re looking at making parts of the wing one design, so that the teams could share tooling, for example. There are other areas where that one-design concept could work as well,' he says.

'The America’s Cup has always had a large emphasis on design technology and there’s no desire to change that. But there is a desire to reduce the costs of design and construction. So there are areas where it’s interesting to allow design innovation and there are others where you can throw a lot of design resource at something but won’t see a lot of performance differentiation. So those might be areas where one-design makes sense.'

Following their job writing the rule last time around, Morrelli and Melvin went on to work with Emirates Team New Zealand, joining a design team that came within one race of winning the America’s Cup this past September. Melvin hopes to make a similar transition to a team this time.

'It’s not a major focus right now, we have a lot of work to do to get this rule out, but it would be great to end up with a team again,' Melvin says.

'We started our business back in 1992 and our passion was racing multihulls (Melvin represented the USA at the Olympic Games in mulithulls as is a two-time A-Class World Champion) we had to diversify into cruising boats and powerboats just to stay in business.

'We never though the America’s Cup would come our way and then it did with the 2010 Cup. We wanted to get involved to benefit from the technology that we knew would come out of that. So these last few years have been a dream come true in many ways and we’re happy to be involved.'

The Class Rule for the 35th America’s Cup is expected to be released in March, 2014.

Barz Optics - FloatersMackay BoatsRS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Extended racing hours to catch up first day's schedule
The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but are less than predicted. But on all three locations monitored by Predictwind.com the wind strength is clearly outside the limits allowed for racing with out the need for the Regatta Director to exercise his discretion to take safety consideration into account.
Posted today at 3:43 pm
America's Cup - Late rule change plugs 'Love-tap' redress gap
A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations involving damage and redress A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations similar to the serious collision on the second day of last Practice Session between Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR, which saw the Kiwi boat taken out of racing for a four day period.
Posted today at 3:40 pm
America's Cup - Opening Media Conference - Spithill once more on form
There was a change in faces but not in protagonists at the Opening Media Conference for the 35th America's Cup. There was a change in faces but not in protagonists at the Opening Media Conference for the 35th America's Cup. Those who were at the previous America's Cup in San Francisco will not forget the electric-charged tension as the skipper of the Defender was increasingly forced to defend an indefensible 1-8 win position. Then the tables turned as the Oracle Team USA skipper taunted the Kiwis
Posted today at 2:59 am
Oracle Team USA's quest for a 'three-peat' begins on Saturday
Oracle Team USA scheduled to open its title defence with race against Groupama Team in LV America’s Cup Qualifiers The two-time defending champion of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA, scheduled to open its title defence with a race against Groupama Team France in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Friday, will now need to wait a further day.
Posted today at 2:56 am
America's Cup - Images from the final Practice Day on the Great Sound
Several of the America's Cup teams had a last work out on the Great Sound, Bermuda today. Several of the America's Cup teams had a last work out on the Great Sound, Bermuda today. Originally Practice Racing was scheduled with all teams being required to participate. However in the fresh conditions close to the limit allowed for racing, participation was made voluntary, and three teams headed out onto the Great Sound.
Posted on 25 May
America's Cup - Day 1 postponed due to strong wind forecast
Strong wind forecast forces cancellation of first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), and America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), have announced that the strong winds in Bermuda have meant that Day 1 of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the Official Opening Ceremony of the 35th America’s Cup have had to be postponed.
Posted on 25 May
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand ready to race
Emirates Team New Zealand will begin their fight for redemption from San Francisco tomorrow Emirates Team New Zealand will begin their fight for redemption from San Francisco tomorrow when racing kicks off with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda. After 4 long years of reflection, rebuild and refocus the team is excited by the challenge ahead.
Posted on 25 May
America's Cup - Livestream of Media Conference in Bermuda
The pre-series Media Conference for the 35th America's Cup was held at noon at the America's Cup Village The pre-series Media Conference for the 35th America's Cup was held at noon at the America's Cup Village in the Royal Dockyard. The conference was your typical pre-series conference with everyone avoiding controversy, with the occasional jibe from Oracle Team USA's Jimmy Spithill at the Kiwi media and Emirates Team New Zealand.
Posted on 25 May
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA's Grant Simmer on 'Teams'
Grant Simmer (AUS) is probably the most experienced America's Cup sailor and team member in Bermuda Grant Simmer (AUS) is probably the most experienced America's Cup sailor and team member in Bermuda for the 35th America's Cup. His long career started in 1983 when he was navigator aboard Australia II, he won again in a team management role in Alinghi (SUI) and joined Oracle Team USA just after the team nosedived and all but destroyed their first AC72 in October 2012.
Posted on 25 May
35th America’s Cup - Opening day weather forecast
The America’s Cup Village is ready, excitement is building for the eagerly anticipated start of the 35th America’s Cup. The America’s Cup Village is ready, the teams are prepared and excitement is building for the eagerly anticipated start of the 35th America’s Cup. The weather has been excellent this week, and is forecast to remain good on Saturday (27th May) and next week, however the current forecast for Friday 26th May is showing wind levels gusting above 30 knots in the afternoon.
Posted on 25 May