21 Nov 2017

Team NZ unveils new America's Cup design

8:52 am on 21 November 2017

Team New Zealand this morning revealed the design of boat that will be used at the 36th America's Cup in 2021.

The next event will be raced in AC75 class fully foiling monohull yachts.

As America's Cup holders Team New Zealand dictates the type of boat the event will be contested in.

The design teams with Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa, the challenger of record, have spent the last four months evaluating a range of monohull concepts.

A concept design of the new foiling monohull.

A concept design of the new foiling monohull. Photo: Supplied: Emirates Team NZ

In statement Team New Zealand said the goal was to design a class that would be challenging and demanding to sail, rewarding the top level of skill for the crews.

The AC75 combines high-performance sailing and great match racing with the safety of a boat that can right itself in the event of a capsize.

The normal sailing mode sees the leeward foil lowered to provide lift and enable foiling, with the windward foil raised out of the water to maximise the lever-arm of the ballast and reduce drag.

In pre-starts and through manoeuvres, both foils can be lowered to provide extra lift and roll control, also useful in rougher sea conditions and providing a wider window for racing.

The statement said the focus of the design was also on "more practical aspects of the boat" in the shed and at the dock, to allow the yacht to fit into a standard marina berth.

An underlying principle has been to provide affordable and sustainable technology 'trickle down' to other sailing classes and yachts.

The new AC75

The new AC75 Photo: Supplied: Emirates Team NZ

Recent America's Cup multi-hulls have benefitted from the power and control of rigid wing sails but there has been no transfer of this technology to the rigs of other sailing classes.

In tandem with the innovations of the foiling system, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are investigating a number of possible innovations for the AC75's rig, with the requirement that the rig won't have to be removed each day.

Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said "analysis of the performance of the foiling monohulls tells us that once the boat is up and foiling, the boat has the potential to be faster than an AC50 both upwind and downwind."

The AC75 will foil-tack and foil-gybe with only small manoeuvring losses, and given the speed and the ease at which the boats can turn the classic pre-starts of the America's Cup are set to return.

Team NZ believe the new boat could be faster both up and down wind than the previous catamarans.

Team NZ believe the new boat could be faster both up and down wind than the previous catamarans. Photo: Photosport

Now the class of yacht for the 2021 America's Cup has been revealed, detailed rules around it are due to be released before the end of March.

Dan Bernasconi, Team New Zealand design head, told Morning Report today it was a "completely new concept of boat" and the new designs had the potential to be just as fast as the catamarans.

Mr Bernasconi said the new design rule would allow a fleet of new boats to be built to "certain constraints", while still allowing for flexibility for designers to get the most out of their boat.

He said polls carried out by the team found people were overwhelmingly in favour of monohull designs, but also liked the foiling aspect of modern racing.

"So we wanted to bring those two things together."