INEOS Team UK had made such a mess of their first boat that they had no choice but to completely overhaul the design for their second-generation America’s Cup yacht, former Team New Zealand sailor Mark Orams said yesterday.
All three challengers launched their second-generation AC75 foiling monohulls in Auckland over the past week, just two months out from their first competitive outing in a regatta in December last year that also includes defenders Team New Zealand.
The British yacht, named Britannia, and American Magic’s Patriot showed significant design modifications from their first-generation yachts, while Italy’s Luna Rossa highlighted just subtle outward changes.
“The Americans and the British have basically thrown out what they did before and started again,” said Orams, a former professional sailor who was in Team New Zealand and won the Round the World race in 1990 on Steinlager 2. “Of the three new boats that have been launched, the British one is the most radical. I suppose you could say that about their first boat too, but that was probably too radical in the wrong direction, I think.”
“The general consensus is that they got their first boat so wrong, it was such a pig,” he said.
Yachting commentators made much of Britannia’s hull, which showed a radical longitudinal bustle keel running virtually the entire length of the boat.
“It takes many months to get used to it [the boat], and get the potential out of it,” Orams said. “So they’re still playing catchup ... but in the end the fastest boat will win.”
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