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The AC40 wins World Sailing's Boat of the Year 2023

by America's Cup Events/Sail-World 15 Nov 2023 02:51 PST
AC40 - winner 2023 World Sailing 2023 `Boat of the Year` © Adam Mustill / America's Cup

The AC40 is the winner of the World Sailing 2023 Boat of the Year.

The prestigious award was announced, on Tuesday evening, at the 2023 World Sailing Awards in Malaga, Spain.

The award marks outstanding boat design, innovative concepts and ground-breaking technological advancements that change the face of sailing.

The AC40 was revealed in late 2022, after several months of development from the Emirates Team New Zealand Design Office, using their experience in designing the last two winners of the America's Cup.

The objective was to create a class that the America's Cup teams would sail, and also the Youth and Women's teams for their America's Cup events. AC40s can also be purchased by private owners and raced in class events.

The Protocol for the 37th America's Cup required all teams to purchase at least one AC40 for use in the first two Preliminary Regattas.

Several teams have also chosen to adapt the AC40 as a test boat, undertaking sail, foil and control systems development to be incorporated into the AC75 race-boats for the 2024 America's Cup in Barcelona.

World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport, described the AC40 as "a highly innovative and technologically advanced sailing yacht. It is designed to bring America's Cup foiling performance to competitive racing, featuring self-tacking headsails and an autopilot foil control system that maintains stable flight.

Collecting the award on behalf of the AC40 class was Nick Griffith from Ancasta Yachts, the AC40 Class official worldwide dealer. He attended on behalf of the class and has been key in promoting the boat to amateur sailors wanting to race at an elite foiling level.

Grant Dalton, CEO of America's Cup Events, also commenting on the award, said: "The AC40 opens the pathway for Youth and Women athletes into the big league of the America's Cup and with now 12 teams forming, training and getting the buzz for high-performance sailing, the AC40 couldn't have been a better platform to deliver on our goals with the America's Cup and its future.

"Undoubtedly the most exciting foiling class to come to the mainstream, the AC40 is re-defining sailing at the top end of the sport, and we look forward to supporting the Youth and Puig Women's America's Cup next year in Barcelona with incredible coverage of the Finals of those respective events in between the Louis Vuitton Cup Match races and the 37th America's Cup Louis Vuitton Match itself."

Already, the 24 Youth and Puig Women's America's Cup teams around the world are preparing to sail in the AC40 with the AC40 simulator also developed by Emirates Team New Zealand, which incorporates actual AC40 helm wheels, control devices and instrumentation displays that precisely replicate those on the AC40 yachts.

After announcing the AC40 winning 'Boat of the Year,' the awards moved on through the various categories. For the America's Cup community, it was another win with New York Yacht Club American Magic helmsman Tom Slingsby winning the coveted World Sailor of the Year in the Male division – his third win at the World Sailing Awards.

About the AC40

The AC40 is a scaled AC75 foiling day racer designed by Emirates Team New Zealand and built by McConaghy Boats with spars from Southern Spars and sails by North Sails. At the competition level, it is a pure one-design class that brings America's Cup foiling performance to a competitive racing pursuit. With self-tacking headsails and battery power replacing grinders, the yacht is sailed by two helmsmen and two trimmers. An Autopilot control system maintains stable flight and the AC40 can be shipped in a 40' flat rack or open top container.

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