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34th America’s Cup television trials begin tomorrow

July 21st, 2010

 Sailors and non-sailors alike are invited to debate the output


VALENCIA, Spain (21 July 2010) – The America’s Cup television evaluation kicks off tomorrow with a small army on hand to carry out a water-borne lab experiment the likes of which the “Auld Mug” has never seen.

The trials are geared specifically to examine every aspect of Cup racing including the type of boat (monohull or multihull) the format of the racecourse (upwind, downwind or reaching starts) and, importantly, the video output for television.

“We must make sure the television is right for the audience, and the race format is right for television,” commented Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup-winning team BMW ORACLE Racing.

With regards to television, more than 30 people including producers, directors, engineers, editors and cameramen are on hand. They’ll be experimenting with HD and 3D video formats, and have 11 cameras to use. Some will be hand held by on board cameramen while others will be fixed in certain locations on the boats, such as the stern scoop or bowsprit.

Each boat will also be equipped with at least eight microphones to capture sound, including a microphone that records in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

“This is an exciting project. It’s cutting edge stuff,” said producer Cliff Webb, producing the trials under the direction of Denis Harvey. “It gives us a chance to experiment with things that have never been tried before. I don’t think a 3D camera has ever been used in a yacht race.”

The trials begin midday tomorrow with the two RC44 high-performance monohulls taking to the water. BMW ORACLE Racing Team skipper James Spithill will guide Boat 17.

The trials continue Friday with the two X40 catamarans. Guest helmsmen Roman Hagara of Austria and Murray Jones of New Zealand will lead those crews. Hagara is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Tornado class and Jones raced multihulls extensively in the lead-up to the 33rd America’s Cup Match.

One of the goals in the trials is to determine where to mount fixed cameras on the yachts that will be used in the 34th America’s Cup. Event organizers want to install the cameras while the yachts are in construction, rather than mount them just before racing.

“We may not re-create the wheel, but if we can find a better camera angle or view that makes the action more compelling, then we’ve uncovered something,” said Harvey, the BMW ORACLE Racing television consultant.

The output of the trials will not be a finished program, but rather a matrix of angles, views and sounds used for evaluation, with up to 30 hours material recorded on each of the four days.

Daily rushes will be available to view on the blog of the official America’s Cup web site, www.americascup.com. There will be a section where viewers can post feedback and comments.

“We want sailing fans, sports fans or those just getting interested for the first time to join the debate,” said Coutts.

New high-performance yachts for 34th America’s Cup

July 2nd, 2010

VALENCIA, Spain (2 July 2010) – Rating rule authorities in America and Britain have
been commissioned to draft the rules for the next generation of America’s Cup yacht.
In asking US SAILING and the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Seahorse Rating affiliate to
write the rules, BMW ORACLE Racing and Golden Gate Yacht Club, winner of the 33rd
America’s Cup last February, has ensured the process is neutral and independent.
“We’ve always said that the new design will be for the America’s Cup community. The
result with be a ‘non-partisan yacht’ rather than a ‘defender’s yacht’,” said Ian Burns,
Design Coordinator for BMW ORACLE Racing. “A great deal of input was sought from
the America’s Cup community and the concept briefs given to the rule writers reflect that
In a twin-track process, US SAILING will author a multihull rule and the RORC’s
Seahorse Rating a canting-keel monohull rule.
“It would be premature to rule either a monohull or multihull in and the other out at this
stage,” commented Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing. “Which type of boat
is best for racing and media impact is one of many evaluations we will be testing over
the coming months.”
The choice between monohull and multihull will be made after the conclusion of these
trials, the first round of which is scheduled for Valencia in late July.
“Either option will provide high performance, exciting viewing and challenges to
design, build and sailing teams,” commented Burns.
Versatile performance in light and strong winds is considered essential to minimize
delayed or postponed racing.
In response to feedback from potential teams, the original concepts for both types have
been scaled back from 26m (82 feet) LOA to 22m (72 feet) for tangible cost reduction.
An engine will be used to cant the keel on the monohull and move appendages on the
multihull. The rule authors have been tasked to specify an environmentally friendly,
smart, low-emission engine or power-pack.
“This offers a great opportunity for the America’s Cup community to take a leading
role in this increasingly applied technology,” said Burns. “But there will be no powerassistance
for crews to trim or hoist sails. Both the monohull and multihull will be very
athletic boats to race hard.”

To ensure fairness, all teams will simultaneously receive updates and information from
the authors with regards to progress.
The briefs to the rule authors outline parameters for both types of boat to give base-line
This ‘box rule’ method should ensure boats designed by different teams are similar in
style to guarantee the close racing the America’s Cup thrives on. Otherwise, the
instructions to the rule writers are deliberately open to afford them full creative freedom.
Seahorse Rating has asked Nick Nicholson and James Dadd, with their wide
experience of previous America’s Cup class rules, to lead the monohull development.
The multihull rule is under the purview of multihull designer Pete Melvin, a two-time A
Class catamaran world champion, and US SAILNG.
Other cost-cutting measures include limitations on the number of hulls, masts,
appendages and sails a team can build. And the reduced crew size will mean fewer
“These boat concepts are all about similar performance between competing yachts
throughout the wind range,” said Burns. “Unique configurations are the expensive part
of the America’s Cup. We don’t want a light-air boat taking on a heavy-air boat. The rule
should ensure close racing while being able to sail in a wide range of conditions.”
Rule writing is the seventh stage in an exhaustive process. The objective is to publish
the new America’s Cup Class Rule by the end of September.
The Concept Paper for each design is available at www.americascup.com.
                                  Target Features
                              Monohull & Multihull
                 High-performance and close racing
                Light to strong wind range capability
                   Ease of shipping & transportation
                          22m max overall Length
Monohull                                                                       Multihull
1.0 x wind speed upwind performance                    1.2 x wind speed upwind performance
1.4 x wind speed downwind performance               1.6 x wind speed downwind performance
Narrow displacement range                                      Displacement 4000-4200kg
Combination of bow and twin rudders allowed       Up to four moveable appendages
Bowsprit                                                                       Wing sails permitted
Unlimited gennaker area                                           Demountable assembly
13 crew                                                                         12 crew

America’s Cup Design Rule Process (since 1 March 2010):
Step 1: Dialogue and discussions with stakeholders
Step 2: Initial Concepts created for monohull and multihull by non-aligned experts
(Bruce Nelson and Peter Melvin)
Step 3: Design conference (held 18 May 2010) for ‘who’s who of yacht design’ in
Step 4: On-line follow-up survey for conference attendees
Step 5: Aggregating feedback
Step 6: Concept brief prepared
Step 7: Rule writing commissioned from US SAILING and Seahorse Rating
Step 8: Choice of monohull or multihull based on July trials in Valencia
Step 9: Rule finalization
Step 10: New America’s Cup Class rule published