The America’s Cup has ushered in a new era this week with the transition to a smaller class of boat. The process of this transition has attracted a lot of attention and we wanted to clarify what’s happened, and BAR’s position on it.
The rule change to introduce a new class of boat was passed by a majority vote of the Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams currently entered in the America’s Cup. Like the other big teams, we have had a design team of more than 20 people working on our AC62 design for many months.
Despite this investment of money and resource, we voted in favor of the change because we believe it is in the best interests of the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing. The class rules has already been published, and the team have already begun the process of examining the new rules and looking for the design, technology and innovation opportunities.
The new boats will be able to achieve speeds of close to 50 miles an hour, far faster than any other current racing series in global sailing, and a match for the 72 foot boats that raced the 34th America’s Cup. The spectator experience and television product will be undiminished, and perhaps even enhanced as the new boats will be much more maneuverable and able to engage more closely in the duel that is the America’s Cup.