lundi 30 mars 2015

What direction for the next America’s Cup?

The members of the schooner yacht America (101’) and the donors of the America’s Cup in 1857 should be surprised in the Walhalla of the oldest sportive trophy in the world…
©F. Chevalier, in the book: America's Cup Yacht Designs (Chevalier-Taglang)

It is very likely that the Auld Mug will reward fairly banal races.

This is not something new. Since 1870 the controversies were numerous without distorting some fundamental factors linked to logics of excellence. In particular as regards the yachts involved.

©F. Chevalier, in the book: America's Cup Yacht Designs (Chevalier-Taglang)
 Admittedly, the economic circumstances helped to bring about new rules. After 1903 and the radical and monumental Reliance (143,7’ – SA: 1501 m2), Sir Thomas Lipton had to fight against the NYYC to adopt ‘smaller’ racers… His Shamrock IV (110’) almost won the Cup in 1920!

©F. Chevalier, in the book: America's Cup Yacht Designs (Chevalier-Taglang)

In 1958, the J Class was resigned (120/135’) due to the post War environment and the 12-Meter (63/70’) entered the world of the Cup.

Endeavour II ©F. Chevalier, in the book: America's Cup Yacht Designs (Chevalier-Taglang)
Australia II ©F. Chevalier, in the book: America's Cup Yacht Designs (Chevalier-Taglang)

It would not be until the 1987 Mismatch – the improbable confrontation between the Kiwi Big Boat (120’) and Dennis Conner’s small cat Stars & Stripes (60’) – to see the venue of the IACC boats (75/85’).

©F. Chevalier
©F. Chevalier

Finally there was the incredible 2010 challenge between the Alinghi catamaran and the Oracle trimaran (air draft: 210’) that called the new era. The one of the multihulls; perfectly consistent with the Cup spirit that has always highlighted the excellence and advanced technology.

In San Francisco in 2013, the AC72 raced and flew… The spirit of the Cup was safe!

Of course, budgets are astronomical. But this question, it should be point out, is part of this mythical game. Since ever!

However, it has been decided for the next Cup in 2017, to induct smaller cats, the AC62… Why not?

Today like in many other matters, finance and business appropriate the trophy and undervalue the challenge choosing the AC45. The Cup enters in circuits already very crowed and ultra-competitive in which defender and challengers will race… This decision runs the risk to kill the legend!

When the next Cup raced onboard Flying Phantom or Nacra 20 FCS or better … Moth IMCA!

François Chevalier & Jacques Taglang

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