In 1851 a radical looking schooner ghosted out of the afternoon mist and swiftly sailed past the Royal Yacht stationed in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England, on an afternoon when Queen Victoria was watching a sailing race.
The first of two new designs for the 34th America’s Cup, the AC45 catamaran made its debut in Auckland on January 17, hitting speeds in excess of 20 knots, right out of the box. The boat is an essential element of the vision for the 34th America’s Cup, which will feature 72-foot catamarans raced on San Francisco Bay in the Finals in 2013.
“The boat was designed for all-around performance so it can be sailed in wide range of conditions, and that means the next America’s Cup will see races start on time,” said Ian Burns, ORACLE TEAM USA design coordinator. “Plus it’s a regatta boat, meant for lots of racing, so quick assembly and disassembly was a must to accommodate an active competition schedule.”
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