America's Cup at the World Yacht Racing Forum

Less mud-slinging; Coutts and Butterworth share the same hangover; many constructive points otherwise made
The much-anticipated conclusion to the World Yacht Racing Forum this year was the America’s Cup debate, including stars of the show - both Alinghi’s Brad Butterworth and BMW Oracle Racing’s Russell Coutts – accompanied by a panel including Paul Cayard, former Victory Challenge skipper Magnus Holmberg, ALL4ONE’s Stephane Kandler, TeamOrigin’s Marcus Hutchinson and representatives from the fledgling Greek and GreenComm (ex +39) teams. The session kicked off with presentation by Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth, who had been out on the lash the previous night and who still appeared to be severely suffering from it mid-afternoon the following day (good effort). Coutts mentioned the wing. "One of the words we have heard a lot around the base is ‘Wow’ - it didn’t matter who was there, or whether they had an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the design, it was the same reaction when they walked into the big tent and saw the wing taking shape.” The wing he says is bigger than any wing that has gone on to an aircraft, even Howard Hughes’ enormous Spruce Goose. "Plenty of times when I have wondered if this was such a good idea, but the wing has turned an amazing boats into an astonishing one.” He spoke about how the wing generates such huge power and showed a photo on their trimaran flying a hull in just 2-3 knots of wind. "I didn’t realise how quickly you could change the shape of it and how instanteously,” continued Coutts. "When you complete a tack and try and get the hull flying, you can dump camber into the head of the wing and that shifts the CoE up much higher and as soon as you build speed, you want to drop the boat, so you can instantly dump the back element off