The America’s Cup challengers voted 3-2 to change the Protocol and race in “America’s Cup Class” 48 foot catamarans instead of the AC62 class that had been announced 10 months earlier.
As is often the case, politics were part of the mix. Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand voted against the change. After the vote, Luna Rossa carried through on their threat to withdraw from the America’s Cup. They complained that it was too late in the cycle to change the class of boat used. ETNZ claimed that the decision was linked to the choice of venue for the America’s Cup Qualifiers, saying that ACEA offered to hold the AC Qualifiers in Bermuda rather than Auckland if the new class were to be accepted – european teams were reportedly strongly against holding the AC Qualifiers in Auckland.
Reasons given for making the change were cost savings and the surprisingly good performance and manoeuverability of the test boats that Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA launched on San Francisco Bay. OTUSA reportedly has hit over 46 knots. Artemis has been seen foiling upwind and executing roll tacks, even attempting foil to foil tacks.
In depth look at the test boats –
Members Only Content for the Cup Experience Club
Cup Experience Club members can take a closer look at the AC45 “Turbo” boats. Five marked up photos and two videos show the details and the impressive performance that convinced ACEA to propose moving to the new, smaller America’s Cup Class. Bronze level member ship is FREE – all we need is your email address.
Earlier articles about the AC45 “turbo” test boats: