Wingsailed 72ft catamaran to transform America’s Cup racing
From concept to completed Class Rule in less than four months, full details of the new high-performance wingsailed catamaran were published today. The spectacular AC72 catamaran ensures that the 34th America’s Cup will feature the best sailors in the world on the fastest boats.
The AC72 Class Rule moves America’s Cup racing to catamarans with a speed potential of three times the wind speed, putting the venerable competition back at the forefront of technology.The finalized class rule represents a tireless effort by Pete Melvin and his team at Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering Inc to create a new boat on behalf of the America’s Cup community.
On July 2, to ensure the rule was created independently, the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club and its sailing team BMW ORACLE Racing presented a two page concept paper to US SAILING and Morrelli & Melvin and asked them to turn it into a fully- formed multihull design rule.
Throughout the AC72’s gestation, the fundamental requirements have remained unchanged:
- Ensure fast, exciting racing
- Challenge sailors and designers
- Capture fans’ imagination
- Be versatile across the wind range, to minimize race delays
- Be capable of competitive racing in light and strong winds
- Incorporate wide-ranging cost-reduction features
“The AC72s will look amazing, will be very fast, and will take the America’s Cup into a new dimension,” said Melvin, himself a multihull champion.
“There will be nothing else like them, which perfectly matches the allure and appeal of the America’s Cup,” Melvin added. “We are grateful for the input of many, many designers, sailors and other experts.”