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Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - America's Cup Decisions

'Russell Coutts and Vincenzo Onorato, representing the Defender and Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup at the presentation in Valencia'    Americas Cup Media    Click Here to view large photo

Sail-World readers comment on some issues from the America's Cup announcement .

We have produced their comments below:

(NB We will only publish letters where the writer is identified, unless there is a a very good reason to maintain confidentiality. )


Sender: Bob Jenner

Message: Pity about the new format.

Perhaps others feel differently to me, but as a sailor, the best America's Cup competitions have always been those in which the racing - boat on boat, was close. Those tacking duels we used to see and the downwind attacks were great to watch and very exciting.

The last Cup was just a procession, sure - a very high speed procession, but how that is going to be something that people will want to watch ??

Still, I'm sure you are right, there's no going back, and anyway it's not really about sailing is it?


Bob J

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter


Sender: Jake Kohl

Message: It's amazing to me about how many people honestly believe that because a boat has two hulls, goes twice as fast with twice the power, weighs a tenth as much, and with fewer hands on deck will result in boring racing.

What is wrong with you people?

Are you that biased against a sailboat with more than one hull that you can?t see the incredible excitement that is about to be unleashed on you? Faster boats does not mean less racing ? it means mistakes cost more.

Similar box rules have proven exceptionally successful and competitive in other multihull classes (which host some of the world?s largest World Championship sailing events).

I am incredibly excited to see these beasts hit the water and you can bet that A) there will be close racing B) there will be passion and drama and C) this will be one of the most popularly watched and attended AC?s of all time.

It's too bad you guys are going to miss it.

Jake Kohl, USA

Related News Item: Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - America's Cup Decisions

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Message sent from : US Racing


Sender: Tom Hawker

Message: Congratulations on to Oracle group for destroying the America's Cup...
the monohull is the only way to have the match racing format work properly, multihulls are not the way nor are they accepted around the world as the racing vessel for this high profile event.

This is a sad day.

Related News Item: Gladwell's Line: Hit in the face with a wet fish or a hot cat?

Link to News:

Message sent from : Canada Racing

Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:27 AM
Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Neil Kennedy

As someone who followed the Little AC since its inception I have a great fondness for the way these remarkable machines have developed, but like many people to me they just don't fit the 'lore' of the AC, and I agree that the proposed Cats are just so far removed from the average yachties world, that apart from the novelty value and initial spectacle it is really all flash and dash which will only become interesting when the 20k plus brings the Crash element into play.

Like you I would have much preferred a monohull concept that was capable of close racing as well as speed, but with sufficient restrictions to keep in check the technology race that gives to great an advantage to the likes of Oracle. The TP52 circuit has shown what can be done , and maybe a larger version of that is what was needed particularly given the world economy at the moment. It would also have had much more relevance to the average yachtie.

It reminds me of 1983 when the 18's worlds were here and we had six different heat winners in seven races and what is still agreed by all who were involved was the best ever world title. At the conference there was an impassioned plea led by Dave Griffith to keep the wing size and restrictions they had, as it gave a much wider range of sponsors a chance to compete on a level playing field. He foresaw what was going to happen if limits were not put in place, particularly as the 'big money companies' were ready to climb on to the high profile at the time. He was not listened too, and within six months as Ch9 hired Dave Porter and gave him an unlimited budget to beat Ch 7 and Iain Murray at any cost, the class was taken away from the very people who had created the successful scenario. It was only when things became almost terminal, that wiser heads prevailed and restrictions put in place which has brought the class back to a healthier place, without destroying the uniqueness of the 18's.

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:47 AM
Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Chris Perry

Message: Ellison, Coutts and Oracle have teamed up to capture and destroy the Amercas Cup. It was the pinnacle of a sport sailed mostly in monohull yachts. Now it sets out to appeal to the young and the unknowing because the boats are fast and cool (according to Coutts). But speed has no value without the context of the background. Coutts frequent use of F1 as an example is weak. Their speed is shown up by the moving background. The real action though is in the close maneuovering of the cars.

This is where the thrill is in yacht match racing. The new boats are straight line speedsters but lumbering behemoths in the tight turning contests that has been the hallmark of good yacht racing. Increased speeds will mean larger separations as tiny differences are magnified.

It will be a bore.

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Tom Hawker

Message: Congradulations on to Oracle group for destroying the America's Cup...
the monohull is the only way to have the match racing format work properly, multihulls are not the way nor are they accepted around the world as the racing vessel for this high profile event.
This is a sad day.

Related News Item: Gladwell's Line: Hit in the face with a wet fish or a hot cat?

Link to News:

Sender: Steve (Bula) Lindsey

Message: Bob... keep up the good work. You must be loving the multihull AmCup as a chapter in your wonderful life! Keep up the good work! BULA retired in P.V. Mexico. Cheers

Related News Item: Fisher's View: It?s catamarans in 2013

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Message sent from : US Racing


Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: bob preston

Message: Sadly I think they have lost the plot The general public are not intersted in the A.C. any more Just ask anyone in the street who won the last A.C. and they wouldnt have a clue.. I think its time to get back to reality and sail the A.C. in smaller boats that every one can relate to.At the moment its an ego trip for the mega wealthy.

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter


Sender: Karl Purdie

Message: I wonder just how stupid ISAF are feeling right now with their decision to eliminate multihulls from the Olympics!

Related News Item: America?s Cup transformed by radical changes - Official Release

Link to News:

Message sent from : New Zealand Racing


From: <>

Puddle Duck Sailing Class Content Hi -- we have a class of sailboats called Puddle Duck Racers (see It is a developmental class where all the hulls are the same, but owners can use any sail rig they want to.

We think it would be an excellent boat for the America's Cup Youth class. Would you guys have any ideas how we could contact the America's Cup people and ask for them to consider our class?

Shorty from David 'Shorty' Routh (Australia)


Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Michael Clements

Message: For some time now the America's Cup has lost relevance to me as a competitive sailor (due to spectacles such as monohulls competing against multihulls), and the latest announcement that the next Cup will be held in multihulls is the final nail in the proverbial coffin.

Any semblance of match-racing will be removed due to the lack of maneuverability of these big cats, coupled with their excessive speed, which will probably completely eliminate tacking duels, and we will instead see endless drag races to one corner of the course or the other.

When the organizers of the Cup return it to its large monohull, match-racing roots I may regain some interest.



Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter


Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Roger Hawkins

Message: Richard - I don't know about you - but the news that the Americas Cup is to be sailed in catamarans is the final straw for me. I am out!

I AM of the Facebook generation - and I do understand the in's and out's f Americas cup sailing - but I am not repeat NOT interested in watching catamarans sailing for the Auld Mug (not now, not ever!).

I was barely prepared to follow it while BMW got rid of those tossers in Alinghi by using whatever method was needed - but this latest decision is a mistake of gargantuan proportions!

Give me close quarter mono-hull action in big boats, lots of mark roundings, spinnakers in all directions and tricky sailing condition and I will be there 24 /7. i.e. the series on Auckland harbour last year!

Expecting yachting enthusiasts wait for under 7 knots, flat seas and no risk of changing conditions to arrive before contestants are willing to risk their boats does nothing for me (and I suspect an awful lot of other yachties).

Catamarans, no matter how fast they are, are simply NOT exciting to watch racing!

Back to watching the Steinlager Match Racing for me - a much more exciting and relevant option!

Yours faithfully

Roger Hawkins
Herne Bay

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter


Subject: Comments On : America's Cup 34th Newsletter

Sender: Mario Krile (Europe)

Just a passionate reader of the Gladwell's line, I was referring to today's conference which somehow remind me on Ernesto and AC90, so I just make my comment that I hope that 34AC will go OK. Nevertheless as a BOR fan, it looks a bit strange that a fairest Protocol ever present wing masted cat and motor winch power, and AC90 was a unfair advantage and Alinghi 5 was breaching a tradition.

But in Russell I trust.

Related Newsletter: America's Cup 34th Newsletter


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