Thursday, November 08, 2007

Blogging live from the America's Cup press conference

Listen here to the entire press conference:

We are currently in Barcelona and blogging live from the America's Cup press conference

AC90 Rule
The first meeting took place in mid September and actually started with a handful of slides.

Juan Kouyoumdjian: Very important differences between the two boats. The new ones will be much faster in all conditions. Around 1 knot faster upwind and 1.5 knots downwind. The decision to settle displacement at 23 tonnes was an important factor. It was a common agreement to lower the displacement in order to make the boat faster and diminish Alinghi's advantage.

Ralf Vrolijk: It is a box rule. It will guarantee close conditions and close speeds. Version 5 was also a box rule for us. We expect good match racing competition. Mast is quite conventional. Appendage configuration is conservative. Race course will be longer but since speed is higher, duration of the race will be same. Lots of overtaking will take place.

Tom Schackenberg: A team will not be able to use any boat more than 65 feet if they have 2 AC90 boats. Two boats cannot be lined up outside of an official race. The reason we decided to allow two boats built is that it wouldn't create extreme differences between the teams. Only one boat would have been similar to "throwing darts". Teams cannot buy a new AC90 boat from another.

Michel Hodara: Key measure. ONLY one boat sailing, whether it's an old V5 boat or a new AC90. As a result, teams will only have one crew. As far as older V5 are concerned, teams are allowed to have practice races. America's Cup Management will organize official practice races from October 2008, both match and fleet racing. The schedule will be set up 20 days in advance. There will be a break between 15 Dec 2008 and 15 Jan 2009.

Deadline 15 December 2007: Teams that enter before that date have the option to build one or two new boats. Teams that build two boats, the first one will have to be launched before November 2008.

Tom Schackenberg: Limit of 25 built sails in 2008 and another 45 in 2009.

Agustín Zulueta: If I were in Team New Zealand's position in the 32nd America's Cup Match, I would have liked to have the possibility to race Alinghi longer in the Challenger Selection Series.

Non-sailing periods: Two weeks before Acts. From 3 August 2008 and 7 September 2008 due to the F1 car race in Valencia.

V5 retirement: From 1 January 2009, old V5 boats will not be allowed to be raced in Valencia.

Race Acts in 2008: They will have NO points towards competition. Teams that participate in both acts in 2008 will have the right to build an additional 5 sails. The overall winner will have the right for 2 additional sails and the second best, the right for one more sail.

2 May 2009: First day of official competition
18 July 2009: First day of the 33rd America's Cup Match

Competition Schedule
Assumptions are made on 10 teams (Defender + 9 Challengers)
After 2 Round Robins of match races, 4 teams are eliminated and 6 teams advance to semifinals. The 4 eliminated will participate in exhibition fleet races.
Semifinals: Consists of 3 Round Robins.



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