Trees everywhere are crying today as a draft of the rule for the new AC72 class has been published and surely downloaded and printed by anyone with keen interest in the future of the America’s Cup. Get your copy here.
Here a snippet of the press release from BMW Oracle Racing:
_Encapsulating the 34th America’s Cup – the best sailors in the world on the fastest boats – the AC72 will be a physically demanding boat capable of top speeds twice the windspeed.
The new AC72 class is the first-ever wingsail catamaran class for the America’s Cup and the fastest-ever class in the iconic 159-year-old competition. It replaces the ACC monohull class, which was created in 1988 and first raced in 1992 Cup.
The new boats will make their racing debut in the 2012 season for the America’s Cup World Series ahead of the 34th Match in 2013.
A catamaran was selected as one element to transform and enliven the America’s Cup for the future. A multihull is the ideal dynamic class, capable of being raced hard in winds from 5 to 30 knots to minimize racing delays due to winds too light or too strong.
AC72 design parameters:
• LOA 22.0 meters (72 feet)
• Beam 14.0 meters (46 feet)
__• __Displacement 5,700 kilograms (12,500 pounds)
__• __All-up weight 7,000 kilograms (15,500 pounds)
__• __Wingsail area 260 square meters (2,800 square feet)
__• __Wingsail height 40 meters (130 feet)
__• __Wingsail chord 8.5 meters (28 feet)
__• __Sail trimming Manual grinders
__• __Configuration Twin-hulled catamaran
__• __Crew 11
__• __Sail trimming No mechanically powered systems
__• __Sail area reduction Removable top sections/leech elements
__• __Appendages Maximum of 2 rudders, 2 daggerboards
__• __Construction Minimum 600 grams/square-meter outer-skin;
__• __High-modulus carbon-fiber permitted in wingsail spar
The AC72 Class Rule was drafted by a distinguished group of consultants, chaired by Pete Melvin, on behalf of US SAILING._
Also the team announced the former America’s Cup skipper and yacht designer Iain Murray will head America’s Cup Race Management, the independent body created by BMW Oracle Racing to run the 34th America’s Cup. Andy Hindley, previously the race director for the 2001-02 and 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Races, will be the chief operating office of ACRM.
The fact that neither Murray nor Hindley has any previous significant association with BMW Oracle Racing is a positive sign. Alinghi, of course, was the first team to appoint an “independent” body to run the America’s Cup. However, because ACM was initially run Michel Bonnefous, a close associate of Ernesto Bertarelli, and later by Michel Hodara, many questioned whether the organization was truly independent of the defender.
You can find full bios of Murray and Hindley at the official America’s Cup site.