Peterson's viewpoint

The Daily Sail discusses the pros and cons of the America's Cup contenders with Doug Peterson
Doug Petersen has had an unusual America's Cup. The head of Prada's design team going into the Louis Vuitton series he was ousted by Patrizio Bertelli following the Italian team's lacklustre performance during the first round robins. He has since been watching from the touch lines. The Daily Sail caught up with the man who was central to the design teams that won the America's Cup for Bill Koch in 1992 and for the Kiwis in 1995. The Daily Sail: What’s your feeling about Alinghi and Team New Zealand's boats? Doug Peterson: Alinghi is a nice looking, well developed boat with a well developed sail program and very well sailed, so I think they are prepared. And the New Zealand boat has a lot of quite different looking things which most of the designers around would think some of the things are quite unusual. And I’m not talking about the hula. The overall hull shape is very different, the appendages are different – the rudder is conventional on the New Zealand boat. I think we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. TDS: At Prada you were going more towards the Alinghi concept? DP: I think Alinghi has a bit harder mid-section shape, but they were quite similar. But there is still detail development and in all aspects that makes a big difference. TDS: Do you have a view about who will be faster in which conditions? DP: Alinghi is pretty well sorted out in most conditions. I think downwind they are not faster than anybody, but they showed good upwind speed and they also had height when they wanted it against the other challengers. So I think they are pretty well set-up. The downwind legs in Auckland are less important for sure than the upwind legs. TDS: Why is that? DP: It is