Apr 8, 2015

Americas Cup 35 new rules: Arno Terra's view

Arno has been a driving force in last years with the DNA project he started with PJ Dwarshuis. They were among the first to focus on a series production delivery in the A Class cntributing to its grow,  was deeply involved in the DNA flight development till latest Z boards, also he was part of the initial G4 project.
Currently his envisioning the new stage of the foiling A-Class, he wants full foiling boat a la Moth.

Below his view on the new rules, too much OD and I agree, beyond boat size, that for me was Ok, limiting too much aspects will make for little less surprise in the technical or development side taking away one of the greatest assets the Cup has. Next weeks, Gonzalo Redondo's take.

Above AC48 Rule render I started to get the rule and finished styling it for Roland Gaebler, have a good check as all will look the same on board lenght, case position and many other restricted aspects.
Later comparisons with AC62 and else, this is no plain colorful drawing, this is a full 'workin'g CAD, someone can build this thing a race it ...!  - Rules link can be found here
Arno Terra - AC 35 Repeating Mistakes
"The format of the AC35 has recently been changed by introducing a new class. A much smaller and more standardized boat.

A lot of both fair an unfair criticism has spread over the Internet mostly aimed at Oracle's Sailing Team boss Russel Coutts. I do agree with some who say that this ''beachcat class' is not in line with the long tradition of the America's Cup. Not because I think too that these new format lacks style or elegance. I do not associate too rich kids who practice
mudslinging in courts with style and elegance. But I do respect the tradition in which eccentric rich guys hire the best designers and best sailors to perform in an odd event with peculiar boats. It is indeed not an ordinary sports event.

Last cup the AWCS was introduced with the idea that the newly introduced AC World series could transform the AC syndicates in commercially viable pro teams, that's why the Peyron brothers dared to invest Private money into their Energy campaign. These series failed to the max. It could not attract the big networks and the big audience. The first events were covered very professionally but were only watched live by me and my beachcats friends.
The AC35 is repeating a similar scenario this time with the AC48.

There is certainly room for pro series on big foiling cats, which even can be smaller than 48 foot. The GC32 does well and personally I would prefer a 30 foot by 20 foot boat (an F1 car is smaller than a street car!) The ACWS failed because it was not an open event. The teams had to commit to the full AC cycle and had even to pay performance bonds. In practice it meant that you needed sponsors willing to commit 50-60 million euros at the beginning of the cycle. A scenario set up to fail for event with a 2-3 year cycle in which has only media relevance outside the sailing community during the last week of the cycle.

What Russel should do is set-up a World Series with a 30-45 foot boat which is open to all pro teams both AC and non AC and run that separately. That class can be quite restricted just like the AC 48 rules.
The AC it self can be run on a similar sized boat within a box rule. That way we will see innovation and the best minds will be used to create special boats and attract top sailors who know how to squeeze all performance out of it. We will see many teams in the World series but only the best teams with funds of really wealthy individuals (or countries!) will advance to the AC itself.

Why would BAR need to hire Adrian Newey for this OD class?
Just after the AWCS was announced I compared it to the A1GP (a motor sport event) which so dramatically failed and is completely forgotten. Unfortunately history repeated itself.

The costs of an AC campaign is only marginally related to the size of the boat. In the last Cup both ETNZ and Oracle were believed to have spent over 100 million euros of which 'only' 5 milion is needed to build the beast. Bringing building cost down to half a million does not significantly change the amount of money the top team will burn unless you indeed go to OD boats.

The relevance of an AC cycle on OD boats is just as big as the Extreme 40 series. The only difference is the updated boat.

Yes, Small is beautiful but no development ???"
Arno Terra

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