Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jason Ker: Expecting a very interesting technical challenge ahead as a designer for the German team

Shortly after the presentation by United Internet Team Germany, Valencia Sailing talked briefly to Jason Ker, the renowned British yacht designer that had just joined the German team.

Ker will form part of the design team together with a "couple of international designers", as Jochen Schuemann had stated earlier. According to Ker, his involvement in the German America's Cup challenger will be an interesting challenge for him personally, an opportunity to be involved in a big team and is particularly interested to learn as much as possible from technical sponsors such as Porsche Consulting.

In the 32nd America's Cup Ker was the chief designer of Team Shosholoza, the South African challenger. Instead of modifying a boat from the previous edition of the event, Shosholoza took the decision to design and build a yacht from scratch and as a result Ker designed the first yacht that fitted the Version 5 of the America's Cup Class rule.

As it was expected, given the good performance of the yacht, Shosholoza was keen on retaining Ker as its chief designer. According to Ker their negotiations were eventually unfruitful and the two parties were unable to reach agreement.

The main issue that Ker is now facing, together with all other designers, is the completely new rule that will govern the America's Cup yachts. The first preliminary meeting concerning the new rule between Alinghi and the 5 challengers took place on September 15 in Valencia. Ker didn't personally attend the meeting but he has already started working on the new design.

According to Ker, it is a very good rule that will produce very exciting and fast yachts. From his point of view it is also fun to design and when asked if Alinghi will have an enormous advantage over the challengers his answer couldn't be more direct. "Not at all".

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