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Posts Tagged ‘dalton’

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In a move that’s been telegraphed since we first reported on some of the inter-team intrigue while in Bermuda, Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli announced in an interview with La Stampa yesterday that America’s Cup 36 will indeed end the reign of the America’s Cup multihull in favor of something significantly slower.  ETNZ was forced to send out a confirmation of the lead-assisted future after Bertelli broke the news, explaining that ETNZ design coordinator Dan Bernasconi has been working on a number of ‘exciting monohull concepts’ with potential challengers and designers .  The Kiwis maintain that the new Protocol will be available by the end of September.a

The decision is as depressing as it is exciting:  The last three cycles have seen more innovation in high performance sailing than in the previous 30, with the Cup going from a dopey exhibition of obsolete design and sailing technique to an honest-to-goodness extreme sport whilst dragging the entirety of the sport along with it.  Consider: Without the DoG battle, there’s no AC72.  Without the AC72, there’s no foiling multihulls and no L/J foils.  There’s no foiling A-Cat, no GC32/EXSS foiler, no Phantom, no foiling Nacra in the Olympics, and the monohulls aren’t immune to the effect; the foiling IMOCA/Volvo Super 60 owes its existence to the ETNZ innovation.  Literally every exciting development in fast sailing since 2012 has come directly from the AC cats, and their inclusion in Sailing’s ‘pinnacle’ finally gave credibility and respectability to multihullers – sailing’s redheaded stepchildren for a century.

On the other hand, with the true 90% ballast ratio’d leadmines finally dead and buried, the new focus on what we expect to be an upwind-and-downwind foiling monohull may drive a new age for monohull sailing, and that’s something to celebrate.  For far too long, the Moth has been the only monohull foiler to set the world on fire, and a few hundred million in development could work wonders towards bringing their level of performance that much closer for the average dinghy or (lightly) ballasted monohull.

So what will it look like?  We’d love to think it’s wide open, with the ETNZ board and Bertelli’s management allowing all sorts of development variations.  Centerline T-foils, mixed horizontal and vertical appendages, powered control surfaces – all the gadgets.  Unfortunately, that ain’t reality, and there’s no way Dalts is going to give away his biggest competitive advantage – Guillaume Verdier’s knowledge of big monohull foilers – by allowing an outlier design the room to shock the world.  Look for something like the Volvo’s Verdier design brief, but with lighter weight, more appendages, and a clever control system. We expect AC36’s racers to look far more like cats than any monohull you’ve ever seen.

September 11th, 2017 by admin

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