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Can the America's Cup survive the Monohull?

The Holders of the America's Cup have spoken - even if the Challenger of Record jumped the gun - and the Monohull will get another chance.

Click image for a larger image

There will be those who will say that the return to a monohull, with an emphasis on match racing and a nationality requirement is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Those who had driven the AC towards a media dominated format, in an attempt to create a typical sport franchise event, will be shaking their head in disbelief.

But if you can't beat them, then in this case you have to join them - there is only one America's Cup.

The other five teams at the 35AC, were ready to roll to phase two of the plan . . . they held a very serious, orchestrated meeting, intended to change the America's Cup as we know it . . . that plan is now in tatters.

It is looking likely that we will not see any of the new AC monohull boats on the water until 2020, with the Cup taking place in New Zealand in 2021.

A return to the traditional, drawn out format before the challengers battle through a knockout series, without any fancy pre-events - I guess that is what you get if you shut the eventual winner out of the grand tour - no tour!

Ed Note 19 Sep - Grant Dalton, Team New Zaland CEO, has now said that there will be events in 2019 and 2020, with the same yachts as the finals.

Click image for a larger image

If the 70-80 ft monohulls are to be given room to reach their design speeds, the stadium concept, with prepackaged TV viewing seems to be gone, although by 2021 advances in drone and video technology may provide a new internet TV based media.

All the accumulated multihull design and handling skills are dead in the water, which given the lack-lustre performance of the British boat might not be a bad thing.

We have only to wait to the end of the month to get some idea of what the defender/challenger have in mind.

And after they show their hand who will step forward?

The USA are out (or at least Oracle), the French have said they will, but that was before the monohull.

The Australian's will surely want to take part. The Japanese and Swedes apparently have the money but the nationality rules might crimp their game. And what about the Swiss?

And then there are the Brits, and the LandRover BAR Team created in a wave of post 2012 Olympic enthusiasim, with Ainslie riding a wave of apparent world domination.

With that enthusiasim somewhat dented by the realisation that the British challenge was just like all the others - the performance of the boat substandard when it left the Solent - it will be a steep road back.

Scuttlebutt held a straw pole that claimed to show 80% in favour of a monohull, let's hope that they all turn out in New Zealand or it could be a very lonely event.

Will we ever see such scenes again in the America's Cup? - Click image for a larger image

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Gerald New - Sailweb
16 September 2017 21:54 GMT


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